(7/1) Judge Molloy Denies Proposed Intervenors’ Stay and Reconsideration Motions – Hearing Set on Motion for Summary Judgement

Safari Club and the NRA jointly filed a Motion for Reconsideration of Judge Molloy’s previous order denying the groups intervenor status in the litigation.  Asking the judge to reconsider is a procedural requirement if the groups wish to appeal to a higher court the judge’s refusal to grant them intervenor status.  Judge Molloy denied that reconsideration motion.  Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation asked for a stay of the wolf delisting rider litigation pending appeal of Judge Molloy’s decision to deny their group intervenor status.  Judge Molloy likewise denied their Motion to Stay the litigation.

Briefing is complete for the district court proceedings.  Hearing is scheduled for July 26.

This is a space where we’ll post the various documents that wolf advocates will be filing in federal district court of their challenge of the recent wolf delisting rider that was attached to the 2011 budget bill.

****(6/23) I have attached more documents below ~ be

***(6/15) The Federal Defendants in the wolf-rider delisting litigation have filed their briefs with the court – including a response to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgement as well as a cross-Motion for Summary Judgement of their own.  The filings are attached below

**The state of Idaho and Montana have filed amicus briefs with the court.   Wyoming is scheduled to file their amicus briefs tomorrow (6/14/11). We’ll post them as they become available.

*New filings have been added to the list below, if there are any problems downloading please let me know in the comments  ~ be

Different parties raced to file, with Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, and WildEarth Guardians in one camp, the Center for Biological Diversity in another having already filed.  Western Watersheds Project has opted to file its own separate case as well has joined Center for Biological Diversity in their litigation of the wolf delisting rider.

It is likely that the cases will be consolidated in the Montana District Court.

We’ll post the filings as they become available.

Defendents et al

***Federal Defendant’s Cross Motion for Summary Judgement

***Federal Defendant’s Consolidated Response to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Summary Judgement and Brief in Support of Cross Motion for Summary Judegment

***Federal Defendant’s Statement of Undisputed Fact in Support of their Cross Motion for Summary Judgement

***Federal Defendant’s Combined Response to Statement of Undisputed Facts and Statement of Genuine Issues


**Amici Curiae Brief of State of Idaho, and Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter

**State of Montana’s and Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks’ Amicus Brief in Support of Federal Defendants

Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Friends of the Clearwater, WildEarth Guardians (Plaintiffs)

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

*Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgement (SJ)

*Plaintiff’s Brief in Support of Motion for Summary Judgement

*Plaintiff’s Statement of Undisputed Facts in Support of Motion for Summary Judgement

*SJ Exhibit A – Interior Solicitor Opinion Withdrawal

*SJ Exhibit B – Senator Tester Facebook Release

*SJ Exhibit C – Rep. Simpson Press Release 2/15/11

*SJ Exhibit D – Rep. Simpson Press Release 3/18/11

*SJ Exhibit E – Rep. Simpson Press Release 4/12/11

*SJ Exhibit F – Senator Tester AP Article 4/12/11

*SJ Exhibit G -E&E Daily Article 4/12/11

*SJ Exhibit H – NYT ‘Pandora’s’ Box Article 4/13/11

*SJ Exhibit I – Senator Tester Article 4/14/11

*SJ Exhibit J – Article RE: Lawsuit – 5/5/11

*SJ Exhibit K – Missoulian Article RE: Lawsuit – 5/6/11

Center for Biological Diversity, Cascadia Wildlands, Western Watersheds Project (Plaintiffs)

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

****CBD et al’s Reply in Support of their Motion for Summary Judgement and Response to Defendant’s MSJ

****CBD et al’s Statement of Genuine Issues

Prospective Intervenors

****NRA’s Motion to Reconsider Denial of Intervention [Proposed] Order (7/1) ORDER: Motion Denied

****NRA’s [Proposed] Brief in Opposition to Summary Judgement Motions of Plaintiffs

****Sportsman Groups’ Motion for Stay Pending Appeal (7/1) ORDER: Motion Denied

****Memorandum Supporting Sportsman Groups’ Motion for Stay Pending Appeal

****ORDER – Denying NRA & Safari Club Intervenor Status

****ORDER – Denying State Farm Bureaus’ Intervenor Status

****ORDER – Denying Sportman Groups’ Intervenor Status

****ORDER – Denying ‘Friends of Animals’ Intervenor Status

****ORDER – Denying State of Idaho Intervenor Status – Granting Amicus

About The Author

Brian Ertz

336 Responses to Northern Rocky Mountain Wolf Delisting Rider Unconstitutional

  1. Steve C says:

    I thought this couldn’t be challenged in court?

    • Salle says:

      The order to de-list was restricted from judicial review, however, the fact that it may not be Constitutionally legal for Congress to legislate regarding a single species from protection without scientific backing is a violation of the Act in itself and is another issue altogether which was not restricted from judicial review. I don’t think you can forbid anyone from exercising their right to challenge the Constitutionality of a legislative action that is an attempt to circumvent the process required as it is specified with an Act like the ESA.

      • Maska says:

        I believe what is actually at issue here is the fact that Congress has passed a measure that directs a specific outcome in a case that was still before the courts. The constitutional issue is whether Congress is treading on the turf, so to speak, of the judicial branch of government.

      • Salle says:

        I think you’re right. But I think my premise is also a case for challenging this sleight of hand maneuver. It did cross my mind that there was another claim to be made that I was forgetting, momentarily… thanks for pointing that out.

      • Maska says:

        Here’s a quotation from the complaint of the Center for Biological Diversity, putting the matter in a nutshell:

        “Congress, which is established under Article I of the U.S.
        Constitution, violates the separation of powers where it impermissibly directs certain findings in pending litigation without changing the underlying law.”

      • Salle says:

        Gotta admit, I totally spaced out that point, read it early this morning and was off on another mental track when I responded to the first comment. (Getting older has a way of deleting things, even if temporarily, from one’s train of thought at times. I guess my brain is full and has to make room for additional info from time to time…)


      • mikarooni says:

        Maska is correct. These ultra-rightwingers talk a lot about the Constitution; but, they fail to understand even the basic structure of the system created by that very Constitution and it’s that system, a self-balancing and ultimately self-correcting work of great elegance, that is the most valuable contribution of the Constitution. It’s the real reason we’re still here and still functioning after all these years and all these rednecks.

      • Phil says:

        Salle: Thank you for the information. I also thought the delisting could not be challenged in court, but was unaware that it could be due to it possibly being unconstitutional (which I believe it is). Good for Judge Molloy to deny intervention by the Safari Club, RMEF and NRA in this case. For these agencies it is nothing more then a personal agenda, not what is best for the ecosystem, conspecifics and heterospecifics, but what is best for them (IMO).

    • Mike says:

      Great news. A big thanks to these fine conservation/wildlife groups for their hard work.

      It’s important to preserve the integrity of the endangered species act. This goes beyond wolves.

  2. Daniel Berg says:


    ++Western Watersheds Project has opted to file its own separate case as well++

    What does WWP consider when deciding whether to go to court alone or in combination with other groups? If the legal argument is going to be the same, what difference does it make whether you go at it alone or in a group?

    • Brian Ertz says:


      in the last litigation challenging the delisting rule (before the rider) we ran into some conflict when some of the parties wanted to settle and others were unsatisfied with the settlement. Because the parties were unable to agree – Earthjustice attorneys working on behalf of all plaintiff parties were conflicted out of representing anyone – which created a situation whereby parties not wanting to settle were forced to scramble to find replacement representation, that representation had to catch up on a lot of briefing in a very short time, etc.

      In deciding whether or not to join another group or find our own representation – we evaluated the likelihood that our interests were parallel enough with whomever we would join to ensure that this conflict did not result again.

  3. JB says:

    The AWR and CBD complaints seem to dare Congress to try and amend the ESA. This seems a dangerous game to play given politics in D.C. at the moment. Amending the ESA to specifically allow for listing/delisting by state would not be a bad change (in my opinion); however, you can bet that if Congress opens up the ESA to amendment there will be numerous attempts to weaken other provisions of the Act.

    Has anyone stopped to ask if the benefits of continued listing of wolves in the NRMs in parts of 5 western states outweighs the risks associated with this action?

    • Nancy says:

      Good question JB. Too bad we can’t ask a wolf.

    • jburnham says:

      “The AWR and CBD complaints seem to dare Congress to try and amend the ESA.”

      That was my first thought. But this type of legislation must be challenged. Policy making via riders and carving out special exemptions to the law is short-sighted and irresponsible. More importantly, the separation of powers argument is convincing and if it comes down to it, I’ll take adherence to core constitutional principles over re-listing wolves any day.

      The ESA is popular enough that it’s hard to imagine it being amended without hearings and public input. Any attempts to do otherwise will certainly lead to a big fight.

    • Brian Ertz says:

      Yes, we’ve all considered this.

      You may be right – it may be that wolf advocates win and there is pressure to amend the Act. In such a case, I think there would be a much larger controversy – particularly for ESA advocates in the Senate and House – many only learned of the implications after the appropriation bill passes and were not happy – that, and subsequent fallout on the ESA side – including attempts to legislate around listings elsewhere following the Tester rider demonstrate that wolf advocates & ESA advocates were correct in cautioning against the wolf delisting rider for its potential precedent. it is perhaps less likely that a bill would slip through in the future as is the case before. Maybe not.

      Either way – such speculation about potential political fallout is appropriate to a degree but is really not wise in weighing too heavily on decisions about whether or not to pursue litigation that – should advocates prevail – protect and preserve wildlife and wild values under existing law. to do so would be – in effect – acting as if that bad law were already in effect – and the bottom line is that the rider is unlawful, bad for wolves, and it is our responsibility to challenge such.

  4. Cody Coyote says:

    What happens if the NRM Grey Wolf becomes a 2012 campaign poster child for the treachery of ” reforming” the ESA by fiat ?

    Would the heinous Tester-Simpson wolf rider debacle escalate into a platform wide campaign plank that indicts ( mostly ) Republicans on their vendetta to rewrite ESA against the wishes of America-at-large? Can we make the NRM Grey Wolf a substantial 2012 issue on behalf of all species endangered past present and future? I hope so , but….

    The political motivations of Jon Tester, D-MT, and the Obama administration’s lack of resistance to such a bad rider attached to the must-pass budget bill remain a mystery to me. But I’m thinking we should take the hand that was dealt us and make the most of it. The Grey Wolf is an effigy for the conservatives to gut ESA if the Tester-Simpson delisting cheat is allowed to stand. What species is next ? Will the Yelllowstone grizzly suddenly become a trophy class political prop ?

    There is a risk in using the Tester-Simpson wolf rider as a political tool. But how can it be allowed to stand? Short answer: It can’t

    [ The downside is even though he appeased his bipartisan constituents with the popular wolf rider, we are probably still losing Jon Tester as a western Dem Senator in Congress. No great loss so far as wildlife are concerned, but we need all the Dems west of the Mississippi we can muster , for other reasons, not the least of which a counterweight in Congress to the witless Tea Baggers . ]

    • Mike says:

      It looks like Salazar is calling all the shots, unfortunately. I wonder how much Obama really has to do with it other than hiring the clown.

    • The trouble with thinking there will be public hearings over attempts to gut the ESA is that this requires the assumption that a bill to do it will go through House and Senate Committees and get a separate up or down vote on the floor. This normal process, called regular order, is the one we learn about in school.

      In recent years, however, regular order has been the exception rather than the rule. A compelling example of abandoning regular order came recently when House Republicans actually took steps to abolish Medicare without taking a separate vote on it. Because of the huge unpopularity of that move they have backed off for now. They will try again if they think they can maneuver it through.

      They are going to try and gut the ESA wolf lawsuit or not, although it is a reasonable argument that these new lawsuits are asking them to try it sooner rather than later. We can’t count on the unpopularity of doing it to defeat their attempt.

      • Harley says:

        Sorry Ralph, I couldn’t find a place to post this on the page but I was poking around and followed the link to the web cams. Wow… the pictures are stunning for a person who’s spent most of her life in the flatlands of Illinois, thank you for putting those up.

  5. WM says:


    Should your title for this thread have a “?” behind it. There has been no finding that the rider is unconstitutional yet.

    This is one matter, however, for which I will not venture a prediction on outcome.

    One has to at least expect the drafters of the Tester/Simpson rider did some legal research on a “rider” as a vehicle for the change, and outside the text of the rider, boldly state in publicity pieces, that it does not amend the ESA. If you think about that, it is kind of a crafty move that suggests they think they know what they were doing.

    In addition, throwing down the gauntlet on no “judicial review” seems to have written all over it, a potential separation of powers issue. Again, an obvious area of conflict if applied in the manner plaintiffs believe.

    I will go so far as to venture a guess that there are a couple of legal memos done by Constitutional law specialists from a well connected DC law firms, researching these troubling aspects, sitting in Tester and Simpson’s staffers’ desk drawers, which were done before, or contemporaneously with the crafting of the language.

    If the outcome of the case is, as some here suspect, you will have one more piece of proof both Tester and Simpson are the country bumpkins you think they are. On the other hand, …….

    And, JB does make an excellent point about the risks of going this route with a legal challenge to a surgically precise and need specific means of removing NRM wolves from ESA protection by making the FWS (scientifically based in their view, by the way) rule a law of Congress.

    I will also suggest opening up the ESA to possible changes in ever so many areas (this states rights sore spot is but one), may be just the thing this growing body of tea-partiers, conservative rednecks and other yahoos currently in Congress or potentially elected in the next round of national elections, want. I would give odds the wheels are already turning.

    • Dave Messineo says:

      Tester is thinking re-election….I doubt if he really cares much about the wolf debate…he has a tough row to hoe as a democrat …adding the rider and getting it passed may be all he cares about to give him the support he needs….If those nasty environmental groups overturn it, he will still be the hero ….so perhaps he didn’t have that much legal research done..

  6. Brian Ertz says:

    Assaults on the ESA – particularly this delisting rider – has been underhanded. Let them pronounce their true intentions – and let us express ours in the light.

    Turning wolves into political chattel has always been the greater threat to both wolves and the ESA. It may seem wise, albeit cynically so, to avoid the risk of loss – to let them have their anti-democratic under-the-radar abuses of process and attacks with the hope that it will prevent the deterioration of the ESA above-board – which in the short term would be bad – but if we are to let them have these shadows (i.e. policy-riders on budget bills, etc.) as the policy playing field by which wolves and the ESA’s future are to be determined – then wolves and the ESA will always be always be at a significant disadvantage.

    I believe that in the light of transparent and true democratic practices – the crooks will ultimately lose – and that an atmosphere that benefits wolves and the ESA will prevail. So we push to have the decision made in the open, using legitimate democratic processes – on its merit – at the risk of the same decision being made.

    The risk is if that the light will illuminate an atmosphere in which the ESA is not politically resilient enough to maintain its current integrity. If that is the case – then at least we will have a clear picture of where the work needs to be.

  7. JB says:


    I wish I had your gift with words–it would make responding to your post a whole lot easier. First, let me say that you don’t need to use wolves to test the political winds regarding the ESA–they are blowing in the wrong direction and they have been for a very long time. Congress has not yet been able to remove the legal “teeth” from the ESA, but they have found a way around those teeth by refusing to “feed the dog” (i.e., fund FWS/NMFS).

    I am with you regarding a fair and transparent process and democratic principles, and I acknowledge that the so-called conservatives in Congress will attack the ESA no matter what is done, but the relevant question that needs to be asked is: by taking this action will we be sending them allies in their attack?

    Frankly, the whole DPS issue plays into the hands of those who claim the ESA is being “misused”. (For me, a good “litmus test” is ‘can I explain this issue to a lay person’? If I can’t explain it without the use of legal or scientific jargon, I find most people are skeptical.) The DPS issue fails this test miserably. I would much rather see a debate on the adequacy of regulatory mechanisms–especially given the minimum numbers to which states have (reluctantly) committed to maintain. I find the people I speak with are generally aghast at the notion that 10/100 or even 15/150 packs/wolves is adequate to constitute recovery. However, the same people seem baffled by the whole DPS argument.

    Food for thought?

    • Dude, the bagman says:

      It whetted my appetite.

      I think the ESA is perceived as being misused because of a basic lack of spin control. Conservatives are much better at taking complicated subjects and spinning them into arguments that appeal to people’s values in ways they understand. People think the ESA is being misused because they don’t really understand it. What they do understand is the simplistic version of it they have picked up from the wrong people.

      Why not just explain the DPS issue as simply as possible and acknowledge that it actually exists for a reason (rather than treating it as only a legal technicality)? Something like “a group of endangered animals that is separated from the larger population that deserves special protection because of its unique qualities or habitat.”

      What makes them unique/important? They are rare survivors adapted to a specific environment. Most of the other animals with their unique traits have been killed, and if we don’t protect these animals, those traits will be lost forever. It’s important to keep those traits because they make the species as a whole more resilient.
      They live in an area they have populated for thousands of years. They play an important role in that ecosystem by controlling the population of X species or providing food for Y species. If they go extinct, other animals starve to death, forest fires will rage, the streams will be ruined for fishing, or whatever.

      So why can’t they be delisted state by state? Because they are a single population that is part of the same ecosystem, so it doesn’t make sense to divide that population into fine pieces and treat them differently just because it’s politically convenient. Animals have no regard for our arbitrary boundaries.

      If we’re losing the battle of public opinion (and I’m not sure we are), it’s because we’re making arguments like “because the law says so,” or making arguments that are beyond the average non-biologist/laywer’s knowledge or attention span. We get lost in the details because we acknowledge and attempt to communicate the true complexity of the situation. That makes it seem like we’re hiding something. The other side’s arguments are direct and personal. They are all about our traditional American rights to baseball, sunshine, and how commie environmentalists want to take the apple pie off your family’s table because they hate your freedom.

      If we’re always on the defensive, trying to rebut simplistic propaganda with complicated facts, we’re not going to control the debate. I think it’s enough to just say “200 lb wolves? Bullshit. Show me your evidence. That’s a bunch of lies from people pushing their own selfish agenda. A lot of those people brag on the internet about their willingness to gut-shoot puppies just to demonstrate how much they hate the government and will only play by the rules that suit them. That’s undemocratic, unpatriotic, and juvenille. It borders on terrorism.”

      I think we’d be better off trying to redirect the political winds than to be at their mercy. Otherwise we’re always one step behind. I think that starts in our own communities by being willing to honestly and unapologetically give our own arguments backed by our own reasoning and values. I’ve got to agree with/paraphrase Brian here – it’s better that our arguments are tested on their merits rather than on mischaracterizations and purely defensive maneuvering.

      That being said, I don’t think that the argument in this latest suit is going to win many hearts and minds.

      • Immer Treue says:


        I think you’ve hit the nail pretty squarely on the head. Conservatives have been doing this since Goldwater was defeated. They are very well practiced at taking complex issues, or parts of them, and spinning it to fit their conclusions.

        Another tactic is they prefer to reach a conclusion, and then scrounge for any facts that might support their conclusion. When presented with a counter argument, or solid factual rebuttal, they won’t buy it because it doesn’t confirm what they ***want*** to be true.

        Your last paragraph strikes the chord we all should follow, and I also sadly believe your last sentence is true.

    • Brian Ertz says:

      Dude, the bagman’s got it right, it’s not about needing anyone to understand what a DPS is (other than the lawyer’s & biologists), it’s about explaining that whether wolves are recovered or not has more to do with their habitat than with state lines.

      as far as the political ramifications – I strongly believe that “messaging” has as much to do with how a party acts as with what it says.

      Playing defense and being afraid to act, no matter how simple or complex the talking point, communicates “I don’t really believe what I’m saying is worth fighting for” or “my value is only as important as its popularity” and why would someone who knows very little about the issue throw their ‘vote’ behind a person who is so afraid of their own value ? why would political leaders and media organizations at the national level be willing to even consider a deeper look at a controversy one side seems hell-bent on avoiding, seemingly above their own interest ? even if the apparently timid party has spent all his/her effort conjuring a seemingly brilliant treatise on the political expediency of their hesitation ~ capitulation ~ to convince him/herself that he/she isn’t just plain afraid.

      I’m sick of listening to NPR interviews on the issue with a Defender’s representative apologetically back-stepping into a factoid talking-point about how wolves don’t kill that many livestock – or haven’t taken your children from the bus-stop yet ~ then asking the public for donations to send “volunteers” to protect sheep from wolves – & to hand-out reparations for the damage wolves have done to welfare ranchers’ “custom & culture” “livelihood” on public lands. it’s a bogus position *unless you’re an establishment interest-group looking to avoid making waves in order to keep the establishment foundation dollars flowing. How effective does anyone believe this apologetic advocacy is going to be with Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming as judge, jury, and executioners of wolves ?

      i’m sick of reading communication consultants’ opinions about how reaching people that don’t care is more important than acting in the interests of members who want action for wolves and otherwise motivating the droves who are passionate and willing already. this ought be as much about granting those who care about wolves (and are willing/wanting to act) an effective advocacy as it is about obtaining more ‘undecideds’ to say they like wolves (but then do nothing).

      the ESA is popular across the country, wolves are popular across the country – if the issue was debated and voted on (in the open) at the national level – which it ought be – then the ESA & wolves win. but how many of those who answered for wolves in the last poll are willing to stand up and do something about it ? exactly how many ‘undecideds’ need to jump off the fence and check “I support wolves” before acting on their behalf becomes politically expedient ? exactly how many ‘undecideds’ need to jump off the fence and check “I support wolves” before acting on their behalf becomes right ?

      it’s because a minority of vociferous, passionate anti-wolf liars are willing to be belligerent enough to make a few spineless politicians wet themselves that this thing was handled in such a cowardly way. Senator Jon Tester is a spineless coward. locals have always been adversarial to the ESA, wolves, wilderness, environmental regulation (i.e. everything we care about), – if that’s the polling pool then the question of popularity becomes troubling for both the ESA & wolves – to say nothing of the question of what’s right. but these are national policies of national importance deserving of national debate in Congress.

      the way this issue was handled was shameful – Congress didn’t change the law. A rider on a budget bill directed an executive agency to take illegal action. The Supreme Court has held in the past that Congress has the authority to change the law, but to direct executive action that has been held by a court to be illegal without changing the underlying law is beyond its constitutional authority – doing so in effect infringes upon a power to adjudicate legality that resides exclusively with the Courts. This leaves a legitimate question as to the legality of the delisting rider.

