Here is our new open comments thread (starting on Sept. 17, 2012) on wildlife news topics you think are interesting. You can access the previous “Interesting Wildlife News” here.

Please post new stories and make comments about wildlife topics in the comments section below.

Elk on Yellowstone Park’s northern range. 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.

709 Responses to Have you come across any interesting wildlife news? September 17, 2012

  1. HAL 9000 says:

    Don’t know if anybody has posted this one yet — but the decline in moose populations might turn out to be a complex convergence of factors.

    Of course, the usual over-simplfication is that they’ve been “decimated” by wolves.

    Anyway, here’s the article:

    • CodyCoyote says:

      This article reporting the moose research and matrices of causes for declining populations all across the girdle of the North American continent needs to go to the top of the Grey Wolf forum as well.

      Here in northwest Wyoming, the local hunting cabal—and especially commercial outfitters— have been very vocal and political about blaming wolves and wolves only for the decline in moose, when truth be told the moose were dropping off years before the first wolf was uncaged in Yellowstone. All the outfitters and guides could see looking thru the wrong end of their binoculars was the loss of moose licenses and clients to exploit.

      Funny how the alleged ” professionals” who spend the most man-hours in the field in any given year and claim to know and understand ungulates and their behavior are the last to see the cause and effect. Maybe they can’t see the moose for the antlers, or the habitat for the (missing) trees…

      They somehow missed the after effects of the Yellowstone Fires of ’88 , too, and the cascade of wildfires elsewhere in the northern Rockies, not least of which in the Bitterroot country.

      • Immer Treue says:

        Brainworm in MN moose.

        Interesting article. States that the cause relationship cycle between deer and moose is still not clearly understood, but some studies do show that deer density of 13 per square mile is often associated with moose decline. Is it brainworm? Does clear cutting affect moose habitat(actually increases deer habitat)? Do moose have trouble competing with deer? Climate change? Or does increase in deer population bring in more wolves, thus more moose taken by wolves.

        Argument against the latter might be the picture presented in article, and recent moose killed in Ely area staggering around with brain worm. Quoting one of my AVID hunting friends,”if the wolves are all over the place as some say, how come they can’t find these moose Infected with brainworm?”

      • Salle says:

        To date: 810,975 acres of habitat loss as of 8:30am active and still burning in the state of Idaho alone!

        • Carl says:

          Salle, fires are a natural process that do more benefit to habitat than harm. You are spouting the old Smokey Bear myth.

          • CodyCoyote says:

            The ideal situation for fire as an ecological restorative is somewhere between ” Suppress All Fires ” ( Bad idea as the 20th century showed us ) and huge swaths of devastation like Idaho is experiencing this year.
            My own Shoshone National Forest needs to burn . But it should be more like 5 Percent every 10 Years ( 50 percent in 50 years) , not monster firestorms consuming entire watersheds. Once we give the region a good thorough burn to baseline pre-1900 , the fire cycle could be better managed, maybe 0.3 percent per year / 3 percent a decade depending on the zone.
            It takes about 125 years to regrow the forest here in NW Wyoming where annual precipitation is low . Of course the escalation of climate change may make all this moot.
            Too many of this summer’s fires were man-caused for the wrong reasons.

          • Salle says:


            I understand that point. The point I am making here is a carryover from a point I was making from yesterday in response to something Mr IDF$G made to the questions many of us asked about whether any adjustments to hunting parameters would be made given that the immediate habitat loss due to the current fires would be made. I just brought the point of how much has already been affected this summer, to date. I am not playing chicken little here, just a reminder since the thread was updated to alleviate the burden of slow loading due to volume of entries. I put it in bold so the person to whom the questions were asked could find it easily since he’s such a busy dude.

            And we’re waiting for a response, might take a couple days since he has to get his answers/responses approved being a public servant and all that.

            I also realize that there is an opportunity for a “greenup” next year, given there is appropriate precipitation and soil for those natural processes to take place… if conditions allow. But the forests will take longer to regenerate thus making habitat range much broader for some time as Cody pointed out.

