Here is our new open thread on wildlife news topics. You can access the previous “Interesting Wildlife News” here. Please post those comments and stories about wildlife you find interesting.

Blue boobie courting display. North Seymour Island. Galapagos Islands. Copyright Ralph Maughan

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

276 Responses to Have you come across any interesting wildlife news? June 2, 2012

  1. Maska says:

    Susan Montoya Bryan reports on the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire for AP. Note mention of the Mexican gray wolf packs in the area.

  2. Nancy says:

    4 red wolf pups born in western NC
    June 04, 2012 11:28 GMT


    ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Four rare red wolf pups have been born at a refuge in western North Carolina.

    The Asheville Citizen-Times reported ( ) the pups were born at the Western North Carolina Nature Center.

    Center director Chris Gentile says the births last month increase the number of red wolves at the center to seven.

    Officials think there are fewer than 400 red wolves left in the world.

    The center’s 3-year-old female Mayo gave birth on May 9. The father, Phoenix, was brought in from a nature center in Albany, Ga. Officials say the two male and two female pups are part of a larger than usual litter for a first time mother.

    Gentile says the new pups probably will not be named since they may not stay at the Asheville center

  3. DLB says:

    “‘Gifts of the Crow’: New book by Seattle authors about brainy birds”

    • Maska says:

      This sounds like a fascinating book. Thanks for the tip, DLB.

    • sleepy says:

      Yes, thanks.

      For an interesting study on how crows recognize individual human faces, and even pass that knowledge down through the generations–

      • SEAK Mossback says:

        I attended a talk this guy gave at the university here — fascinating. However, I’m not sure his research is entirely politically neutral. The mask that got the crows most lathered up was George W. Bush. At least he has the defense that Bush is gone and crows don’t vote, but I could see Fox News heaping particular scorn on this study.

  4. Immer Treue says:

    On the subject of Crows, I find them very fascinating, and have seen them work in tandem to get at baby cotton tails in the nest. One keeping the mother rabbit on watch while the other robs the nest of it’s precious cargo.

    The again there are the Ravens

    The Mind of the Raven and Ravens in Winter by Bernd Heinrich


    Crazy story. . . they put the bear down because he will remember a one time, remote, already dead food source? Too bad.

  6. rork says:

    A letter from MI top wolf manager to our largest conservation club, summarizing how many we have been killing lately (21 so far in 2012) and by who, though not in tremendous detail, and a few points about hunting them. The future is always hard to predict, but just maybe we won’t be embarking on a path to extirpate wolves here. If you can occasionally lend us a hand to help that happen, it would be appreciated. This particular web-site might not be the best place to apply your wit or wisdom though.

  7. Savebears says:

    I remember a lot of conversation about Walker from Wisconsin, it seems as if he has survived the recall campaign and will remain the Governor.

    • mikarooni says:

      You like that. I knew you would. Okay, now deny it. Say something about being moderate and encourage us to all just keep quiet and let things work themselves out. Go ahead. I set the stage for you; so, have at it and enjoy yourself, you sweetheart you.

  8. Nancy says:

    In the 70’s yesterday and this morning? 4 fresh inches of snow on the ground (and its still coming down) My male Bluebird has been complaining loudly since about 5am since there’s nowhere really to land, even the electrical lines have a layer of snow on them.

    A lone cow elk, briefly came out of the willows across they way to paw thru the snow. She may have a newborn calf hidden in there by now.

    • SAP says:

      Wow! We saw our snowline creep down to about 7,000′ last night (home is at 6K) – you must have gotten a bigger storm there!

  9. ma'iingan says:

    Additional detail on the Wisconsin 2012 Wolf Harvest, including proposed quotas and zones –

    • Paul says:

      This is the “conservative” plan Wisconsin was talking about? You “only” want to kill 1/3 of the population this year. Of course the 233 “quota” doesn’t include all of the wolves killed by poachers, land owners, and by the Wildlife Services assassins. I guess Suder and the hounders will get to their “magic number” of 350 very soon. I see that the prime bear hounder areas wants to eliminate 50-75 percent of the wolves in that “zone.” Then what? Is full eradication the next step now that Walker has full control for the next couple of years? Conservative plan my ass.

      Check out the spin that the bear hounders are putting on this:

      “Hunters Rights Coalition spokesman Bob Welch said there would be very little hound hunting for wolves the first year because not many hunters will have had a chance to train their hounds to pursue wolves.

      Welch countered Sinvkin’s claim that dogs would be injured by wolves, and that wolves bayed up to dogs would be bludgeoned in the head with clubs.

      “People who own dogs love their dogs. A lot of people think that if the dog doesn’t sleep on the couch with you, you don’t love your dogs. The dogs will be trained to hunt wolves, or they won’t be out hunting wolves.

      When a wolf stops, the dogs stop. They won’t engage,” said Welch.”

      They won’t engage? Right.

      • ma'iingan says:

        “You “only” want to kill 1/3 of the population this year.”

        Caution when using percentages with these proposed quotas – they’re based on last winter’s minimum count. We can reliably state that the Wisconsin wolf population doubled in April, and that many of these pups will still be on the landscape when hunting commences in October.

        “I see that the prime bear hounder areas wants to eliminate 50-75 percent of the wolves in that “zone.”

        That’s false – the 1A zone mentioned for a 50-75% reduction is an area of substantial and chronic livestock depredation, not a dog-training area. Actually, most bear dog training is conducted in Zones 1B, 1C, and 2, in which the most modest harvest levels are proposed.

        • louise kane says:

          do you think Wisconsin has a defensible wolf “management” plan?

          • Savebears says:


            It is obvious, you don’t!

            • ma'iingan says:

              “do you think Wisconsin has a defensible wolf “management” plan?”

              The Wisconsin Wolf Management Plan was written in 1999 and was obviously deemed sufficient by USFWS – witness the several attempts at delisting by USFWS, all blocked by lawsuits.

              These lawsuits did not challenge the specific provisions of any of the WGL states’ plans but rather were directed at technical aspects of delisting, i.e., the use of DPS or failure to conduct sufficient public hearings.

              The current Wisconsin Wolf Management Act directs the public wolf harvest towards areas of high livestock depredation or undesireable wolf habitat, and limits harvest in core habitat – which is exactly what wolf advocates have been asking for.

            • Paul says:

              We sure were not asking for packs of vicious dogs to be allowed to go after wolves. It’s not so much the “management” plan that is the problem, except for the outdated 350 number. What angers wolf advocates more than anything about Wisconsin is the fact that the bill to authorize this season, which was written by the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association and their seven lawyers, includes many methods that the public find deplorable. How can Wisconsin justify allowing the use of dogs packs to go after wolves? No other state allows this. By allowing packs of dogs to go after coyotes and now wolves Wisconsin has essentially legalized dog fighting. Maybe the Green Bay Packers should trade for Michael Vick. He would fit right in here. And the 4 1/2 month season? This is not “management.” This is a sport/revenge hunt orchestrated by the bear hounders and allies like Scott Suder. I see that George Meyer and his deceptively named hunting group, the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, are already whining about the quota being too low. Tell me something, does the Wisconsin DNR listen to anyone other than the bear hounders and George Meyer when setting policy? It sure doesn’t seem like it. Wisconsin=Idaho East, or Mississippi North. There is much concern in the DNR about what this bill allows but they are afraid to say anything because of the politics behind it. They know this makes Wisconsin look horrible in the eyes of the rest of the country and the Walker regime is too arrogant to care. Why do you think the retired biologists all came out against many of the methods contained in the bill.

  10. DLB says:

    “State to step up plans to track wolf packs after calf killed”

    • DLB says:

      Washington State

    • Salle says:

      OMG, wolves killed a sacred cow. The world will surely end tomorrow.

      • louise kane says:

        yes a calf was killed so now its time to step up the killing of wolves. Just disgusting

        • louise kane says:

          Excuse me the plans to track wolves and eventually kill them. Isn’t that what the radio collars will eventually allow. “Pozzanghera said there will be an attempt to trap and put radio collars on animals from all five known packs in the state. That will allow biologists to follow the packs’ movements and track breeding.

          • Salle says:

            …and then kill them as soon as some livestock die from any kind of cause. That’s why the Wolf Recovery Foundation stopped funding collars for wolves (many years ago now) because they became the lazy agents’ (WS’s) tool for tracking wolves for the purpose of killing them for the sake of livestock producers at taxpayer expense… not to mention the unofficial telemetry use by poachers. Yet another research tool preempted for inappropriate purposes.

            • bret says:

              collars used to confirm 15 BP for three years or a total of 18 BP, then the wolves can be taken off the State and Federal endangered list.

              I’m sure the WDFW will do all it can to reduce conflicts before wolves are killed.

            • Salle says:

              Tell you what, bret…

              I honestly hope that the state of Washington can function with a more sane crowd than in the these here Rocky Mtn state, but I doubt they will. So far, population tallies are just a side-bar note in the use of tracking collars on wolves, as we have seen far too often in these parts. Hope folks over there have a better story to tell when it’s all said and done.

            • WM says:


              Finally official acknowledgement of the presence of wolves on the Colville Reservation. Now, at least another 4 to add to the official number of wolves in WA. There are more but just not there and elsewhere, but not in the offical count.

              This sort of begs the question, about when state wolf plan thresholds are met in documented but unofficial counts versus official ones that will lead to the various stages of state delisting and the legal challenges which are sure to come at each step by wolf advocates who don’t believe the numbers.

            • bret says:

              The plan calls for moving the trappers to the Blue Mountains later this summer to try to put a collar on a wolf in the suspected Touchet River-area pack, he said. (Spokesman-Review)

              old news for the locals, but at least WDFW is working on it

  11. Larry Keeney says:

    The Albuquerque Journal reports about the wolf killed last month in the Gila was killed illegally. The report states that of the 88 killed since 1998, 50% have been illegal kills. Fifty percent is a very high number and shows the determination of locals to undermine the recovery effort. My point with this is that illegal kills reported in Idaho are a small percentage compared and I have always guessed way off the mark. Being retired from a career of wildlife law enforcement I have a firm basis for believing the poaching figures are consistently distorted downward. In the Gila and the rest of the recovery zone down there officials have an advantage seldom found elsewhere in that so many are collared and with the open P. pine country monitoring I expect is somewhat more complete. Not saying Idaho is at 50% illegals but my money is on a higher number than what goes in print. So my point is- poaching never plays an important enough role in management!

    • Jerry Black says:

      Larry….last year the reward for an illegally killed Mexican Wolf reached over $60,000!!!!
      Still… conviction that I’ve heard about.
      What do you attribute the lack of information about these poachers to??

      • Maska says:

        Peer pressure is a strong deterrent.

