Reverb: Activists Take Over Oregon Cattleman’s Association Meeting and Call Attention to Anti-Wolf Legislation

Editors note 5:30 PM MST 2/22/2012: we have learned that this “wolf kill bill” will probably move no further in the Oregon Legislature — it is probably dead for the year, though it is possible that legislative “tricks” could possibly push it further. 

Full release:

Activists Take Over OCA Meeting and Call Attention to Anti-Wolf Legislation

Corvallis, OR – On Friday, February 10th, activists from both Seattle and Portland Animal Defense League and Cascadia Earth First! infiltrated the spring board meeting of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association to confront the group on its anti-wolf propaganda and recent Oregon House Bill 4158.

Starting last week, the Oregon Legislature began reading and hearing arguments on HB4158, colloquially known as the “Wolf Kill Bill.” This bill, a brainchild of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, would circumvent the state’s Endangered Species Act, declare a state of emergency, and streamline the killing of wolves for the supposed benefit of the ranching industry.

For over one hundred years, ranching special interests have been scapegoating wildlife in general and wolves in particular, leading to the total extermination of wolves in the lower 48. Since the return and reintroduction of wolves into the Rockies in the mid-90s, ranching lobbyists have been obstructing ecological balance and healthy wolf recovery through every avenue possible. Now almost two decades later, Oregon has 29 wolves being labeled an emergency and threatened with imminent death. Idaho and Montana have killed collectively almost 300 wolves in a public hunt aimed at eradicating the Northern Rockies population. The Great Lakes wolf population has been stripped of federal protection and is now in the sights of hunters for the first time in 30 years.

This modern reincarnation of anti-wolf sentiment and extermination can be sourced to the prominence of the ranching industry and its presence in state and federal legislatures. Organizations such as the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association are the backbone of the anti-wolf movement.

“The OCA needs to be held responsible for the plight of wildlife due to welfare ranching. They need to be held responsible for the plight of wolves,” says Justin Kay of the Animal Defense League. “The vast majority of Oregonians applaud the return of wolves as a welcome homecoming and their sentiments stand in stark contrast to this hysterical legislation in Oregon’s House right now.”

Portland activists infiltrated the OCA’s Spring Quarterly Meeting to disrupt sessions dealing wolf policy and publicly confront Rod Childers, OCA’s Wolf Task Force chairman. Activists occupied the conference room holding a banner reading, “Welfare Ranching Destroys Wildlife” and were forced out after shedding light on the destructive nature of ranching for both “livestock” and wildlife.

A woman in the crowd can be heard saying, “Nobody’s listening to you guys.”

I beg to differ.  I heard something about, “Polluting the Land, Polluting the Water, Profiting off the Animal Slaughter!”

Is that what you heard ?  That’s totally what I heard.

Listen …



  1. Nancy Avatar

    I heard it too Brian – Loud and clear!

  2. rork Avatar

    I’m on their side, but “aimed at eradicating” and “stripped” are over the top. Perhaps all is fair if you are appealing to the rabble, but it makes them sound unscientific. Perhaps I am unrealistic to think a middle ground, where not a single one of us gets our way, is possible. It’s what I’m hoping for in great lakes area. I’ve been trying to play up “if we mismanage, we will loose the privilege to manage, again”. Our anti-wolf folks aren’t too fond of any gummint telling them what to do, but federal is considered worse than state.

    1. Immer Treue Avatar
      Immer Treue

      That’s what it has come down to in this country. There is no middle of the road anymore, even though most people are in the middle. Wolves:150; 350; 1600. All minimums, if the pols get there way.

    2. Salle Avatar

      I don’t beg to differ with your assertion that those “terms” are over the top”.

      Makes me wonder how long you’ve been paying attention to this issue. These cads have no intention of having anything to do with the science of the matter, science is BS to these guys so the best way to get their attention would be direct, nonviolent actions including this kind.

      “if we mismanage, we will loose the privilege to manage, again”

      totally missed the urgency of this issue.

  3. somsai Avatar

    At first I thought this was an attempt at humor. “polluting the land, polluting the water, blah blah blah, animal slaughter”

    Along with the over the top rhetoric, no wonder the ranchers are making headway. Who wants to be associated with nutters.