            • Mark Gamblin (IDFG) says:

              Salle, Louise, jon….

              Why not pre-emptive action(s) to adjust hunting seasons, quotas, other adjustments, due to habitat loss from the on-going Idaho fires?

              I’m assuming (perhaps incorrectly) that you mean: “why not reduce quotas, reduce hunting opportunities for wolves and/or wolf prey species (elk, deer, moose) – due to less available habitat to support pre-fire numbers of wolves and prey?”

              IF I understand your question correctly, recognize that reducing hunting opportunity and therefor hunting harvest/kill/take of wolves or prey species to conserve or protect those animals surviving the fire would leave them to rely on ….. WHAT HABITAT….. in the intervening years before the burned habitat regains productive potential to again support the wolf and prey populations occupying the burned habitat? Are you suggesting that quotas and/or hunting seasons be increased to REDUCE numbers of wolves and prey species to accomodate a temporary net reduction in available habitat?

            • jon says:

              Mark, there are 3000 cougars in Idaho and 20,000 black bears and around 500-1000 wolves in Idaho. Why are hunters allowed to buy 5 wolf hunting tags each year and trappers can buy 5 wolf trapping tags each year on a wolf population that is far lower than the cougar and black bear population? Hunters can’t buy 5 tags this year and next year for bear or cougar, but they can for wolves even though there are far fewer wolves in Idaho than bears and cougars. You are giving a lot of wolves a death sentence just because they eat elk.

  2. grdnrmt says:

    Black Bear attack in “The Bob” determined to be predatory…

    • Salle says:

      Not only was there little for them to eat most of the summer,it’s getting on denning time. I expect there will be lots of that kind of activity this fall.

      • Rancher Bob says:

        Montana is a big state, where I live bears had lots of berries and no bear problems, local bear biologist thinks they are high eating moths. So have you been in “The Bob” this year?

        • Salle says:

          Would have loved to travel some this summer but due to monetary circumstances beyond my control, I can’t afford to leave the neighborhood.

    • HAL 9000 says:

      It’s my understanding that black bear attacks, although more rare than grizzly attacks, are actually more dangerous.

      When black bears attack, it’s usually for just one reason. To try eating you.

      • grdnrmt says:

        Over the years I have read several accounts of predatory black bear attacks, mostly in eastern Canada…not so much for grizzlies. As a side note, I enjoyed the movie “The Edge,” even knowing that it was an inaccurate portrayal of grizzly bears…( I am a fan of “Bart The Bear” and Alberta scenery.)

        • steve says:

          Yes, ten or so years ago a woman was killed and partially eaten in a predatory attack by a black bear in Tennessee. A few years later a six year old girl was killed in a non-provoked attack also in Tennessee.

          Whether as a result of those attacks or not, I do know that Forest Service warnings on black bears that I have seen in campgrounds and on trails at least in the East, have been changed from basically “do not feed bears or approach them or their cubs” to add “if possible do not hike alone or at night”.

          That’s far different from when I was a kid many decades ago when bears were considered big raccoons–I remember chasing one that had grabbed a backpack.

  3. JEFF E says:

    sorry, not exactly wildlife related and a commercial but……

  4. Salle says:

    Why Tree Plantations Are the Problem, Not the Solution

    • Barb Rupers says:

      I was not impressed by the tree plantations in south-central Chile which have displaced many square miles of native coniferous habitat. Pinus radiata from California and eucalyptis from Australia are used to replace the native, slower growing forests. Harvest cycles were about 25 years for the pine, less for the eucalyptis, which is used for pulp. I was on a birding and treeing tour; I saw only one small brush bird during the two weeks I was there and never got to the areas that contained native trees.