      • Larry Keeney says:

        Without talking to the agents down there my guess is “tight lips”. These are very tough cases to turn. Had a grizzly case out of Spokane in the 90’s similar but had a break to at least start. Used the field notebook of USFS-LE that was on duty about the time the bear was shot. Just went down the list of vehicle license numbers and about 60 days later interviewed the shooter that was just too nervous, couldn’t stand the pressure and made the admission but said the bear charged and he had to shoot. 18 months later after reconstructing the crime scene, finding empty cases under the snow and forensics report showing the path of the bullet passing through the bear, grand jury was ready to indict. Pressure from the AUSA to charge hunting companion with perjury to the grand jury, defendant’s counsel advised him to cave in. He did resulting in $21,000 penalty and 5 years no hunting. AUSA Tim Ohms was the best supportive attorney I ever worked with. I hope they have a supportive USA office down there, I expect they would although they must be swamped with border stuff. But these SSS cases are really hard to find a loose thread to start pulling on. Even given that I’m still amazed at the 44 illegals in the news article.

  12. Salle says:

    What’s Really in Your Expensive Steak? You’d Be Surprised

  13. Salle says:

    Report: Humans near tipping point that could dramatically change Earth

    Human activity is affecting Earth in many ways, but a new study suggests that continued population growth and its impact on climate and ecology could trigger a more profound chain reaction of effects within little more than a decade.

  14. Salle says:

    Agate Beach, Oregon: Dock From Japan Tsunami Washes Ashore (PHOTOS)

  15. Salle says:

    and yet another Farm Bill abomination at our expense…

    Crop Insurance Proposal Could Cost U.S. [taxpayers] Billions

  16. Salle says:

    Time For Outrage On Behalf of the Planet
    It’s Time to Fight the Status Quo

  17. john says:

    wy ready to push ole kenny boy salazar to remove grizzlies from endangered..they say in the YS ecosystem they are recovered,,,,, guess he doesn’t want them out of the park

    • Immer Treue says:

      I like what Mr. Wharff says…

      Bob Wharff, executive director of the Wyoming Sportsmen for Fish & Wildlife, advocates hunting grizzlies and said the animals can be used for their meat and hides.

      “We have a big enough, robust enough, healthy population of grizzly bears,” Wharff said. “What people don’t understand is that we’re not just killing something to kill it. The reason you kill grizzly bears is to maintain the overall health of the population.

      “There’s a fixed number of bears that the habitat can sustain,” he added. “We can’t have too many of a wildlife species confined in an area. It becomes detrimental.”

      We see the “robust” word in there so the grizzly population must be in good shape, but what I really would like to emphasize from his statement are these words from Mr. Wharff,

      +++”We can’t have too many of a wildlife species confined in an area. It becomes detrimental.”+++

      Therefore we may conclude that the culling of elk, by wolves, from Yellowstone was a good thing. Heck, this even supports all arguments AGAINST Mr. Rockholm’s “Yellowstone is Dead” blockbuster.

      • Salle says:

        Somehow I can’t get the “We can’t just have wildlife out there running wild in the wilderness…” claims out of my inner dialog now that I’ve read that. And, I might add, the idea that the wildlife are to be confined in a specific area which smacks of the “petting zoo national park” concept that some of these folks seem to believe in.

  18. aves says:

    A very worthy charity:

    There are some very compelling and graphic videos at the bottom of the page. The lion one has a good ending, the tiger not so much.

  19. Ralph Maughan says:

    Thanks Jeff,

    This should be a full story

  20. louise kane says:
    department of interior applying improper pressure to lower numbers of grey wolves needed for recovery.

    According to a scientific integrity complaint filed yesterday by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), the Obama administration is being accused of injecting politics to alter key scientific findings on what is required to revive the struggling Mexican wolf in the Southwest, despite a commitment to shield environmental science from political manipulation. As a result, one of the nation’s most significant Endangered Species Act recovery efforts is severely compromised, according to PEER.

  21. Salle says:

    Merely for the interested:

    Balyeat resigns from state senate

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      That is great news! Balyeat was a full out right wing extremist and he made common cause for years with Robert T. Fanning. Perhaps some folks have not yet heard that Fanning finished dead last in the Republican primary for Montana governor the other day. Maybe Fanning will give it up and go back to Chicago.

      • Salle says:

        Indeed, Ralph. Re: Fanning, one can only hope.

        Balyeat’s exit story is a bunch of fluff and fails to point out what a crackpot that clown is and an embarrassment to the legislature. His early exit is truly insignificant even though he’s claiming that his intent is to save the taxpayers money… but he really isn’t. It’s all about the fact that someone has hired him for something, yet to be disclosed but probably some kind of lobbying gig, and the job begins before his term ends, period. Yet another bit of evidence of his charlatan attitude for the position he’s held and that he is really going into lobbying, no doubt, which pays a more handsome salary with more praise than he gets in elected office.

        • Salle says:

          Oh, and not to forget the sweet pension deal he gets for his time mismanaging his district and voting against the interests of his constituents.

          IMHO, all elected personnel should only be allowed to receive pensions commensurate to their effectiveness and positive actions in helping his constituents rather than automatically receiving some predetermined amount for life regardless of the incredible harm they precipitate upon the district and beyond.

      • CodyCoyote says:

        … if Chicago would have him.

  22. Salle says:

    And sure there’s more of this to come…

    Canadian Pipeline Spills Crude Oil into Major River
    Heavy rains exacerbating spill

    Cleanup of latest Alberta oil spill could take all summer

    Interestingly, the spill was not noticed by the company, but was reported by a landowner whose property is basically destroyed. Since the property owner is an employee of the company, he will probably be compensated, had it been a First Nations individual, it would likely be ignored and contested ad nauseum.

  23. Salle says:

    Decorah eaglets leaving the nest today!!!!

    If only temporarily. One has made it out onto a limb and the other two are sure to follow.

  24. Salle says:

    Yellowstone Death 2012: 18-Year-Old Woman Dies In 400-Foot Fall At Inspiration Point

  25. Paul says:

    A new wolf pack between N Cascades and NE Washington?

  26. SEAK Mossback says:

    Alaska’s largest caribou herd (Western Arctic) continues to decline to 325,000 from a peak of 490,000 in 2003. The count has just come out for summer 2011 because it takes months to analyze the aerial photos. Huge cycles in caribou herds are typical as range conditions, the predator community and even migration routes commonly shift during the rise and fall of the cycle. The Western Arctic Herd bottomed at about 75,000 in 1976 after a steep decline from 242,000 in 1970. It’s interesting that even though the herd has been extremely popular and the primary focus of fly-out caribou hunters in Alaska in recent years (mostly unguided non-residents flying out of Kotzebue, following the decline from peak abundance of the once extremely popular Mulchatna Herd), the harvest of about 800 caribou by non-locals still pales in comparison with about 15,000 caribou annually by the 13,000 residents in 40 communities in the herd’s range. I remember reading about subsistence harvest estimates as high as 25,000 in the early 1970s, with much of it then still being fed to village dogs even though the transition to snowmobiles had been made a decade earlier.

    In contrast, the last photo-census of the Porcupine Herd in NE Alaska, Yukon and NWT (which is less closely monitored) showed an increase from 123,000 in 2001 to 169,000 in 2010. That herd is very important to four small, widely separated villages that take about 2,400 a year, with non-locals taking only 40-50 per year (including one my son got near the Kongakut River) because of limited and unpredictable physical access to the migrating herd during late-summer and fall in a very remote, wild region.

  27. WM says:

    Looks like the wolves in NE OR near Enterprise are chasing horses…according to WS investigators….or not according to ODFW investigators (who arrive late to investigate and are locked up in litigation and political controversey that makes them look at such things conservatively). Looks like a dead or severely injured animal is needed to prove up an attack and make it into the statistics.

    • Nancy says:

      “Voss quickly found someone in the local area who had Tippett’s phone number. Tippett, contacted at his Enterprise home, reached the scene in less than an hour. Not far behind him were Wallowa County Commissioner Susan Roberts and Marlyn Riggs, USDA Wildlife Services’ local investigator of predator-related incidents”

      Again, what is it with these people who live miles away from their livestock and DON”T expect the occasional predator to take advantage of the situation? Got to the “scene” in less than an hour?

      A letter to the editor from the same “general” area:

      Letters and comments for June 8, 2012
      Written by Observer Upload June 08, 2012 12:47 pm
      Letters and comments for June 8, 2012
      Horses attacked by wolf

      To the Editor:

      A friend’s horses were attacked the other night. They were corralled on his private property. A neighbor driving by witnessed the bunched up horses in distress and shortly thereafter watched a dark wolf run off. He immediately called Casey Tippett, of Tippett Ranches, to report the attack.

      Casey called Wildlife Services and they found marks on one of the horses. ODFW was also notified.

      The eyewitness, Duane Voss, a rancher who has seen plenty of wolves and whose son, Will, has been a hired range rider, evidently carries no worth in ODFW acknowledging this attack.

      What worth is an eyewitness? This was not about confirming a kill for compensation. This is about verifying that an “uncollared” wolf was in the area and was seen running away from the distressed horses.

      We seem to be entering yet another “gray” area of the Oregon Wolf Plan.

      If I shot a wolf attacking my animals and had an eyewitness, what weight would that carry? Evidently very little.

      Ramona Phillips


      Appears to be a really tight knit community when it comes to ANYTHING that might “enter fear” into a century old way of (or lack of) doing things when it comes to protecting your livestock/business investments:

  28. Nancy says:

    In a nutshell:

    “The group Public Employees of Environmental Responsibility wants the Interior Department to enforce its integrity policy, take disciplinary action against employees who violate the policy and establish disclosure rules for communications between stakeholders and regional wildlife directors when it comes to recovery plans for threatened and endangered species”

    Good article Jon, thanks for posting it.

    • WM says:

      I have always wondered who exactly is PEER, and how do its members differentiate themselves from their own peers as public employees who are not in their membership and may not speak with them in the same voice?

      How does it, as a dues paying voluntary organization comprised of only a nominal number of “public employees” advocate or make its own policy decisions as a group?

      And, is this a means of advocating policy from the bowels of public organizations sometimes in conflict with policy from duly elected and appointed officials?

      How is it that PEER sets itself out as the gatekeeper of integrity of government by elected officials?

      Not saying they don’t have a role, but it is interesting that some folks with jobs in government (think of not having to make payroll or stay in business) seem to speak from the high ground sometimes in coflict with those who pay their salaries. Something to think about.

      • mikarooni says:

        What an outrageously skewed and despicable comment!

        • Jerry Black says:

          Mikarooni…..Yep…Exactly….that’s why so many that used to comment here no longer bother.

          • mikarooni says:

            …and that’s exactly what these creeps intended to accomplish. As that GOP PR strategist from Texas, whose firm now works for Rove, openly admitted, they want to infiltrate venues like this one in order to “confuse, demoralize, and discourage” any and all liberal discussion.

            • WM says:

              Well, I can assure you I am hopeful Obama is re-elected, wolves appear in more places (but at low managed density), grazing on public lands grazing gets greater oversight, and there is more wilderness for all. I doubt the folks you just quoted have any of those interests in mind.

              That does not mean it is not fair to question advocacy groups, like PEER or others, and the way they go about their business.

              The timing of their challenge on the Mexican wolf issue could not be worse. What is wrong with waiting until after the national election? If he wins, I bet Obama will take a bit stronger stand on environmental issues – if he has a D leaning Congress he can work with. Everything is in limbo right now, why add, at this time, the very issues R’s want for headlines that might tip things even more to the right for local, state and national elections?