    1. Salle Avatar

      These protesters aren’t “nutters”; it’s the audience that fits that description with their “over the top” insistence of retaining their sense of entitlement.

  4. Anthony Criscola Avatar
    Anthony Criscola

    Somsai, I think you’re calling the wrong people nutters when it has been well documented that wolves have minimal impact
    with respect to livestock losses.

    1. william huard Avatar
      william huard

      Somsai relates well to nutters. Just read his posts. These cattlemen for a hundred years have created this hysteria to try and drive their point home- that the sky will fall if they can’t kill wolves that “probably” killed their livestock. A probable wolf kill is an unconfirmed kill. To a rancher and several people on this forum- that’s good enough! Wolves were seen a mile away. As if we should trust the outfitter Nash and his wife who is always blabbing on their facebook site about wolves “destroyin” their livlihood…..Over 29 wolves? Really? How many thousands of cattle do they lose due to unrelated cost of doing business?

    2. somsai Avatar

      Anthony I’ve no idea wolves impact. I do know that one can statistically make anything one wants, and that 5 people busting into a meeting and shouting doesn’t do much nor does over the top hyperbolic of press releases.

      One thing I do know, forcing an issue on a people is a bad idea, doesn’t work. How many minds were changed with that tantrum?

  5. WM Avatar

    The problem with these kinds of radical obstructionist disruptions of member meetings, with bullhorns, loud obnoxious chants and banners, is that they do nothing except strengthen the resolve of their oppossition to go forward with the anti-wolf legislative proposals.

    Some rancher who can afford it will dig a little deeper in their pockets for some cash, and others will make phonecalls (they probably would not have otherwise), retelling the story about the loud disruption of their meeting by a bunch of anarchists. They will dredge up a bunch of other stuff (doesn’t even need to be true) that feeds the fire to make these legislative changes happen.

    Put another way, these stupid little turds prove up exactly what they are – insurrectionists who have not a clue how to get things done to advance their cause. Cascadia Earth First, well now there is a group to admire (NOT!)

    Sure not a way to find the middle ground.

    1. Doryfun Avatar

      There have been many scientific studies that show that trying to convince people of anything against their view only causes them to dig their trench deeper.

      Why use a methodology that only entrenches the divide deeper? It seems merely to serve as a testimonial to show those who are not really interested in increasing their chances to arrive at a better result or solution more favorable to their side.

  6. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    I have attended meetings on wolf management and the nutters that show up to intimidate and disrupt are the anti-wolf kind.
    It looks like the anti-wolf cowboys in Oregon are getting treated the same way they treat pro-wolf folks.
    What goes around comes around.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar

      It’s true in my experience that there have been a lot more meetings where livestock interests and those involved in related activities have showed up at public meetings and disrupted the proceedings with name calling, threats, slurs against those who disagree with them, talk about their guns, etc.

      This is news because of its rarity.

      1. WM Avatar


        I don’t think the tactics of the Earth First types are rare at all. They pull this stuff all the time. Just go to the Cascadia Earth First website, and you will see it first hand. They are proud they disrupt hearings, meetings with government officials,stop projects, or limit access to public buildings by chaining themselves to by the neck (while maybe not fully clothed) and all of this interspersed with the light, we’re in your face attitude so common of twenty something activists.

        But, unfortunately there is considerable symmmetry in the polar views of some advocates and the anti crowd, and the manner they express themselves in public forums.

      2. Daniel Berg Avatar
        Daniel Berg

        There are parallels between this type of activity on both sides of the spectrum. Just go to a WDFW hearing in Colville, WA and the subject will quickly turn from wolves to some secret UN agenda, and loudly.

        The problem with some of these cattleman’s groups, is that they seem to take the most hardline route by default. I don’t know if it happens through bullying, peer-pressure, or what, but their seems to be a disconnect between some ranchers and these cattleman’s groups. I’ve talked to ranchers, heard talk through the grapevine, and seen comments on this forum from ranchers that are not in line with the positions these groups take.

        It would be interesting to know more about the internal dynamics of cattleman’s associations from state to state.

    2. Salle Avatar

      Amen, Larry.