  5. Salle says:

    This is interesting…

    Rocky Mountain National Park wolf reintroduction case to be heard at CU-Boulder

  6. Salle says:

    OpEd calling for taxpayer funding of WYO F&G… Interesting framing

    Will Wyoming be priced out of a way of life?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I would be more than happy to pay a fee as a wildlife watcher to help out and keep WYO’s magnificent way of life going.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Its an interesting piece but the primary worry seems to be to protect hunting and fishing, even while admitting that the state makes a lot of money from wildlife watching. I think people would not mind paying a tax to preserve wildlife and for the priviledge of access to wild lands. I’d hate to have my money going to kill that wildlife. By the time the tourists start seeing the wolf slaughter this fall it will be hard to convince people to pay a wildlife viewing tax.

      • Louise Kane says:

        And Ida
        I’d agree with you, I’d be more than happy to pay a fee but would want wildlife management to reflect that.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Yes, I agree Louise –

        I could support some hunting and certainly fishing, but not a blatant disregard for wolves and other wildlife. Visitors should help to preserve the wildlife and wild lands they love to visit. It would be a terrible shame if these things were to disappear.

    • Mark LaRoux says:

      While y’all are at it can you just go ahead and tax the sunsets also? Honestly, I think this is the most elitist, uppity idea that I’ve heard in a while. Tax people to look at nature? Really?

      • Nancy says:

        Could be off on my numbers Mark, but a mere 10% of people in this country, hunt and pay fees/taxes to KILL nature.

        Not a stretch to think the other 90% or so, might not have a problem paying to see wildlife, in what’s left of their natural habitats.

        • Mark L says:

          The other 90 percent have already paid for it too…they just don’t complain loudly enough and don’t demand a higher level of responsibility from those that ‘care for the land for us’. Gosh, who was that guy that regretted not ‘misbehaving’ more? Hmm….

          • Rancher Bob says:

            I find it interesting that if 10 percent of the population are hunters how the other 90 percent much be wildlife watchers. I would say the largest percent of the population just have other interest. If watchers were the largest percentage then where are the groups representing the watchers. There is no wildlife watchers unlimited, no wildlife watchers foundation. I think the claim that 90 percent of the population is wildlife watchers is hopeful thinking, because if there was that many people watching wildlife someone would start a group.

            • Louise Kane says:

              Rancher Bob, Your statement “There is no wildlife watchers unlimited, no wildlife watchers foundation. I think the claim that 90 percent of the population is wildlife watchers is hopeful thinking, because if there was that many people watching wildlife someone would start a group.” is ludicrous. First off there is a group called wildlife watchers that is easily found on a simple search of the internet. There are numerous advocacy groups that represent people who wish to see true conservation ideals advanced and advocated for. I would argue that a majority of the people that belong to these organizations do not want to see predators and other animals killed for sport, do not support the use of lead bullets that poison wildlife and their habitats, do not want traps and snares littering, killing and creating mine fields and value wildlife over cows, sheep and domesticated animals. What constituency do you think earthjustice, wildearth guardians, audubon, sierra club, natural resource defense council, center for biological diversity, conservation international and other represent? even at a quick glance there are many many groups and formal organizations dedicated to the protection of wildlife and their habitats. I listed the predator master site as they note the many groups that challenge their killing culture.



            • Louise Kane says:

              I’m betting that the majority of people belonging to these organizations, count themselves as wildlife watchers.

            • Nancy says:

              FYI Bob.


              Now grant you some on the list are memorials, museums, monuments, Ex-Presidential homes, battlefields etc. but many are national parks, seashores and parkways w/ very impressive numbers, of what I’d guess to be, wildlife watchers.

            • JB says:

              Groups for “Wildlife Watchers”

              Defenders of Wildlife
              World Wildlife Fund
              The Audubon Society
              Wildearth Guardians
              The Sierra Club
              The Wildlife Conservation Society
              National Wildlife Federation

              Of course, to my knowledge none of these groups turn away hunters (good for them!). There are also numerous hunting organizations that do great habitat conservation work (e.g., Ducks Unlimited, RMEF–yeah, I know).

              Wildlife conservation (and preservation!) is furthered by the longstanding alliance between hunters and wildlife watchers. Breaking that alliance means both groups will waste money fighting each other (in courts) rather than protecting habitat and endangered populations. In the end, wildlife will lose.