              And as for those PEER members, whoever and however many there are, I was once told by a good friend who was a high level appointed official (US Senate confirmation required), dealing with job for life bureaucrats is like herding cats. It matters not which party is in control. There is no accountability for them to follow policy – whether set forth in statute or in executive branch policy directives. Again, how does PEER’s board of four directors make decisions on which issues to go forward and when?

            • Salle says:



              One avenue to actual knowledge rather than skeptical speculation as a ploy to create needless arguments…?

      • WM says:


        What an incredibly narrow minded response.

  29. amanda says:

    Here is a link to a video highlighting the horrible proposed Wisconsin wolf hunt. At the end it provides email addresses to submit comments.

  30. Salle says:

    Romney Energy Plan Includes Drilling ‘Virtually Every Part’ Of U.S., No Protections For National Parks

  31. Salle says:

    Sounds like a true USDA WS action…

    Woman Seeks Help For Rescued Birds, Authorities Shoot Them Instead

    They may have been “only robins” but the basic mindset is obvious.

  32. Salle says:

    Federal judge halts eastern Idaho logging project

    “The Court finds that the Forest Service’s failure to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for a decision that ultimately opened approximately 400,000 acres of previously protected land to precommercial thinning violated NEPA,” Dale wrote. “Moreover, like a house of cards built on an unsound foundation, because the 2005 map was not analyzed under NEPA, the agency’s analysis under the ESA — which is based upon the validity of the 2005 map — cannot withstand judicial review.”

  33. Salle says:

    This is the guy who should have been placed in kenny-boy’s job…

    Congressman criticizes Nevada wild horse roundup

  34. CodyCoyote says:

    Former EPA adminiostrator Bill Ruckelshaus was the keynote speaker at the Western Governor’s Association conference presently happening outside Seattle. His remarks offer a great retrospective on the foundation of a lot of environmental laws being passed by Republican Presidents and Republican Congressmen . Ruckelshaus was the first admin of EPA under Nixon , and returned to do it again under Reagan. He told this year’s conferees that political partisanship is not a solution maker but rather a source of amplifying problems.

    SIDEBAR ; Wyoming Governor Matt Mead did not attend the Western Governor’s Association conference. He was in China all last week trying to peddle (pimp) more Wyoming coal to Chinese industry… coal that will necessarily have to travel through West Coast ports.

    I guess we now know for sure where Guv Matt’s true beliefs and agenda lies…and it’s not in sharing interests with his peers in nearby western United States.

    • JB says:

      Not to be missed, the former administrator’s message: “The public can play a role in creating environmental reforms, and stakeholders should work together to create solutions to environmental problems…”


    • Ralph Maughan says:

      With the Citizens United decision, we could well end up with foreign entities financing our elections along with the stable of right wing billionaires who are planning a massive assault of anonymous campaign ads. Can anyone say “unpatriotic” and “treason?” Moderates and progressives need to start embracing tough language.

  35. louise kane says:

    bear moved from Cape Cod
    I hated that they moved the bear but its probably best for the bear. Apparently some people had started searching for it. There are cruel and ignorant people everywhere.

  36. aves says:

    I’m amazed this man was able to get cellphone service when he needed it:

  37. jon says:

    A must watch and must listen.

    Why are they having Steve Alder on as a guest? The guy hates wolves with a passion.

  38. louise kane says:

    Amendment would gut ESA
    copied from an e mail from Diane Bentivegna

    Apparently, Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced an amendment (SA2315) today to the Farm Bill (S.3240) that would eliminate federal protections for endangered species that exist entirely within the borders of a single state.

    If this passes, many endangered species will lose their protections for the next 5 years (the Farm Bill proposes legislation that expires in 2017). Here’s the actual amendment language. This could be voted on in the Senate as soon as Thursday.


    If this link times out, go here, and click on S.3918

    SA 2315. Mr. LEE submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 3240, to reauthorize agricultural programs through 2017, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:
    At the appropriate place, insert the following:
    (a) Definition of Intrastate Species.–In this Act, the term “intrastate species” means any species of plant or fish or wildlife (as those terms are defined in section 3 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1532)) that is found entirely within the borders of a single State.
    (b) Treatment.–An intrastate species shall not be–
    (1) considered to be in interstate commerce; and
    (2) subject to regulation under–
    (A) the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.); or
    (B) any other provision of law under which regulatory authority is based on the power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce as enumerated in article I, section 8, clause 3 of the Constitution.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Louise Kane and all,

      “The farm bill is the primary agricultural and food policy tool of the federal government. The comprehensive omnibus bill is passed every 5 years or so by the United States Congress and deals with both agriculture and all other affairs under the purview of the United States Department of Agriculture.” (Wikipedia)

      The Farm Bill is regarded as “must pass” legislation. As a result it is attracting all kinds of partially related or unrelated “riders.” This is typical congressional conduct. However, even must pass bills can become so “weighted down” down with riders that they “drown.”

      Increasingly, this is being said about the fate of the Farm Bill. In large part this is because the Republicans are trying to enact a good part of their controversial agenda this way.

      The Farm Bill reauthorises the national food stamp program. This is always controversial, and to Republicans a matter of great waste and fraud. Democrats view the Republican positions as just another way of hurting the poor. On the other hand, many ag interests like food stamps because it increases the demand for food inasmuch as people want to eat. This is a force for compromise.

      Because the two parties are now so far apart on everything and there are so many amendment, it might be that the Farm Bill fails (the “must pass” highway bill might fail too).

      Congress has even lost the ability to pass a real federal budget because too due to partisan gridlock.

      I would think that Senator Lee’s bill to savage endangered species will fail because the Democratic leadership will see as one more weight that would drag the Farm Bill down.

      The current Farm Bill passed in 2007. If the Farm Bill fails, it can be extended on an annual basis as so many other programs are now being extended due to the unprecedented ideological warfare.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        A good amendment to the Farm Bill.

        It comes from an unlikely source, Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska). This amendment would cut the subsidies to what I see as the real welfare recipients — the public land ranchers outrageously low grazing fees. Nelson probably is pushing this because he wants a break for Nebraska livestock interests which have private land only and resent the subsidized western ranchers. He might even believe in what he is doing. After all, he is retiring.

        Read this from “Midwest Producer.” “Nelson’s farm bill proposal reduces deficit by $1.2 billion over 10 years”

        • CodyCoyote says:

          I’m surprised there this many inroads into reforming the Farm Bill this time around, even braoching the topic defunding some of its more onerous subsidies.

          Omnibus Farm Bills have long been Sacred Cows, and heretofore not gored because of it.


      • JB says:

        “…even must pass bills can become so “weighted down” down with riders that they “drown.'”

        I’ve already contacted my senators and representative (thought that schmuck could care less) and suggested as much. They need to strip out these riders or let the bill die. Frankly, it would be fitting for the Democrats to hold up the passage of the Farm Bill citing excessive riders and republican pork (though they won’t let this happen so close to the election, especially with Congress polling near all time lows).

      • louise kane says:

        much like the “must pass” spending bill that was weighted down with all kinds of anti environmental riders but passed with the wolf rider.

    • aves says:

      Thanks for posting, Louise.

    • aves says:

      Time for us all to call and/or email our senators and tell them to vote “no” on SA 2315 to the Farm Bill.

  39. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Park officials looking into hiker’s encounter with wolf

    Read more:

    He used bearspray and jumped into the river for safety. What a story! By the way, I thought the Howard Eaton Trail in Hayden Valley is closed every year because of that den site?

    • Leslie says:

      Sounds like the guy just freaked out instead of leaving the scene like the wolf would have liked him to do.

      Interestingly, I talked with a seasonal summer worker who is doing a lot of solo hiking in the park without bear spray. He said they hadn’t been told to use it, and that when he talked with a ranger, the ranger just said to stay on the trail. After last years’ 2 maulings, you’d think the Park would at least be advocating bear spray to all hikers.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Thanks Peter! This will need to go up as a full post.

  40. DLB says:

    Wolverine spotted down in the Teanaway:

  41. jon says:

    Not wildlife related, but interesting none the less.

  42. aves says:

    Yet another whooping crane has been shot and killed, this time in North Dakota. There is speculation that the bird killed was part of the most well known and productive pair. The “Lobstick” pair are part of the Wood Buffalo to Aransas flock, have raised 20 chicks, are unbanded and have never been touched by man, and includes the oldest known wild whooping crane (the male is 34 years old).

    • Immer Treue says:

      Just have to ask why someone would do this. Kids just looking for something to shoot?

      • aves says:

        I don’t know whether they’re lashing out against a world they can’t control or just evil, hateful men, but these poachers know exactly what they’re doing.

        The USFWS and others have spent alot of resources educating hunters about the differences between protected whooping cranes and legally hunted sandhill cranes (same shape) and snow geese (same color pattern on body and wings). But these killings reflect more a lack of values than of education.

        The last case solved was 2 men in their early 20’s who spotlighted a whooper at night and shot it with a high powered rifle in Indiana:

  43. Guepardo Lento says:

    Pumas recolonizing the midwest U.S. Recall the puma that wondered into suburban Chicago in 2008 and was promptly cornered and “dispatched” by overzealous city cops (8 shots if I recall)…Midwest has a long way to go…

    • aves says:

      “Two years ago, it’d be nothing to see 200 to 300 mule deer out there; this past winter, we never saw more than 20. We have carcasses all over where they’ve been killed.”

      As usual the lamestream media gives the theory of a local yahoo that lions have wiped out all the deer the same weight as documented facts from conservationists and ecologists.

    • JB says:

      Here is another story about the cougar comeback; this one on the BBC. Nancy, Lousie are you listening? [Glass half full!!!]

      • Nancy says:

        Glass half full you say JB?

        Heard just a snipit on the local radio station this morning that tags for female mountain lions in certain areas of Montana, were increased for the upcoming hunting season…. in hopes that it will help to “cut down” on their populations.

        I can only assume that those who hunt mountain lions, on a regular basis (you know, the tough guys with expendible dogs in tow) will be able to tell the difference before the “gotcha” photo op.

        • louise kane says:

          Nancy you are correct the tags are increasing for mountain lions in areas of Montana. I heard this from the M commission in a discussion about wolves and trapping that I recently had with some of the members.

          JB on glass half full, if the article is correct and numbers are increasing, excellent!

          On glass half empty side, every time an animal/predator recovers some of its former range or begins to be even slightly less endangered (and I don’t mean this in a strict legal technical sense) then the cry to reduce the populations can be heard loud and clear by hunters and ranchers. Will any increase in populations of predators ever mean anything but a rallying call to increase hunting and killing with renewed vigor.

          On another note…..Too bad that new conservation easement did not restrict/limit hunting…that would really be my idea of conservation. What is a wildlife corridor where animals can be killed for “sport”? But with KS at the helm of DOI its unlikely any deal like that will ever be brokered. At least it can’t be developed.