  7. somsai Avatar

    Slightly off topic but I’ve been trying to find out why wolves were reintroduced in the first place. No I’m not joking, just new to the entire wolf management or not issue. The best source I’ve come up with is US F+W
    There seems to be no definitive statement there, not that they need a reason, I’d think species diversity would be enough. Not looking to sidetrack discussion, just a little help in studying.

    Thanks and apologies for the sidetrack.

    1. WM Avatar


      This is the best summary on the entire NRM wolf reintroduction I have seen, and it includes reference links. Pretty well done substantively, though the author jumps back and forth on the timeline, which makes it a bit tough to read.

    2. rork Avatar

      I know Northern Rockies is meant, but: in Michigan most folks think there was never reintroduction, just recolonization, but in fact 4 wolves were moved in 1974 (but all were killed by humans). My favorite unbelievable fact is that we had bounties til 1960, but completely protected them just 5 year later. We are dolts.,1607,7-153-10370_12145_12205-32569–,00.html

    3. Salle Avatar

      May I invite you to peruse the “archives” link on this blog, Ralph has chronicled the history of the wolf reintroduction since it’s inception.

      There’s plenty to read there, I suggest you start at the beginning.


      You could just get hold of a copy of Carter Niemeyer’s book:

      Wolfer: A Memoir


      Available at Amazon.

  8. Cindy Avatar

    Back on topic – One of the rudest things I’ve seen is when our local outfitters association showed up at Carter’s talk and book signing here in Jackson a couple of months ago. He wasn’t 10 minutes into his talk when they started raising their hands, interrupting, whining about his inaccurate elk numbers, etc. It was an embarrassment to say the least. Result, Carter has so much experience with this type of outburst, he had us back on subject in no time. Same scenario at the Game and Fish meeting and at our meeting with Steve Ferrell from the Governor’s office. And more rudeness this weekend driving by the 100+ folks wolf watching by the Elk Refuge, honking, yelling, loud trucks etc. Sorry but I haven’t seen that kind of behavior from our conservation groups who were at all of these functions as well.

  9. Brian Ertz Avatar

    Perhaps it’s easy to justify the notion that “science” or statesmanship is more legitimate or constructive than the legitimate expression of outrage. I especially notice that sentiment coming from folk whose fidelity to their own comfort and sense of ‘statesmanship’ self-importance has stood in the way of their integrity and accurate articulation of truth for many years. Shame on you too.

    For my part – I think holding our hopes on dispassionate articulation of “science” (whatever that has come to mean) and personal commitments to keep cordial, or inventing and advocating for some ‘middle ground’ has been a miserable failure for wolf-advocates. We’ve put up good-faith compromises for years – and had them jammed every time – usually used against us in pulling for even more outrageous ground by the Anti’s. It’s likewise shameful to look down at your nose at those who care enough to venture into the belly of the beast and come closer to the truth than those who purport the efficacy of dispassionate delivery have in keeping their comfort.

    Both are important at different levels of the approach. Science and statesmanship are extremely important and contribute an incredible amount. But it’s less likely to inspire and to galvanize action.

    The middle ground doesn’t exist – I think people too often project that notion onto the reality of a much wider swath of apathy and ignorance. We need to acknowledge that wolf-advocates who walk out in front of the public with ‘middle-ground’ solutions to irrational problems legitimize the absurdity of anti-wolf claims and send the message that what we value isn’t important enough to insist upon with integrity and conviction.

    Maybe it makes us feel better standing idly by as these anti-wolf interests are granted disproportionate influence by decision-makers, a fact that assaults those values we as wolf-advocates hold dear. But breaking that arrangement up isn’t going to happen by exuding a dispassionate acceptance. Anti-wolfers did not elbow themselves into positions of influence by making dispassionately articulated rationales substantiated by science. Just the opposite. The space for all of that needs to be cleared and it is dramatically important that the truth be known and illuminated.

    Perhaps the anti-wolfers have a thing to teach us about passion and conviction – about political efficacy – perhaps fostering advocacy circles/networks where those attributes are celebrated and cultivated would be more productive that bitching and whining, imagining middle-ground while standing comfortably and that high-ground we’ve cleared out for ourselves on the continued exercise of impotent expediency.

    If a situation is wrong – it shouldn’t be comfortable.