            • Rancher Bob says:

              Nice list everyone just to follow up on my point we all know what a mission statement is and why groups have a mission statement. Now tell me which of the groups you listed say anything about wildlife viewing or watching. You may argue wildlife watcher benefit from these groups but so do hunters at times.
              So called wildlife viewers question why they have no political clout the answer is ludicrous, it’s because you believe you are a majority.
              Every hunter I know is a wildlife watcher but I don’t believe 90% of the population watches wildlife.

            • Immer Treue says:

              Rancher Bob,

              Good point. If I’m allowed to pick and choose, does everyone who belongs to RMEF hunt, or NRA?

              Take the total number of hunters, and I’ll hazard a guess, and they are dwarfed by number of wildlife watchers(non consumptive). That said I would hazard another guess that there are a good number of hunters who view the wildlife experience with the joy of the true nonconsumptive users.

              The majority of wild life watchers, and perhaps a good chunk of hunters are no more than weekend warriors, my last guess

            • Rancher Bob says:

              I would agree.
              What do you think of the statement that if 10% of the population hunts everyone else is a “watcher”.
              I’ll have to read RMEF and the NRA mission statements but I would guess hunters and gun owners.

            • JB says:


              You needn’t guess at the numbers. According to the Census Bureau and USFWS, in 2011 13.7 million people hunted while 71.8 million watched wildlife. So if my calculations are correct, about 5% of the population hunts in a given year, while 24% watch wildlife.

              Now making some assumptions…

              We know not all hunters hunt every year. From our previous studies, I would suggest the number of people who consider themselves hunters is 2-3 times the number that hunt every year. Let’s use 3. That would mean about 40 million people (15%) nationwide are hunters. Of course, it’s also fair to “weight” the stats on wildlife watching (not everyone can make a trip every year–as I learned myself this year). Use a factor of 2 and you get 144 million or so (nearly half, but no where near 90%–and remember close to 1/3 of these folks are hunters).

              With a decreasing proportion of the population hunting, those hunters who would ostracize non-consumptive users of wildlife are fools (and vice versa)–both groups need each other for wildlife conservation to survive.

              Stop fighting and start working together.

            • Rancher Bob says:

              Thanks for the extra work and the 4:44 a.m. part is impressive.
              Mostly it’s not fighting it’s widening the scope of one’s knowledge.

            • Immer Treue says:


              I wrote there are inner city folks who have not seen a cow in a field, I did not write all inner city folks …

              And as we further evolve into a society of electronic gadgetry and spend more time indoors, kids in particular, the gap between the number/% of hunters who watch wildlife and the nonconsumptive wildlife watcher will shrink. Just an educated guess.

          • Immer Treue says:

            Rancher Bob,

            I’d think in the general population you “might” find 10% that are avid wildlife watchers, but I’m guessing again. Get in the inner cities and there are folks that haven’t seen a cow in a field, let alone be able to differentiate between a starling and a robin, and no clue between a grizzly and black bear.

            • Rancher Bob says:

              I would agree.

            • Louise Kane says:

              don’t be so sure about all the inner city folks you discount as ignorant
              and RB all these hunters that you suggest are wildlife watchers, do they watch the wildlife before or after they shoot it?

            • elk275 says:


              Do not be so sure about all hunters. I carry a small pair of binoculars with me and I always stop and look at wildlife. The other evening I was coming back from Big Sky and there were 2 small groups of Big Horn Sheep on the road. If the traffic wasn’t as dangerous I would have stopped. I hope that none of the sheep were killed by a truck.

              I aways stop to look at wildlife if possible.

            • Louise Kane says:

              JB thanks for analysis

            • Rancher Bob says:

              First to be a good hunter you must study your prey.
              Personally I spent a large part of every day outside with all sorts of wildlife it’s part of my life style, and I enjoy watching wildlife. In the last 2 years I’ve been within 30 yards of black bears, grizzly sow with twins,bobcat,lion,wolves, and coyotes just to name the large predators. This may shock you but they all lived through that meeting. There are others who did not live after meeting me, not shocking I’m sure.
              As for the hunters and trappers I know they could tell you and show you more about wildlife and watching wildlife than any biologist because many have degrees.