        • JB says:

          Yep, they’re increasing tags in areas where the population is above objective; they also recently set more conservative female harvest in other units to help the populations their rebound (this was discussed recently in the 10th Mountain Lion Workshop). You seem to want to equate INCREASED harvest with OVER harvest; they are not the same.

          So yes, glass half full!

          Found this quote in a recent publication and it made me think Montana understands this situation better than many here seem to think:

          “Public acceptance of mountain lions [in Montana] was found to vary with lion population growth, and perceived risk. Increases in mountain lion distribution and abundance resulted in public concern over human safety, increased livestock and pet depredation, and the effects of predation on ungulate populations. In most jurisdictions in western North America, including Montana, these concerns have been addressed with increased harvest. In turn, increased harvest rates raised concerns among other sectors of the public regarding the potential biological impacts of overharvest.”

          From: The Garnet Range Mountain Lion Study: Characteristics of a Hunted Population in West-Central Montana

          • louise kane says:

            JB thanks for the information from the Mountain Lion Study. I try to always read or skim what you send.

            as for …”You seem to want to equate INCREASED harvest with OVER harvest; they are not the same”

            I don’t confuse the two at all. I just object to the whole concept of harvesting animals/predators as the first line of management. There is that term harvest again, as if discussing summer squash or a good late summer potato crop. I detest the whole mindset. I really hope we can get past thinking about wildlife as a resource to be manipulated to particular discrete and inflexible “objectives”. if the objectives are reached, quick it’s time to harvest. Overreaching an objective should be a cause to celebrate, a reason to use adaptive management techniques to apply those lessons to maintain and strengthen other species populations, not an immediate call to cut the populations down. This especially applies to predators. I am not confused about how I feel about harvesting animals as a “management” tool. I don’t like it. But that’s no surprise to anyone here. I’d like to see humans manipulate their behavior so we are tolerant of wildlife, that we give them a wider berth, and leave hunting free zones in the best of wilderness areas so that populations may stabilize, disperse, and adapt more naturally. If there is to be a curbing of hunting effort to reduce “game species” mortality, then humans should curb their hunting first. NO habitat, no tolerance, nowhere to go is what we do to wildlife. We are “managing” the world to death.

            • JB says:


              My reply was meant for Nancy’s comments about cougars in MT–apologies for the confusion.

              A point for consideration…

              I understand that you don’t like hunting–especially the hunting of carnivores. I can respect that. However, the bigger picture suggests that human management of carnivores is good for their conservation and distribution. In fact, it is becoming increasingly clear that some carnivores (coyotes, black bear) are capable of living in highly urbanized setting with very few conflicts–they don’t need wilderness preserves nor protection from hunting to prosper–they just need a dash of tolerance to do well.

              Wolves treatment in the West is not the norm in carnivore management–it is the exception that makes the rule.

            • WM says:


              In your world of less or even no “management,” or no “harvest” of wolves, bears, other species of interest how would you see humans and unmanaged wildlife intereacting now, and say 10 years from now, with no intervention (or whatever term you choose to use to describe it)?

              What would it be like in rural and urban settings, and how would you ultimately resolve conflict where humans and various species attempt to co-exist? Or, do you perceive there will be no conflicts?

  44. Salle says:

    Not for Sale: Why We Can’t Save the Planet By Putting a Price on Nature
    The people of the world must take concerted action to initiate a new framework that begins with the recognition that nature is sacred and not for sale.

  45. Salle says:

    And merely for those who might find this somewhat amusing….

    Frequent Idaho GOP candidate headed to Wyoming

    Adios, Rex. Hope the door hits you real hard in the backside as you slither across the state line. And woe to those in Wyoming who will have this jerk pushing to replace all wild ungulates with cattle.

    • skyrim says:

      Cowboy Up, and outta here…….. There are plenty of fools ready to replace him. Me thinks his reputation will closely follow him.

      • Salle says:

        Unfortunately, I think you’re right about that. Idaho has a wealth of his ilk, could probably call it a surplus.

        • TC says:

          We’re quite aware of his actions, reputation, and mindset in WY. I don’t think the welcome will be warm. We’re pretty full-up with crazies of our own though so he may fly under the radar for a while.

  46. CodyCoyote says:

    More scary news about the Conservatives in the Canadian government monkeywrenching meaningful science when the results go against industry.

    Latest casualty: the planet’s finest freshwater lakes research center is losing its funding because it dares tell the truth ( coming and going ) about mercury toxicity from the Alberta tar sand projects .

    • Salle says:

      ‘Nature doesn’t care about the economy,’ University of Guelph audience told–nature-doesn-t-care-about-the-economy-university-of-guelph-audience-told

      Suzuki said he is sick and tired of fighting to save the environment because when you fight, there’s a loser. He said different parts of society have to come together as one, not as stakeholders, for such an important goal.

      “We’ve got to leave the corporate sector out of it. It’s already driving us in the wrong direction,” Suzuki said.

      “We need big solutions and the big solutions have got to be government. The challenge is well beyond what we do in our individual lives.”

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      In the United States oil companies take over certain states and lobby for state’s rights to let polluters have their way.

      In Canada they took over the federal government and are trying to crush a number of the provinces so they can have oil spills and pipeline building.

  47. WM says:

    Later on this summer we will hear from the media about illegal marijuana grow operations as crops mature, and maybe something about meth cook operations in the middle of National Forests and in Indian Country (reservations). There are lots of nast chemicals involved in both, and by-products are disgarded without any consideration for environmental damages. Labor is often supplied by illegals, just one step ahead of the law.

    These operations pollute land, air and especially water, affecting wildlife. To some extent meth cook operations have been diminished some, through control of one of the chemicals used in making meth that is contained in the decongestant, Sudafed (phenylephrine hydrochloride). In the last couple of years there has been a changing role, including regional and national distribution hubs for drugs of all kinds. Indian Country is a great place to do this because reservations, under federal law, are sovereign nations, often with lots of rural land and not too many folks looking into what goes on there. Understaffed and undertrained tribal police are often the only law enforcement, and the role for state and county law enforcment is diminishing under new state laws.

    This from the Seattle Times yesterday – drug raid involving ties to Mexican cartels, on the Quinault Indian Reservation disguised as cedar mill operation (Olympic Peninsula near ONP rain forests – coastal side). Cryptic story, but there will likely be more on this:

    This is just the tip of the iceberg.

  48. CodyCoyote says:


    A billionaire One Percenter just created a 90,000 acre Conservation Easement in the Sangre de Cristo mtns of south Colorado.

    IMO- I sincerely hope the Koch Brothers and their robber baron ilk are having a conniption at the altruism of this wealthy peer.

    • skyrim says:

      I love the idea, but hate the fact that Salazar will appear to be given credit for Brokering the deal. At least he didn’t impede it.

    • WM says:

      I once had the opportunity once to learn alot about this area, up close and personal. The Trinchera ranch is just south of the recently created Great Sand Dunes National Park (formerly Monument). To the north of the Park is the Baca Grande, another huge Spanish land grant ranch (once owned by AZ Land & Cattle Co, then Am. Water Dev. Corp., with directors that included William Ruckelshaus, Maurice Strong [Canadian Ambassador to the UN] and Anwar Sadat’s widow, among other well heeled. The ranch has since been turned over to the Nature Conservancy, I think. ). Beneath it all is one of the largest artesian aquifers in the West, which was proposed at one time to be mined, with the water going north in the S. Platte River system to feed water hungry Denver. The Trinchera, itself, was once owned by Malcolm Forbes. A good chunk of the area was once intended to be developed into ranchettes for the wealthy and the unknowing. Make no mistake, this is a parched landscape most of the year, and kind of dry and desolate even during part of winter (notwithstanding the groundwater trapped beneath). It is wildlife rich, and not many people in the San Luis Valley, generally.

      The best use, in my opinion, are exactly what is proposed. Hope it all comes together. And, as much as you guys like to pee on Salazar, he is a decent guy, motivated by a good heart, and has served CO, and maybe the US well, given the political climate that persists, today.

  49. louise kane says:

    a short time ago people here were posting about crows and their intelligence.

    While walking on my usual route, avec chien, this past week I witnessed evidence a group of 3 smallish crows working in concert to drive away and harass a very large and impressive red-tailed hawk. I watched the crows screeching and chasing the hawk for close to 10 minutes. They were extremely persistent, focused and successful. The hawk barely made it to a tree and then the crows did this kamikaze-like diving at him for another 5 minutes or so. The hawk was very disturbed. I had seen similar attacks on red-tailed hawks by crows before but none so intense or focused. Then strangely enough I saw the same scene in the same place the next day. I tried to discover what the hawk was doing to irritate the crows but could not see or find anything, no nests, no dead carcasses, nothing. It looked like the crows just did not want the hawk nearby. The coordinated and fearless effort of the small crows was amazing. I love crows but I felt sorry for the beautiful hawk too.

    Also interesting was what seems to be the last herring run just a week ago. I saw the local run full of fish one night well into the warmish first week of June. I dont ever remember seeing them this late. It was a strange spring though, the runs were not big in the earlier season but seemed to be larger later in the spring. It was also extremely warm late April and early May. Very warm weather for the fish to be running. Jon W if you are out there maybe you noticed the late runs this year, and did you see any elvers. I did not. Checked the Great Pond site and Cole Road runs daily.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Nothing like Coopers Hawks making short shrift of flickers, when the flickers migrate back north. The hawk holds the flicker down and plucks them alive, at least the few i have actually witnessed. Sometimes it’s easier to discern flickers have moved back into an area because of the piles of their feathers scattered about.

    • aves says:

      Red-tailed hawks kill crows so crows will mob them any chance they get in order to force the predator to vacate the area. As long as the crows have a numbers advantage and don’t let the hawk get above them (where it can get them with it’s talons) the crows maintain the upper hand when mobbing the larger raptor. I have seen many hawks, several owls, and even a few bobcats by cuing in on the calls of angry crows.

  50. Ralph Maughan says:

    Days after feds say Keystone XL pipeline would have no impact on rivers, pipeline spill devastates another river.

    Why do these pipelines carrying oil from Alberta tar sands pits rupture so often? It is because what they carry isn’t really oil. It is bitumen, a heavy, tar-like substance that will only flow when heated and/or mixed with real petroleum and other chemicals. The pipelines need to be of much higher standard, but they often use ones that are not.

  51. Dude, the bagman says:

    Rammell gives up on Idaho, suspects a conservative conspiracy:

    This guy was such an extreme caricature of Idaho’s political proclivities that he may have actually helped our cause. An accidental double agent?

  52. WM says:

    Employee of Kolmarden Wildlife Park (Swedish zoo with large woodland enclosures) is killed by pack of wolves yesterday. Pack of 8 keeps medical assistance at bay.

    Not the US and not our wolves, but another species data point nonetheless. Wolves in this enclosure are supposedly friendly to humans. No details on what happened, yet. If I recall correctly, this is the same enclosure where a young girl (apparently afraid) was bitten a few weeks back.