    These folk have my admiration and respect.

    1. Daniel Berg Avatar
      Daniel Berg

      I don’t think it’s shameful to look at these types of tactics and the forum they choose to deploy them in and make an honest critique of their effectiveness. It’s not necessarily fair to assume that someone who criticizes the actions in this clip is doing it from his/her armchair.

      It’s not a matter of insulting them; I appreciate seeing people realize how important these issues are and getting active. I’ve often thought about what I, and the groups I give time/money to can do to “galvanize” more support for conservation issues.

      Cattleman’s associations are obviously lobbying groups. There’s nothing to be accomplished other than getting in the room and letting them know how angry you are. If it makes the party crashers feel better, then so be it, but I don’t see any net gain for the cause. Personally, if they were going to go to the trouble to enter that meeting, they could have refined and expanded on the message to sound more informed without giving away any of the passion in the message. You could feel the momentum slipping from their message about halfway through the clip.

      This situation we find ourselves in as “conservationists” isn’t about right and wrong, it’s about money and power. Right and wrong is subjective. I understand that the people who I have so much contempt for probably believe without question that they are in the right on these issues. The discussion about right and wrong is not as important to me as the discussion of how to take some of the power away from the people who want to use the resources we hold so dear as a personal latrine.

      As far as finding the middle ground, I don’t know if you can use it as an all-encompassing scapegoat for advocates losing ground on the wolf issue. As upopular as it is with some folks, deferring idealism to an overall effective strategy can potentially yield better long-term results. You’re not always giving ground when it looks like you’re giving ground.

      If you want to go into the “belly of the beast” I’ll gladly go with you if there’s ground to be gained, but I don’t believe what I saw in the clip will achieve tangible results.

    2. Doryfun Avatar


      “Perhaps it’s easy to justify the notion that “science” or statesmanship is more legitimate or constructive than the legitimate expression of outrage. I especially notice that sentiment coming from folk whose fidelity to their own comfort and sense of ‘statesmanship’ self-importance has stood in the way of their integrity and accurate articulation of truth for many years. Shame on you too.”

      Isn’t this paragraph like riding the back of a rather high horse, in itself?

      “For my part – I think holding our hopes on dispassionate articulation of “science” (whatever that has come to mean) and personal commitments to keep cordial, or inventing and advocating for some ‘middle ground’ has been a miserable failure for wolf-advocates.”

      Just because some one doesn’t jump up and rant and rave, doesn’t mean they are not passionate about their views.

      “It’s likewise shameful to look down at your nose at those who care enough to venture into the belly of the beast and come closer to the truth than those who purport the efficacy of dispassionate delivery have in keeping their comfort.” Closer to the truth?
      Both are important at different levels of the approach. Science and statesmanship are extremely important and contribute an incredible amount. But it’s less likely to inspire and to galvanize action.”

      I’m not sure I agree with that last statement: galvanize action is not the same thing as finding the best solution for any problem. It may also mean just inciting more fire for combatants. More bullets.

      “Perhaps the anti-wolfers have a thing to teach us about passion and conviction – about political efficacy – perhaps fostering advocacy circles/networks where those attributes are celebrated and cultivated would be more productive that bitching and whining, imagining middle-ground while standing comfortably and that high-ground we’ve cleared out for ourselves on the continued exercise of of impotent expediency.”

      Politcal efficacy? Again, big question there. Just because those that seek less pomp and circumstance in trying to find good solutions to problems does not mean that the middle ground, (that doesn’t exist?) is settled for or is of impotent expediency. No matter how radical each side, there is always a middle ground, it does exist, because it is defined by the polarity of the two opposites. That does not mean that middle ground is the solution to a problem, as often it is not. But, it seems more reasonable to find better solutions with calmer minds, than two sides jumping up and down shouting at each other. As mentioned before, scientific studies that show that trying to convince people of anything against their view only causes them to dig their trenches deeper. My guess is that ranting and raving will only make the problem worse. Not better. Is that enough fire for you?