      Protections of wolves were removed via this bastardization of process – challenging it is right for wolves, right for the ESA, right for our democratic process, and right for maintenance of our country’s constitutional integrity. it’s right – and should the anti-wolf zealots prove able to burn the ESA via legitimate means – in the open – then we’ll have our work cut out for us. I don’t think they can do it. I think the fact that they had to rely on this underhanded bastardization of process is among the most compelling indicators that they CAN’T do it legitimately – because if the ESA is as vulnerable as some claim – and if anti-ESA interests are as powerful as some claim, then they would have done it – they would have been able to seize this moment explicitly. They didn’t.

      otherwise, i’m not willing to stand by and watch these crooks violate what i care about, wolves – and violate the law (which is what this is, it’s a violation of our country’s founding document – Tester broke the law) at such a high-level of power without challenging it, no matter how creative one might be in matters of such speculative political economics.

      • WM says:


        I would submit that wolves have already been voted on – state and nationally- with the election of national and state officials, and the officials they appoint to represent them- generally reflecting the public will. This is much, much different than the results of a couple of one dimensional polls (sometimes skewed to elicit a particular response by their very design), where it is not necessary to factor in other variables that politicians and bureaucrats must in order for governments to carry out their business, AND for those politicians to continue their own self-preservation.

      • WM says:

        Here is an example from WI, where there is, according to the article title, “Momentum Building for Wolf Hunt,” and they are not even likely off the ESA for another 60 days, or so.

        To put this in context, WI has only had its wolves in larger numbers for just a few years as they migrated in from MN, and out/back in from MI. Sentiments there are apparently changing, according to the researcher quoted. Will they amend their management plan to account for changing conditions?


      • Elk275 says:

        Brain and Dude

        Both of your above posts remind me of anti Vietnam war rhetoric in the late 1960’s. Regardless of how many and how hard one protested the war, the powers to be decided to when and how to end the war.

      • Dude, the bagman says:

        what do you mean I sound like a Vietnam protester?

        “the powers to be decided to when and how to end the war.”

        Are those powers the North Vietnamese? It seems to me that the final decision that the war was over was made for us after we were kicked out of Saigon. We couldn’t get people out of there fast enough after than happened, hence the dumping helicopters over the side of aircraft carriers.

        The fact that the government didn’t listen to those protesters didn’t change the ultimate outcome – just delayed it. Diminishing support for the war is what ultimately caused our downfall over there. It just took a while for the larger society to align itself with the earlier protesters.

      • Elk275 says:

        Dude, are you old enough to see or been a part of an Vietnam anti war protest?

      • Dude, the bagman says:


        “I would submit that wolves have already been voted on – state and nationally- with the election of national and state officials, and the officials they appoint to represent them- generally reflecting the public will. ”

        I would submit that the continuing economic downturn combined with a moderately liberal president who happens to be black (terrifying socialist Kenyan Muslim – impeach him for something) is what the voting public is responding to.

        A lot of people who supported Obama in 2008 are disillusioned and probably didn’t make it to the polls to provide support for other Democrats. Their performance since the 2008 elections has been less than inspirational. Especially so since they had the presidency and both houses.

        The wolves are pretty far down on the list when people are worried about keeping their houses, jobs, etc. I would say that they don’t even register for most people. The people who care the most live in states that are most likely going to elect conservatives anyway (MT swings, ID and WY are going red for sure).

        Some of us live in Idaho where the outcome of statewide elections is almost inevitable. Most of the rest of us hold our noses and eat whatever shit we are fed. I’d really like to have more viable parties so we could actually vote on the issues rather than lesser-of-evils package deals.

      • Dude, the bagman says:

        I am 175 years old. Therefore, the wisdom of my years and basic awareness of history still allows me to have an opinion on the matter.

        You didn’t answer my question.

      • mikarooni says:

        I can vouch for Dude; I remember him from lacrosse team at the mission high school. We were both in that smallish graduating class of 1854.

  8. Cody Coyote says:

    We all know that delisting the DRM Grey Wolves would not have happened as a standalone issue considered in committee and debated openly on the chamber floor before a vote.

    When the anti-wolfers claimed a great victory via the Tester-Simpson wolf rider, they were endorsing a legislative deceit at the least , or a constitutional cheat more likely. They could not have done this fair and square. Yet they gloat…

  9. NotafanofWW2 says:

    They’re bitching about you right now on the BBB, Coyote.

    • william huard says:

      Prophet Cody Coyote……. Everyone knows the wolf was reintroduced as a biological weapon to get both Ranching and Hunting banned. These aren’t just any wolves…..They are Canadian “Socialist” wolves. These wolves come from the land of misunderstood predators, employed by Van Jones when he was running the Kenyan Socialist Task Force who at that time was soliciting the help of wolves to overthrow dixiecratic holdovers from the Strom Thurmond era.(the modern day tea party)

    • jon says:

      Yeah, they tend to do that a lot. A lot of those jokers are obsessed with this blog. One of them is still very bitter and butthurt he got banned from here.

      • JEFF E says:

        The thing about perusing the ppp blog is that at first it is amusing, but after a while one realizes that it is like having a front row seat at a convention of village idiots. After some initial embarrassment about “enjoying the show” most people with any compassion look for ways to help but then after getting a better idea of who you are dealing with, you just have an overwhelming need to take a shower after spending any time there and make sure there are no rashes anywhere.

    • Cody Coyote says:

      I’m honored.
      Any day you get THOSE poltroons invoking your name is a good day…

      We Irish have an old saying…a man is judged by the company he keeps.

      The modern correlation is he is also just as judged by the company he doesn’t keep. And since I don’t harangue and swagger at the BBB… it is still a good day.

      • JEFF E says:

        I’ve come to the conclusion that the individuals at the ppp blog are analogous to an outbreak of pustules on the @$$hole of the Internet

  10. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Oh, LOL!!! You owe me a new keyboard, Mr. Huard. ; )

    • william huard says:

      I see the BBB has a picture of the one and only Hank Parker. He’s just an advertising fool aint he? Remember the Cmere Deer Commercial-” You see I’m a working man and I don’t have time to hunt over 100 acres.. This Cmere deer evens the playin field for a workin man…… hell I usually go to the wildlife preserve were I can kill me a semi tame handfed fed monster….. It’s just as good as killin a real animal….. If the Cmere deer doesn’t work I just put it on my cereal in the morning it makes me go mighty regular….. Ye haw

  11. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Some of the WW2 tail-chasers actually believe there’s a CLF (Carnivore Liberation Front). It started as a silly made-up acronym by a blogger and the WW2 whiners took it literally! Snort! Anyway, I printed up a bunch of t-shirts with the CLF logo and a wolf howling under a full moon screened over with a red hammer and sickle on the front. They’re selling like crazy up here in CDA! I even saw some kids wearing them at the skate park!

  12. NotafanofWW2 says:

    How lovely…..

    • Phil says:

      I would take the howling of these wolves over Rockholm’s “acting” of remorse of elk to get sympathy anyday.

  13. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Guess what! They pried the gun out a few years ago.

    This looks like child-endangerment to me, btw. Dumbass got it on film, too.


    • william huard says:

      Was that video done before Rockholm’s lobotomy?

    • Salle says:

      That’s what I thought too.

    • Phil says:

      At 3:45 of the clip-Nothing like a good old training of a young child at getting her experienced to shoot a rifle. What’s next? Teaching her how she can drive home safely after drinking?

  14. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Not sure, but have you seen this one yet? It’s like Jim Jones, the Unibomber and David Koresh all inbred together.

    Listen to the strategically-placed violin music as it rises to a crescendo, like an orgazum in his head. Eeeewwwww!

    • WM says:

      Rockhead’s eyes look so sad, it almost makes you think he is going to cry. Wonder if he has coyote trap on his big toe? Maybe he is a “method” actor.


      I don’t want to seem ignorant on this topic, but I haven’t got a clue – what are “WW2 tail-chasers?”

      • william huard says:

        There is a rumor that Rockhead auditioned to play the part of “Billy” in the One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest sequel. There was no method acting he just needed to be himself

      • Salle says:

        What a sorry simp.

      • jon says:

        Good one wm.

      • jon says:

        Rockhead made a comment not too long ago of how he felt there should be a 10,000 dollar bounty placed on those people who reintroduced wolves. Some sick individuals out there.

    • Phil says:

      “…the wrong occurring around you…”? So, nature and its natural niche’s is the wrong occurring around you? Wolves and their dependant on elk, deer, etc to survive is the wrong occurring around you? I wonder if Rockholm knows that he is human and that humans are omnivores and not carnivores that depend on hunting, killing and consuming other species? His tone of voice, eye-contact, etc show that he is not genuine (truthful) in what he is saying about wolves. Destruction of elk herd populations? As biologists have said, it is stabilizing the population that was already to high. (Christina Einsberg-Yellowstone Biologist) Killing and leaving the elk there without consuming all of it? Well, I would like to see any terrestrial carnivore consume something in one sitting that weighs 500+ lbs. I am sure Rockholm has never consumed an entire elk at one time. Apparently he has not done enough research to understand that the wolves that made the kill will come back to the carcass many times to eventually fully consume all of it.

      Volunteering in the U.P. a couple winters ago, we witnessed a descent sized pack of wolves (4 individuals) making two separate kills of deer within one day apart on opposite ends of their territory. Within 6 days, the first deer that was killed was fully consumed, along with the help of a couple of coyotes getting their share, and by the 8th day the second deer killed was fully consumed. In-between the day of the killing and the day of full consumption, individuals from the pack foraged on each of the carcass many times. Being able to eat around 15-20 lbs per sitting, it would be extremely difficult for a wolf or a pack of wolves at normal size to consume an entire carcass of deer, elk or moose in one sitting, and people like Rockholm would be taken more seriously by biologists and scientists if they understand what is fact from what is just an opinion based on their bias views. I understand we live in a free country, but why are people like Rockholm and Bruce heard more from on topics like these then people like Doug Smith, Rolf Peterson, Ed Bangs and such?

      Also, he wants to save elk? So, why not start by not killing them yourself? Hypocrite? I would say yes.

  15. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Wolf Watch 2. Scott’s group on Facebook. I think they only let you join if you can prove you shot a wolf illegally.

    • wolf moderate says:

      Oh my! Key the violin. Man, this guy is a tool.

      • Salle says:

        The scary part is that the FuxNews will pick up on this and run with it. The next “Joe the Plumber”.

  16. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Everybody needs a little humor on the Lord’s Day!

  17. NotafanofWW2 says:

    If you view it in full screen you can see where he nicked the pimples on his neck with a razor (or his buck knife).

  18. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Somebody tell Barry it’s “UNGULATE” not “UNDULATE”. Derp.

  19. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Wassamatta? Somebody RATTLE yo cage, Rattla?

  20. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Don’t eat the custard!

  21. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Ooooooooohhhhh, He-wolf was a’howlin’ tonight…We caught a glimpz of him ’bout ninefortyfive near the meat locker @ highways 95 & 6. Last night he howled real close outside the camp-trailer but tonight I think he’s moved east somewhere over by Potluck. Lock yer doors and bring yer doggies & kitties inside, ya’ll.

    • wolf moderate says:

      At least the elk are safe! We all know how he is a “elk lover”

  22. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Good thang handy-shandy is fixed. Lol! That dang Ralph’ll hump anythin’.

  23. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Hey Jeff, Old Faithful, aka “Handy Chandy”, is over on the bbq blog accusing you of poisoning her nature.

    • JEFF E says:

      I don’t doubt that at all. Ol’ truck stop rises to the bait with out much thought at all. Another thing about that goup is they are like a two dollar fiddle.When bored, you can play them any time you want.

  24. NotafanofWW2 says:

    But it’s fine if her people “the hill people” poison the woods with artificial sweetener intended to kill wolves…and subsequently take out house pets as well.

  25. Salle says:

    Well, if the fed says they are
    “watching” they’d better get a small army of “watchers” employed all over Idaho to secure their end of the bargain.

    Federal government to continue monitoring gray wolves


  26. WM says:

    Will we be seeing the WWP Complaint on the rider soon, and will there be any national organization (DOW, HSUS, NRDC, etc.) plaintiffs to join in the campaign? If not, why not?

  27. NotafanofWW2 says:

    OMG, their nostrils are flarin’ up over there! It’s so fun to see them come unhinged. ; )

  28. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Anybody know of a good auto-body shop around CDA or Spokane? I hit a farkin’ huge mulie last night with my Volvo. Thought the damage was minimal until I just looked at it in the daylight.

    • Cody Coyote says:

      Volvo repairman should also be on the endangered species list here in the interior West. ( I drive one of the last real Volvos…a 245 wagon ). Mainstream repairmen won’t work on them because they have to buy so many special tools for the fuel injection and suspension and other components. That legendary Volvo reliabiltiy will only take you so far.

    • wolf moderate says:

      You were driving too fast for the conditions. Some on this site would condemn you to hell for what you have done. Did you at least take the meat?

      • NotafanofWW2 says:

        He appeared to have survived it. Just caught the front right antler on my bumper and shook it off. I was only going about 15 out my folk’s driveway up by Nine Mile.

        There a cute scene in this wildlife documentary about taking road kill. My dad used to do it all the time. That’s how he fed us 8 kids.


      • wolf moderate says:

        Where is nine mile? Is that like one mile from where M n’ M grew up? You know, the great white rapper…

      • NotafanofWW2 says:

        It’s about 10 miles north of Spokane.

      • Woody says:

        I believe Nine Mile is a creek west of Missoula where one the original Montana wolf packs was located.

    • NotafanofWW2 says:

      Nine Mile Falls in WA

  29. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Echoniccocus Granulosus sounds like a case of an old sandy vajayjay.

    • jon says:

      ha! the anti-wolf extremists are going to try like hell to find a reason to have all of the wolves eradicated. I think even they know this is most likely not going to happen. I’m not surprised if you see a lot of anti-wolfers coming out of the woodwork claiming they have e. granulosis. These nuts will not stop until the wolf is eradicated all over again. I’d also like to see them prove that they got it from wolves, the ones that claim they are infected with it that is.

      • Harley says:

        I really think most of the people you speak of at the BBB don’t want them eradicated, just managed. Most logical hunters agree that a healthy ecosystem must also contain predators.
        I could be wrong, but that’s what they’ve said.

      • jon says:

        Nothing to do with bbb Harley. I’m talking in general. TobyBridges, rockhead, Ron Gillette, all of these extreme nuts have said they want wolves exterminated.

      • jon says:

        You want to know how extreme some of these people are? Did you know rockhead said he wanted a 10,000 dollar bounty put on those people who legally reintroduced wolves?

  30. NotafanofWW2 says:

    That’s not what Rockholm said, Harley.

  31. Harley says:

    All of these people have gone on record as saying they want to completely eradicate the wolf? I just want to make that point clear is all. If you could point me to specific links that shows them saying that all wolves need to be eradicated, I’d like to look through them.

    • NotafanofWW2 says:

      Who? The people jon mentioned?

    • NotafanofWW2 says:

      Go back and listen to Rockhead’s interviews on Bruce Hemming’s internet radio programs. You’ll find it there, I believe.

    • Phil says:

      Harley: All you have to do is go to their youtube videos and they post comments saying they want all wolves eradicated. Rockholm, Bruce and a few others. Bruce has traveled as far as Arizona and New Mexico to spread his propaganda on wolves (Mexican) down there saying that wolves have been stalking kids at playgrounds trying to get the people to voice their opinions on wolves. A publisher actually wrote an article in a newspaper in New Mexico warning the locals about Bruce. Rochkolm has videos showing his teachings about wolves to his kid perpetrating them as this evil creature being a destruction to this planet. These are two of many examples they have shown in proof of their beliefs of eliminating the wolves in this country

    • Woody says:

      Harley, here is some of the history of this massive effort to have wolves reintroduced into the NRM; http://www.forwolves.org/ralph/wolfrpt.html

      • Harley says:

        Ty, lots of reading. Some I think Barb pointed me to a long time back but it’s worth another look see.

  32. Harley says:

    Toby Bridges, Scot Rockholm, Ron Gillette

    • NotafanofWW2 says:

      It would be better if you just outright ask them. Get back to us on that, okay?

  33. NotafanofWW2 says:


    She could also try swallowing a Giant Palouse White Worm, but the tapes are so much smaller and easier.

  34. Harley says:

    wow, interestingly enough, your original put down and my response was taken off, but you still see fit to put something else up like that. I’m just… not sure how to feel about this. Not that it really matters, this will probably be removed as well.

  35. NotafanofWW2 says:

    You always rise for the bait, dontcha, Harlster. ; )

  36. Harley says:

    Oh boy, you are a winner Nota! with comments and stunts like this, you do more damage to your cause than anything anyone else could do. Keep stooping to the playground bully level, it exposes what you are really like and what you stand for. have fun! 😉

    • NotafanofWW2 says:

      Hey there. Don’t knock a giant white worm until you’ve tried one!

      • NotafanofWW2 says:

        For someone looking for civility, perhaps you should go back and look at what RattleTattle wrote about Brian. He actually accused him of lying! That’s slander! I think Rattle’s comments are much more insulting than mine were ever intended to be, yet you allow him to just slide right on by.

      • jon says:

        They been slandering the fine people over here for months. That is all they do over there especially rattler. Just ignore them man and they will scatter like cockroaches. If they want to talk about people on another blog all day long, we should be flattered they are thinking about us. Rattler love slandering people behind his keyboard, but I very much doubt he would do it if he was in front of Ralph’s or Brian’s face. Let them talk about us. We will just ignore them.

      • william huard says:

        Face it, the people over at the BBB hate people that care about the environment. They don’t have a clue what we do in our own communities to help the environment. To them, hunters are the only people with any credibility on wildlife issues. People with such a high level of negativity say way more about themselves than the people they are always criticizing.

  37. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Looks like TR removed the potentially damaging words Rattle wrote about Ertz. Good for him.

  38. Immer Treue says:


    If you want to play both sides, be truthful on both sides. You made a comment on BBB, (yeah, I go look occasionally, hoping to ***learn*** something, but at the same time try to avoid the impulse to gawk at the train wreck) that Barry’s comment was removed. I don’t know how many comments he made. but the one in reply to jon is still there. No censorship, and no righteous indignation.

    What is your “cause?”

    • NotafanofWW2 says:

      She’s trying to act like a moderator over here, yet sides with them on nearly everything.

  39. NotafanofWW2 says:

    Sorry to disappoint you, Harloty, but TR did not remove the slanderous comments as I thought. They’re here:

  40. Ken Cole says:

    This discussion about the BBB is pointless and off topic. If you want to have it I ask that you take it someplace else. It’s like feeding trolls.

    Essentially this discussion has driven people away from the one we were having about the merits of the case at hand.

    • WM says:


      Sadly you are correct about this playground diatribe. Do you feel a bit like a 6th grade teacher who got stuck being monitor? Actually, I was hoping to get some input on a couple questions I posed this morning. Will post again in hope of getting some thougts:

      Will we be seeing the WWP Complaint on the rider soon, and will there be any national organization (DOW, HSUS, NRDC, etc.) plaintiffs to join in the campaign? If not, why not?

      • Ken Cole says:

        I don’t know the answers to your questions. I’ve been out of the loop because I’ve been spending all of my time working on the Jarbidge case.

        I don’t believe that DoW will be challenging the rider and I don’t know what the plans of WWP are.

    • Harley says:

      Mr. Cole, I believe it is your artwork that I’ve admired, you take quite a few pictures that Ralph has put up here, correct? Very impressive! I’ve only been out west once and long very much to go back again someday.