    • Peter Kiermeir says:

      Yes it is the same facility. The Teenager was bitten in the enclosure. For some reason, they offer the opportunity for visitors to enter the enclosure and pat the wolves. In my opinion only a marketing gimmick, albeit a dangerous one. Same as the mauling of a woman by a Cheetah in that African Zoo recently. Such interactions with wild animals becoming more and more popular in recent years.

      • WM says:

        There is no explanation of what happened at Kolmarden at this time. However, there is a parallel story from Montana wildlife Nat Geo personality Casey Anderson. He is mostly known for his buddy grizzly bear, Brutus, but there is an excerpt from a book written by Anderson about half way down the article in this link.

        It is very much worth the read, as it describes Anderson’s encounter with a pack of wolves in captivity that he knew (or thought he knew) very well. Compare and contrast this incident with what might have happened at Kolmarden Wildlife Park:

        • JB says:


          Over the past several years I have had conversations with several people who work with captive wolves, and heard similar attack stories from at least three separate individuals. I don’t know if such attacks are more probable than being attacked by one’s domestic dog, but anyone who thinks that a captive wolf is not (potentially) dangerous is simply wrong.

          • DLB says:

            I wonder if some of these encounters have something to do with the fact that canines are such popular pets in many countries. It’s not a stretch to assume that many are so conditioned to pet dogs, that it’s difficult for them to not mistakenly attribute some of their more reliable qualities to wolves in a controlled setting.

        • SEAK Mossback says:

          Wow, Anderson’s account sounds like a very tough situation — reminds me I saw “The Grey” last night (not my movie pick). It was entertaining, although wildly fictional in most ways — except the oilfield workers and the flight headed south, which I think they got fairly well. However, the drinking does not start before you get on the plane — Prudhoe is dry or lose your job. Perhaps as much fiction as the relentless wolf attacks was the characters’ miraculous imperviousness to the very real mortal danger they faced — hypothermia.

          • WM says:


            Not to spoil scenes and plot for others, but I did chuckle a bit over continuity matters, and had a few other “how real is this?” moments?

            In particular, there was a pivitol scene early on, in which moist warm flesh contacted a piece of sub-zero cold steel, that theoretically would have resulted in the same condition as the school kid dared to put his tongue to a frozen flagpole. That alone, might have caused the event go another direction, in real life.

          • Mike says:

            I turned “The Grey” off after I saw the scene with the first wolf. It seemed to be twice the size of a regular wolf, and moved at about sixty miles an hour.

    • Peter Kiermeir says:

      Expert slams zoo after new wolf attack details emerge

      • WM says:


        It is interesting the internet news forum would use a photo of a Western Gray wolf, attributed to a USFWS photographer, in this story. I gather it is a Swedish publication.

        Importantly, this incident has created a huge amount of negative PR for wolves around the world, and in the US – not necessarily deserved. A quick Google search of the words >Sweden>wolves>kill and dozens of articles appear, from the UK Guardian to the Washington Post.


        • Peter Kiermeir says:

          Many Media here in Europe use pictures of the American Grey Wolf to illustrate wolf articles. Reason is, there are many more fine pictures available and the Grey Wolf – especially in winter pelt – looks much more impressive than the smaller European Wolf.

          • Salle says:

            And is there any research conducted, or in progress, with regard to the demeanor of captive wolves v. wild wolves? Lest anyone forget that a large portion of wolves captured and held die from the stress of being captured, handled and caged…

            I’m willing to bet that there’s a big difference. Most wild animals aren’t as dumb as most humans like to think they are ~ as most western societies of humans see themselves as superior to all other species so they have to conclude that all other species are somehow “lesser” than they with regard to biospheric importance when in fact humans do this to support their own ignorance for fun and profit more than anything else. I would wager speculation that wolves know when they are held captive and would attempt to free themselves or at least protect themselves from the harmful titillations and stupidity of humans thus attacking them when the opportunity arises when being held in captivity. It’s their only perceived immediate defense.

            • WM says:


              You might want to read the Casey Anderson article above.

              And, to be candid, this behavior is the kind of thing Dr. Mech, Dr. Geist and a host of others tuned in to behavioral ecology speak to — constant testing by the pack — of members and prey. Weakness is dealt with swiftly.

              Frankly, I doubt it has less to do with escape.

  53. louise kane says:

    With friends like this, who needs enemies. From the wolf harvesting manifesto,
    Considerations for Developing Wolf Harvesting for Regulations in the Contiguous US, David Mech

    There is a close to two sentence statement about concentrating wolf harvesting in areas of depredation to better target problem wolves and to appease potential outcry from the public

    “Managers can maximize good use of wolves taken by any
    method through a concerted campaign to educate hunters
    about care and handling of harvested wolves. Experience
    during the 2009–2010 hunts in Montana and Idaho
    indicates that many hunters do not know how to skin
    wolves or care for their pelts (C. Niemeyer, retired
    taxidermist and Wildlife Services biologist, personal communication).
    Merely freezing wolf carcasses is unsatisfactory
    for several reasons; thus, states should provide instructions
    for skinning wolves and preserving their pelts.”

  54. louise kane says:

    “There is a close to two sentence statement about concentrating wolf harvesting in areas of depredation to better target problem wolves and to appease potential outcry from the public” should have added, this might have been the focus of the paper, it would have been what advocates are asking for. Instead it reads more like a how to manual….

    • WM says:

      One thing to consider, louise:

      The basic assumption or premise is that wolf numbers and distribution in re-population efforts will be accomplished to minimize conflict. All flows from this. Where should the minimum number be taken to be most effective, and politically expedient, AND how should the pelts be properly cared for, so the resource is not wasted.

      These are basic elements of “management” and “harvest.” And, one could hardly call Dr. Mech and Carter Neimeyer, anti’s. They are pragmatic, and very matter-of-fact, about what is required for successful wolf re-population, giving solid advice in that regard.

  55. louise kane says:

    WM – Please note what I wrote “There is a close to two sentence statement about concentrating wolf harvesting in areas of depredation to better target problem wolves and to appease potential outcry from the public” I also wrote I should have added, this might have been the focus of the paper, it would have been what advocates are asking for. Instead it reads more like a how to manual….”
    If wolves are to be “managed” killed then at least the killing should be directed where there are predations/conflicts etc. I agree although I believe that non lethal is the best solution 99% of the time. What I take issue with is, if you read the rest of the Mech paper, it reads more like a how to kill manual. Carter N had nothing to do with this paper, Mech was quoting him.

    We have been down this road before. I made the comment after someone in a list group sent the paper this AM. I was once again reminded of how anti, cold and clinical the Mech literature reads in later years.

    • JB says:


      Mech is simply being careful not to take sides. Recall that wildlife are (supposed to be) managed for all citizens. When there is a conflict over what various groups of people want (e.g. more wolves, fewer wolves) regarding wildlife, scientists are generally careful to be especially careful in how they choose their words.

      Scientists are supposed to provide objective information and policy recommendations to policy-makers, not recommendations based upon their own interests and desires. No matter what they believe, how scientists are perceived affects how their science is interpreted by other parties, and how valuable it is policy-making. (I suspect that Mech learned this lesson the hard way, based upon how he ended his 1970 book.)

      • Dan says:

        ” Recall that wildlife are (supposed to be) managed for all citizens.”

        and essentially everything associated with bureaucracy is an equally managed fallacy….

        • elk275 says:

          It is the citizens of the state not the citizens of the United States.

          • louise kane says:

            the ESA evolved from a recognition that states and citizens do not always manage their trust responsibilities responsibly, reliably and conservatively. Hence the need for federal legislation.

            • elk275 says:

              Louise, you have said that wildlife is a national trust. So the ESA in your opinion applies or should apply to all animals regardless whether or not the animal is endangered or not. What you would really like is for the federal government to manage wildlife whether it is on federal, state or private lands.

        • JB says:

          “…and essentially everything associated with bureaucracy is an equally managed fallacy…”

          Well that’s cynical. Actually, I would argue that both state and federal governments function well most of the time.

    • WM says:

      Again, louise, it is “management” and “harvest” guidelines in the broader context of re-population, while trying to achieve higher level of tolerance on the landscape. This stuff is written like a cookbook, or “how to,” guidance because nobody (state agency of which there are now about 5 to 8 depending on how one counts) has ever done it before.

      It is part of the fulfillment of the education objective. I can think of few, actually no one, beyond Dr. Mech (even citing Carter, another pragmatic expert), who could do it better, and with greater credibilty.

      You wrote “non-lethal is best 99% of the time.” Obviously the experts disagree about the effectiveness of non-lethal over the longer term.

  56. louise kane says:

    i hear you, i just disagree

  57. louise kane says:

    WM One of the basic presumptions in this paper is that once allowed to kill wolves, people will loose their fervor to kill them, and that hunters can help be a part of the management solution. This prediction has proven to be sorely wrong. No amount of killing seems to be enough. Worse yet, this theory perpetuates the idea that the killing of predators is necessary, justifiable, and that it’s ok to take the tact to wait out a killing spree like a tolerant parent might do with a particularly challenging stage of development for a misbehaving child.

    People look to “experts” and scientists to assist them in shaping their opinions. It would have been interesting, progressive, hopeful even to see Dr Mech’s paper include mandating tolerance through introducing, developing and promoting non-lethal and learning-to-live with strategies & methods to manage wolves, instead of creating a how to manual.

    JB argues that scientists “are supposed to provide objective information and policy recommendations to policy-makers, not recommendations based upon their own interests and desires”. Every person’s experience shapes their opinion, and no one is fully able to be totally objective because of that experience. If they were then we would not be so concerned with the nominations of SC justices.

    Change takes time but where best to start if not with the experts, who can arguably go up against the status quo with the right ammunition. Scientists are just as easily able to sway an argument one way or another with the information they withhold as with the data that is published. This paper failed to highlight alternative non-lethal methods that are available for managing wolves. That is astounding to me.

    Tragically, it seems like tolerance for wolves has only decreased as a result of the current state management plans. The frenzy to kill is even greater, more sadistic, and less founded in reason now then ever before. And more inexcusable. The people that want to kill wolves don’t need anymore “cook books” they have had those recipes handed down to them through the ages. We need a new cookbook.

    Advocates need to insist on a tolerance agenda especially given the past history of wolf eradication in the US and especially in light of our collective knowledge of the value of apex predators in their ecosystems. Why would advancing these ideals not be a part of the fulfillment of the education component? Why does the loss of apex predators and the persecution of wolves not deserve equal mention in an article that supposedly provides management guidance, strategies and information about wolves for post delisting purposes.

    I believe that scientists have a duty to speak the truth about wolves. The issues surrounding wolves are complicated. But most scientists agree, quite simply, that wolves and predators are good and necessary to maintain ecosystem health. While wolves may predate on livestock those losses can often be avoided, and reimbursed. And when wolves can not be controlled, there have always been removal remedies courtesy of section 10j exemptions and poaching.

    In the pre-delisting period only predating wolves were allowed to be taken. Amazingly ungulate populations remained stable, the livestock industry is still as viable, healthy and powerful as it was. No one was killed, ravaged or maimed by wolves and the Minnesota wolf population remained stable for 10 years with other RM populations appearing as if they would also reach peak saturation all on their own . People were living with wolves quite nicely, even if they complained about it.