      1. Doryfun Avatar


        As another example: if I invited you to ride in a boat through a difficult class V rapid, with two options. One is with a guide who is overly excited, running around like a chicken with its head cut off, worried sick about making the run, compared with another guide nervous about the run, but is calm, cool, collected, and confident about making a good run, who would you choose to ride with? It is hard to jump on any kind of ship when it is ran by a ranting and raving crew.

        1. Daniel Berg Avatar
          Daniel Berg

          Don’t mistake confidence for craziness though. I did with our guide on the South Fork of the Skykomish here in Washington and ended up having to pull her back into the raft by her boots in the middle of a class IV – V.

          1. Doryfun Avatar


            There are only two kinds of whitewater guides, those that have flipped and those that are going to flip (if you tackle hard waters long enough). Nature rules, no matter the confidence level. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

            You didn’t provide enough information to help decipher if the gal was crazy or not. Did she run the same line as other guides? How did she act before the run? What kind of boots did she have on? Just because she went out of the boat, does not mean she is crazy. However, if she had hip boots on, that might be an indication of such.

            My point is that controversial issues is more about statistics and the better odds at getting good solutions. Confrontational, in your face rhetoric solves what? Fighting fire with fire burns more ground. Eye for an eye leads to blindness. The road to hell is paved over with good intentions. My question is which is more counterproductive and which is more likely to gain better results??

    3. rork Avatar

      “Anti-wolfers did not elbow themselves into positions of influence by making dispassionately articulated rationales substantiated by science.”
      No they didn’t, that is why being passionate, but rational will work against them. Action is good, but claiming every anti-wolf view is irrational or absurd will not get traction where I live (MI). The situation is perhaps different here, with greedy hunters and nervous pet-owners being more of a problem than a monied animal industry. Way-out druids don’t work on them. Quite the opposite.

    4. Brian Ertz Avatar

      i’ve spent a number of years dealing with this issue from the political angle.

      working with wolf-advocate professionals content to apologize, ask please and take their corner – over and over and over – i’ve considered throwing in the towel on many occasions. i mean jesus – doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results …

      how are compensation programs looking now-a-days ? that was supposed to take time too right ? just keep cutting the checks with a smile, and eventually – the hard work will pay off.

      it’s the same argument.

      perhaps its best for folks like me – who show up to the meetings/hearing year after year, who spend time on the landscape, who oversee public land uses that conflict with wolves’ persistence, etc. etc. etc. to just walk away from the issue.

      i’m not interested in the commercial industry end of it – maintaining the market share – and if folk were really honest, that’s what drives these decisions more than political expediency or conservation effectiveness: branding.

      besides, it’s grazing issues that matter anyway, in the bigger picture.

      but then – watching things like this rejuvenates my conviction.

      1. Daniel Berg Avatar
        Daniel Berg

        The decision by some groups to walk away from the delisting lawsuit was a complete failure. It was made out of fear that they had overplayed their hand. The whole play reeked of fear and it was obvious to every one. Anti-wolfers treated the situation with the contempt that it deserved. DOW & others should have realized they were already pot-committed at that point.

        I agree with you that grazing is what matters. It’s why I’ve supported WWP. You found a conduit that will eventually force change on the industry (I hope). There aren’t many ways to kindly ask someone to change a behavior that they believe provides for and protects their financial interests.

        For me it isn’t a choice between one- liners in a Cattleman’s Association meeting and kowtowing to curry favor from anti-environmentalists. It’s ultimately a decision of what activity will yeild the best results. I can certainly understand how someone could get to the point where they were willing to support all manner of abrasive activities out of frustration, however.

  10. Cindy Avatar

    Hi Brian – I agree with what you are saying. I get so mad at myself when I review by behavior after the fact. I have the wind taken from my sails, and I collapse! Now get me in a room with my friends whom share my beliefs and passions and I’m all “speaker of house”. I am going to make a new goal for myself in 2012. I know the facts, I know the science and I know my beliefs, I am also able to speak well and now is the time to speak up! Thank you for the reminder.

  11. nabeki Avatar

    I thought it was great to see the tables turned for a change.I’ve been to wildlife meetings where the radical haters yell and shout from the back of the room, trying to intimidate people. I wonder how they like it??

    1. Paul Avatar

      I look at this two ways. Although I support 100% the stance that the pro-wolf groups are taking, I am not so sure that this is the way to go. It lowers us to their standards.