  41. NotafanofWW2 says:

    You’re right, Mr. Cole. I got a bit carried away entertaining myself with the trolls over there. Nighty, night, everybody. ‘ )

  42. Harley says:

    I just think there are a lot of honest sincere people on both sides of the fence. I come over here to try and learn a few things too. I tend to side with the other people because after doing my own digging, I’ve found, for the most part, more sense in what they say. I guess the thing that finally convinced me is that there are a lot of them over there that do not want the wolves wiped out, contrary to what some think. I have yet to look more closely into the above mentioned people, but I’m in the process of doing so. It just makes me kinda sad when the issue degrades to what Chandie looks like on her Facebook page. what does that have to do with anything? how does that help anyone? It’s a childish immature thing to do and any kind of validity gets swallowed up in things like that.
    About Barry’s post, I didn’t see it last night and I rechecked a few times. If it’s there now, great but it wasn’t last night.
    I see a lot of passion on both sides of the argument. I see things to admire on both sides. I don’t always agree with what is said over there and I only voiced a dissenting opinion here when it degraded down to the kinds of things you find in an elementary school playground. And I believe I’ve said a few things on the other side when things started to get out of hand.
    I suppose when you get down to it, I really have no business on either side.I’m a suburbanite who’s never seen a wolf outside of a zoo. I have ties to Farmers and Ranchers, there are several in the family tree. I also have some insights to the research that’s been ongoing up at Isle Royale. Beyond that, maybe it’s just something I shouldn’t speak on since I don’t have the first hand knowledge.
    I dunno. *shrug*

    • Immer Treue says:


      To try and direct the conversation back to the topic of this thread, welcome to the world of wolf reintroduction and recolonization. Pretty volatile topic, eh? It is more than obvious how passionate folks are on either side of the wolf “fence”, and in the same breath, ones wonders how one animal could become such a focal point. The wolf controversy has actually made it to the level of constitutional law.

      Yeah, I’m pro-wolf. If you ever have a chance to see wolves in the wild, take advantage of that chance. Out West, or in the GLS, I’m sure there are some on this site that would be more than glad to oblige you.

      • Harley says:

        I would like to do that some day. I was very close to getting up to Isle Royale but.. that’s been put on hold for now I’m afraid. It’s one thing to be passionate and defend what you so firmly believe in. That is something to be admired and people will listen to that. It’s when the ‘discussions’ start to go down the cyber space toilet that people wander away. I take time off from the other site when things get to a level that’s simply name calling back and forth. I mean honestly, it’s a given you won’t like someone like Chandie or Rockholm, so I guess it’s kinda pointless to point out their physical attributes and comment on them negatively. What does that have to do with wolves, ya know?
        whew, ok, now I’ll let you get back to it and thank you for giving me a chance to try and explain my position.

  43. Immer Treue says:


    Isle Royale is great, but your chances of seeing a wolf are pretty slim. Scat yes, and paw prints is about it. If you want to see moose, you’ll all but stumble on them. Feldtmann Lake is a great place for that.

    If you are midwest… the Boundary Waters in Winter is about as good a place as any in the country to see wolves. Strap on a pair of cross country skis, and if Winter camping is in your blood at all, your chances of seeing, and hearing them are pretty darn good.

    Go to the International Wolf Center site,
    http://www.wolf.org/wolves/index.asp, and access their radio telemetry data, for wolf data. A Superior National Forest center section map is needed to plot where the packs are.

    • Harley says:


      Been following IWC for a long time! Saw the pups introduce. Grizzer and Shadow have always been my favorite and I love Aiden too. Checked out the link that was pretty cool, they have a lot of interesting things there. Would love to get up that way some day too. I hear Ely is gorgeous.

  44. Salle says:

    Here’s the swill-laden response I finally received from Tester:

    Dear Salle,

    Thank you for contacting me about wolf management. I appreciate your concerns about my recent work on this issue.

    I support putting wolf management back in the hands of Montanans. The State of Montana responsibly managed this species for a year with a peer reviewed and science-based plan. Our plan worked for livestock, wildlife and wolves themselves — and it supported Montana jobs. Unfortunately, a court ruled that because Wyoming does not have a science-based plan for wolf management, Montana could not legally manage its own wolf population. I disagree with this ruling, which penalized Montana for another state’s failure to act.

    Wolf reintroduction and recovery in the Northern Rocky Mountains is a conservation success story. Since reintroduction in 1995, wolf populations have increased from a few dozen to 1,700. The original recovery goal of 300 wolves has been sustained in the region for almost a decade. That is why the U.S. Interior Department agreed to return wolf management to State of Montana wildlife biologists in 2003. The Interior Department re-affirmed that plan in 2009.

    Because Wyoming was standing in the way of a reasonable made-in-Montana plan, I passed a provision in Congress that allows Montana to manage its wolves. This provision has broad, bipartisan support from ranchers, sportsmen, conservationists, and the Department of the Interior. The plans in my legislation were approved by officials in the Bush administration and the Obama administration. It’s a responsible, balanced solution.

    Some members of Congress propose taking a drastic approach to wolf management. Their legislation would permanently remove wolves from the Endangered Species Act and eliminate the safety net that allows wolves to be returned to the list should their population ever significantly decline. It would delist all wolves across the entire country, not just areas where the science says the wolf population is thriving. I do not think such a plan is a responsible way to approach wildlife management.

    I know how important this issue is to Montanans. Please do not hesitate to contact me again if I can be of further assistance.


    Jon Tester
    United States Senator

    As with Baucus’ letter, it’s a crock of political gain oriented swill.

    • WM says:


      Certainly not as good as the Tester/Baucus bill from last year, in which MT and ID wolves would have been managed for the higher respective management objectives as stated in their plans. ID, as I recall, was at the 500 plus level. That proposal came too late in the process.

      This one, adopted as the rider, while not what many of us wanted to see, does offer a “management solution” which was in effect promised in the idea of the ESA when it was passed in 1973 – that there would be cooperation with states as implementors of species management plans. It is important not to forget that feature.

      The WY situation that caused this, AND importantly the situation that redirected the emphasis of the litigation away from the science of recovery and to an unanticipated institutional flaw of the DPS concept – remember even if MT and ID had 10,000 wolves and agreed to manage for that ridiculously high number, as long as WY didn’t have an approved plan wolves (even while ESA protected under the guardianship of FWS) could not be delisted under Molloy’s apparently correct interpretation of the law. THAT IS VERY IMPORTANT AND REFLECTIVE OF THE TECHNICAL FLAW OF THE ESA.

      Wolf advocates need to take responsiblity for where this matter is now, and stop deflecting criticism away from themselves, where it is rightfully due. This litigation could still have been about the science of recovery, but plaintiffs screwed it up, and have nobody to blame but themselves.

      Political swill or not, it offered a way out of this litigation filled delay, delay, delay of delisting that has frustrated the entire process. And, it appears we are about to engage in another round of this foolishness with the two complaints (maybe three) that have just been filed.

      • IDhiker says:


        I agree with you. If we could go back to the previous Tester/Baucus bill with the 500 number for Idaho, I’d be happy. I did write both Tester and Baucus numerous times urging them to set this number minimum in the rider, too, but they totally ignored this in their replies to me. Obviously, they weren’t interested in doing that again. Hindsight is always perfect, but, I guess we could have seen this coming with the last litigation.

        Of course, Idaho could show their “good faith” by going back to that 500 number on their own, but I doubt it.

      • wolf moderate says:

        It’s sort of like going to a casino, dropping a few thousand, then asking for your money back. Why would they give you your money back, and why would Idaho pander to the very people that put “us” in this perdicament in the first place.

      • IDhiker says:

        Ummm, simply because they are genuinely interested in responsible management of previously endangered species?? And want to show naysayers that they would have done a good job of management all along?? And that they could have been trusted to do this without the lawsuits??

      • JEFF E says:

        Idaho is already talking about going back to the 500+ number. Some of the more realistic biologists are being listened too. the only reason is too ensure a “perfect storm of events” does not happen and knock the population below the mandated minimum # and trigger re- listing. Problem is who will be doing the official counting. the old fox guarding the hen house conundrum.

      • Wolf Moderate says:

        I find it rather peculiar that most people from all over the United States come to the NRM to view wildlife and wilderness. If they were so piss poor at management, then how can this be? Why not stop with the damn lawsuits and SEE how the states do managing wolves.

        On a side note, I am beginning to see why some in Idaho never wanted the wolves. It appears that the environmentalists want the wolves forever listed under the flawed ESA. Well, it’s apparent that the abuse of the ESA will lead the Congress, led by the incredibly conservative House, to make major changes to the ESA.

      • JEFF E says:

        The concern is that the “official” position of the Idaho legislature is too remove wolves by “any means necessary”.
        If you trust this bunch to act responsibly I would invite you to do some research in other “management ” of wildlife such as the big horn sheep in Idaho and Bison in Montana.

      • Brian Ertz says:

        Jeff E,

        those who put their trust in the good faith of the crooks in charge in Idaho either haven’t been paying attention, are willingly ignorant, are grasping for a rational answer in an anti-rational environment, or – as I suspect the case most likely to be – they’re just in dire need of back-surgery.

        It’s the same tune over and over … deflect responsibility for the ill from the crooks at the helm onto those who act in order justify their comfy position in the armchair … why ? likely because they don’t really care that much … it’s fun sport … maybe not, maybe they do care, but are too engrossed with that good feeling that comes with sticking to the status quo and basking in the retrospective righteousness of how not rocking the boat keeps their feet dry, even when it’s drifting in the wrong direction for wildlife and wolves in the western United States.

        WM, your suggestion that the Motion on Summary Judgement with the DPS argument, and that the ESA is “flawed” was a mistake, is my favorite speculation. Your continued suggestion that this DPS question is not a biological one strikes at the heart of the issue of federalism, and your advocacy for localized management – which given the states at issue, ultimately renders your position anti-wolf.

        The ESA is a federal law and its administration being directed by species’ population habitat and range, rather than political boundaries, is at its very essence a question of biologically informed management trumping politicized management. Perhaps one might argue that it’d be better for individual states to manage populations of listed species – the ESA allows for that to a degree, and it has been administered as such to a great degree anyway – but to allow for piecemeal delisting is a BAD biological idea – in this case, it was a bad idea for biological reasons because the governing recovery document specifically described the necessity of adequate recovery of populations and connectivity in and between all states to ensure genetic connectivity of the population as a whole – AND the management plans in Idaho and Montana did not provide any assurances of such. That ‘guideline’ was always there – it was no surprise – and it was brought up by scientists reviewing the public process for delisting. We didn’t need to make those arguments – nor would it have been prudent to do so – because the law was violated so flagrantly as a matter of its clear reading – on its face – and the state plans being implemented at that time were so threatening to the very integrity of connectivity at issue.

        Whether or not we won on the DPS argument or other population metrics would have been of little consequence to the knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing anti-wolf crowd, whose political charge would have been felt by all the same crooks in Congress anyway.

        The bottom line: There is no rational path by which those who hope to pursue a biologically sound recovery of wolves could have taken that would have avoided this controversy/confrontation with anti-wolf, anti-ESA, anti-wild factions that is taking place right now – it was always coming to a head. The principle question remains: Who and how many among wolf advocates will continue to weather the storm – and in doing so – maintain a principled articulation of the values that are so critical to the realization of a meaningful wild west when the dust settles.

      • IDhiker says:

        If Idaho wastes this opportunity to “manage” wolves responsibly, and wolves would have to be re-listed, it destroys the argument that states should be being able to manage their own wildlife, and have the expertise to do so. If the politicians in Idaho don’t stay out of this, there’s also no argument that IDFG is using “biological management.”

        Rather than “getting even” with pro-wolf groups, Idaho government’s best interest is to show they can do the job well. Reducing wolf numbers to around 150 is not doing it right, and they may be sorry themselves down the road.

      • JB says:

        Okay, the problem with the DPS argument is that we already use political boundaries to list species and we have been doing it from the very beginning. Wolves were listed as endangered in 47 of 48 conterminous U.S. states–but not in Canada or Alaska, and in Minnesota they were listed as threatened.

        Varying the listing status by state makes sense because threats vary by state–in fact, this is the primary argument for keeping wolves listed in the West. What people seem to fail to grasp is that the reason for having a three-state DPS/recovery zone was the very minimal population requirement for recovery (the infamous 10/100 per state requirement). Thus, in order to actually have ONE SINGLE VIABLE POPULATION all three states had to commit to maintain AT LEAST that many wolves. However, Idaho (at least) now arguably has a viable population of its own. In my mind, this negates the need for a “coordinated” approach. That is, if a state commits to maintain a viable population on its own, what is the point of coordinating management with other states?

        And I will reiterate–DPS policy is agency-made, it is the agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous phrase in the original act (i.e., the undefined “distinct population segment”). If one looks at the congressional record, it becomes readily apparent that Congress intended that listing status could vary by state. So claiming that DPS policy is a flaw in the ESA is bogus.

      • JB says:

        And I wholeheartedly agree that using a congressional rider to “fix” this problem was just plain wrong. Moreover, I also see reasons to believe that wolves in western states may, in fact, be at least threatened–especially given the actions of prominent government officials and state legislatures. But I think this DPS issue is a distraction–it allows for rhetoric to be deflected away from states’ commitments (or lack thereof) and aimed at environmentalists and the ESA.

      • wolf moderate says:

        WoMo here (lol),

        JB, I really like your writing style. It’s direct and concise. I also agree w/ your above point. Would you mind disclosing what your general field of study is in?

      • wolf moderate says:

        Whoops. I agree with your 7:47 comment, but not the 8:00 comment, though I do respect your opinions…

      • JB says:


        I guess I’m on target in my efforts to please half the people half the time! LOL 😉

        – – – – – – –
        Both my graduate degrees are from interdisciplinary programs in Natural Resources, though my research falls squarely in the fields of social and political psychology.

      • wolf moderate says:

        Cool ty. I start at U of Idaho during the Spring 2012 semester. Looking forward to it.

        Good luck.

      • WM says:


        ++So claiming that DPS policy is a flaw in the ESA is bogus.++

        Wait a minute. Not so fast. When you describe DPS policy and application, as you did prior to that statement, I tend to agree. But the real world for NRM wolf reintroduction was not so simple in creating a DPS that would work. Maybe you have given this some thought, so tell me where I get it wrong.

        When setting up the NRM DPS and doing the reintroduction, where at least two states didn’t want wolves to begin with, and finding it necessary to take advantage of the strategic importance of Yellowstone NP, and the GYA, that is where the institutional problem begins. Doing an introduction without the 3 core NRM states doesn’t make much biological or institutional sense. FWS had to define the NRM DPS broadly in geographical, and ecosystem terms. Of course, including including small portions of UT, OR and WA was superfluous, but likely done to get a bigger political buy in for a foothold of expanding populations as is now occurring (also getting and preserving those all important 10(j) non-essential experimental population safeguards in place.

        See, that is the complexity of the NRM DPS legal implications as we apparently now know after Judge Molloy’s trial court decision. On the other hand, a one state DPS apparently means one and only one problem institutionally – either a state has an approved plan or it doesn’t and thus it qualifies for delisting. Multiple states, and there is an institutional defect that affects all three. This situation begs for a statutory cure, based on Molloy’s ruling (and if upheld on appeal had it gone forward).

        Keeping part of the DPS in listed status is of no biological harm whatsoever, since keeping wolves at a higher protection level than those areas where delisted means they are PROTECTED AT A HIGHER LEVEL under the stewardship of FWS and penalties for killing/harassing are a federal crime. So it really is kind of a stupid outcome.

        I will stick with my view that it is an institutional flaw that begs for a cure, as can only be accomplished by changing the ESA.

        I am still perplexed why FWS couldn’t have delisted the entire DPS and acted as manager in WY, where no approved plan was present. There has been no explanation of whether that was legally permissible under the ESA, and if that were the case the law would not require a change (a good outcome regarding the ESA’s sanctity).

      • WM says:

        wolf mod,

        Well, if the Spruce Tavern is still in Moscow, stop by and have a cold one for me. We used to make the Moscow run from Pullman (about an 8 mile drive) when I was an undergrad at WSU, years ago.

      • wolf moderate says:

        I’ll be sure to stop by and check it out. Ah, to be able to run 8 miles again! 🙂

      • JB says:


        I only have a minute or two, but it is instructive here to relive a few important events.

        1967-Wolves are listed under the predecessor to the ESA
        1973-ESA passes, wolves listed shortly thereafter
        1978-Wolves are reclassified throughout the conterminous US states–both the US/Canada border and MN/surrounding state borders are used to distinguish listing status.
        1978-US Congress amends the ESA to include listing for “distinct population segments”–the terminology is not defined.
        1994-EIS for NRM wolf recovery published.
        1995-Wolf reintroductions begin.
        1996-USFWS/NMFS publish an interpretation of DPS policy
        2003-The FWS first attempts to use DPS policy to delist/downlist wolves nationwide.

        It is instructive to read DPS policy to get an idea of what the Service was thinking at that time. DPS policy allows a DPS to be defined when a population is (a) discrete/distinct (i.e. “markedly separated”), and (b) significant. The discreteness test is what is relevant to this conversation:

        “Discreteness: A population segment of a vertebrate species may be considered discrete if it satisfies either one of the following conditions:

        1. It is markedly separated from other populations of the same taxon as a consequence of physical, physiological, ecological, or behavioral factors. Quantitative measures of genetic or morphological discontinuity may provide evidence of this separation.

        2. It is delimited by international governmental boundaries within which differences in control of exploitation, management of habitat, conservation status, or regulatory mechanisms exist that are significant in light of section 4(a)(1)(D) of the Act.”

        Here is the Service’s justification (in response to review) for including international boundaries in the test:

        “The Services recognize that the use of international boundaries as a measure of discreteness may introduce an artificial and non-biological element to the recognition of DPS’s. Nevertheless, it appears to be reasonable…to recognize units delimited by international boundaries when these coincide with differences in the management, status, or exploitation of a species.

        The FWS could just as easily written into their DPS policy the same rule for states, as we now see that political boundaries “coincide with differences in the management, status [and] exploitation” of wolves. The FWS chose not to go this path. It was, in my opinion, a poor decision and it (not the ESA) has put us where we are today.

      • Salle says:


        Thanks for that rather detailed clarification. I would also suggest that others read Hank Fischer’s “Wolf Wars“. It’s chronicle of his negotiations with the government and the residents in all three DPS states during the years leading up to the reintroduction. It explains a lot. Ralph used it as required reading in one of his “Predators and Politics” courses. Very informative, regardless of one’s specific views on the matter from one of the proponents of reintroduction and his role in the process.

        As for those who claim that “…we didn’t want them here…” and all the bluster about that argument, I have to say that unless you understand the whole story, you don’t know much about it. For the casually curious, if you read Hank’s book, Gary Ferguson’s “Yellowstone Wolves; The First Year“; and Carter Niemeyer’s book, “Wolfer” you will get a well rounded picture of the story.

      • WM says:


        My error on the sequencing of the development of DPS policy (seems alot happened 1994-96), and how it applies to the NRM. I will have to think some more on the intricacies of what it seems you suggest.

        In the interim, and thinking outloud here, the fact remains that the reintroduction as referenced in the 1994 EIS contemplated interconnectivity among and between the 3 core states with wolves (Appendix 9). So, if I understand your position, applying a different DPS concept (state lines) there been three DPS’s created along state lines before connectivity occurred: one for WY with its reintroduced 10(j) population in Yellowstone; ID with its reintroduced 10(j) wolves; and MT with its naturally repopulating wolves from Canada (international boundary we won’t consider for now), the DPS issue Molloy had to rule upon might have been avoided?

        We also have historic range element that adds another layer of complexity. And then, there is the manner in which the DPS concept was employed for the reintroduction in the first place. Because, if I recall correctly, the DPS concept was originally intended by Congress as a tool to protect an EXISTING population at risk, within its range, while the larger population of a species was not at risk. I think that point was addressed in one of the Great Lakes wolf suits filed in the DC Circuit. Sorry, I don’t have the cite, 2008, maybe?

        I still go back to the institutional weakness (flaw) of the ESA when it is contemplated that more than one state be involved in a cooperative role with the federal government as envisioned by Section 6, and where the states must cooperate among themselves. And, we know WY is not cooperating with ID and MT, as it goes its own direction at the legal peril of the other two, according to Molloy’s ruling on the law.

        Put differently, there is no way from a scientific perspective the NRM DPS could have been broken down into 3 (based on state lines) had DPS policy been developed around the theory as you suggest. Am I wrong on that, and if so, why?

      • WM says:


        The DOI Solicitor’s legal opinion on the DPS usage in the GL wolf delisting, and subsequent suit/ruling by a DC Circuit judge, which confirms my earlier understanding of the litigation referenced above:


        It takes an unusually strong slap at the judge’s ruling by saying he didn’t understand the law or how to apply it to the FWS regulation. This is one more indication this DPS concept is complex to implement – even for judges.

      • JB says:


        Wolf Wars is indeed a great book for understanding the events that led to the reintroduction. I also recommend Martin Nie’s, Beyond Wolves as a great read for people interested in the politics of wolf recovery.

        – – – – –

        WM: To be clear, I think FWS’s error was forcing biologists to create policy in a political vacuum–that is, they used biological and ecological principles (science) to fit a definition to an inherently political concept (DPS). The intent of the ESA is pretty simple–to preserve imperiled species and the ecosystems on which they depend. In the case of wolves (and other large carnivores) the threats to these species are almost entirely attributable to humans–and they vary substantially along political boundaries. In my view, those political boundaries are thus appropriate units for delineating “discreteness” for the same reasons that FWS noted in defending its use of international boundaries. Their mistake was trying to fit a “scientific” definition to an inherently political term–DPS.