    I believe the public needs to insist that wolves and other wildlife are a national public trust issue in order to overcome the culture of deeply entrenched hate, ignorance and bias towards killing wolves and carnivores particularly. We hoped the ESA was doing this but wolves have been an exception.

    I hope that scientists and biologists do not shy away from helping the public to evolve away from management and hunting paradigms and cultural practices that are outdated, unscientific and harmful to us and to our ecosystems.

    • WM says:

      ++…once allowed to kill wolves, people will loose their fervor to kill them, and that hunters can help be a part of the management solution. This prediction has proven to be sorely wrong.++

      If I am not mistaken the original approach taken by the ID and MT (and maybe WY)wildlife agencies was to encourage the the thinking that wolves would be a prized game animal for some who were so inclined to want to hunt them once delisted. I believe there was hope in that regard four or five years back. In the time that has lapsed since then, the thinking has changed, and the tolerance reduced in the NRM. There has been a pent up anger in MN with the efforts of HSUSA to keep MN wolves from being delisted – ever. So, the question to ask is why? Was the perceived tolerance and marketing of it never genuine in the first place, or was the erosion of tolerance the result of delays to delisting, law suits and, at least in the NRM conflicting research/perceptions of conclusion of the research that concluded wolves were affecting elk populations locally?

      I am inclined to believe it was a mix of all the above. I, personally, have also come to the conclusion that persons like yourself (HSUS has already taken that stand and used the ESA for that unplanned purpose when the law was drafted) are hoping for a paradigm shift to stop hunting altogether.

      • WM says:

        Sorry, I intended to say this as well. Insert after the second sentence in paragraph 2:

        I tend to believe the NRM state wildlife agency staffs were hoping for a little more latitude in the middle ground to be able to manage the growing wolf resource, but the legislative branch of state government, speaking for the people of the state (and the governor as well), and their own Commissions reigned them in pretty harshly. Now they are marching to those orders (I would be interested to know how former MT wolf coordinator Carolyn Sime views my conclusion. Not much has been heard from her since changing jobs in MTGFP over a year ago, or maybe its been longer, now.

      • Jerry Black says:

        WM…..I think this mess started with the original compromise (“experimental/ non-essential”) and the 10J rule. By agreeing to the 10J rule, Defenders rationalized that it would create tolerance for wolves amongst the ranchers and I’m sure they anticipated that people with a little education, provided by them, would accept wolves. Didn’t work out that way, in fact it backfired completely and they and other “conservation” groups have since found out that the number of livestock killed,the number of wolves killed in retaliation, and the amount of compensation for losses means absolutely nothing to the majority of anti-wolf people.

        You mentioned Caroline Sime…..she’s attending law school. She was convinced, and testified to the fact, that “wolves would be treated like any other game animal”….seems that didn’t work out either. I’m sure she never thought they’d be trapped in Montana.

      • louise kane says:

        WM” “I, personally, have also come to the conclusion that persons like yourself (HSUS has already taken that stand and used the ESA for that unplanned purpose when the law was drafted) are hoping for a paradigm shift to stop hunting altogether.” I am hoping for a huge paradigm shift. Do we really want/need to trophy hunt living beings. It’s a repugnant pastime/hobby/activity/sport whatever you want to call it. I have no tolerance for trophy hunting, trapping and snaring or causing extreme distress, pain or suffering to wild animals. So you are spot on here as I know you like that term.

        • rork says:

          Define what is and what is not trophy hunting. Particularly “not”. What is tolerable?

          • Peter Kiermeir says:

            Which one would you prefer:
            Wikipedia: Trophy hunting is the selective hunting of wild game animals. Although parts of the slain animal may be kept as a hunting trophy or memorial (usually the skin, antlers and/or head), the carcass itself is sometimes used as food. A hunting trophy is an item prepared from the body of a game animal killed by a hunter and kept as a souvenir of the successful hunting or fishing expedition.
            WWF: Trophy hunting is defined as “a specific form of wildlife use that involves payment for a hunting experience and the acquisition of a trophy by the hunter.”
            And of course there is still the…. canned hunt is essentially a trophy hunt in which the animal is kept in a more confined area, such as in a fenced-in area, increasing the likelihood of the hunter obtaining a kill. According to one dictionary, a canned hunt is a “hunt for animals that have been raised on game ranches until they are mature enough to be killed for trophy collections.”]

            • Salle says:

              Thanks for the definitions, Peter.

              It seems that there is some question among the comments as to what has brought about the seeming loss of tolerance for wolves in the NRM states.

              Having observed this situation while living in the NRM states since the early 1990s, what I have seen is a hardening of attitudes among the opposing factions with horrid results that have brought us to this current impasse.

              Those who never wanted wolves in the region are still hating wolves and reveling in the fact that they too can now kill them with impunity, except for when they get a little too bigheaded and post there revelry online or actually caught and prosecuted for poaching – a rare event. The wolf advocates, for the most part, have held to their argument that these animals require stronger protections due to the anti-wolf attitudes reinforced by their legislators who want to keep getting re-elected ad infinitum.

              What has made the big difference in what we see as “management paradigms” is in part the legislatures, both state and federal. As much as we would like to think that the legislative bodies are doing the bidding of their constituents, we really need to scrutinize the definition of constituents as perceived by the legislators themselves.

              In the NRM states it is a well known fact that the extractive industries ~ mining, timber, livestock production ~ have ruled the states via legislative favoritism for over a century (ever since they were lured to the region by federal policies via removal of the indigenous populations of humans and animals who might have posed obstructions to profitable operation in order to dominate the landscape).

              These industrialists and their progeny ~ both political and biological ~ will and are impeding the progression of social evolution by clinging to perceived rights without considering the responsibilities that accompany the rights and bending the rules/laws to retain power over anyone and everything within the boundaries of their legislative power.

              In assuring that their reign over the landscape for their benefit and to the exclusion of most others they game the system. Look at the backgrounds of the legislative personnel and you can see what is happening. Citizens who disagree are ostracized, threatened and subject to open/public defamation practices. (Look at the influence of the teebaggers across the nation of late and you can get an idea of what has been the general practice in the NRM states all along.) Religion is often used as a rallying point and cleaver that stunts the democratic process. Thus litigation becomes the only tool for those not accepting the oligarchic environment that they face in trying to protect their rights.

              It isn’t so much an issue of eliminating hunting altogether, as many claim, it is the manner in which hunting is praised as some virtuous and honorable act, that it is somehow sacred and untouchable in the grand scheme of humanness. Rather it is a recognition, by those who wish to preserve the wild places and their inhabitants, that the wild animals and their habitat play a vital role in our (humans) well being as a species that also inhabits the planet and is, unabated, encroaching upon what is left of the habitat of all other living things with impunity and with no consideration as to the overall damage being done by the myopic nature of their argument; what’s in it for me? I have freedoms and rights to do what I want, when I want, and however I want and screw anyone who says differently.

              Unfortunately, by clinging to these concepts of hunting is sacred, conservationists are a bunch of clueless hippies on drugs, and the organizations who have to rely on the justice system to enforce the laws the opposing groups resort to changing the rules and laws by back-handed tactics aimed at usurping the rights of those with whom they disagree. (The Budget Bill rider that two NRM state Congressional senators designed to end the democratic process of delisting the species and banning legislative review as prescribed by the ESA is one example of how this whole series of dirty tricks and underhanded circumvention of process takes place.)

              For those of us who wish to have all species treated fairly, the rules are bypassed for the “chosen” who want to have it their way no matter the cost. The only way to counter this set of attitudes is through the justice system that is also increasingly infiltrated by those who hold to these attitudes. Regular misinterpretation of the language is a key factor in the argument… Speak an untruth loud and often enough and some will use it as their anchor argument. (Think Karl Rove and his ilk/clientele.)

              In my personal guestimation, there will be no change in these attitudes of self gratification via systematic control over all who pass this way until catastrophic events require such attitude changes in lieu of personal destruction… until forced to accept these attitudes and changes in practice or perish. Cynical, perhaps; honest, absolutely; realistic(?), time will tell.
              And for those wondering about what Ms. Sime might have thought all along… I do know, from attending the deliberation meetings to design the “hunt” parameters, there was discussion of trapping from the very beginning and there was no doubt that that practice would also be a portion of the hunt. The deliberations on trapping were based on the trap check timelines and what portion of the quota would be taken up by trapping in order to keep the trapping interests from getting pissed and resorting to litigation and mostly from looking bad in the public eye as per their perceptions. It was entirely out of her hands from day one of wolf hunting considerations. I have a great respect for Ms. Sime, I watched her work for years at developing what was once the most reasonable “management plan” of the three NRM states. I got the sense that her personal feelings on wolf management may have differed from what her oath of office ended up requiring of her in the face of developing concerns when the reality of delisting and development of the parameters of the hunting rules came about. I may have read that incorrectly but that was what I felt was taking place then. What I do know is that once she was reassigned she was no longer able to have any voice in the matter; prior to the reassignment, she was increasingly and severely stifled in what she was able to do and say with regard to wolf management in the state of Montana even though she was the key person involved in and conducting the development of the state’s original management plan in order to appease those who wanted the wolves removed from the face of the planet for their benefit regardless of the will of the majority of the people (residents). That’s how things are done around here no matter what the laws indicate. Just try finding legal counsel in this area to represent your rights against this faction and it becomes very clear that unless, of course, you have a lot of monetary backing for political contribution.

  58. Salle says:

    Not sure if this has been posted already…

    Judge: Idaho ranchers can’t turn out sheep on disputed Payette National Forest grazing ground–Grazing-Lawsuit-Injunction

  59. Salle says:

    Raging NM fire prompts rescue of threatened fish

    Biologists are trying to save the threatened Gila trout in New Mexico from post-wildfire ravages as crews around the West struggle to contain blazes that have charred hundreds of square miles.

  60. Salle says:

    As America Grows More Polarized, Conservatives Increasingly Reject Science and Rational Thought
    The Tea Party has intensified social pressure on conservative-leaning Americans to shun science and academia.

    • timz says:

      “The past decade-plus have turned science from a mostly politically neutral issue into a heavily partisan one, with Republicans becoming the party of anti-science while Democrats increasingly tout their dedication to research and evidence-based policy.”

      The Democrats may tout it but they act no differently than the Republicans.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        timz and Salle,

        Fortunately a majority of all kinds of Americans still have a favorable view of scientific endeavor, but I worry.

        In my view from reading the article above (which has appeared in less opinionated places) and others, that more Republicans today reject science than either Democrats or Independents. It used to be that Republicans were more accepting of science than others.

  61. Salle says:

    Red List counts ‘on the brink’ species

    “A sustainable future cannot be achieved without conserving biological diversity, not only for nature itself but also for all seven billion people who depend on it,” said IUCN director-general Julia Marton-Lefevre.

    “The latest Red List is a clarion call to world leaders gathering in Rio to secure the web of life on this planet.”