      On the other side sometimes the voiceless must be heard. In Wisconsin they have each spring a gathering that is sponsored by the state called the “Conservation Congress.” Really it is just a platform to vote for the expansion of hunting and trapping in the state. Their name should be the “Killing Congress.” A couple of years ago they voted to shoot feral cats, and this year they are voting to blast sandhill cranes. This is held in each county in the state, and is completely dominated by hunter/trapper interests. The attendees come dressed in their camouflage garb and shout down any viewpoint that they do not share. If this doesn’t smack of intimidation, I don’t know what does. Maybe sometimes it is good to fight fire with fire with these people.

      I do think that the groups got what they set out for: attention. This can be good because it makes others aware of the issue. It can also be bad because no amount of protests are going to change the minds of the anti-wolf zealots. I would like to see the same passion against the anti-predator thugs here in Wisconsin though.

    2. WM Avatar


      Exactly what was accomplished by that little stunt? It was the opposition’s forum, the Cattleman’s Association, a membership meeting. Do you honestly think anyone in there had their mind changed in favor of the view of the meeting crashers? Maybe it made them feel good to stand there with a bullhorn, yelling and being obstreperous, but I assure you it achieved nothing positive, and probably something tangibly negative.

      As for the anti’s that act rude in a public hearing/meeting that is entirely a different forum, with a different purpose. I find any bad behavior like that distasteful regardless of the particular view being made and if outside the decorum of the forum they should shut the hell up until it is their turn to speak, or be physically removed from the meeting. Those running the meeting should take precautions to make sure they can actually run it, including drawing on whatever security is required. And, for the record, I find the wearing of cowboy hats or ball caps during a meeting to be annoying (just a nitpicking gripe).

      1. Salle Avatar

        Yeah, and I have also been to hearings, with a Senator and advisor to a Cabinet member present and the security did nothing about the sidearms in the room, those on folks without badges. And their intent was to intimidate, period, with the blessing of the Senator and the gov’s peeps.

    3. Salle Avatar

      I’ve been to many and some will follow you to your car and threaten you all along the way, they pass by your house if they can find out where you live, and then been told by authorities that they can’t do anything about it if I was willing to “shoot my mouth off” in public then I probably deserved the harassment in their minds. Oh yeah, and because I’m not male.

      And some, like the illustrious state rep. Lenore Barrett who will stand in a spot such that she can lean out and get in a posture as though she might slap you on your way to the microphone at some of the hearings. Nice stuff, huh? One small but loud interruption of their little “waterbuffalo” gathering is a small price to pay in the realm of karma, I think.

      Bravo to the protesters and their gumption to face these unAmerican clowns. If they don’t want dissent, which is our responsibility as well as our right, THEY can go someplace else. This is still America and we will fight for it to remain America in the homeland because it is ours too and they are dead set on destroying it. H. D. Thoreau might’ve been proud of these guys.

      1. WM Avatar


        You do realize this was a private meeting of the Cattleman’s Association Board of Directors, yes?

        I highly doubt Thoreau would have advocated such a party crashing. It would be very much like some dimwit like Rockhead and a bunch of his goons swooping down on Ralph’s Wolf Foundation or a Western Watershed Project board meeting and being disruptive.

        Would you, or anyone else commenting on this thread, find that acceptable?

  12. nabeki Avatar

    Oh there you are WM, waiting to pounce. You know what it did? It made me feel good. I liked seeing them getting it thrown back in their faces for a change. I’m sick of these people, I’m sick of reading about dead wolves, I’m sick of the cattle industry thugs who are behind the killing of our predators. So yeah,I liked it and I’ll post it on the blog tonight!

    1. Salle Avatar

      “So yeah,I liked it and I’ll post it on the blog tonight!


  13. Sawtoothian Avatar

    I don’t necessarily agree with the tactics of these guys.. However, why are these cattle ranchers always so freaking old? It’s like a convention for the old angry guys still trying to go back to the 1800s when they were born.

    1. Ken Cole Avatar

      You should have been at the Idaho Statehouse this afternoon. Cowboys had invaded the place in force.