            • Louise Kane says:

              Rancher Bob
              what eludes me is, being an avid wildlife watcher myself, where that urge to kill comes in? At what precise moment does one decide to end the life of the fascinating, wonderful, amazing animal that is being watched so that it becomes a dead lifeless carcass. Why does it become necessary or satisfying to kill an animal as a trophy? I’ve never heard a defensible argument for that emotion. Its creepy, to me. I get the kill for food argument, not the kill for thrill. I almost hate to see wildlife anymore, I am afraid that the animal I see might not be so careful of the next human it sees, the wildlife watching/loving human with the trap, bow and arrow, snare, or gun. We have created a minefield for wildlife. I am disgusted by that.

            • Rancher Bob says:

              I guess I don’t know the kill for the thrill feeling. Every animal I’ve killed that I recall was killed for a reason, maybe not a reason you would care for. Ralph once said people like me become less sensitive, that may be so, but I kill the coyote because I’m tired of seeing young fawns on the ranch in a panic because they lost their mother the night before. I shoot gophers because badgers dig them up and I’ve had to put a young colt down for a broken leg.
              Nature is a cycle and I’m part of that cycle. You may not see the deaths your life causes but all life continues at the cost of other life.
              You asked I tried to answer.

        • ma'iingan says:

          “Could be off on my numbers Mark, but a mere 10% of people in this country, hunt and pay fees/taxes to KILL nature.

          Not a stretch to think the other 90% or so, might not have a problem paying to see wildlife, in what’s left of their natural habitats.”

          It’s so black and white for you, isn’t it? In reality, however, there’s a lot of overlap between your good group and your evil group.

          Many hunters are “wildlife watchers”, or have family members who don’t hunt but support hunting. Where do they fall on your axis of evil?

          And what is a “wildlife watcher”, anyway? If 90% of citizens qualify automatically the criteria must be very open-ended.

          • Nancy says:

            “It’s so black and white for you, isn’t it? In reality, however, there’s a lot of overlap between your good group and your evil group”

            I didn’t realize I’d reduced the group (and the discussion) to “good & evil” Ma’.

            I said “Not a stretch to think the other 90% or so…..might not have a problem paying to see wildlife, in what’s left of their natural habitats”

            But it certainly wouldn’t be a stretch to say that a HUGE majority, who visit parks and wilderness areas, do so with a camera and not a gun, right?

          • WM says:


            Ma’ makes a really good point: ++Many hunters are “wildlife watchers”, or have family members who don’t hunt but support hunting.++

            My wife (non-hunter but supports my interest in it) and I just got back from a six day backpack trip, and wildlife watching was a big part of it. In a couple of weeks (actually only two weeks a year) I will hunt elk. The rest of the year, all 50 weeks (whether watching squirrels, blue jays, crows and hummingbirds in my back yard), I am a wildlife watcher.

            In which catagory am I counted in such a survey, wildlife watcher or hunter (and how about my non-hunting, but supporting wife)?

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Well, in our modern society – we pay for what we value. Unfortunately. I have always said a visit to the national parks are the most economical trip going, and they need to raid the fees for upkeep, for enough rangers to have a decent salary, and this benefits the parks. I’d gladly do my share.

        I love to watch wildlife wherever I go – my own backyard, a trip in my area, or an amazing trip out West or to a foreign country. I always have my binoculars with me.

        I do agree that as we move ahead in technological gagetry, we lose a sense of the natural world. A lot of people don’t have an inclination or interest in it, and so it gets fogotten – which is why wolves and bighorn sheep etc can get slaughtered because it is assumed, and correctly, that people don’t know what is going on out there and don’t care because it doesn’t affect their every day lives. The wolf delisting is a prime example and a terrible shock, or should be, to our country.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Oops, make that “raise” not “raid”. 🙂

        • ma'iingan says:

          “The wolf delisting is a prime example and a terrible shock, or should be, to our country.”