    Two thousand new species have been assessed for this edition of the Red List, bringing the total to 63,837.

    Overall, the statistics are little changed: 41% of amphibians, 33% of reef-building corals, 25% of mammals and 13% of birds languish on the risk list.

    While the biggest threat globally is loss of habitat…”

  62. timz says:

    So let’s see if those environmentally minded Democrats or the Obummer administration have the fortitude to kill this.

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      It was introduced in the Senate by WY-Republican senator John Barazzo as an amendment to the Farm Bill. The unanimous consent agreement Harry Reid, and the leading Republicans and Democrats crafted for consideration of the bill, dropped this amendment from any further consideration in the Farm Bill.

      Republicans will keep trying to stick it on other pieces of legislation. I think Democrats will oppose it, although some might lose their courage on a roll call vote. There is no doubt the impetuous for the bill is all coming from the GOP.

      I’m not sure why you would use hypothetical Democrat failure to oppose a Republican bad bill as a way to attack Democrats.

      • timz says:

        “I’m not sure why you would use hypothetical Democrat failure to oppose a Republican bad bill as a way to attack Democrats.”

        Oh, I don’t know, maybe was just thinking back on how the Democrats in the Senate showed how gutless they were when they failed to stop the Wolf Rider in a budget bill and our even more gutless president signed off on it.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      I hope so too. Its premise is false, and we ought to end the war on drugs anyway.

      It is just an attempt to take a whack at a large number of national parks, wildlife refuges, and national forests by the Republican Party. Note it was a party line vote.

      • skyrim says:

        The war on drugs was lost a decade ago or more. Minor possession laws/fines will precede more sweeping reform in time.

  63. CodyCoyote says:

    WOLF PUPS born to Imaha pack in NE Oregon. Maybe the other four packs, too. Ranchers in a dither, of course…

    • WM says:

      An open question for the growing Imnaha Pack – will these pups learn from the elders who raise them to have a taste for cows, sheep, and the occasional horse or mule?

      • CodyCoyote says:

        It’s really important that wolves go back to the wild. We simply have to get wolves off welfare…the ranchers have to quit feeding them the easy slow elk and wooly entreés , darnit. The wolves have gotten lazy ; the ranchers inattentive. Where’s that cowboy or herder when you really need them.

        You can’t really totally blame wolves for taking livestock when the fresh meat is all but delivered to them a la carte…

  64. ma'iingan says:

    Interesting article on free-roaming (not feral) cats. I laughed out loud when I read about the “cheating” cats – four cats in the study visited other peoples’ homes for food and affection.

    • JB says:

      When we lived in the Bay area our neighbors had a “cheating” dog–a collie x husky. She used to go from house to house and was happy to walk right inside if you left the door open. I was very fond of that dog…

  65. jon says:

    Can Wisconsin Wolf Killing Season Be Challenged as Animal Cruelty?

    Animal cruelty laws should apply to wildlife.

    • louise kane says:

      I think this is a big issue, domestic and even some farm animals have laws to protect them from cruelty but its ok to snare, trap, poison, triphy hunt, and maim wild animals. Its horrific what humans do to wildlife.

  66. Salle says:

    Every once-in-a-while someone, perhaps a journalist, who is amazingly intelligent, open, frank and spot-on when it comes to articulating an issue or concern that needs clarification due to it’s long-term ambiguities in the public view.

    In the interest of a “well informed public” I offer this here because I think folks should see this for a major clarification of a serious issue in the lives of “we the people”… some of which applies to topics discussed on this blog. What is described here can be applied to and extrapolated out into a broader scope, and should be by all citizens and voters.

    Maddow on “Fast and Furious,” AKA “What Your Uncle Who Watches Fox News All Day Is All Worked Up About”

    • Salle says:


      Every once-in-a-while someone, perhaps a journalist, who is amazingly intelligent, open, frank and spot-on when it comes to articulating an issue or concern that needs clarification due to it’s long-term ambiguities in the public view comes along to perform this task.”

    • skyrim says:

      OMG! Thanks Salle
      I love Maddow, but I rarely find time to watch her. Let’s haul Fat A$$ Limbaugh out into the street and replace him with Rachel Maddow.
      Who’s with me here, huh?…….

      • Salle says:

        I think this is one of her best attempts at telling the real truth in terms most can understand. She recently challenged her peers to actually do their jobs. She’s walking her talk here.

        • skyrim says:

          and doing a fine job of it. I recall listening to her on XM years ago, hoping that she’d get a better gig and a bigger audience. Now, how ’bout “Prime Time” (ya I know…………)

        • louise kane says:


          thanks for posting that from R Maddow. Its terrifying actually how people latch onto the sketchy news they hear and then preach it, cling to it, and defend it as some kind of gospel truth. As a side, the damage that gun toting, conservatives in the NRA do as a lobbying force is astounding. I know I’ll take some heat but that precious second amendment that people defend so staunchly was rooted in the need to allow civilians to protect themselves and the newly forming/formed nation. The fear of losing the right to bear arms is so extreme that rational politicians are afraid to even broach the subject. Meanwhile the US has one of the highest murder and violence rates. Gun toting kids, recidivist criminals, conspiracy theorists, all carry and use guns and a lexicon of violence that has become an insidious right defined as part of our American culture and heritage. I wish there was a conspiracy theory to abolish the right to bear arms. Its really about the right to kill, shoot anything, people and wildlife. Way too many guns. The only reason anyone needs a gun is to kill or protect themselves. I’d like to see guns greatly restricted and to see groups like the NRA challenged. They are a licentious group of bastards.

          Something to consider….

          “The well-regulated militia referred to in the Second Amendment was, in fact, the 18th-century equivalent to the U.S. Armed Forces. Other than a small force of paid officers (primarily responsible for supervising civilian conscripts), the United States that existed at the time the Second Amendment was proposed had no professional, trained army. Instead it relied almost exclusively on civilian militias for self-defense–in other words, the rounding up of all available men between the ages of 18 and 50. In the event of foreign invasion, there would be no trained military force to hold back the British or the French. The United States relied on the power of its own citizens to defend the country against attack, and had committed to such an isolationist foreign policy that the chances of ever deploying forces overseas seemed remote at best.

          This began to change with the presidency of John Adams, who established a professional navy to protect U.S.-bound trade vessels from privateers. Today, there is no military draft at all. The U.S. Army is made up of a mix of full-time and part-time professional soldiers who are trained well, and compensated for their service. Furthermore, the U.S. Armed Forces have not fought a single battle on home soil since the end of the American Civil War in 1865. Clearly, a well-regulated civilian militia is no longer a military necessity. Does the second clause of the Second Amendment still apply even if the first clause, providing its rationale, is no longer meaningful?”

          I’m ready for the outrage.

    • Nancy says:

      Thanks Salle, passed it on:)

    • rork says:

      What scared me was that this author could write something so full of shit and think it would sway any opinions. He makes me ashamed. Ecosystem, schmecosystem, so long as I get to shoot my share.

      • DLB says:

        He has to be full of shit. There’s no other choice for him, really. There could be zero wolves left in Idaho and he’d be running around screaming the sky is falling nonetheless. He got a few people to pay attention to him because of the wolf issue, and he’ll fight tooth and nail for the rest of his life to keep that attention.

  67. Salle says:

    Now this is interesting…

    Video Message for the Deforestation Event at the Sustainable Development Conference Rio+20 Summit

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      This is pretty redundant, or I hope it is, because Ken and I have written a number of articles about this, and we just had a guest opinion yesterday on it as well.

  68. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Will it (n)ever end? Fresh blood in one of our favourite discussion topics!
    Yes, you guessed it, it´s about those oversized bad wolves imported from Canada!

  69. WM says:

    Last night my wife and I went to see “Where the Yellowstone Goes,” the film by Hunter Weeks, here in Seattle. I learned about the film on this forum. It is a chronice of a 30 day float of the Yellowstone River from just outside YNP to its confluence with the Missouri River in S. Dakota. Floating, fishing and meeting interesting folks along the 509 mile run, what a kick. It was quite good, and I think Weeks has a great future ahead as a film maker.

    My disapointment came from the fact that the theatre was only 1/3 filled, with maybe 100 in attendance. The Harvard Exit Theatre is always a difficult venue, because there is little parking in the trendy Capitol Hill area. And, unfortunately I think the marketing of the film was a bit light, and only a one night screening here.

    There is another showing in Concrete (north of SEA) tonight, then they are off to a couple locations in OR, then Northern CA. I wish Hunter and his wife the very best of luck, and hope for an opportunity to see more of their work in the future.

    • DLB says:

      Too bad, I didn’t know that film was playing there. I could walk to that theatre from my old house.

  70. DLB says:

    “Willapa Bay oyster grower sounds alarm, starts hatchery in Hawaii”

  71. DLB says:

    “Hot, windy weather to challenge Colo. fire crews”

    I was not aware that target shooting was responsible for starting so many wildfires…..

    • WM says:


      Don’t know if it actually HAS, but the assertion is it could, with the incredibly low humidity conditions in fine fuels.

      The fire up the Cache La Poudre river NW of Fort Collins, is hampered by winds and additional ignition sources from thunderstorms, common this time of year (actually from my memory more prevalent in July or August).

      This fire, still out of control, is already ringing up to be the biggest in terms of economic loss in CO history. Recall, last year there was another huge Front Range fire in 4 Mile Canyon, down near Boulder (about 50 miles to the south). The economic losses are from all the country homes and cabin get-aways built in potentially fire prone areas, as well as the huge costs of fighting the fires. Very sad, indeed.

      This area, the northern CO Front Range, has huge and rapid weather changes. Today we speak of wildfire. In past years they have had hail the size of softballs. In early July 1976, a series of heavy rainfall thunderstorms centered over Estes Park at the east entrance of Rocky Mtn. NP, resulted in a flash flood sending a 30 foot wall of water down the Big Thompson River (the major river drainage between Fort Collins and Boulder), scouring the entire narrow canyon and killing 149 people.

  72. Salle says:

    Bill C-38 answers oil and gas lobbyist prayers

    Will we ever get this pariah out of our lives?

  73. Mike says:

    Guns caused 20 Utah wildfires this year alone:


    • Salle says:

      …ad by golly, they better not start trying to regulate that stuff or the shootin’ folks will get pissed.

      • Mike says:

        It’s amazing how much damage this gun obsession causes. From inflicting the worst death known to mankind upon birds, to starting fires, to poaching.

    • skyrim says:

      Yes, and now we have to live with the stupid damn fireworks B.S.
      There cannot be that much money generated from them to off set even a small amount of the risk they pose. You don’t have to be “anti” regulation to see the stupidty here.
      I have never seen this state as dry and ready to torch as it is today.

  74. Salle says:

    Chock another one up for extinction…

    Lonesome George, last-of-its-kind Galapagos tortoise, dies

  75. DLB says:

    “Court rejects corporate campaign spending limits”

    Not wildlife news, but an issue that has been mentioned here many times. In my opinion, it’s pathetic that corporations can influence politics in this manner.