        As to whether separate DPS’s could be used to delist wolf populations by state, I am not even sure you need to involve DPS’s assuming that states contain a viable population and the threats to that population do not rise to a level adequate for listing? If, for example, scientists determined that 400 wolves (I’m pulling that number out of a hat) constituted a viable population, and threats to wolves were adequate to justify keeping Wyoming wolves listed, but inadequate for listing Idaho and Montana wolves–then just remove wolves in Idaho and Montana from ESA protections and leave Wyoming listed (as a separate DPS). There would be no need to create a DPS for Idaho or Montana (again, assuming threats don’t rise to the required level), as these populations are connected to an unlisted Canadian population. Same goes for Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

        I think FWS’s interpretation of the phrase and subsequent court rulings (trying to parse science from politics) have led to this mess. Perhaps it does justify revising the ESA, if only to clarify the concept? Of course, FWS could also revise DPS policy, though that would likely lead to other legal battles.

      • JB says:

        Well, looks like the administration is moving in exactly the wrong direction.


      • Salle says:


        Funny you should mention Nie’s book, Beyond Wolves. I bought it last fall and got about halfway through it when I started working again, which cut into my skiing and reading time, and have yet to finish it. It is a very good reference book on this topic as well.

      • Salle says:

        Not sure why but two comments from yesterday aren’t here.


        I bought Nie’s book last fall, haven’t finished it yet but I agree, it should be added to the list I mentioned. It digs into the “meat” of the policy argument and analyzes how the narratives from all sides play out with regard to their perceptions and how they fit into the policies or not.

    • IDhiker says:


      I also got this same letter from Tester – twice.

      • Salle says:

        Gosh, I’m shocked… shocked. But mostly, I’m horrified that this is what passes for discourse with constituents.

      • jon says:

        the same EXACT LETTER, word for word? If so, that is pretty pathetic on his part.

      • You need to a wad of campaign money to get a personal answer. It’s called “pay to play” by the beltway media.

      • Harley says:

        Pay to Play, a favorite past time in Illinois politics. Makes me sick no matter how it’s done.

      • IDhiker says:

        Yes, Jon, the same letter twice, word for word.

  45. Doryfun says:

    I pretty much agree with you about the situation created by well intended folks, but also still feel that we should be spending more time trying to eliminate “riders” and clean up our justice system. For you professional lawyer types, any ideas/input here?

    Since fish and game politics is so similar to broken treaties with Indian folks (with the anglo culture being the next version of disenfranchised Indians), are you familiar with the Cobell v. Kempthorne, a class-action suit involving three hundred thousand plaintiffs across western Indian country? Plaintiffs included descendants of those that attended the Great Smoke at Horse Creek. A Black feet woman , Elouise Cobell brought forth an accounting of mineral royalities on Indian lands.

    A conservative Judge from TX (Royce Lamberth ) presided over the case in a federal district court in DC. Three times he cited secretaries of the interior for contempt of court (due to foot-dragging, malfeasance, and bureaucratic double-talk). Here are his comments taken from a new book: Savages and Scoundrels – Paul Vandevelder:

    “Alas,” declared Judge Lamberth in words seldom heard from a federal bench, “our modern Interior Department has time and again demonstrated that it is a dinosaur – the morally and culturally oblivious hand-me-down of a disgracefully racist and imperialist government that should have been buried a century ago, the last pathetic outpost of the indifference and Anglocentrism we thought we had leff behind…For those harboring hope that the stories of murder, dispossession, forced marches, assimilationist policy programs, and other incidents of cultural genocide against Indians are merely echoes of a horrible, bigoted government-past that has been sanitized by the good deeds of more recent history, this case serves as an appalling reminder of the evils that result when large numbers of the politically powerless are placed at the mercy of institutions engendered and controlled by a politically powerful few.” In 2005, at the insistent urging of the White House and the Interior Department’s lawyers, who accused Judge Lamberth of being “too harsh or the government” in a twenty-three-page motion seeking his dismissal, Judge Lamberth was removed from the case. “

    Again, what can we do eliminate riders? And prevent future derailments of our legal system? Any other ideas about how to improve our system, from any of you legalese professionals? If we can’t be fair to people, how will we ever be fair to animals?

  46. Immer Treue says:

    From the International Wolf Center publication:

    Should Wolves be Delisted from the Endangered Species List?


    • jon says:

      Thanks for that link immer. It was a good read. I would like to see wolves in more states. Some states have a out of control deer population. Some might take a look at the #s of wolves in some states and say to themselves, wolves are doing good and are in no threat of going extinct, but like the article pointed out, there are a lot of threats facing wolves. Disease, poaching, humans killing wolves, etc are all serious threats to wolves.

  47. WM says:

    A related on topic matter for this thread. Apparently a MI Republican House of Rep (and former MI Secretary of State) wants wolves delisted across the US – her reasoning in the short article “too many lawsuits from environmentalists.

    Don’t know anything about Rep. Candice Miller, but she is a 6 term representative from Lower Peninsula of MI (thumb of the mitten area), and was MI Secretary of State from 1994-2002, and her husband is a retired judge. So, on a first glance, she hardly seems a teabagger, and would appear to have some credibility with MI voters.


    • Salle says:

      That’s the problem with assuming that because she’s a member of Congress that she has the knowledge to make such a claim. It seems to me that she is doing a “sheeple” thing with her bought and paid for House Members. If she comes from the “thumb” part of MI, she is a city-dweller and probably doesn’t know anything about the species, the ESA, and a host of other bodies of knowledge that makes her claim nothing less than uninformed blustering. Perhaps she’s trying to gain a “Michele ‘lame-brained’ Bachman” kind of fame and fortune. Two brief paragraphs of speculation and a quote that proves her ignorance of process doesn’t give me any info on her teabagger leanings. A lot of the MI legislature is absolutely antipublic and seems to have a strong desire to destroy the people’s rights in the interests of big bucks privatizers – look at what’s happening in Benton Habor for example. You don’t have to know anything to be a member of Congress these days, just be able to win a heavily laden with $$$ popularity contest… having a judge for a husband probably has it’s benefits in that matter as well. (Remember, a SCOTUS member’s wife is a high profile teabagger – he’s supposed to be unbiased but obviously isn’t.) This woman seems to be afflicted with a diploma from the “sarah palin school of non-thought”.

      • Salle says:

        I found this a few minutes ago. It seems that the hunting orgs see themselves as the ONLY conservationists and I think that a new definition needs to be derived here. All I can see from this is that these so called conservationists are a little too selective in their “god squad” status when it comes to whom and what composes a healthy ecosystem and its what is needed to manage such.
        New Wolf Delisting Bill Introduced Today in Congress
        A new wolf bill was introduced today by Congresswoman Candice Miller (R) Michigan. Big Game Forever supports this new legislation as a significant next step in wolf delisting. The bill returns control of wolf populations to an expanded list of states in the West and Midwest, as well as providing the certainty of automatic delisting when objectives are met in Arizona and New Mexico. We continue to support H.R. 509 and S. 249 while also supporting the common sense effort represented by this new wolf delisting bill. We look forward to forwarding a copy of the official bill, once it is received, for your feedback and suggestion. Once a bill number is assigned, we will provide an update.
        Here is an official press release regarding the new wolf bill:

        Big Game Forever
        Dedicated to common sense conservation
        For Immediate Release: May 10, 2011

        Conservation groups voice support of new wolf delisting legislation

        Sportsmen and conservation groups applaud the introduction of new legislation in a bipartisan effort to address challenges presented by unmanaged wolf populations. The bipartisan bill introduced Tuesday May 10, 2011 by Congresswoman Miller (R)-Michigan returns wolves to state wildlife management protections in key Western and Midwestern states. Management of wolf populations under state wildlife protections is the best way to protect wolves while also permitting science based determination of what is best for wildlife resources within the states.

        Ryan Benson of Big Game Forever addresses the common sense approach of the legislation, “We are grateful for the leadership of Congresswoman Miller, Congressman Matheson and the other original cosponsors of this proactive legislation. Returning important decision making authority to state wildlife agencies in the West and Midwest ends years of wasteful litigation and provides certainty that America’s wolf populations can be managed responsibly and in balance with other wildlife populations.”

        Amy Trotter, Resource Policy Manager at Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), remarked, “Its unfortunate that, when it comes to wolves, the Endangered Species Act has been hijacked by an anti-sportsmen agenda. Science initially guided the development of recovery goals. But wolf populations still languish on the list despite the fact that populations are now 12 times beyond delisting objectives for the Michigan-Wisconsin population. Michigan residents are frustrated. We welcome Congressional action to allow the states to implement their scientifically based wolf management plans.”

        Recent announcements that US Fish and Wildlife Service will delist Mid-western wolf populations follow previous efforts to delist abundant wolf Mid-western wolf populations through administrative processes. Conservation organizations recognize that litigation and other delay tactics are likely to be used again to challenge new delisting proposals.

        Mark Johnson, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, “Midwestern sportsmen conservationists were disappointed that recent Congressional action failed to address the need to delist wolf populations in Minnesota and most other states. However, we are encouraged by the growing consensus that wolf delisting is long overdue, while also recognizing the need for Congressional action to make delisting decisions immune to another wave of needless litigation. The wolf has recovered. It is time to delist them and place them under state protections and management.”

        The impacts on wildlife populations in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and other states illustrate the need to be proactive in addressing unmanaged wolf populations. This is important not only to protect delicate wildlife populations but also the economic foundation of wildlife protection. Failures to properly manage wolf populations now present unnecessary risk to vibrant wildlife populations in the West and Midwest.

        Don Peay, founder of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, “With the need to trim billions from the federal budgets, returning management of wolves to all states ends redundant federal expenditures for a job states can do better. More importantly, abundant big game herds are an American treasure, a renewable resource that with proper management can sustain tens of millions of dollars in annual economic activity, tens of thousands of jobs, and the opportunity for hundreds of thousands of Americans to put food on the table.”

        Suzanne Gilstrap, Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife, “The new delisting proposal aligns wolf recovery objectives in Arizona and New Mexico with Congressional wolf delisting proposals and is consistent with recent Congressional action relative to the gray wolf. The sportsmen of the Southwest welcome the fact that this legislation assures that delisting will in fact follow ongoing investment by states, sportsmen and livestock producers in wolf recovery.
        Really? Sounds like a bunch of orchestrated sh*tbagger rhetorical whining.

      • WM says:


        The “conservationist” label has surely changed. I recall the traditional definition from years ago as an undergraduate and graduate student, called forth in college classes, including text book references. It included hunters/fishers and multiple use resource users as “conservationists.” Advocacy groups like Sierra Club, Defenders, etc. and the National Park crowd were labeled more restrictively as “preservationists.”

        The world has gotten more complex and labels just don’t fit anymore. Brian Ertz has me lumped in with the “anti-wolfers” which I find troubling, since I continue to support an NRM population at about 1,500. So, I take crap from both sides.

        • CodyCoyote says:

          A Wildlife Preservationist is the person who spends 52 weeks of the year saving a specie.

          A Wildlife Conservationist , on the other hand, is the person who spends 50 weeks of the year saving a specie so he/she can spend the other two weeks stalking and killing it.

          ( semi-facetiously he says…)

          • JB says:

            Personally, I don’t see hunting as the relevant distinction between these groups. Here is how I would distinguish groups (a word of caution–I don’t generally think people fit well into single categories, but this exercise was too much fun to pass up):

            Animal protectionist – Is primarily concerned with protecting animals from human threats, including hunting (note, the emphasis is not on ecology or conservation, but on outcomes for animals and the ethical implications of people killing them).

            Environmental protectionist – Someone who would place environmental protection above any human use. These people are often concerned with “ecosystem health” or “ecosystem integrity”, and view humans as foreign and destructive forces in ecosystems. Human harvest of wildlife is only usable as a means to an end.

            Classic conservationist – Someone who is concerned with both wildlife populations and the habitat/ecosystems in which they reside; s/he may or may not hunt, but definitely believe that human uses of resources are both legitimate and desirable–human harvest is both a means to an end (manage population) and desirable in and of itself.

            Selfish-utilitarian – Someone who primarily views wildlife, habitat or natural resources as valuable insomuch as they provide an immediate and direct benefit to that individual or the people they care about. These folks may call themselves “hunters”, but are unlikely to call themselves conservationists and would probably slap anyone that referred to them as an environmentalist.

            Okay, that’s enough fun for one Friday.

  48. NotafanofWW2 says:

    A few weeks ago, north of Tensed, Idaho, near the road to Sanders Christian Camp my friend and I saw what appeared to be a white wolf making his way along a berm of old snow. He was absolutely gorgeous. It was a true gift to be able to see this creature in his natural environment.

  49. NotafanofWW2 says:

    On the subject of Hydatid disease, a veterinarian and cattle-vaccine researcher I know in Idaho told me this morning that he has only seen one case of it. It was in a feed-lot in Hamer and was traced to migrant Mexican workers defacating in a spud cellar. The spuds were turned into silage and fed to cattle. He has never seen a case of Hydatid transferred from wolves, coyotes or dogs to hooved animals.

  50. NotafanofWW2 says:

    They just shot 5 wolves in Lolo from a helicopter. : (

  51. jon says:

    Friends of Animals Challenges Unconstitutional Wolf Delisting Rider


  52. Phil says:

    And, here we go with some more fabricated propaganda that is blown out of prorportion by these anti-wolfers and anti-predators. I always get a good laugh when hearing new updates from these antis. I guess delisting is not enough for these people, and it seems like they want complete elimination of the wolves. Wolves are not the only species that carry disease and/or parasites; just about all species do, but passing on to humans is a rarity (In most part). But, it is always the wolves that take the front-burner in these types of issues due to the loud spoken voices from the haters. I wonder when they will stop with their imaginative “opinions” on wolves?

    As for (R)-Miller from Michigan, I have heard that her proposed bill would put ALL wolves in this country at risk. Governor Snyder, Congressmen/women in Michigan (Stabenow, Peters, amongst others) are not on board with Miller’s proposal. All of them rejected the budget bill with the wolf delisting rider attached to it.

  53. Rusty says:

    Why don’t the democrats offer up the spotted owl for raising the debt limit?

  54. Phil says:

    WOW! What happened to Defenders of Wildlife? It just feels like they are giving up on the wolf issue. First, the settlement, and now not joining their former allies on the matter? Thanks to the groups that are continuing the fight for protection of the species that need it, whether it be that they need it based on population or hostility from others, it’s good to have intelligent people fighting for good causes.

  55. Nabeki says:

    Thank you Brian for doing such an excellent job putting this together for advocates to follow.

  56. Valerie Bittner says:

    Is there a date scheduled for hearing on the consolidated complaints?

    Secondly, re: Idaho’s proposal to include wolf trapping this Fall, I highly recommend an excerpt from the Endangered Species Handbook: “Wolves, Wild Dogs, and Foxes” (pg. 4) describing in gruesome detail the trapping techniques used and the concomitant torture involved.

  57. Brian Ertz says:

    FYI – I’ve posted Idaho’s amici curiae brief in support of the defendant up top

  58. Nabeki says:

    @Valerie…I might do a post about trapping, referencing page 4 of the ESA handbook. The saddest sentence on that page is:

    “Pack mates will usually remain by their trapped pack mate, even when it is dead in a trap.”

  59. Brian Ertz says:

    I have added briefs recently submitted to the court by the Federal Defendants to the top of this post.

  60. Valerie Bittner says:

    Greetings Nabeki,

    I am heartened to learn of your intention. Shooting is one thing — trapping and its horrific aftermath lies, I believe, in a realm of exponentially greater evil. I hope that there are those who get will the word out to the public and any sympathetic power brokers before IF&G, et al. finalize their extirpation plans.

  61. Nancy says:


    Now I’m confused, is this the same Rehberg that didn’t have a problem with “the insufferable arrogance of Washington, D.C” when they gutted the ESA?

  62. WM says:


    It appears RMEF’s request (and the requests of others) to intervene in the suit was denied. However, they are proactively posturing for any appeal which might result from a Judge Molloy ruling adverse to implementation of the rider by FWS. That could be viewed as a way for RMEF to stay in the news, and appear to be meaningfully involved in the case, when they are really not.

    Interesting language in the news release. It looks like RMEF is trying to reclaim (as it should in my opinion) some of the ground as a “conservation” organization.



    And, there should be some more court papers coming from the Plaintiffs as they respond to the Federal Defendants’ Cross motion for SJ to dismiss single claim.

    Absent Plaintiffs’ reply to this brief with persuasive legal authority, there is some pretty compelling legal reasoning from both the Feds and ID to dismiss this single claim, “separation of powers,” complaint. MT doesn’t look like it spent much time on its amicus brief.

    And, Brian, thanks for keeping the documents flowing as they become available.

  63. Brian Ertz says:

    I have updated the post with additional filings ~ be

  64. WM says:

    Very interesting briefing on the claim and the defendants’ defenses for this Constitutional issue. If one can get past the disgusting “rider” as the vehicle which created the new law, there is a simpler explanation than what the lawyers from both sides are describing and distinguishing as respects their clients’ interests.

    THE SIMPLE VERSION: Congress passes the ESA, and the President signed it way back when. FWS (Exec. Branch) is charged with writing the rules, under the law, which it believes it meets the requirements of the law (you can delist in MT and ID, while still protecting wolves in WY because they don’t have an approved plan). Judge Molloy says, no in my interpretation of the ESA you can’t do what you did, so the rule is not the law. All NRM wolves stay listed.

    Congress comes back and says – we like the FWS rule as it was written. Doesn’t matter what you think the law is Judge. We write the laws, you don’t; you only interpret them, thank you very much. So, now we are going to tell you what the law is in this very narrow instance – the FWS rule meets the law, because we say it does (guess that wouldn’t really be a change in the ESA, which seems to be Tester’s story).

    Then the President gets the bill and he signs it, which is a tacit approval of what Congress did. Yep, that is the law, and by the way my agency, FWS wrote the rule. So, that is both the legislative and executive branch telling the judiciary what the law is. The rest of this stuff is all fluff.

    Where is there Constitutional issue here? I can’t see.

    • WM says:

      Sorry, bad edit – Paragraph 4, “tacit” is the wrong word. ++Then the President gets the bill and he signs it, which is EXPRESS approval of what Congress did.

    • Brian Ertz says:

      Congress didn’t say “yep – that’s the law” – Congress instructed an executive agency (FWS) to re-publish a rule that a court had already determined unlawful pursuant to existing statute, – and Congress did so without changing the underlying law.

      Congressional intent was NOT to change the law (see: plaintiff exhibits) – it was to overturn the court’s previous determination WITHOUT changing the law.

      That’s unconstitutional pursuant to the Separation of Powers.

      • WM says:

        But, you see Brian, these are representatives elected by the People- Congress and the Executive Branch- and they get to do that kind of stuff, when they think the appointed Judiciary gets it wrong.

        And there are lines of cases that seem to suggest Congress and the Executive branch can color outside the lines a little bit, without going afoul of the Constitution and pinching the toes of the Judiciary.

        I tend to agree with you that the preferred and accustomed way is to clearly state that such and such a bill amends xyz statute, but that doesn’t seem like a hard requirement, and probably why this was done as it was. And when one thinks about this, as I have said before, this is a surgically precise promulgation of an agency rule as a law of Congress, that doesn’t open up the Pandora’s box of messing with the ESA. The way we are going that would not be a good thing right now, as it seems the R’s have a chance at taking both houses of Congress this next round.

        I don’t recall whether I said this before, but I do think this litigation is ill advised. Maybe you guys are getting a reading from Defenders on why they are not in the suit. I have my suspicious. CBD, and the Wild Earth Guardian crowd, in my opinon are just not very politically astute.

        I tend to think WWP has good instincts generally, but this one mystifies me.

        • Brian Ertz says:

          And when one thinks about this, as I have said before, this is a surgically precise promulgation of an agency rule as a law of Congress, that doesn’t open up the Pandora’s box of messing with the ESA.

          Plaintiff’s aren’t arguing that this is unconstitutional because it would open a “pandoras box” with messing with the ESA – that was a political argument advocates made before the rider passed – and ironically, Tester et al argued that the narrow scope of the rider was crafted not to alter the ESA, but to overturn the Molloy decision in this specific instance.

          That’s the breach of the constitutional separation of powers. In defending the rider against ESA-advocate critics, they crafted the rider to be as narrow as possible and avoided amending the ESA all together. They clearly stated that their intent was to overturn Molloy in this instance, not amend the ESA. That is the bright line that SCOTUS set as unconstitutional – and Tester crossed it. I think the plaintiff’s exhibits are pretty damning in this respect. You’re right that Congress has a lot of space – that the “intent of Congress” standard gives them much discretion.

          Congress can’t adjudicate law – they make it. If they don’t like it – they are free to change it – but it is the exclusive province of the courts to adjudicate.

    • JB says:

      “…now we are going to tell you what the law is in this very narrow instance.”

      But they didn’t tell the judicial branch “what the law is”, they (effectively) told the judge in this case how the wanted the ESA to be interpreted without changing the statutory language in the least. I admit, I was highly skeptical that plaintiffs had a case, but after reading through these briefs, I find they have made a compelling argument. Though I fear the sh|t storm that is likely should they prevail…

      • WM says:


        ++But they didn’t tell the judicial branch “what the law is.” Sure Congress did; they said the new law is the 2009 rule.

        Not that I agree with process and method chosen to do the rider, where is it written that Congress cannot say, this (the 2009 rule) is the NEW wolf standard for the the NRM DPS, notwithstanding any provisions of the ESA? It solves that institutional defect I have spoken of before. It implied endorses the science of the 1994 EIS, by concluding it is sufficient according to the new rule. We don’t have to like it, but Congress can certainly make it law.