          A puzzling comment – the criteria for Federal delisting of WGL wolves were clearly spelled out in the 1978 USFWS Eastern Timber Wolf recovery plan.

          Each state established their own delisting criteria in the years following and developed a management plan, all of them speaking to public harvest as a potential management tool.

          Three attempts were made by USFWS to delist wolves in the WGL states, beginning in 2003, all blocked by lawsuits – so the final delisting in December 2010 was a shock???

          • Ida Lupine says:

            I have followed this issue for years, so I am well aware of how many times attempts were made to get delisting.

            The shock is the way it was done – tacking it on as a budget rider by Congress and precluding any judicial review. State management sounds great in theory, but in actuality it doesn’t seem to be based on scientific objectivity. It will manage them out of existence.

  7. jon says:

    Good news for Minnesota wolf advocates. I’d like to see what immer thinks about this.

    • Immer Treue says:


      Mixed feelings. In my opinion, the rush to hunt after delisting has opened the door for this type of litigation in MN and WI.

      Couple three things I’m concerned about in MN. One, is trapping. I’m just opposed to trapping/snaring period. Number two, the season was originally written with all wolf seasons ending ~ January 3rd or so, and there was some sort of legislatural push to extend the season to ~ January 25 or so. Third and perhaps most important, most of the noise for a wolf season was made by a Dale Lueck and a few other farmers/ranchers. Now, you must understand that ranching up here is different that in the NRM States. The noise was made for “help” with livestock depredations.

      So, my question is why is wolf hunting/trapping not mainly conducted in areas where depredations are higher? Going deep into Superior National forest is for trophy and trophy alone.

      Those are my concerns. On a positive note, a season on wolves “may” serve as a pressure relief valve for those who don’t care for wolves, and there are a lot of them up here. 400 wolves for the season is ~ 13% +/- of the population. That’s pretty conservative. Throw in the 200 or so removed for depredations during. Non-hunting season and the inevitable SSS, and it’s still not too big of a hit on the total population.

      For the most part it’s ranchers and hunters who favor this. It’s surprising how many from MN oppose the hunt. On a personal note, whether I hunt or not this year( NOT WOLVES) the extension ( I believe the extension is for trapping only, I could be wrong) of the wolf season makes my life and that of my dog a bit more complicated. In the past I enjoyed strapping on skis and follow wolf sign through the BWCAW, and look for sign of wolves. If trappers are doing the same thing, where are their traps, both for keeping my dogs safe and of being perceived as obstructing the trappers activities.

      I guess that’s enough.

      • jon says:

        Immer, how would you feel if you came across a trapped or snared wolf in Minnesota? I’m sure it won’t be a pretty sight. They are allowing snares to be used in Minnesota’s upcoming wolf hunt correct?

        • Immer Treue says:


          I’d feel pretty bad, for the wolf, and because I’m anti-trapping. It would be illegal to interfere and if in leg hold, good way to get bit, which is curtains for the wolf anyway.

      • jon says:

        One article I read said that this MN wolf hunt is not being done because of population control, it’s being done so that hunters can have another shoot target to bag as their trophy. Immer, regardless if you have a hunt or not, it will most likely not change how some hunters and ranchers feel about wolves. To a lot of hunters and ranchers, the only good wolf to them is a dead one.

  8. Ida Lupine says:

    It’s so sad – I remember reading about how proud it appeared that Minnesotans were of the success of their wolf reintroduction program, and the International Wolf Center. It was like a selling point for visiting. I guess I read it wrong. 🙁

    • Immer Treue says:


      Not really. I think most folks from MN are proud that the state was the last bastion for wolves, and the fact we have had a fairly constant population for The past 10 years says a lot for the people of the state. Wolves do get into trouble here, but the method of taking. Are of that “problem” has been rather universally well received in the state.