      1. Larry Thorngren Avatar

        Idaho cowboys are free to come to the statehouse because most of them are hobby ranchers. They have wives that bring home the bacon as school teachers, USFS secretaries etc. These guys ride around pretending they are macho John Wayne types, but if their wives quit working at outside jobs, their ranches would soon be up for sale.

      2. Sawtoothian Avatar

        Their type is kinda laughable. Always wearing the fashion type that went out in the 1800’s, and they still act like the rest of the country is still stuck in those times.

        I’ve never seen a culture more devoid of reality than these groups. They expect everyone to just kow-tow to them as well.

        I just saw that Siddoway got his little bill past. There’s another example. Talk about a bill straight out of the middle ages. What the hell? Live dogs for bait? Come on man.. this is just ridiculous.

        These cowboys are always at war with the present that is trying to become more humane and more evolved. They hate vegans, they hate those that live light on the land. They hate they hate they hate. What gives with these groups? It’s just amazing how they are basically proud to be the equivalent of the taliban of the United States.

        1. Salle Avatar

          Or at least upon the landscape….

        2. william huard Avatar
          william huard

          If Salazar had any guts at all you would think he would call Butchie Otter and tell him if they keep up with these ridiculous anti-wildlife hate bills they will be in danger of losing wolf management. The FEDS look inept

    2. Paul Avatar

      I have to agree with you on that. These white old farts always seem to be angry about something. You would think that they would have chosen a different line of work if ranching makes them so pissed off all the time. Maybe they have hemorrhoids from all that time out there “ridin’ the range” and that is why they are so pissed off all the time. 🙂

      1. Salle Avatar


        In reality, these guys rarely do any actual range-riding that might cause them anal discomforts…

        And as far as them taking up another livelihood, they might actually have to go into some line of work that has some level of accountability… they’d never survive there. As long as they have the politicians embedded in their “church of holy rancher” they don’t have to worry about those pesky expectations of accountability and initiation to the 21st century. Maybe it is the hat…

  14. Nancy Avatar

    The article is a a bit dated (and a bit biased 🙂 and may have been posted here when it first came out, but one paragraph stood out:

    “From the beginning, it was clear that the resurgent wolf population would need at least the threat of legal action to survive. Many of the West’s cattle and sheep ranchers and hunters still hail the extermination of the region’s original wolves (the last were slaughtered in a Yellowstone den in 1926) as the best way to deal with top-level predators that compete with human beings”

    “Compete” with human beings?

    “Trying to survive” with human beings, would of been a better choice of words.

  15. Larry Thorngren Avatar

    Years ago, I met one of those Earth Firster guys. His said his name was David and he was proud of pounding spikes into trees he wanted to save.
    I could see him putting spikes (bullets) into cows, a sort of Earth First SSS anti-cow program of Shoot, Smile and Shutup.

  16. Anthony Criscola Avatar
    Anthony Criscola

    We know that these old fart ranchers have no scientific basis for their persecution of wolves, but they always seem to win Why is that? We’re on the right side of the wolf wars, but always seem to be losing.

    1. Mal Adapted Avatar
      Mal Adapted

      Isn’t is clear that anti-wolfers, by and large, are motivated by fear of losing money? Money is a powerful motivator for politicians, too. That’s what conservationists are up against. We’re not in it for the money, so politicians tend not to take us seriously. The best we can do is try to get public sentiment, and votes, on our side.

      I wish I knew how.

  17. Louise Kane Avatar

    Brian, these groups have my admiration and respect also. Its interesting to note that this particular piece of legislation appears to be dead for now. One can only hope that it died because people like Portland Animal Defense League and Cascadia Earth First made a ruckus and brought attention to the issue.

    I don’t believe that the majority of people in the US (outside of the western states) know that wolves are being hunted (exterminated) with traps, snares, helicopters and anything else these states can think of to kill them with. Its difficult to comprehend that we could take a single species off the ESA using a non germane rider, start killing them immediately and ruthlessly, kill and propose to kill off all but 400 in three of our largest states in the US. How could we allow this to happen? Its such bad policy, bad science, bad precedent, it defies description. Its so horrific that when I talk to people about it they are disbelieving.