        It does not require the ESA to be changed, because the new law is highly specific, and Congress legislated with knowledge of ESA existence (“without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule”).

        It has nothing to do with Molloy’s ruling because it goes around it by saying what the new standard is (even if inconsistent with prior ESA content upon which Molloy ruled, and it makes the appeal moot).

        Not sure why people have a hard time grasping the concept, other than they do not want to acknowledge the possibility it could turn out this way. I think psychologists call it motivated reasoning.

        It is the shear simplicity of the enactment of the rule as statute that avoids the constitutional issue which plaintiffs argue – there is nothing to judicially review, as there would have been with an agency promulgated rule (An agency rule would have been measured under the Administrative Procedures Act as against the meaning of, and compliance with, the ESA).

        I won’t make a prediction on how Molloy might rule, now that he has gone on senior status, and because RMEF’s David Allen peed on the judge’s doorstep with some of the irresponsible things he said in the press. Maybe the judge will be a little feisty and let the 9th Circuit run interference for him, if he declares the law unconstitutional.

        On the other hand he could just take his time on this, letting ID and MT have another hunt and monitor how they are doing, before he rules. OR, he could just say, Congress has spoken, case dismissed.

        • Brian Ertz says:

          where is it written that Congress cannot say, this (the 2009 rule) is the NEW wolf standard for the the NRM DPS, notwithstanding any provisions of the ESA?

          See U.S. v. Klein, 80 U.S. 128 (1871). See also Robertson v. Seattle Audubon Soc., 503 U.S. 429 (1992), which although the case upheld Congressional authority – gives a better idea of the ‘bright-line’ the court will be dealing with.

          Congress can’t enact legislation designed to affect the outcome of a pending case without changing the underlying law. The Budget Rider violates the Separation of Powers Doctrine contained in the U.S. Constitution – that’s where it’s written.

          I agree that the judge may rule either way – the Klein standard gives a lot of deference to Congressional intent. However – I think Tester et al stepped over the line when they made clear their intent was NOT to change the underlying law in attempt to reassure ESA advocates in Congress that this wouldn’t be a pandoras box.

          • WM says:


            What do you think this language means?

            ++without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule++

          • Brian Ertz says:

            I dunno WM, that might be enough – it says to me that it was not Congress’s intent to change conflicting rules or law. it might’ve been enough if they included “without the intent to violate the Seperation of Powers Doctrine of the U.S. Constitution that applies to issuance of such rule” as well. That’s up to the judge. But what the caselaw forbids is intereference with Seperation of Powers between Congress and the Courts during pending litigation – it seems to me that whether or not this was meant to serve as a standalone law or not – that this intereferes with – and predetermines – pending litigation without changing the underlying statute at issue.

        • JB says:

          “Not sure why people have a hard time grasping the concept, other than they do not want to acknowledge the possibility it could turn out this way. I think psychologists call it motivated reasoning.”

          It isn’t that I have a “hard time grasping” your reasoning, it is that I am not sure that I agree that your reasoning is consistent with the law. I think the judge could rule along the lines of the arguments you’ve provided, but I think it is equally probable that he could go in the other direction. So here we are all three of us agreeing that this thing could go either way.

      • Dude, the bagman says:

        To start off, I’ll admit that I haven’t read all of the briefing or done much research on the underlying standard (Klein, etc.).

        But – how much is court willing to read into Congress’s intent in passing the delisting rider? The rider at issue didn’t give a statement of purpose or findings that would make finding congressional intent easy. It’s actually very tight-lipped. Congressional intent could have been to change the outcome of pending litigation, or it could have been to carve a narrow exception out of the ESA for the NRM wolves, just for now.

        And whose intent would that be anyway? Baucus’s and Tester’s? Every member of Congress who had a hand in shaping it? Everyone else who voted for it in both houses?

        And couldn’t the court just gloss over the intent issue by construing the rider in a way that avoids constitutional problems? Isn’t the presumption that when Congress passes a law that could be construed multiple ways, some unconstitutional, that the constitutional construction prevails if it’s reasonable?

        And couldn’t the court construe “without regard to any other provision of statute or regulation that applies to issuance of such rule” to mean that the rider is a more specific law (exception) that prevails over the more general ESA, and also that the rule incorporated into the statute is not subject to the requirements of the APA? Would Congress have to change the underlying law if it explicitly carved out an exception with a more narrow law that explains away the conflict with the ESA and APA?

        Couldn’t the previous delisting rule that the rider reinstates/incorporates by reference adopt FWS’s findings and implicitly provide a new delisting standard that Congress finds appropriate ONLY for the NRM wolves (that the NRM DPS can be delisted along state lines for the reasons given in the delisting rule)?

        Although I think reading the ESA in that manner is unreasonable given the act’s purpose, I don’t make the law. Congress does, and can generally carve out exceptions to the laws it creates when it finds it appropriate to do so. After all, Congress invented the term “distinct population segment,” never defined it, left it to FWS to figure out what that means, and then the courts had to settle the disputes about the term’s ambiguity as applied. Maybe Congress is giving its imprimatur to FWS’s interpretation in the 2009 delisting rule. Maybe not.

        In the context of a very litigious issue, when is Congress “directing a judicial finding,” and when is Congress concluding that the lawsuits are never going to stop, taking away the underlying cause of action, and settling the DPS debate by declaring that the law is now the 2009 delisting rule for the NRM DPS?

        Although I’d like to see this lawsuit prevail (not because I think the wolves aren’t biologically recovered, but because I have serious doubts about their future management), it seems like there are a lot of “ifs” involved in getting there. Anyway, I hope I’m wrong.

  65. Alan says:

    It seems to me that if it is the job of Congress to make law, and the job of the court to interpret law, then WM said it best himself above: Congress said (with this rider) that (without changing the law)… “the FWS rule meets the law, because we say it does…” Sounds an awful lot like “interpretation” to me. Not their job.

  66. BW says:

    It appears to me that it really doesn’t matter. If Judge Molloy overturns this act of Congress, I believe Congress will simply pass legislation which will remove wolves from ESA protections. After all, wolves have exceeded recovery goals established when they were brought in as a non-essential, experimental population. They have withstood hunting, disease out breaks, densities higher than any other location which has increased intraspecific competition. Genetic connectivity has been documented and confirmed to be much higher than some supposed. If environmental extremists continue to push beyond the original EIS, they will ultimately be responsible for the failure of this experiment gone awry. Congress will pass language which is much more clear. The rider wasn’t the best way to go but unfortunately Representative Simpson and Senators Tester/Baucus stopped the legitimate action of removing unwarranted protection of a non-threatened species. Remember, these wolves are part of a non-essential, experimental population.

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      They will try to do this anyway, and as you pretty much say, you will be leading the charge. When one side is not interested in compromise, the other side needs to make decisions without consideration of what the other side, the non-compromising side is doing or planning.

      • IDhiker says:

        I noticed in “The American Rifleman” that the NRA is supporting Rep. John Kline’s R-Minn., H.R. 838, which will delist the “Western Great Lakes” wolf population in much the same manner as Tester’s rider.

  67. BW says:


    It seems funny that for all of the compromises Wyoming has made, nothing short of acceptance statewide will appease environmental extremists. I would have preferred that everyone simply let the process play out. Past hunting seasons have proven to be far less dangerous than other alternatives which states are all now being forced into pursuing. Had the states been able to assume management authority in 2007, I believe everything would have worked itself out. Since the feds have had management authority in Wyoming from the beginning, they have implemented Wyoming’s plan, just not through hunters but rather Wildlife Services (WS). Almost everyone on this blog is stating how much more effective WS is than are hunters. Because of environmental extremists, the ESA is now under serious threat. Why? Because some extreme groups refuse to allows state management of wolves. By the way, I am glad to see that I haven’t been banned from the blog. I simply used the wrong user name.

    • jon says:

      Are you Bob Wharff?

      • BW says:

        Yes. And you are?

        • jon says:

          Bob, I take insult at you calling environmentalists extremists just because they are trying to save wolves from certain death. What does that make predator haters like you who think wolves should be treated as vermin outside of yellowstone national park? And what compromises has Wyoming made?

          • william huard says:

            With Senators like Dr No Bourasso in office, to say that Wyoming has compromised is ludicrous. Since when is a 90% shoot on sight policy “compromise.” It’s the real extremists like Safari Club and the NRA that are always blaming environmentalists to deflect people away from their anti-wildlife agenda

          • BW says:

            William, The compromise has been the expansion of the area set aside for wolves. Wyoming has expanded it three times and will more than likely face another expansion. Senator Barrasso has broken no law in his actions to find resolution to an impasse. He is simply representing his constituents. Dispersing wolves do not contribute to the recovered population. Wolves outside the current trophy area are dispersing. Their genes are leaving the pool. As I stated earlier, wolves have been able to pioneer into new areas outside of Wyoming. Not all dispersing wolves will be certainly killed hunters. Using extreme ratios like 90% only exemplifies why Wyoming is forced to push back. Most of Wyoming is not socially or economically acceptable for wolves. Even under federal management wolves have not spread to other parts of the state without getting into conflict, forcing them to be removed.

          • jon says:

            Bob, what is it you think is going to happen if a wolf pack and its pups wind up in an area where they are listed as vermin?

          • william huard says:

            Jon, as you know, most of Wyoming is not socially or economically acceptable for wolves….some degenerate will just pick them off like Limpy, what a waste…..I find it humorous when Bob explains how Dr NO is only doing work for his constituents……Bourasso is a typical modern day republican conservative politician engaged in hostage taking for political gain, good old Republoman, repelled by facts, impervious and clueless to the idea of compromise or reason

    • Bob,

      Although there might certainly have meetings I never heard of, my perception is that the groups you call “extremists” were never invited at the table for any of the key decisions about wolf management made in Idaho, Montana or Wyoming. Their only tool was a crude one, a lawsuit.

  68. BW says:

    Jon, Take a deep breath! I answered your question and you failed to answer mine. Who are you? Some wolves will die but it is a far cry from certain death, as you put it. Even with WS removing problem wolves, they have been able to pioneer into Colorado, Utah and the Dakotas. It is anything but certain death for wolves. Furthermore, you fail to acknowledge that a recovered population still remains. No where was it ever discussed that wolves would be able to reproduce without attempts to keep their numbers manageable for those states which are tasked with their management.

    Ralph, I am shocked that you would imply that these environmental extremists were unable to participate in any of the meetings. Heck, the recovery rules were already set before I moved to Wyoming. Contrary to popular opinion, on this site at least, I have never called for anything outside the original agreement. I have not complained about what was agreed upon in my absence, all I have tried to do is get wolves under state management on the terms everyone agreed upon. The environmental extremists chose to push the envelope until it broke. Now lawyers are reaping the benefits while wildlife is baring the brunt of the costs associated with this failed experiment. I would hope that even you would agree that the courts are not the best place for decisions to be made about wildlife management.

    • jon says:

      Bob, you keep calling environmentalists extremists simply because they are trying to save wolves from a hunter’s bullet. Someone like you who wants wolves to be classified as vermin in most of your state is not an extreme view? What happens if a wolf pack and pups happen to find their way in an area where they are classified as vermin Bob? You cannot tell me this won’t ever happen. You won’t even admit that you and your organization are predator haters.

      • william huard says:

        Jon, either these groups are sniveling and whining about mountain lions, bears, coyotes and wolves killing “THEIR” game herds, or they are using paranoia and fear to stop any meaningful hunter wildlife conservation progress on issues like lead ammunition

        • jon says:

          William, people know what the agenda is when it comes to “sportsmen” groups like Bob’s. It is to kill off as many predators as possible in order to increase the deer and elk for the hunters to kill. Here is what Jerry Conley formerly of the Idaho fish and game had to say about sportsmen for wildlife.

          “Jerry Conley, former Director of Idaho Fish and Game, states: “Their solutions are to take all the money and kill the coyotes, the wolverines, the mountain lions. They haven’t had a positive thought in years. In the long run, I don’t think you can sustain a group just on negativity.”

          The fact is people like Don Peay and his ilk only care about what they want and that is maximum hunting opportunities. They could careless about those people who actually want to see natural predators in their natural setting. They are turning the wilderness into their own little game farm.


    • Phil says:

      BW: The quotas will probably increase in the coming up seasons of a wolf hunt. They will begin with a certain number and research the population after the numbers have been either met or close to being met on that quota, then they will increase the numbers each year based on the population after the previous hunts until they start dipping the population. I am taking this information based on what the last hunts looked like with an increase in quota the second year of the hunts which never took place. There are also plans of poisoning, trapping and other methods of killing wolves, so these are reasons why many believe this could lead to a vast decrease (possibly elimination) in the wolf population.

      You are not just removing problem wolves (which I do not agree with considering the problem wolves are acting instinctively), but you are also killing many wolves who have never had any conflicts with humans in any way. If push comes to shove, then I would ONLY agree to let farmers and ranchers shoot and either scare or kill problem wolves.

      A recovered population may consist in the region, but there should not be a hunting season due to the enormous hostility from some of the anti-wolf people in the area. Can you really rely on what people like Rockholm and Eaglecreek say? You don’t think they are using propaganda, fabrication and misinformation for their self-agenda?

      “I would hope that even you would agree that the courts are not the best place for decisions to be made about wildlife management.”, but Congress is? I am, and have always been on the side to let scientists and biologists be the only form to deal with wildlife, but when you have high ranking groups (Safari Club, NRA and some other hunting groups) persuade politicians to side with their views then using the courts is the only way to enforce what is in the best interest with regards to importance and not interest with regards to self.

      • william huard says:

        Politicians should not be involved in wildlife decisions. Period. NM Teabag Governor is a perfect example. She appoints 4 people to the wildlife commission including a Catron County Stockgrower…. The most anti-wildlife, anti-wolf organization on the planet- Catron County Stockgrowers….Overriding the will of the people in NM… It’s just not right

  69. CodyCoyote says:

    BW = Bob Wharff = Executive Director of the Wyoming Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife lobby group.

    Welcome to the halls of reason, Bob. Please learn something while you are here.

    p.s. Fully 70 percent of the money raised by dues and banquests and donations etc from the various local chapters of WSFW ( I believe there are 11 of them ? ) is given over to lobbying and administration and much of it goes to Washington D.C. Less than 30 percent actually goes to wildlife directly , be that habitat or whatever. SFW is a lobby group. As such, they are the tip of the spear of the Anti-Wolf movement in Wyoming; very active in my hometown of Cody. ” Active” includes talking out of both sides of their mouth, especially about wolves.

    • william huard says:

      Didn’t they change their name to Wyoming Sportsmen for Sportsmen?

      • jon says:

        I would respect Bob and his organization a tiny bit if they just came out and admitted they were predator haters. They don’t like natural predators such as wolves eating the elk and deer they feel only belong to them William.

        • BW says:

          Not true Jon. We have not taken a position other than that which was agreed upon before we were even around. Why must we manage for maximum numbers of predators? How can they be controlled? The facts remain, hunters are the best available management tool available to wildlife managers, period. Allowing undaunted predators to assume that management authority only works in animated Walt Disney cartoons. You still haven’t said who you are? Have we met or do you just assume to know me?

    • BW says:

      Dewey or I mean CodyCoyote, You are always so close to the truth that you almost sound credible. You might have the split right but that is about it.
      I appreciate all of your accolades. Who would have ever thought that a simple Wildlife Biologist could have become so influential? On the contrary, I believe our success has came from staying on point and not loosing sight of the goal; state management authority over all Wyoming’s wildlife. You can no show where we have talked out of both sides of our face because it has never happened.
      Jon, I believe you miss the point entirely. Even if someone were capable of wiping out the entire pack and its pups because they are outside the protected area the are not essential to the survival of the recovered populations which is protected via the designated trophy area. In fact, it has already been shown that hunters are not going to be very effective at wiping out wolves. Have you talked with anyone from the Alaska G&F? They have already accurately predicted the outcome.

      • jon says:

        They are not essential? You think wolves are worthless don’t ya Bob? People with your type of attitude scare me.

        • BW says:

          Jon, On the contrary. Wolves are a very beautiful and fantastic animal. I just believe we have a responsibility to protect our other resources. I believe man is much more capable of adaptive management practices than are wolves. We are now seeing what happens when you allow predator/prey relationships to get out of balance. In order to maintain a hunt able and sustain able population, you have a minimum of 20 calves per 100 cows. If your reproductive success falls below that percentage, you will see the population shrink. It appears to me Jon, that people like you want sportsmen to surrender the wildlife system which is the envy of the World on a gamble that natural regulation works. Frankly, we already know that natural regulation is a myth.

          • Phil says:

            BW: Man is more capable of adaptive management practices than are wolves? So, how did the deer population explode throughout the country? People in the southern portion of Michigan have seen the deer population migrate to areas near the bigger cities because there is very little population of wolves in the upper part of the glove. The state went from a little more then 1 million deer a decade ago to around 2 million now. The elk population dropped shortly after the wolf reintroduction which was not the case prior to the reintroduction. Even with more human hunters in Wisconsin then wolves the deer population is increasing there as well.

            Mankind does not have a natural niche on ecosystems, species like wolves (keystone) do and is why they serve to be the best form of management.

          • truthbetold says:

            Sock it to um BW….

            WI, MI & MN all had record confirmed / paid depredation in 2010 & countless problem wolves had to be killed. For their natural regulation to work here in the great lakes it would take a ton of money to pay for depredation & an army of biologist to clean up after the non-conforming wolves. Its call the California wildlife model….. “Maximum predators at maximum ranchers, pet owners, game herd and taxpayer cost.” It seems like guys like Jon love to eliminate game herds at taxpayers expense!

            Keep up the great work!

          • Phil says:

            truthbetold: Predation on livestock will always occur as long as the farmers and ranchers are not suited properly on protecting their livestock. It is a natural instinctive to see food, kill it and eat it from predators, so what part of that do you not understand? No one wants to kill big game as you are criticizing some of doing, and if you really wanted to protect big game, then why hunt them for a sport like some people do? The wolf population in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota will naturally dip when space and food become less abundant, but apparently the population of the wolves has not reached the level to where it can affect the deer population in decreasing it. How bout this for a change? Why don’t the farmers in Michigan properly dispose of their livestock that died naturally so that it does not to attract predators? I could be wrong, but wasn’t that a major problem in the NRM region up until a couple years ago?

          • william huard says:

            Gee whizz there Truthbetold- Maybe Bob can send you a 10×10 glossy picture that you can put next to your Don Peay picture over your bed…..

          • Phil says:

            Guess what happens when the elk population begins to shrink because it falls below 20/100 percentage? You get the predator population shrinking because of the lack of food, then the prey population begins to bounce back followed by the predator population. The predator/prey population is suppose to be unbalanced (much more prey/food then predators/consumers) to maintain a population. You cannot have the same amount of predators to prey.

            Where is your argument on herds which are still consisting the 20/100 (or better) even with the presence of packs of wolves?

          • jon says:

            Natural regulation if you want to call it that has been going on for millions of years Bob.

          • jon says:

            Bob, if you believe natural regulation is a myth, tell me what happened for millions and millions of years when animals roamed the planet without any humans?

          • Elk275 says:


            ++Guess what happens when the elk population begins to shrink because it falls below 20/100 percentage? You get the predator population shrinking because of the lack of food, then the prey population begins to bounce back followed by the predator population. The predator/prey population is suppose to be unbalanced (much more prey/food then predators/consumers) to maintain a population. You cannot have the same amount of predators to prey.++

            Guess what happens when the prey population begins to fall? Hunting seasons are shorten, the number of tags in a given district are reduced or eliminated. This does not set well with the local population. The western states have not seen a decline in hunter numbers as the rest of the nation, maybe Idaho is having some difficultly with selling non resident licenses but that is from “wolf-here-say” and price.

            Hunters want a constant number of tags and opportunities in there state and a given hunting district year after year. If wolves over a number of years are going to cause the prey population to decrease and then increase with a decrease in predators. Then what is the solution; decrease the wolf population via hunting, trapping or whatever to maintain a constant prey population. Call it elk farming or what ever, it is what the people want.

            Secondly, in the modern tri-state area there are people, and with people comes agricultural actives, highways and roads, cities, pipelines, utility lines, ditches and canals, airports and other things. Each activities has a small affect on a balance eco system. Added together these activities prevent your perception what you want versa what is going to happen. Agricultural interest and hunting and fishing interest are the most powerful interest and they are not going to change.

            Yesterday, I ran into a friend who has been the executive director of several environment NGO’s, he is a very capable administrator and an effective person. We were talking wolves and he said “guess how much money and people the environmental NGO’s have in the Greater Yellowstone area”. I made my guess and was under by 9 times. His departing remark was “and we still can not get anywhere with buffalo and wolves”.

            Today in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle there were several historical articles about early day Bozeman and the Civil War. After the Civil War, a Masonic Lodge was started and shortly after it’s inception internal descent caused the lodge to faction into two lodges. One for the Southern Democrats and the other for Northern Republicans. Today there are two Masonic Lodges separated by Main Street. If one hundred and fifty years after the civil war attitudes have not changed in a small university town, how is the state wide general populous attitudes on wolves or wildlife going to change. They are not.

      • Phil says:

        Maybe to you they are not essential, but to the ecosystem that those wolves inhabit they are essential. Why is it prohibited to kill an elk and her calf but not prohibited to kill a pack with pups? Isn’t it justified to let the calf grow to the adult stage so that it can have the best chance at survival on its own before it is in the category of being eligible to be hunted? Then why not with wolves and other predators?