  76. DLB says:

    “Landslide study bogged down by scientific dispute”

    Possibly an attempt by Weyerhauser to continue their age-old tradition of raping Washington State timberlands.

  77. CodyCoyote says:

    California Condors are dying at an alarming rate from lead posioning, traced directly back to lead from bullets . It appears the threaten the entire population.

  78. actually I would love that . . But I can’t believe how little people know about bears. this is normal everyday behavior between male bears and there is no doubt from their body language that they were play fighting . .this film looks just like so many from Alaska that I have seen except for the skewed sensational news comments. We used to have almost full grown brown bears do this in the front lawn of the lodge on a regular basis, shaking the ground and knocking down plants. At least the home owner was reasonable but I can’t believe that Fish and Wildlife told them this was very rare behavior . . Geeesh.

  79. Immer Treue says:

    Though the sample size was small slightly north of 7,000,
    ~ 80% oppose wolf hunt in Minnesota survey. Whether flawed or not, that is a resounding sign of opposition. Most of the folks I run into in the Ely Area are opposed somewhat to the hunting, almost overwhelmingly anti trapping.

    • Mike says:

      Not a surprise. A big majority of U.S. citizens oppose wolf hunting and trapping.

  80. Mike says:

    Hunters may make the California condor extinct:

    Stop. using. lead. bullets.

  81. jon says:

    IDFG is thinking about letting trappers use bait to kill wolves. Absolutely disgusting.

    • Salle says:

      The only thing they’re thinking about is how to keep the public from hearing about how much they enjoy the killing, it will happen with impunity anyway – baiting that is – being Idaho and all…

  82. WM says:

    Definitely not wildlife news, but related in a way. Some of you become indignant about the nominal expenditure for the cost of Wildlife Services activities in the context of the overall federal budget, during these lean times.

    Here is a matter we all ought to be concerned about. IT is truly a huge waste of taxpayer dollars, and one that is especially egregeous and disturbing, if we have relatives and friends in harm’s way in the Army. Something to be really outraged about! And for those of you whose world is so small and narrow, that all you think about is wildlife, WAKE UP to some of the real problems in our world and our times! The Army’s $5B camo SNAFU:

    • Nancy says:

      It’s worth noting that, flawed as it was, the universal pattern did solve the problem of mismatched gear, said Eric Graves, editor of the military gear publication Soldier Systems “Daily, adding that the pattern also gave soldiers a new-looking uniform that clearly identified the Army brand.

      “Brand identity trumped camouflage utility,” Graves said. “That’s what this really comes down to: ‘We can’t allow the Marine Corps to look more cool than the Army.’ ”

      VERY, VERY sad WM….. but hey, our country’s elected officials will continue to put our citizens in harm’s way if there’s “buck$ to be made, right?

  83. Barb Rupers says:

    Save Bears.

    I see that you are in one of two areas with a quota on wolf kills for next fall in Montana in contrast to the rest of the state with none. How did the North Fork become so lucky? Beautiful country!

  84. Rancher Bob says:

    When a picture is worth a 1000 words.

    • Nancy says:

      Sad picture RB but if you think that’s awful to look at, watch Earthlings when you have the time. I think its available online.

      The article brought up some good points:

      “There has been quite a transformation of landscape over the years due to the expansion of industry and agriculture, and as a result, we see large fluctuations in prey and predator populations.

      Rather than targeting the animals that are responsible for the attack, hunters sometimes kill the nearest predator, which in some cases causes more problems than it solves,” said Paquet

      “It’s important to be vigilant on looking after your herd, including regular check-ups,” said Paquet.

      • Louise Kane says:

        It is sad but nothing compared to the misery that humans put farm and work animals through without a thought including confining calves in crates to create veal, factory farming practices in general for all animals, force feeding geese for foie gras, killing cattle in assembly line like slaughterhouses where they know what is coming, and trafficking horses and sheep to foreign countries where before they are slaughtered they suffer the misery of the trip. It always amazes me that when predators kill an animal it makes big sensationalist headlines and the calls come out to target and eliminate the wildlife. Where are the mandates to change the practices that might make the livestock appealing or a consideration to share a part of the landscape that humans have greedily gobbled up calling their own while driving out everything else.

        • jon says:

          Humans kill a lot of animals and when a wolf attacks and kills a donkey, it’s a big deal. I certainly feel bad for the donkey. No question about it, but where was the farmer when his donkey was attacked? Just like with the grizzly bear in Montana who killed some sheep, where was the rancher?

      • jon says:

        The first question I ask when I read a story like this is where was the farmer when his donkey was attacked by a wolf? You cannot blame the wolf as it sees a donkey as potential prey. Where was the farmer? obviously not watching over his donkey.

        • WM says:


          This is Alberta, Canada, not somewhere in the city.

          Someone, perhaps even several, on this forum, said wolves don’t attack donkeys, because they can defend themselves and other animals they tend to protect. Guess we have yet another data point. How many wolves does it take to kill a donkey? At some number, apparently there are enough.

          This article would also seem to suggest the folks in the NRM and WGL, and around wolves, are not the only ones with lower tolerance when their stock is at risk. And, if you look very closely at the photo of this donkey (or click to enlarge it), around its hind quarters you can see why it had to be put down.

          Something like 30 wolves killed in this area last year, according to the article, and pissed off farmers who don’t get compensation for their non-food production livestock. Do they have a right to be upset?

          And then, there is scientist – wolf advocate Paul Pacquet right in the middle of it opining on the matter (Recall he was the same and only scientist involved in the Coroner’s Inquest to say Kenton Carnegie was was killed by bears, rather than wolves).

          • DLB says:

            From the article:

            “Under the Alberta Wildlife Act, on private land the landowner is permitted to kill foxes, coyotes, wolves, black bears and cougars at any time of year without a hunting license.”

            The rancher’s reaction indicates that this type of act is rare. He can kill wolves at any time. Wolves were never extirpated completely in this area of Alberta, I think. The strong reaction is understandable, but are you indicating that there is some sort of injustice in this situation? I don’t see it……

            • Nancy says:

              DLB – a related article. Some interesting comments below the article (similar to comments heard here?)


              Again, where’s the owner responsibility if they care that much about their livestock (profits)

            • WM says:


              ++The rancher’s reaction indicates that this type of act is rare.++

              Not sure how you reached that conclusion. Let’s begin with the title.


              Did you and I read the same article? Here is my take away.

              1. Farmers are very concerned about more wolf depredation than in the past, and incidents on livestock are on the INCREASE. Wildlife agency confirms this.
              2. 30 wolves were shot here last year.
              3. Donkey owner shot 4 wolves on his property last year.
              4. Donkey owner bought the large male animal to protect his other stock (and as a breeder for his mares = mule offspring).
              5. No compensation in Alberta for injured or killed protection animal – this donkey was expensive at $6-8K.
              6. If wolves can kill this large donkey |”there’s nothing they can’t get.” Read that as strong pessimism about the future.
              7. Paquet gives a few pointers on protection against wolves, including guard dogs, fencing …. and donkeys.
              8. How many donkeys does a stock owner need to ward off a wolf attack? Apparently 1 was not enough in this instance.
              9. Left unsaid is whether more wolves/predators should be killed off. Paquet thinks not, but he doesn’t have skin in the game, so to speak. Another rancher takes his gun out to the field every time (guess we know his view).

              This is a lot like what is happening in the US where wolves and livestock owners interface. And for some it is about the economics and additional costs of farming/ranching that have been absent for 50-60+ years. No public lands welfare ranchers mentioned in Alberta.

              The complaints are generally the same in the WGL, NRM (and Eastern OR).

              The livestock owners, wherever they are, seem to think there are injustices: having to put up with more wolves, and the increased costs of doing business around them (and apparently for some inadequacies/inequities of offsetting publicly supported mitigation costs and compensation).

              And a footnote: The article which Nancy links to below says 2 donkeys (and a horse) were killed in Manitoba somewhere. A couple more data points that seem to go against the common belief here that donkeys are mostly immune from wolf attacks.

              • DLB says:

                Maybe we should keep a tally and determine, on average, how many horses or mules are killed by wolves in the NRM during the coming years.

                In that area of Alberta, you can kill wolves whenever you want, so it can be assumed this rancher has recourse for his loss. If anything, it shows that there will still be anger from ranchers toward predators even if they can “control” predators anytime they want.

                If you are trying to make the point that a wolf can take down a horse or mule, I’m in full agreement that it can and will happen. Knowing that ranchers will protest the injustice of wolves even with sweeping authority to implement control measures, where does the line get drawn in the NRM? Does a dozen horses & mules per year change the situation that much, other than disproving the assertion that a wolf can’t take down a mule? What I’m more curious about is how many calves are truly lost to wolves and never confirmed, or how much does the presence of wolves affect a cow’s weight.

    • DLB says:

      Just one of the many abuses an animal may suffer out on the ranch at the hands of man or beast. Those wolves are sure vicious killers though, aren’t they?

      • Salle says:

        Are there all that many killers out there, of any species, that aren’t vicious in their method of killing?

      • Louise Kane says:

        Definition of VICIOUS

        : having the nature or quality of vice or immorality : depraved — (see 1vice)

        The first definition of vicious as above from Merriman’s

        Predators are not vicious, they need to eat.

        • Salle says:

          …and that leaves just one species in particular.

          • Louise Kane says:

            Salle only one I know of and it’s not wolves, bears, coyotes, lions, tigers, cougar, dingos or anything with fur, feathers, or fangs.

        • jon says:

          I’m guessing wolves were hungry and decided to go after this donkey. I think most wouldn’t blame a natural predator for trying to eat. All of these attacks by wolves, coyotes, etc on livestock have really got me wondering. Where are these ranchers when their livestock is being attacked and killed by natural predators? If ranchers are losing their livestock, it’s clear they are not watching over their livestock like they should be. The ranchers cause their own problems imho.

          • jon says:

            This is an interesting, but somewhat old story. Who would have thought, a wolf and donkey becoming friends?


          • elk275 says:


            Maybe his ranch is so big that it is impossible to watch over all of his livestock 24 hours a day. Livestock spreads out to feed and not all of the livestock is visible at all times. It is private land and a man has a right to protect his investment.

            • Salle says:

              So wouldn’t it be logical to anticipate that he might invest just a little more in protecting that investment (of the livestock) with say, oh maybe… a few “watchers” on the property to actually perform those activities of keeping watch over the livestock to protect them from such loses? On second thought, livestock producers lose more animals to weather related losses than predators so perhaps they are a lost cause when best management practices are factored in. I wonder if these folks go into this “trade” because they figure they don’t need any certification or training and having some notion that the govmint’s gonna pay ’em for their pseudo-profession if they operate at a loss year after year regardless of their actual effort.

              Maybe there ought to be some kind of institutional training program for best management practices for livestock producers, like the CPA, RN or other professional exam or the like? Hell, even lowly truck drivers have to have significant training and some government certification.

              If taxpayers are to protect these livestock producers from losses, shouldn’t the taxpayers have the right to expect a given amount of actual proficiency from these folks as they do other professionals compensated and/or regulated by tax dollars?


June 2012


‎"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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