      In the time of electronic communication, there are enough people making enough noise, and the old guard does Not have the power (for lack of a better word “bullying” people who believe wolves belong) they once did. Little Red Riding Hood was wrong.

    • ma'iingan says:

      “It’s so sad – I remember reading about how proud it appeared that Minnesotans were of the success of their wolf reintroduction program, and the International Wolf Center. It was like a selling point for visiting. I guess I read it wrong.”

      You did read it wrong – there was no wolf reintroduction program in Minnesota; wolves were never extirpated – in fact it provided the source population for wolf recolonization of Wisconsin and upper Michigan.

      And while the IWC is indeed something to be proud of, and certainly a tourist destination, it’s a captive wolf facility that has little to do with the controversial issues that surround wild wolves.

  9. jon says:

    Typical comments you would expect from these kind of people. One commenter writes the only good wolf is a dead one and that they belong in zoos, not the woods.

  10. Ida Lupine says:

    Pearce was bowhunting for elk in the upper Squaw Creek when a pack of wolves responded to his cow calls and bugling. Pearce had a wolf tag, so he kept calling to see what they would do.

    I’m so tired of the lies and the spin. The wolf did not stalk him, he called the wolf to him. Other accounts from hunters I have read do the same – the wolf came “after” them (but they used a call to lure them). Noone should have ever given the “management” of these animals back to the states. Even the Washington Post article wasn’t that great – “resurgent” wolves off “federal assistance”. Now if we can only get some of the people off of it. 😉

    • Immer Treue says:

      Ma’iingan has seen this in Wisconsin. Smell like a deer look like a tree, wolves curious by nature investigate and hunter thinks he’s being attacked. Add the bugling in NRM states and wallah!

  11. DLB says:

    “Raids target alleged wildlife poachers and traffickers”

    It’s nice to see the WDFW drill a few miscreants from time to time.

    • Immer Treue says:


      Love that word miscreants!

      “They say it is a growing black market that threatens the survival of wild game herds and the safety of humans who are served uninspected game in stores and restaurants.

      They also say poaching and trafficking has spawned a new and profitable angle for organized crime.”

      Probably over sized egos from the MacKenzie Valley of Canada, eh?

  12. Nancy says:

    “They also say poaching and trafficking has spawned a new and profitable angle for organized crime”

    Gee, what do you think the chances are, the Fish & Game boys who cover Townsend, have a few “feet” on the ground (re this recent post by Salle)

    Are these sorry examples of hunters, gonna be “hanging em proudly w/bragging rights” on some wall in their homes or…. is organized crime (meaning exactly whom?) more prevalent these days due to the economy?

  13. jon says:

    “This attitude — the only good predator is a dead predator, based largely not on livestock protection but on competition for game — is lessening with each generation but will probably always hang on, handed down by ancestors and camp lore. I heard it in camps hither and yon during my own growing-up years and carried some of the bias into early adulthood, when the illogic and immorality of it slowly dawned.”

    • Immer Treue says:

      “This attitude — the only good predator is a dead predator, based largely not on livestock protection but on competition for game — is lessening with each generation but will probably always hang on, handed down by ancestors and camp lore”

      That’s the drift I get from those who don’t care for wolves up here Jon.

    • Mark L says:

      Anyone want to venture a guess where this attitude originated?

      • Mark L says:

        Ok….no takers on the origin. Before there was ever mention of ‘predator’, the phrase used ‘indian’. Now why would they say that, and what’s it got to do with wolves? Anybody?

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Anything standing in the way of those who came up with the manifest destiny concept. 🙁

  14. jon says:

    This is how some people treat our wildlife. Having tournaments where hunters who kill the most coyotes win prizes and money.

    • Connie says:

      Cabela’s lost my business when they sponsored such an event, like I’m sure they really care.