    • Phil says:

      CodyCoyote: Thanks for the information. Some anti-wolfers say that most of the $35 million that Yellowstone generates off of tourists because of wolves does not go to the states, instead goes to Washington, but here is an example of one of their trusted organizations doing exactly what they complain others of.

      • BW says:

        Phil, Even the Wyoming Wildlife Federation said that the $35 million figure was unfounded. It was said in a meeting where we discussed alternative funding for non-consumptive users. If that money were real, the non-consumptive users could help pay for wildlife management. Pittman/Robertson & Dingle/Johnson dollars are real and therefore a much need resource for wildlife management. Wolves outside of the recovery area are not essential to the population as a whole. You need to read the entire post; otherwise, this is just a continued effort in futility. As far as the herds which are still able to maintain their reproductive success, the answer is simple. Wolf densities are low enough that they are not significantly impacting elk production. However, in areas where we see over 6-7 wolves per 100 elk, you start to see those impacts.
        The shrinking cycle to which you refer does not hold up with wolves as they can readily switch to other alternate prey species. The model which you refer to works real well when you are dealing with snow shoe hares and lynx. That is the study most people know of and often apply broadly; however, that doesn’t work when the predator has abundant, alternative prey species which short stops the cycle. This is a new phenomenon called the predator pit. This allows the predators to maintain themselves at much higher densities than would otherwise occur. Just what we are seeing in and around Yellowstone National Park.

        Last year while in Wisconsin, I met several people that all had eerily similar tales to what we have been hearing out west. Where wolf population densities are high, they are starting to see impacts on the most prolific big game animal in North America. Even Dr. David Mech mentioned that it has been documented that wolves have wiped out a population of white-tailed deer. I can not remember the exact location, only that it was back east somewhere.

        Jon, I couldn’t agree more with you about natural regulation taking place for eons. If you read some of the journals written by Lewis & Clark, you will see there were times when their expedition was forced to consume their mules because they couldn’t find anything to eat. Seems hard to believe they would resort to eating their transportation.

        • jon says:

          Bob, but you said,

          “Frankly, we already know that natural regulation is a myth.”

          Either it’s a myth or it’s not. If someone wants to claim it’s a myth, then I would ask them what do you think happened for the millions and millions of years when it was just animals roaming the earth and no humans?

          • PointsWest says:

            jon…I understand your point but humans have had a large impact on the environment for at least 400,000 years since we acquired the use of fire and could burn woodland to create grassy praries. Wolves, in particular, have evolved next to us. We domesticated dogs some 50,000 years ago and some of those genes are back into the wild grey wolf gene pool. It is why we see solid colored wolves. The fact is, removing humans completely from the environment is very unnatural and is a “myth of the pristine” created by romantic writers of the late 19th and very early 20th century. Yellowstone Park, for example, is completely unnatural as it is now because for centuries before it became a National Park, the Sheep Eater Indians lived there and shaped the environment. The US government forced the Sheep Eaters out of Yellowstone to satisfy some fantasy of the “pristine” that had grown in the American psyche at that time. The same is true of other National Parks the world over. This was all done to fulfill some fantasy that had developed in European and American culture of pristine wilderness that had not been contaminated by the human touch. It is a fantasy jon. Humans have lived nearly everywhere on the planet for tens of thousands of years and we have shaped the environment.

          • jon says:

            pw, I don’t see anything unnatural about yellowstone. Yellowstone gives you a glimpse on how things were for millions and millions of years when it was just animals fighting for survival and the planet was without humans.

          • PointsWest says:

            You’re so wrong! What you are imagining is the “pristine myth” pervaded by romantic writers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most of the animals in Yellowstone came to North America via Beringia with humans and came south of the Laurentide Ice Sheet via the McKenzie Corridor 13,000 years ago. They evolved for tens of thousands of years in Siberia with humans. Some may have evolved with humans for hundreds of thousands of years in central Asia.

          • jon says:

            I’m not just talking about the wolf or the elk pw. I’m talking just animals in general. Animals were on this planet way before humans. That is fact that cannot be denied. natural regulation is a very real thing and that is what has been going on for the millions and millions of years when there were no humans on the planet, just animals of all kinds.

          • PointsWest says:

            All species have a common ancestor if you go back far enough and, in a very real sense, we have all been here the same amount of time.

            How do you figure that animals have been on the planet longer than humans?

          • jon says:

            pw, animals such as dinosaurs and crocodiles have been on the planet for over 100 million years. Did humans exist when the dinosaurs roamed the earth? You know the answer to that question.

          • PointsWest says:

            It did not take long before your arguments became silly.

            All the dinosaurs are dead and have been for 60 million years. I know we have fossils of animals whose bone structure is almost identical to present day crocodiles that are as old as those of the dinosaurs but I assure you that they were not the same animal 60 million years ago that they are today. Even if you argue that they are, what does that mean? Should we give crocodiles priority over all other life on earth because they have been here the longest?

          • jon says:

            pw, you said,

            How do you figure that animals have been on the planet longer than humans?

            I pointed out that animals such as crocodiles and dinosaurs just to name 2 were on earth for over 100 million years. it has nothing to do with being the same animal. I’m just showing you that ANIMALS have been on the planet way before humans. It’s not even a debate worth discussing. Has nothing to do with giving animals higher priority simply because they have been on earth for far longer than humans. This was originally about natural regulation. The point of all this is that natural regulation existed way before humans were on the earth. To those who want to deny natural regulation, I simply ask them, what happened for all of those millions of years when it was just animals on earth and no humans?

          • PointsWest says:

            A dinosaur is not an animal nor a species; it is a classification of animals/species that all went extinct 60 million years ago.

            We do have fossils of something very similar to crocodiles dating back to the time of the dinosaurs. But these are not the same species as today’s crocs. They almost certainly would not be able to breed with today’s crocs.

            Humans too have ancestors dating back to the time of the dinosaurs. They were small burrowing mammals that are the ancestors to all primates.

            So humans have been on the planet just as long as anything else. We have simply changed more than something like a crocodile. Other animals have changed also. Bears and wolves have a common ancestor called amphicyonids or bear-dogs that lived only 20 million years ago. Canines had probably branched off from amphicyonds by 15 million years ago. By 7 million years ago, however, we had Ardipithecus ramidus a human ancestor that had branched off from the Chimpazzee line. So we are nearly as old as canines.

            This argument is just getting stupid jon.

          • PointsWest says:

            I would ask you how you define “animal” and how you define “human” and ask when did humans first appear in evolutionary history by your definition but I fear this too would turn into another nonsensical argument where I would be shooting at a forever moving target.

            From the Merriam Webster on-line dictionary: “Definition of HUMAN: a bipedal primate mammal (Homo sapiens) : man; broadly: hominid”

            So is says “broadly: hominid.”

            The Definition of HOMINID: “any of a family (Hominidae) of erect bipedal primate mammals that includes recent humans together with extinct ancestral and related forms and in some recent classifications the gorilla, chimpanzee, and orangutan.”

            As mentioned above, Ardipithecus ramidus, is a human by this definition and is 7 million years old!

            We have been around as long as many “animals”…but go ahead and spin your definition around to wiggle out of your failed arguments.

        • Elk275 says:


          About 10 miles after you cross Lolo Pass into Idaho there is a place called, Killed Colt Creek. Guess what Lewis and Clark and the men had for dinner that night.

          BW you are wrong. ++forced to consume their mules++ Lewis and Clark did not have any mules only horses. When the expedition purchased horses from the Shoshone Indians at Horse Pairie near Dillon, Montana it was noted in the journels that there was a mule in the Shoshone horse herd. This is an important historical observation.

          Where did the Shoshone aquire a mule. Had the Spanish been this far north or was there a Spanish fort in Southern Idaho or Northern Utah. There has been much speculation over this mule.


          • Elk275 says:

            Sorry BW, they did have a mule but only one and I doubt if they ate it:

            August 24, 1805

            soon purchased three horses and a mule. for each horse I gave an ax a knife handkercheif and a little paint; & for the mule the addition of a knife a shirt handkercheif and a pair of legings; at this price which was quite double that given for the horses. I consider this mule a great acquisition. These Indians soon told me that they had no more horses for sale and I directed the party to prepare to set out. I had now nine horses and a mule,

            I d

          • WM says:


            You need to stay on your facts – even the small ones. This crew will keep you honest, and it doesn’t really matter which side of an issue you are on. And, that is a refreshing attribute of this forum.

          • PointsWest says:

            Elk…I doubt Lewis & Clark were the first whites into the far west. They were only the first expedition that documented their travels. You had adventurers and hermits and crazies going west long before Lewis & Clark. Sometimes, they went alone. There is no writen history of it, however. Any number of people might have brought a mule to western Montana and the Indians themselves could have brought it from Hudson Bay, from Taos, or from California.

        • Phil says:

          BW: You are a simple joke. Wolves outside the recovery area are not essential? So, the only essential wolves are in Central Idaho and Yellowstone? That would consist of less then 500 in total population, which is your target goal? That is ridiculous. There are areas where there are 6-7 wolves per 100 elk that have seen the elk thrive as well. The percentage 20/100 is sustained. The areas where the dip falls in has other factors besides wolves, and if you understood the entire situation you would have known that.

          Yes, wolves can adapt to eating a multiple of diverse foods, but their main source in the NRM is elk. Here in Michigan it is moose and deer. Look at the wolf population in Yellowstone and Isle Royale. There has been a drop in the elk population and moose population followed by a drop in the wolf population. Even though wolves can adapt to eating other foods, these are their main ones. How many rabbits would a single wolf need to consume to fill the amount of fat that a elk provides?

          Again: Yes, when you have a high predator population the prey population drops. When the prey population drops, then the predator population drops. It does not matter what certain hunters in Wisconsin, Minnesota or Michigan say, it is what is actually occurring, and that is an increase in deer population throughout the three states. Did you ever think that the changing in behaviors of the deer due to the presence of wolves have forced them to become more scarce or move out of the areas where wolves are abundant to avoid predation? Could this be why some are seeing less deer around? In the words of Rolf Peterson “If wolves have had a major affect on deer and have dropped their population, then we would have seen a near extinction of deer by now”. Dr. Mech has stated that he has heard the argument of wolves decreasing the deer population since the 1960s, so how come the overall population in deer in the three midwest states has increased? Dr. Mech has argued against the hunters in this perspective because he has heard this for so long and has not seen it happening. Biologists have witnessed deer move as far down as Illinois and Ohio because of the overcrowding population in northern Michigan and Wisconsin.

          The prey form a stress factor when predators are around, and to solve this stress factor they change their behaviors to adapt to the threat caused by the predators.

          • jon says:

            Phil, attitudes like that is the reason why hunters and non-hunters will never get along. Bob doesn’t think that whole wolf packs including pups being killed in an area of Wyoming where they are basically classified as vermin is a big deal since he thinks that those wolves aren’t essential to the wolf population in WY. People like him believe that wolves are worthless animals and most on here are aware of how some sportsmen groups feel about wolves. It’s no secret that a lot of sportsmen groups look at the wolf as a worthless animal.

          • ma'iingan says:

            “Biologists have witnessed deer move as far down as Illinois and Ohio because of the overcrowding population in northern Michigan and Wisconsin.”

            Might you offer some explanation regarding this comment? Taken at face value, it’s not true – so maybe you misstated?

          • SEAK Mossback says:

            BW & Phil –
            During his first visit to Alaska in 1975-1976, I watched Dr. Mech’s presentation at UA Fairbanks on the basic annihilation of deer from a substantial area near Ely in the early 1970s. It was under very extreme winter conditions that put deer under a huge amount of stress anyway, not just in that area. As I recall, the deer season in all of Minnesota was cut to 1 day at about that time (1973?). The decline in deer also resulted in major strife among the wolves and when all were gone from one pack’s territory, they would invade another territory and often get caught. Dr. Mech observed one big fight from his cub and had photos of fight causalities. There were some moose in the area, but I can’t remember how those factored in. Anyway, I don’t think it was typical of the relationship between wolves and deer in the Great Lakes area.

            We do have the “predator pit” phenomenon much in evidence in some areas of both Southeast and interior Alaska. In Southeast with deer, it is concentrated mainly on Islands in the central part of the region and on much of the mainland. The main driving factor in Southeast is black bears, but it probably wouldn’t be maintained without wolves. Kuiu Island, a very ecologically rich island, is one of the best examples. A major resurgence in salmon runs since the 1980s has fueled the bear population which has been estimated at 4 to 5 per square mile over the entire island. Wolves seem to find enough to eat even at extremely low deer densities to often be seen from boats — one important food is actually black bears. Like the early-1970s situation in NE Minnesota, higher snowfall is also important in giving wolves an advantage on deer in central Southeast, whereas areas south of Sumner Strait that have 1/3 the snowfall but still lots of black bears and wolves and seem to maintain a high deer-wolf equilibrium.

            A predator pit is less likely to develop on ecologically less diverse islands with fewer salmon streams and less lowland riparian habitat for bears to forage on vegetation and less alternative prey for wolves, such as beaver. One such island, also in central Southeast is Zarembo Island which is a major bread basket for hunters from Wrangell and Petersburg. Another is the one I live and hunt on right next to Juneau. It has a low-moderate black bear population and wolves can easily swim across and are intermittent visitors, but don’t usually stay too long (although one pack of 7 that seemed to successfully establish 10 years ago was trapped off), probably because deer are wary and difficult to catch at some times of year and alternative prey is not abundant compared with the mainland. On major wolf-deer islands, deer is usually the single most important dietary item by far, with a huge variety of foods making up the rest — but all that other stuff may be critically important.

            One of the things I like about this area is the low, stable and distributed human population combined with a huge portfolio of protein sources – a predator pit is not a huge deal if you can switch your focus from land to sea, or to another island or species. Unfortunately, the situation is very different in the roaded interior and railbelt where the population is growing and ecological diversity and overall productivity is much lower. I can go up there in early to mid-September and catch the best 10 days of the year with peak fall colors and return to year-round bounty the rest of the year without freezing my butt or being drained dry by mosquitoes.

      • WM says:


        We need to work on your critical thinking skills — once again. Cody should know better.

        The way the $35M wolf tourism economic analysis should be properly is analyzed is this.

        But for the lack of wolf viewing opportunities, what portion of this $35 would not have been generated? Or, stated another way, if wolves were not present how much of this $35M would have been generated, anyway? I bet it is quite a bit, and the economist/mathematician that did that study did not address this specific aspect.

        So, there is a fair amount of fluff in the number, and any extrapolation of expanded wolf viewing/tourism should be analyzed with an equally critical analysis.

        Another aspect is that as viewing opportunities for wolves might grow outside YNP (certainly questionable under some scenarios), the YNP number might go down, as viewers might stick closer to their home states. So, if and when CO gets wolves in large numbers working on their 300,000 elk, some tourists from there would not come, and other destination tourists might choose CO over YNP if their sole purpose is to see wolves. Thus YNP wolf ecotourism dollars might not increase, or could even decrease.

        • Phil says:

          WM: If you read carefully Cody did NOT mention anything about the $35 million. No matter how you use it there is a $35 million generated directly by wolves as they are the main attraction to tourists in the area. I have not researched this, but according to what others who have done research on this, they found that there has been an increase of revenue in Yellowstone by $35 million since the wolf reintroduction, so if wolves were not present then I believe very little of that $35 million would be generated as this number seems to directly be implied to wolves.

          You are directing this issue to a small percentage of people WM. Wolves will not develop a population in all states, just the ones that have suitable habitats without much human disturbance. Yes, if a population flows into Colorado it will take away from the YNP wolf attraction, and, yes this will happen outside of YNP in the three major wolf states, but what is your point? My point about the $35 million was on the argument some individuals make when they say that the three states do not receive much of that revenue. I think you need to keep pace of the topic at hand and not drift off into your own world.

        • truthbetold says:

          Hey Phil, Let’s get specific …. where is it that I did not put forth the truth!

          Like I said, spending too much time on this site, or Isle Royale will dumb you down on wolves! If you want to be well rounded, spend some time with Dr Kay & listen when BW & Mark Gamblin are discussing management on this site.

          The ones that are still pushing for more wolves (like yourself) are to blame for the issues that still exist with this animal, that be you.

          • Phil says:

            truthbetold: You are getting your information from individuals who have an agenda that serves their benefit and is why they say what they do. That is not credible. Your information of record conflicts with wolves and ranchers is not truthful in blaming the wolves because it is the ranchers who attract the wolves to their livestock and do not take the responsible actions to safe-guard their livestock.

            Harley: I have volunteered on Isle Royale on two instances before. I am scheduled again for the 4rth expedition of the year from August 5-13. I can’t wait for that. It is a killer on the body, though.

          • Harley says:

            I have a good friend who’s been going up there for at least a decade. Usually with the 1st an 2nd teams. He’s the reason for my interest in Isle Royale. It is not an easy hike, that’s for certain! Good luck and be careful!

        • Phil says:

          I forgot to post the website of the $35 million http://www.defenders.org/resources/publications/programs_and_policy/wildlife_conservation/imperiled_species/wolf/northern_rockies_wolf/wolves_and_people_in_yellowstone.pdf

          Seak: Thank you for that comment. Lots of great information there, especially black bears being a food source for wolves in Kuiu Island.

          ma’iingan: It’s called the NRDC Michigan chapter. They have found deer moving as far south as Illinois from Michigan. The flow of deer from the upper portion of the glove to the lower portion extends for some of the deer down to Illinois and Ohio as well as Indiana. A mother of one of the students I work with works for the NRDC as a wildlife and marine biologist. Sandra Joseph (who approved me of posting her name on here) was the lead biologist in this finding. Unlike people like yourself, I talk to individuals in the field on issues that I am not familiar with.

          • truthbetold says:

            Phil, Like I said, that’s all ya got in the tank!

            In Wisconsin the last year we were under the 350 wolf plan min population, wolves depredated at a rate of $86 per wolf per year. In 2010 the population was double the 350 wolves… that additional 350 wolves depredated at a rate of close to $500.00 per wolf per year.

            If you look at the recent graph UW researchers put together on the predictability of depredation. It’s going to get worse as the population increase further into counties like Shawano Co or Waupaca Co.

            As the madness continues wolves continue to cost the taxpayer, rancher, pet owner & game herds…..

            In 2010 Minnesota had to kill over 150 of the troublemakers…. at a cost to the taxpayer. Phil says the 150 did not need to be managed & wants that 150 plus the additional 150 for this year and the additional 175 for the next year all running around killing livestock only on farms that don’t bury their died animals & put up flags on their fences. Is this your management plan Phil?

          • ma'iingan says:

            “They have found deer moving as far south as Illinois from Michigan.”

            Maybe you’d be kind enough to post a link to this finding. I subscribe to most of the professional wildlife journals and I’m a forest ecologist – specializing in wolf and deer ecology. Whitetailed deer have been documented migrating up to 60 miles to escape deep snows – but I know of no migration spanning hundreds of miles as you describe. In fact, deer often starve rather than leave their home range – I’ve witnessed this on many occasions. So I’d like to read this study that you refer to.

  70. truthbetold says:

    Always the ranchers fault with you …. aah Phil. The thing I like about being on the pro – wolf management side is I don’t have to defend the disgusting animals when it does its thing around people, pets and livestock.

    Like when wolves killed 122 sheep in one night on a farm in Montana a few years back, or when they killed that young teacher up in AK, or three highly pregnant collared cow elk in an eight day span in Clam Lake WI. The one in clam lake this year was even better….they moved the elk to get away from wolves, so when they went in to find what they thought was going to be a calf elk because the mother moved from the herd and was staying the same general they found a dead cow elk with the only thing that was ate was the calf that was ripped from the womb. We could go on, the Campbellsport dog that was ripped of the porch from the leach & ate right in front of the owner. Or the group of lady out for a walk with their dogs & were harassed back to their vehicles for a few miles. Or the young man from Canada that didn’t make it back home & died what some described as a heinous death. Or maybe just a simple one like the Shawano Co calf last spring that the wolves pulled right from its hut in what is basically the farmer’s front yard.

    Phil you’re spending too much time on this site, get out and get educated about this non-lethal things the ranchers can do….. This site will dumb you down on its true effectiveness & it makes you look less than flattering when that’s all ya got in the tank!

    william huard ….. You’re just as bad a phil. Why didn’t you add in Will Graves, Toby Bridges, Ryan Benson, Jim Beers, Dr Kay & Dr V Geist or if you were really educated on the wolf thing you could have added a local hero Lori Grosskoph. Chop Chop

    • BW says:

      Truthbetold, Your name says it all!

      • Phil says:

        The only problem is that he is not stating the truth.

        Immer: I thought the name “trughbetold” sounded familiar to “reality22”. Not only that, but the comments he posts on articles are pretty similar to those he is posting here. All filled with a personal agenda.

      • Rita K. Sharpe says:


    • Phil says:

      truthbehold: I guess my time with Rolf Peterson in the Upper Peninsula and Isle Royale were not educational purposes, were they? I guess my time working in the NRM region, Ontario, and some other places in western Canada were not educational purposes, were they? The fact is that I have been in the field and have spent more then 3,000 hours directly observing and collecting data on grizzly bears, wolves, coyotes, mountain lions and black bears. This site is full of intelligent individuals who have the experience (whether they are hunters or biologists) and intelligence that can educate a up and comer like myself. I do not take information from people like you as being credible because you have a self-served agenda.