    Its no time to be nice, quiet or politic about this issue. Its been tried, it did not work. I am disgusted by the relative silence on this issue in the media. If it takes some disruption in a cattleman’s association meeting to gain media attention, then we need more of that. Our politicians need to stop pandering to, and perpetuating a culture of fear, ignorance and bias against wolves and wildlife. Its time to speak up loudly and repeatedly. The western states, sadly, are proving that they can’t be trusted to manage wolves.
    We need a zero tolerance for molesting wildlife, for putting entire species and ecosystems at risk through human intolerance, and for allowing special interest groups to dictate wildlife policy and eliminate predators and wolves from the western landscape.

    What century are we in?

    1. somsai Avatar

      Holly Molly! “Molesting” wild life? I’ve seen plenty of photos of Birkenstockians licky licking some “rescue” pups, are they molesting them now? Where’s that Rick Santorum when you need him?

      No one cares about some wolf issue, too many years of crying wolf. It’s been done. Most editors are good for one wolf story a month max, and that Lonely Pup Goes to CA is a heck of a lot better for the Sunday edition than a Bloody Gunner Shoots From Chopper one.

      “How could we allow this to happen?” Remember all the meeting half way stuff y’all refused to do back when the USF+W first wanted to take wolves off the ESA? That would have been an excellent time to be reasonable and cooperative. Find the least onerous methods of removing wolves (yes that means kill) I’ll give another unsolicited piece of advice. It’s not up to you to allow or not allow. The people in each individual state decide how they are going to manage wildlife. You all have been throwing temper tantrums for fifteen years, how is it working?

      Good science, good politics, good policy, get over it.

      1. Salle Avatar

        Yikes, somsai,

        If you really believe that line of crap you just posted, you need to get outside in the fresh air and get a good dose of reality. Obviously you have not been paying attention, or only watching your preferred talking heads on the TeeVee.

        If that’s all you care to use for reference material, maybe you should just go back to sleep, it’ll be over soon enough when there’s no wildlife left.

        FYI: “molesting” has a specific definition in the legislation, perhaps you could look that up yourself so that you won’t have anyone who favors wildlife influencing your personal perceptions.

        Piss poor policy needs to be challenged and that’s what’s happening whether you like it or not. There were legitimate and valid reasons for challenging the delisting all these years but that all involved a lot of science and early recognition of that which the states now have shown was their intent all along… protecting the resident oligarchy that defiles our public trust. Get over it.

      2. Ken Cole Avatar

        You’re being a troll Somsai. Enough with the name calling. That goes to others here as well.

        The whole narrative that wolf advocates were too resistant to delisting in the face of the current anti-wolf sentiment we face now is bullshit. Wolves were delisted because the anti-wolf ranching and outfitting industries were very loud and vocal. It was a mistake for wolf advocates to be so conciliatory to these people. They should have been more radical and outspoken but the voices of moderation within the wolf advocacy groups became an oppressive force which squandered all of the energy and anger of wolf advocates against delisting.

  18. Louise Kane Avatar
    1. Salle Avatar

      Louise, you’re quite welcome.

  19. Louise Kane Avatar

    Ken you are right, we were too conciliatory and the wolves are paying the price. Hopefully we learned something. Its time challenge old outdated and corrupt policies before there is nothing left but elk, happy hunters and ranchers and over grazed wilderness.

    1. Immer Treue Avatar
      Immer Treue


      You have a lot of truth in what you write. Now, before I say what I’m going to say, I think everybody on this site knows my stance on wolves…

      The wolf population needs to be managed. Like Idaho, Montana (currently) Wyoming, Wisconsin(proposed), an emphatic no.

      There is, in our current state of affairs, no other alternative. As far as I’m concerned, groups like DOW have shot their wad and all but disappeared, perhaps for the better. Something needs to take their place. It will take organization and money to take on the interests that have set the current course in wolf management(if one calls it that).

      It somewhat surprises me that the anti-wolf legislation learned absolutely nothing in terms of the pro-wolf agenda that preceded the current state of affairs. A more moderate plan, yes, with wolf reduction could have been put in place, but in my minds eye is far over the top, and is/will do nothing to end the vitriol. If and when the pendulum swings back the other way, will our organizations bite the bullet and follow the correct path?

Subscribe to get new posts right in your Inbox

Brian Ertz