      Elk: I was directing the issue to wildlife and not hunters. To me anyone who sport hunts is of no concern. If I had to agree with any hunting it would be the hunters who feed their families. If the prey population dips due to predators, it benefits the ecosystem, but there will always be enough deer, elk, caribou, etc to feed the individuals who depend on hunting to get their share and put food on the table. As far as license and tags decreasing, again: that is not a concern for myself. I find it more important that there is enough wildlife prey/predators out there to balance the ecosystem in a fluctuating way, and to keep the human hunters who depend on prey from starving.

      truthbetold: People like you always use the SAME examples to make your point. Why? Because they are the ONLY examples you have to back up your argument due to the cases being very rare. I think it is about high-time you stop reading articles posted by hunters who are anti-wolves, and stop listening to what hunting sites and organizations say. Get in touch with biologists (and I would be happy to give you the names and email addresses to some of them), and compare the differences of what you hear from non-credible places to what the biologists have to say.

      • Harley says:

        I didn’t realize you worked up at Isle Royale! When was that? Is it still on going?
        Can’t wait for the annual report to come out.

  71. WM says:

    Interesting court papers over the last few days. It would appear the hunting groups have tried to reclaim the term and the high ground with the moniker “Wildlife Conservation Groups” in their intervenor papers, and the judge was obligated to use the same term in his order denying.

    This ought to give the press folks and their readers/listeners/viewers some confusing moments. “Wildlife conservation groups” denied intervenor status. Whew!

    The words in the order and the hearing scheduled for late July suggest Molloy will be ready to rule before the likely wolf hunting seasons in early fall. Notwithstanding the hearing, I would lay odds he already has the outline of his legal opinion pretty well laid out. He (or his clerks) have already had to give the issues and the Federal Defendant’s defenses some thought as indicated in the Order denying intervenor status and stay. The question is which way will he rule.

  72. Spangle Lakes says:

    Truthbetold sounds like Greg Farber.

  73. Immer Treue says:

    Truthbetold is reality 22

    • william huard says:

      So glad to have another point of view with just a hint of Toby Bridges, Bruce Hemming, and Rockhead all rolled into one….Read his posts…..These people are so fixated on wild “cruel” wolves killing their prey as if there is a moral issue involved- “non conforming” wolves as he puts it…. as if wolves should read the hillbilly handbook of acceptable ways to behave around people, pets, and livestock.

      • truthbetold says:

        william huard the non-conforming is the fact that wolves are not following your script where they live in harmony with the rancher. Your fantacy that all it takes is the rancher to dispose of the rare died livestock throw up a few flags & the are golden, just read Phil’s post here, that’s the mind set on sites like these…… It don’t work that way & you know it, but thats the only rebuttal you have to defend an environment that is toxic to its neighbors!

        • william huard says:


        • Phil says:

          truthbetold: By properly disposing of the dead livestock the ranchers will decrease the chances of having conflicts with wolves. No, it will not permanently eliminate ALL problem wolves, but it sure as hell will help. I did not receive that information via this site, I have witnessed this by working with biologists to help a handful of ranchers up in the U.P. solve their conflicts with wolves.

          Let’s take this for example, if you have 20% of the ranchers in Michigan that do not properly dispose of their dead livestock, then they will draw many wolves to the area to consume the livestock’s carcass’. The wolves will find this as an easy way to find and consume food so they will come back for more even if there is no carcass left. When there is no carcass left, guess what they will go after? The live livestock. This is a learned behavior from the wolves that is the fault of the ranchers. If you reduce that 20% of ranchers just dumping their dead livestock and not properly disposing of them, then you have a better chance of reducing the conflicts with wolves. It will not prevent all problem situations from occurring, but it will help reduce them.

    • jon says:

      I don’t mind if r22 posts here, but it seems like he is just on here to argue with wildlife advocates. Happy 4th of july everyone.

    • IDhiker says:

      Immer Treue,

      I understand you say Truthbetold is reality 22, but I’m out of the loop: who is “reality 22” in reality?

  74. PointsWest says:

    There is irrefutable evidence that Indians used fire to alter the landscape…


    …and I will even go this one further.

    Something striking about the migration into North America of species from Asia is that so many of the native North American species died out while most of the animals we see here today are Siberian immigrants. It is like the entire ecosystem from Siberia migrated to North America. I think a possible explanation for this (my theory) is that humans caused this.

    Since humans have had fire for 400,000 years, they may have had a significant impact on the evolution of bison. Humans may have created many grass prairies by burning woodlands to increase bison numbers. Bison’s natural predators, such as wolves, would also have been affected by this human influence. They may have evolved to survive largely in the human influenced environment with bison on open grass prairies. So when Siberian bison and Siberian Grey wolves moved into Beringia, the Siberian Grey wolves may have had a significant advantage over North American Grey wolves and native Dire wolves. The Siberian wolves survived while other preditors perished. I think what have in North American is descendants of Siberian Grey wolves today because they are so similar to Siberian Grey wolves and a certain percentage have black and white coats they got from interbreeding with dogs 40,000 years ago.

    So we are talking, at the very least, of a human/bison/wolf influenced environment migrating to North America via Beringia with human-created grass prairies. This environment might have some other peculiarities that favored other Siberian species such as deer, elk, Brown, and Black bears. So the whole human create environment migrated from Siberia to North America via Beringia.

    Does this sound far fetched? Consider that Serengeti National Park was created in Africa just 60 years ago in 1951 and is already having trouble maintaining the large Wildebeest herds that the park was intended to protect. Why are the Wildebeest numbers falling? …because many of the grass prairies are slowly growing back into woodlands. There is no human presence in the Serengeti to burn the woodland and create grass prairies. The “pristine myth” at Serengeti is already proving to be unsustainable after just 60 years!

    • Nancy says:

      PW –

      +Why are the Wildebeest numbers falling?”

      Does this sound far fetched? Consider that Serengeti National Park was created in Africa just 60 years ago in 1951 and is already having trouble maintaining the large Wildebeest herds that the park was intended to protect+

      And just a few comments above, you state:

      +The fact is, removing humans completely from the environment is very unnatural and is a “myth of the pristine” created by romantic writers of the late 19th and very early 20th century. Yellowstone Park, for example, is completely unnatural as it is now because for centuries before it became a National Park+

      Guessing many of us here are very familiar with what has taken place in Yellowstone without a good predator/prey balance over the last 1/2 century or more.

      Honestly PW, don’t you really think it all boils down to mankind taking some sort of responsibility, at some point, for our unchecked, unconcerned “about anything else except ourselves” population growth? (whether its here or in Africa or the pitiful barren lands of Mongolia, where wildlife is still attempting to hang on regardless of poachers who could really give a rat’s ass about endangered species)

      PW – you are a fact finder and most of the time I love your input BUT I sit in an area that was once considered “pristine” and wild.

      Its now subdivided all the way up the valley with big, vacation homes and property “for sale” signs. They rim the once unpaved (but now paved) road running by my 50 year old cabin.

      Everytime that bulldozer or that backhoe comes in to clear the land for the most recent human owner, its a shift in whatever wildlife called home – habitat.

      Witnessing what’s happening here firsthand and its not much of a stretch to understand why wildlife populations are falling (and failing) here and elsewhere around the globe.

      • PointsWest says:

        Just because I don’t believe in the “pristine myth” does not mean I am not against habitat destruction. There are more colors in the universe besides black and white.

        • PointsWest says:

          ..also, one of the points I made was that humans created an enviroment favorable to bison (and subsequently wolves) by burning woodlands. From a bison’s perspective, humans improved the environment. “Pristine” in this context only means no-humans. It does not mean superior habitat. In fact, when you talk about superior or inferior habitat, you can only speak in terms relative to a species. What is good habitat for bison may not be good for Red Squirrels.

      • Elk275 says:


        ++They rim the once unpaved (but now paved) road running by my 50 year old cabin.++

        I wished the road from Polaris to Wise River was never built and the entire Pioneer Mountains were declared wilderness. But. The paving of that road has created the best road biking trip in Montana and one of the best in the nation.

        Mongolia, comment on it after you have spent a month traveling overland aross it’s deserts, mountains and forest. It is a place that you will always want to come back to.

        • SEAK Mossback says:

          Elk, its near the top of my list. Montana only exists in a few places in this world and I would like to see them all. Have already seen the country from Esquel up to Junin de los Andes, Argentina. A couple of photos I’ve seen of Mongolia sure looked like the Madison, except the fly fishermen were using prairie dog imitations.

        • Nancy says:

          I totally agree Elk. Its a beautiful area that should of been left roadless. But. It is getting a lot of attention. Last week we had 85 bicyclists come thru and then 2 days later, the annual Ratpod took place – 650 bicyclists. The vintage car clubs also love taking the “loop”

          I’ve heard though there’s nothing fun about moving cows thru a flock of bicyclists 🙂

    • JB says:

      “The “pristine myth” at Serengeti is already proving to be unsustainable after just 60 years!”

      “Sustainability” is a human concept. In reality populations in unmanaged (i.e., natural) systems fluctuate due to changing conditions. The concept of sustainability is only relevant when we talk about human extraction of resources–as in, human harvest is not sustainable.

      Yes, native peoples managed ecosystems in much the same way we manage them now, but that doesn’t mean that ecosystems do not function without human management (as implied by your original post)…they simply function differently. We could manage our Wildernesses in the West to promote growth in the elk population, artificially flood them and create wetlands that benefit other species, manage them for timber production, etc.; however, we (as a society) have chosen not to manage some systems to produce commodities–or rather, we have decided that there is value in having some lands where we do not force nature to do our bidding. While the notion that North America was a “pristine” wilderness prior to European colonization is certainly a myth, that does not diminish the concept of pristine wilderness as an ideal.

      • PointsWest says:

        I agree except that it is possible that humans have had a profound effect in some areas and that the flora and fauna that an area was once known for will disappear when you make it “pristine” by removing all the humans. The reason the Serengeti was chosen for conservation was because of the massive Wildebeest herds. Now that high minded humans have made it pristine by removing other humans (the Maasai) from most of it, the large Wildebeest herds the high minded humans sought to protect are under threat.

        The is also the question of scale. How much influence did humans have in the evolution of other species over the past few hundred thousands years? Maybe it was a lot. It is very striking that when humans migrated into North America that many or most of the native species of large mammals disappear and are supplanted by Asian imports. Bison, grey wolves, deer, elk, moose black bear, grizzlies, moose, fox are all immigrants. Mammoths, sloths, saber-tooth cats, dire wolves, horses, and several species of camel all disappear. Some is no doubt climate change. However, the change-out of species seems to have occurred everywhere, even right up to the melt waters of the glaciers.

        I post here several months ago and article that theorized the Great Plains had been created by humans and their habitual burming. The Great Plains are some swath of land and they supported a great number of animals. Also, if humans created something as large of the Great Plains, they may have had a very large impact in most of North American and nearly every species has evolved to depend on humand created environments.

        I would be interested to read if any other large prairies, like the vast Russian Steppe, may have been created by humans with fire.

        I think everyone agrees that humans have had a sigificant impact on life on earth for the past few hundred thousands years but it may be a very, very, large impact.

        • JB says:

          “The reason the Serengeti was chosen for conservation was because of the massive Wildebeest herds. Now that high minded humans have made it pristine by removing other humans (the Maasai) from most of it, the large Wildebeest herds the high minded humans sought to protect are under threat.”

          So you are insinuating that wildebeest population declines are due to lack of human management because of the intervention of “high-minded” humans who sought to protect them? According to the science I have read (and numerous conservation groups), wildebeest were protected in the Serengeti because their migration routes were being cut off throughout Africa by human populations (i.e., development and land conversion to agriculture) as well as poaching. So attributing population declines to lack of human intervention seems disingenuous?

  75. PointsWest says:

    From the Journals of Beaver Dick who lived in the Forks Country near present day Rexburg, Idaho.

    Aug 8, 1878: “I started for camp. Sun for hour high wen I raced out of the valley my house is in. I can see all over the Snake River Valley. I saw a big smoke 7 or 8 miles of me at the mouth of the Middle Fork. (aka Fall River) The smoke is about half way north to where the Nez Preces where last year. I drove to camp in a hurry. I saddled my hunter [horse] and took a loaf of bread in my containers and went up to Eagle Nest. (Eagle Nest is a ford on the Henry’s Fork near present day Parker, Idaho) Here I picketed my mare on an island and waited for dark. Then I went on foot keeping low to the ground to within a mile of where I saw the smoke. (Beaver Dick was rightly paranoid because the Bannock War of 1878 had broken out several weeks earlier and he assumed Bannock had started the fire.) I could make out nothing all day when I cautiously approached where the fire started. I thought 2 white men ad been camped with three horsed (he probably studied the tracks). Trappers or prospectors, and the wind ad started the big fire that is burning from their campfire. There is over a hundred miles aburning. It jumped the Middle Fork (aka Fall River) and is burning north and east.”

    If this fire was large enough to jump Fall River, it must have been a hell of a fire. Beaver Dick assumed it had been started by Bannocks which indicates that he believed Bannocks often started wild fires. Even thought this fire turned out to have been an accidental fire started by whites, it still shows the impact that humans and their fire have on the environment. Any culture with fire is bound to transform the landscape where they live even if by accident.

    If this large fire was heading northeast, it was headed for Yellowstone Park. Eastern Idaho, where this fire was, was prime bison habitat and was jealously guarded by the Bannock prior the bison being killed off by market hunters from Fort Hall.

    I have read of an even larger fire in eastern Idaho that burned up the valley in the same fashion around the turn of the century. It started southwest of Idaho Falls and burned up into Yellowstone Park. It may have been started by the Shoshone or Bannock.

  76. Immer Treue says:

    truthbetold/in reality, reality22

    You’ve has your 15 minutes of fame. Let’s
    see if I can remember that quote…

    It is with narrow souled people as with narrow necked bottles, the emptier they become, the more noise they make pouring it out.

    Tuck yourself into the comfort of your warm gun, the animals you have killed, beneath your Val Geist picture, hugging your copy of Will Graves tome Wolves in Russia, dreaming of Cat Ubrigkit, and fade away into the setting sun.

  77. Phil says:

    ma’iingan: Did you not read the part where I stated it came from one of the NRDC biologists who has a child in my classroom? I do not have her reports, but feel free to call the NRDC Michigan chapter. I would give you her email address, but people like you could be considered on the “weird” side.

    truthbetold: You keep using the SAME arguments in your posts. $86 is a price we have to pay for the health of ecosystems. We have to pay taxes no matter what, so some of that money goes to wildlife issues. As I stated before that you are not capable to understand, the wolf population in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota will wind down when they have reached the limit to affect the deer population. That has obviously not happened yet.

    Wolf population will increase off of predictions? It takes a prediction to come to that conclusion? Yes, when wildlife increases in population of species it will alter the human world. It is up to us as the “so called” intelligent species to find ways around their growth. The simple way is to kill, but what intelligence is formed by using those tactics? As I said, a biologist understands the fluctuation of population within species, and apparently you do not.

    Now you are putting words into my mouth truthbetold. I have agreed with killing wolves ONLY if it is a last resort in which they are problematic to livestock. I do not FULLY agree with this, but if it is the only possibility, then so be it. Keep up.

    Harley: This expedition has only 3 teams in it. I do not know what team I will be put in, but the groups are usually not to large. It is extremely exciting, but we will not (from my one and only previous August expedition) see to many wolves. I am not saying we will not see wolves, but we try to avoid any visual contact with the wolves as it may alter their current behaviors.

    • Harley says:

      Heh no… you’ll just be pack mules for lots of moose bones! ;-). It is very exciting though! You’ll have to contend with the mosquitoes, lucky you!
      Not sure about this year but I think there have been times when my friend has gone up in May and there’s been snow on the ground!
      My severe arthritis has kept me from participating in the expeditions but it hasn’t prevented me from following them and reading up on them. I’m finding it particularly fascinating with how the numbers are and how the genetics are playing out.

      • Phil says:

        Ya, they gave me a list of all the items I will need on the expedition which is a lot more then what I needed the last time. I need a new hand lamp, sleeping bag, off course mosquito repellent, small soap, extra clothes, etc. I would post all of them on here, but there are to many.

        How many times has your friend been up there? Here are the expeditions for volunteers who are needing the experience for their resumes
        Expedition #1: May 7 – 15, 2011
        Expedition #2: May 16 – 23, 2011
        Expedition #3: May 28 – June 5, 2011
        Expedition #4: August 5 – 13, 2011
        But, Rolf Peterson also does research in Jan and March with interns. Rolf is a great person and utilizes a lot of the tools that Dr. Mech uses.

        • Harley says:

          He’s been going for over a decade. Since… 97′? I think it’s been that long. I’d rather not mention names on here though. It’s one of the best experiences he’s ever had.

          • Phil says:

            No problem on not mentioning names. I am curious to see the pup survival from the two females on the island. That is another reason we are trying to avoid interactions with the wolves, because they face severe struggles in raising their pups and our presence may increase those struggles. Hopefully both the females bred and all the pups are still alive. I know you mentioned your arthritis, but hopefully some day you will get the chance to travel up to the island and observe the natural behaviors of the moose and wolves in person. It is spectacular.

          • Harley says:

            Yeah, it’s one thing to read about it, quite another to actually see it!.
            I really liked what you said, about opting for the control, not necessarily liking having to kill a wolf but when faced with certain circumstances, you are for doing what needs to be done. I think it’s also fascinating to see how different things are between the wolves in the Great Lakes region and the wolves in the Rocky Mountain regions. Somewhere in between the extreme positions of both sides I think is the truth.

          • Phil says:

            I would agree that somewhere between the extreme sides is needed. I would like to see no predators of any species killed through hunting, but if there is no other solution for problems that arise, then I would only agree with responsible killings of the problem wolves, not the hostile killings through hunts carried out by anti-wolf hunters.

    • ma'iingan says:

      “ma’iingan: Did you not read the part where I stated it came from one of the NRDC biologists who has a child in my classroom? I do not have her reports, but feel free to call the NRDC Michigan chapter. I would give you her email address, but people like you could be considered on the “weird” side.”

      Excuse me, Phil – but you really seem to have a chip on your shoulder for some reason. As I stated, I’m a wildlife professional and I’d like more information on the study you referred to – which I’ve never heard of. I don’t see anything “weird” about that – if you’re going to post excerpts from technical reports, you should be able to provide a reference. If not, you leave yourself open to questions of credibility.

      • Phil says:

        The study is in the NRDC. You are NO wildlife professional because you do not understand natural fluctuation of populations. No, what is weird is your take on realistic wildlife issues and your handle on people who oppose your views. I have spoken with Mrs. Joseph on many occasions, so why don’t you do the same by contacting the NRDC and speaking to them? Her report is in the files at the department, so get a hold of them and get the truth. There is no “excuse me” about it, do some work on your own and not just rely on what your self-centered buddies have to say. I am exposing myself to questions? Bring any question that is on your mind, I would be more then glad to answer them. By the way, what organization do you work for if you are a wildlife professional? Please be specific and I will do some of my own research on it.

        • ma'iingan says:

          Phil, your reply is just about what I expected.

          As for me, I prefer to not share details of my employment here. I don’t always agree with the policies of the agency I work for so I’d like to have the latitude to disagree publicly from time to time.

          Since you’re concerned with my credentials, I’ll tell you I’ve been with my agency for nearly 25 years, the last ten focused almost entirely on wolf ecology. Some of the folks on this site have probably read some of the research I’ve contributed to. Currently I’m trapping and collaring a few wolves for a collaborative study with another researcher – we plan to experiment with a Finnish variant on what we call RAG boxes here in the U.S. If we publish our findings I’ll post an actual link to the paper.

          • Phil says:

            ma’iingan: Your reply is exactly how I expected it to be. I gave you a direct answer but you have not provided me with one. If you were any wildlife professional you would know that not all reports are posted on the internet. As I stated, I received the information straight out of Mrs. Joseph’s mouth. I gave you her name and organization she works for, so it is up to you to do your part a get the truthful details yourself. I cannot post something that comes from her mouth or is stored in the database of NRDC. For you not to provide your organization tells me one thing only and that is you are not stating the truth. That is funny considering the two major wolf research experts in Michigan are Rolf Peterson (Isle Royale) and Dr. Foilke (Upper Peninsula). Dr. Foilke has stated in his research that only 5%-6% of ranchers are affected by wolves on a yearly basis. In 2010 47 farmers were affected by wolves, in 2009 it was 28 and in 2008 it was 34. If you want to back even further, back in 2005 it was 32. Can you not see a fluctuating pattern here. Here is a hint, if this was a bar graph the graphs would go up-down-up-down. We will see what it will look like for 2011 when the reports come out.

            The NRDC works with many wolf packs in Michigan, as does the DNR, and both see this behavior as being normal for the wolves and a population decrease sometime in the future. It is a prediction by them, but they also believe that when the wolf population reaches a maximum level then you will see a drop in the deer population followed by a drop in the wolf population. Again: Look at Isle Royale wolves. There are many factors to a roll-around population, but moose population is one contributor.

            The research I will be helping in in August is collecting bones of moose carcass’ killed by wolves. We are not going to do a wolf count because that is done in the winter expeditions, but we will do a moose count and determine their formations, sizes and quality of bones based on what we collect.

            Here is an email from Dr. Rolf Peterson for you:
            I am not familiar with many researchers in the state who work with wolves besides myself, Dr. Vucetich, Dr. Foilke. The NRDC works in some collaborative nature with wolves, but their main focus is ecosystems. I hope this helps.


            Don’t give your information if it is not truthful, ma’iingan, because you are just blowing your own horn. Good luck with that “paper” you claim you will write.

          • Phil says:

            I would like to ad this ma’iingan. There are 1.7-1.8 million deer in the state of Michigan (an increase from around 1 million in 2000). Many are in the north, so when the population there becomes overcrowded, where do you think some of the population will migrate to when there is no space? They cannot go north, east or west, right? The only other option is south to the central region of the state. More people are in the central areas, but there is still suitable habitats. When that population becomes crowded, then you will see more of a small population migrate further south. The human population is extremely crowded south of the state and habitats for deer are minimized, but some still take in these areas while the rest migrate further south into northern Indiana and Ohio. The population in Indiana becomes crowded and you see a small population of this overall population in Indiana move into Illinois. Why is that hard to believe? Isn’t what we are seeing with wolves in the NRM region?

            I will ad this again to you WM, your ego is getting annoying.

      • WM says:


        Verifiable facts with proper references have never been Phil’s strong suit. Commenting outside his pay grade is also a frequent occurrence here. It is one thing to be a volunteer field grunt. It is yet another to be a scientist.



        I have read the Duffield studies, and that was the reference to my earlier comment about the economist/mathematician. I stand by my statement about the right question at the heart of those studies has not been asked, much less answered. This wolf ecotourism number has been batted around, since his original work on the 1994 EIS, and it is fine the way he framed the question. He just didn’t ask the right one.

        Has there been and will there be wolf ecotourism? Sure, but it will likely not be the money maker at the magnitude some believe over the long term.

        I should add the Defenders 2012 calendar (my wife is a member), just arrived in the mail. It is all photos of wolves, with a little introduction by Jamie Rappaport Clark, the new head of the group. I think the wolf thing is getting overplayed to its own detriment (author Hal Herring certainly thinks so).

        • Phil says:

          Here we go with WM’s worthless and pointless butting in again. So, you did not read the article I posted yesterday regarding the $35 million? WM: As I stated, you continue working your prehistoric mindset on the way biology use to work and I will use the more modern methods. No, you stated that if there were no wolves that the $35 million would not altered by much even though the article states that since the reintroduction of wolves YNP has gained $35 million on a yearly average. But, the point was NOT on how much, I posted my comment based on anti-wolfers saying that Idaho, Montana and Wyoming do not receive much of that money when organizations that they rely on send a lot of their revenue to Washington for lobbyist purposes. You are a joke WM. You want to attack others who view differently then you, but do not understand just how bad your ego is. I will say this again, put out any topic and debate it with me. I beg you to.

          I think you are well overplaying your ego. I find that extremely annoying.

          • WM says:


            Attempting to debate you, as has been proven in the past, is like attempting to eat melting jello with a fork.

            And, by the way, Dr. Duffield et al., do not address how much of the $35M stays in the local/regional economy, as compared to how much goes to big vendors or large corporate interests out of state, which is very weak point of the study. So, if a wolf watcher stays at one of the YNP lodges run by Xanterra (a national park vendor, and actually the largest NP concessionaire in the country), where low wage earners cook the food and make the beds, how much of the money stays in the regional economy or goes to investors or company operations out of the region, or even to the federal treasury and not reallocated to Parks?

            Xanterra, ARAMARK and other vendors make no capital investment in the region, because the national park facilities they run are owned by the federal government. So, say somebody spends $250 per night for lodging and meals, about half that sum might go out of the region to pay corporate staffers, overhead and investor profit. Should the number be $35M to the “regional economy” or something substantially less? There is no break out of this. So the number is inflated, to some degree. How much, who knows? But some of it is definitely fluff.

            That is but one point. And yes, Phil I have in the past read the studies done by Duffield et al, which serve as the basis for my comments. You need to read my posts a little closer.


          • Phil says:

            WM: No one argued against whether or not all of the $35 million stayed for the states or went to Washington. You just typed a great load of information that did not rebuttal what I had said. ONCE AGAIN, my point was that here you have the anti-wolfers complaining that not all of the $35 million stayed for the states and very little of it did, and one of their own trusted groups dishes out around 70% to Washington for lobbying purposes. I NEVER said that ALL $35 million stayed for the states. You speculated something that was not true to attack someone you dislike because of their views. You are a laughable joke.

            ma’iingan did not post any sources I asked of him, so why did you not criticize his “verifiable” information? I did not ask his name, I just asked what organization he worked for and he refused to respond. You will not bring a topic to the table and debate because you are afraid of what you will find out of someone you believe to be less superior to you. I am not saying I have more intelligence on the topic, but I will not know because you keep avoiding it.

            Some of that money goes to vendors outside of the states. Yes they do, so? No one knows how much stays in and how much goes out. I agree, so? I mean, what purpose is your argument? You cannot have a rebuttal argument when the other side has the same view, can you?

          • Alan says:

            “Some of that money goes to vendors outside of the states.”
            Isn’t that true about any money spent by anyone anywhere? We live in a global economy. Even if some of that money only goes through the local economy, it still creates jobs.

          • Phil says:

            Also, to criticize me as a volunteer on field research truly shows that out-dated knowledge of yours. When you began your career 30-50 years ago experience was of no importance. As long as you were a hunter then you could get into the field of wildlife biology. Times have changed and being a hunter and knowing your way around the woods is of no use in earning this position anymore. A degree is basically essential (which I have), and experience is required by most. Where am I going to get this experience? Probably from volunteering with experts at the position, right? I made the choice of leaving my teaching profession at the end of this past school year to focus working with whatever I am capable of doing to earn a position in my new career path. Yes, the title is volunteering, but the volunteering is working with the experts (Dr. Peterson and Dr. Vucetich) to gather the experience I need to get into the field.

          • Daniel Berg says:


            I received a wolf-watching excursion in Yellowstone as a Christmas present. It’s not something I would have done on my own, but it was a well-intentioned gift and I appreciated it.

            For two days I believe it was around $1,000 with the guide and the top-notch scoping equipment. The fellow was nice enough to let me tool around with the equipment on my own in the evenings. I stayed in Gardiner at around $75/night. We ate in Gardiner and probably spent a total of $100 at dinners & on groceries. $75 fill-up. The total was approximately $1250 during the two days.

            I asked the guide how busy he was usually, and I believe he stated that he went out about 2 days a week on average.

            Obviously my trip means nothing in regards to the $35 million total, but it has given me a baseline for extrapolation. I would like to know how much your casual wolf-watcher spends at local businesses.

          • PointsWest says:

            The nice “scoping equipment” almost certainly came from Asia. The automobiles probably came from Asia as well. Even if they were American models, many of the components came from Asia. Nearly all electronics in all automobiles come from Asia.

            However, these are “owning costs.” Even if some guy operates a small logging company, he will finance his trucks and buy his chainsaws. The financing will come from out of state and the manufacturing of his equipment will be out of state or even out of country. These are all “owning costs.”

            It is “operating costs” that generally contribute to the local economy. For most businesses that we are talking about here, the operation costs are much, much higher. For the guide, his scoping equipment owning cost if amortized might be $100 per month. His auto payments might be $1000 per month if he has a couple of autos. But if he has three employees, they will cost something like $5 or $6 thousand per month.

            Unless a business is very capital inensive (which there is little of in the GYE), operating cost will always be much more than owning cost and most operating cost will be in salaries to locals.

          • WM says:


            ++I would like to know how much your casual wolf-watcher spends at local businesses.++

            So would I, because that is wealth creation that, for the most part, stays in the impacted community, possibly to a greater degree than the concessionaires. You nailed the issue, and to a certain degree so did Alan. The general impression of some who taut the $35M economic impact is that nearly all the money remains local without analyzing it further. It doesn’t. Do recall the Duffield study quoted ad nauseum by groups like Defenders and some here, uses the term benefit to the “regional economy.” The scoping equipment your guide used could have been purchased locally, or more likely from B&H in NY, or Cabelas, neither of which are local.

            Job/wealth creation (economists like to use these terms) from wolf watching in and adjacent to YNP is a great benefit, with no commensurate job loss – resulting in net gain. Will wolf presence and resulting commercial or incidental tourist watching result in NET job or wealth creation outside the YNP? Why should those who are in businesses that are impacted stand silent? Would anyone if you were to lose their livelihood and recreation opportunities?

            IDFG has lots of non-resident deer and elk tags right now, some possibly from the belief that the wolves have impacted success rates. Correct or not, it is the perception that counts and that has reduced Department operating revenues (the other parts are that they got greedy and raised the tag prices, and then there is the economy generally that has reduced discretionary income for some would be out of state hunters).

            By the way, Daniel, what a great Chrismas gift.

          • Alan says:

            In a way it’s really hard to shop locally, in the strictest sense of the word; and tourists, such as park visitors (wolf watchers or not), are far more likely to spend their money “locally” than locals are. That is, they are more likely to patronize local galleries or t-shirt or gift stores than locals.
            My wife is always saying how she would like to spend our money locally, but it’s just too expensive to do so. Most items from a small, locally run store are one and a half or two times more expensive (by necessity, because they lack the buying power) than from Wal-Mart or on-line. Have you ever tried to buy a book from a local bookstore and then checked it out on Amazon!? Same thing with camera gear from a local compared to B&H. There’s no contest.
            On the other hand, tourists don’t care that they could get a t-shirt or coffee mug cheaper at Wal-Mart. It’s a souvenir! And besides, they’re on vacation! Live a little; they’re already in spending mode! The same thing goes for eating out. My wife and I rarely eat out, and when we do it’d usually at a chain. For tourists, eating out is an every day affair. Also, more likely to try the local place. “We can get Micky D’s at home. This place looks interesting!! Let’s try them!”

          • JB says:


            How do you propose that they should have parsed out which dollars “stayed” locally versus those that “escaped” to the mean, money-grubbing corporations? Even if survey respondents spent money at WalMart (is there a WalMart in the GYE?), some of those funds go to sales tax, while others pay the salaries of employees who live locally. Even if they go to seasonal, non-resident employees, those employees themselves have to buy gas, groceries and pay sales taxes. How do you propose that they track these dollars? How long does a dollar need to “stay local” for it to count in the local column?

            Your continued criticism of the Duffield piece gives the impression of someone with an agenda, and it undermines your normal deference to scientists on these matters.

          • WM says:


            No agenda, just balancing the discussion, and trying to identify the things Duffield’s work does not address. The usual critical thinking stuff.

            I wanted to point out that the generalization used to describe the benefits derived from wolf tourism were more complex and less robust than some want to acknowlege, and to counter the one liners that get thrown out all the time about just how good wolf tourism is for the regional or local economy.

            You have probably heard of this, and maybe even studied it in grad level economics classes. There is a method, called an input output economic modeling which attempts to take a quantitive look at how $$ from goods and services flow into and out of a “region.” Because the wolf tourism numbers are so small in the context of a multi-state regional economy it is unlikely one could do a credible analysis and have any confidence in the result. Nonetheless acknowledging the concept and how it would apply is important.

            Input output analysis is a quantitative attempt to track money as it moves through a regional economy (even small regions) from industries, businesses and households as it assigns mathematical relationships between and among the different sectors.

            So, a tourist spends a dollar for goods and services at a business. An employee at that business is paid a wage, which is subsequently spent at other businesses in the area, or spent outside the area. Maybe it is a local business; or a national like WalMart (in which case alot of $$ leaves). Of course there are taxes, as you point out that get collected and redistributed, with some coming back. There is a multiplier effect for every dollar that stays home and continues to cycle through, rather than goes out of the region. Some goods, and services, by their nature are bought and sold outside the region, and if the dollars are brought in they are subsequently spent in or outside the region, again.

            This quantitative effort is reduced to a mathematical matrices and tables that show the relationship between the sectors, including imports and exports.

            This is all generalized, and I expect an economist would be all over me for description inaccuracies. For that I apologize. So, here is a link to a pretty good tutorial on how “input-output” modeling works.


            Again, it is the concept that is important – money in different sectors moving through the system creating jobs (or maybe eliminating others). Regional economic planners can use such things to better determine impacts to a local economy.

          • JB says:


            I took a look at the link you provided. I’ve never heard of the I/O method (but then again, economics never interested me in the least, so not surprising). It appears that this method requires secondary data sources that are not available in this case (as you alluded to in your post), so I am not even sure it is possible.

  78. Immer Treue says:

    truthbetold/aka reality 22,

    As you sail toward the setting sun on the strength of the winds of your solid arguments beware that you not fall into the sun’s inferno as your waxen wings of assumption, faulty analogy, and phwoooooosh, melt!

    Fare the well!

    • william huard says:

      Immer Treue-

      After dealing with people like Reality 22 for awhile you too will realize that it is pointless to debate people like him. Watch him and others like him self destruct when the Wolf Delisting Rider is rendered unconstitutional. The sky will fall, the world as they know it will fall apart when they cant kill wolves….. We will see the return of threats of illegal killing of wolves, SSS, gut shootin, and other non sensical rants of violence from these buffoons

      • truthbetold says:

        William Huard, You are correct there will be a complete melt down (and then some) when donnie molloy does his thing & legislates from the bench. You may be so gullible as to think that it will be good for wolves if Molloy ends the hunts this fall.

        It will only solidify the will of the people! Why is it that there isn’t the outcry for the Mexican wolves lately? It because you and your cohorts have dragged the animal through the mud & no state wants to touch them! You (anti-hunter anti-rancher) & only you are to blame for low moral for this animal!

        • Phil says:

          truthbetold: Yes, because that is your main agenda, right? The will of the people and helping ranchers is why you want to hunt wolves, right? We all know how TRUTHful that is.

        • IDhiker says:


          “The will of the people?” There are actually people that differ in opinion than you do. Molloy is hardly legislating from the bench. If he rules in your favor, he’ll be a great judge, if not, he’s an activist judge. He was “great” when he allowed the first hunt to go through.

          If Molloy rules against the rider, it may or may not be good for wolves. It certainly is not good for wolves now in Idaho. Possibly, an “unconstitutional” decision may cause both sides to come to a compromise. You’ll notice that even before Idaho “won” the delisting through the rider, they threw all compromise out the window. Basically, screw the opposition. They could have been generous victors, and agreed to a more (what wolf advocates would call) reasonably-sized wolf population, like IDFG had considered in the past of around 500 animals.

  79. Elk275 says:

    While those on here talked about wolves today. Here is my story. I was going to drive up the Ruby River and across the Gravely Mountains taking a hike somewhere on the top of the Gravely Mountains, but the Gravely Mountain road closures has been extended, until August 1, because of wet roads and a late snow pack. Therefore plan “B”. I returned down the Ruby River, through the Snowcrest Ranch and up Ledford Creek on the Robb-Ledford Wildlife Management Area.

    A rain strom had past through about 45 minutes earlier lasting less than a minute turning the road dust into little dirt balls. Due to a rough section, I stopped to see if I wanted to take my Forrester any farther. On the road bed, imprinted in small dust balls from the rain showers 45 minutes earlier were a large wolf and a smaller wolf track. I had missed them by less than 45 minutes.

    To all of you out there, shut the computer off and get outside and explore.

    • SEAK Mossback says:

      Elk, sounds like a great day. I went into town and watched the parade, visited, looked at the sand castles after they were judged (just before the tide took them away), and took in the dog frisbee catching contest — some real talent there. Took a soak in the hot tub overlooking the channel through a filter of trees just before dark and watched a 700 foot cruise ship with 3,000 passengers glide by all lit up with orchestra music playing, and wished them all a great trip.

      • Daniel Berg says:

        Ha! Judging by the dimensions of the ship, my mother in-law was probably on it. I’m sure your vantage point was much better than hers.

    • WM says:

      Elk & Seak,

      Sounds like you both had great days. I just returned from a week+ backpack trip up a couple of little explored river basins at the east flank of Olympic NP, finishing up Saturday. We were unable to get high as we wanted to go, because there was still snow in the high country, and surprisingly we ran into very few people on the trail until Saturday afternoon. Spent the night in Port Angeles above town, with views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the lights of Victoria and Vancouver Island. Wishing we could stay on the Peninsula another day, but realizing it is alot easier going against the holiday traffic, we were able to get on the ferry at Kingston immediately, and had a good spot to look to the east and get unimpeded views of Mt. Rainier and the Cascades still with remaining blankets of deep snow, under a deep blue nearly cloud free sky.

      Yesterday was spent cleaning up, and reassuring our golden retriever who gets freaked out from the loud fireworks in the city. This last part I could have done without, but hey its a celebration of Independence that thankfully allows us the kinds of conversations and idea exchanges we have here, warts and all.

    • JB says:

      The 4th was hectic for me, but I got up early this morning to kayak because I figured most folks would be sleeping in. The lake did not disappoint. I spent the morning in the company of blue herons, mute swans, and common loons–and even stole a decent photo or two! 🙂

    • SAP says:

      The Forester ought to carry you past the NF boundary there at Robb Creek. Past that, there are a couple steep rocky pitches headed up to the Notch where I wouldn’t take a vehicle I cared about. Nice country up there, eh?

      & you are correct. No good can come of arguing with people you’ve never met, over conflicts we have little or no control over. Get out there and “re-create” yourselves.

  80. Immer Treue says:

    ID Hiker,

    Reality 22 is a fairly notorious anti-wolf blogger. I’ll say this for him, he does bring up good arguments at times, and the little insight he gives about himself, seems like a decent person.

    That said, he jumps to conclusions without reading what someone says, and has a writing style that is tough to miss. I believe his first thread on the blog had to do with the predictabity of Wisconsin wolf depredation. WM wrote a short piece about bears the #2 impact on Wisconsin elk and wolves are number one. In typical reality 22 fashion, He did not see the wolves as number 1,and referred to WM’s statement as a lie.

    If you say anything negative about hunting, you are an anti-hunter. He uses an analogy far to often that wolves are like Michael Vick, among others. He is a cheerleader, as evident earlier.

    Online, he suggested to Offer financial help to a Wisc/Mich man convicted of poaching a wolf. His classic ***assumption***was when NewWest ran an article on the Middleton research on how changing climate was altering elk forage habits, I believe in Yellowstone. He did not like the results of the study and made a statement that it was probably funded by Ralph, and other environmental orgs. If he had taken the time to look up who funded the study, he would have seen that it was actually funded by many groups associated with being at least in part anti wolf, including one of which he (as stated on another blog somewhere) is a dues paying member, Safari Club International.

    I believe he has also gone by the name nowolves, and is one of those who only sees the negative side of wolves, killing all the deer, pet and livestock depredation(legit items of concern).

    Blah, blah, we all make mistakes. I guess it just reinforces how volatile the entire wol debate can be.

    • IDhiker says:

      Immer Treue,

      Thanks for the information regarding Reality 22. It’s good to know who you’re talking to, and where they are coming from.

      • CodyCoyote says:

        R22 is from Wisconsin , but has a family connection to and/or grew up on a ranch on the Stillwater River of southern Montana near Nye and Fishtail, which he still on occasion visits.

        He writes from Wisconsin. He is that most dangerous of opinionators…just enough informed to weigh in , but just as much misinformed so as to corrupt the discourse. Or as we mountain folk will analogize, he’s like a dumb ole pack horse…just smart enough to get into trouble but not smart enough to get out of it once there.

        His acerbic opinions have appeared in Wyoming papers, including my own hometown paper, under the same handle ‘ reality22’. He is virulent, and quite often misinformed but will never admit to it when challenged, resorting instead to aspersions and deflections. Wolves are his burning passion. The smell of burning pants prevails.

        Where have we seen those traits before?

        • Phil says:

          Ron Gillette? Sounds pretty similar to him.

        • william huard says:

          I have a suggestion for Reality22…. Maybe you can join the dimwit Tom Remington’s Black bear blowhard blog…. There are plenty of loons like farber and Barry boy…… You guys can panic each other into fits of hysteria with wolf conspiracy theories….think of the possibilities…. you can exchange rhubarb pie recipes….

        • IDhiker says:

          I wonder where in Wisconsin, because I grew up there as a kid before we moved to Montana in 1967. Well, we’ll see if he can admit a mistake – I conceded one I made to him. Your description reminds me of my father-in-law (my wife would agree).

        • truthbetold says:

          As an old mule abuser once told the masses “This is not about me” it’s about how Molley will legislate from the bench!

          There were at least two items above that are not true & way off course about r22. I’ll let you figure that out!

          Immer, one thing I know about r22 writing style, he does not spell check and or sentence structure check some of his post (especially post that are checked by the professor) for he knows how much you like it.

          william huard/dewey: Why is it that others have asked if they can “re-post” some of r22’s blog posts … ones with facts etc. You may see more of r22 than is really there! He may not read/research all the blogs to the fullest but he has read enough of some to catch others in deception at its finest.

    • jon says:

      immer, I believe he also posts as a guy named MIsingleshot.

  81. WM says:


    With the important hearing before Judge Molloy but a few days away (sorry I can’t recall the exact dats), are all the major relevant court paper posted for this proceeding?

    Thanks again for doing this.


July 2011


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

~ Edward Abbey

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