  15. Louise Kane says:

    a link on the site for the petition for rulemaking. These are one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit against hunting wolves in MN

    Interesting to see the WS and MN lawsuitrs brought by some smaller orgs working in tandem with larger groups like Center for Biological Diversity. I hope its a new trend of cooperative advocacy

  16. Jeff N. says:

    Another article on the Wedge Pack and their taste for cattle.

    If this guy is having a chronic depredation problem with this pack, as he claims, than the pack needs to be controlled, no doubt. But I’m tired of the same old bullshit coming from the mouths of these people.

    For instance:

    ++++”The game department told me they’re nearly 100 percent beef in the manure piles,” Laurier, Wash., rancher Len McIrvin said. “They’ve taken all the game in this area and are just living on these cattle.”++++

    They’ve taken all the game and are no going after cattle. Probably not. If in fact they are taking as many cattle as he claims, they’ve discovered that bringing down a cow is easier than finding and killing elk.

    100% beef manure piles? Too funny

    ++++McIrvin said he still gets phone calls, with the callers seem to be evenly distributed between industrial support and avid wolf supporters.
    “As long as it’s not their cattle, pets or kids getting eaten, everything is great,” he said wryly. “One woman in Seattle said, ‘I love wolves, I’d just like to take one home to cuddle with.’ I wish she would.”++++

    The usual dead kid nonsense and the outright lie that some wolf supporter from “Seattle” called him and said she wanted to cuddle with a wolf. Making up nonsense like this makes him look stupid-er.

    ++++”It’s not the wolves’ problem — wolves do what wolves do: They kill for fun, support and hunger,”++++

    And of course, the “killing for fun” had to be thrown in there. And what is killing for “support”? Maybe it was a misquote and he actually said “sport”….please.

    I’d take this guy more seriously if he’d quit barfing up the usual garbage you hear from people who don’t support the comeback of the wolf.

    • jon says:

      Can’t blame the wolves for being wolves. Wolves aren’t dumb animals. This is a rancher caused problem, not a wolf. Not surprised one bit that the ranchers want the whole wolf pack wiped out. I think there is 11-12 wolves in that whole pack and I hope WDFW doesn’t cave into the demands from the ranchers and kill off the whole pack.

    • jon says:

      I don’t believe they killed off all the game in the area. They are going after the easiest prey and that is cattle. They say they are going to go out of business if the wegde pack isn’t killed. You can expect that wolf advocates will voice their opposition if WDFW caves into these rancher’s demands and decide to kill off this whole pack which includes the alpha male and alpha female which they said in the past they would not kill.

    • bret says:

      Jeff N.
      ++100% beef manure piles? Too funny++

      . WDFW states that “Western U.S. wolf experts agree this pack is now targeting livestock over natural wild prey.”

      sounds like the rancher may not be that far off.

      • Rancher Bob says:

        I would guess the humor would end quickly if those wolf piles were costing Jeff what they cost beef producers. It’s September, the time to gather your cattle close if wolves live near.

        • Nancy says:

          “It’s September, the time to gather your cattle close if wolves live near”

          Oh PLEASE RB…. September is a time/dealine to get cattle out of many areas of public lands.

          Its also a time to sort and seperate the big from the little (cows & calves)

          I’m right now listening to a 100 head or so of cows down on the meadow in front of me, mourning that seperation, which took place just a day ago.

          Bags still full of milk and their babies are gone, shipped off…that simple when it comes to raising livestock. $$$

          • Rancher Bob says:

            Last year you were whining about cattle on public lands in October now your whining about cattle off public land in September. Having buyers remorse or wishing you had more $$$.

            • Nancy says:

              Geez, I’m amazed that you would keep such close tabs on my comments RB 🙂 but if you will recall, it was October last year only because it was a late spring/snow and moving cattle to and off public lands was delayed a few weeks.

              Bags still full of milk and these gals are wearing a path around the fencelines right now looking for their babies.

              Perhaps more thought out to be given to weight when they come off the range vs weaning right about the same time?

            • Rancher Bob says:

              I’m not going to make management decisions for your neighbors from my chair. 🙂

            • Nancy says:

              I’m not going to make management decisions for your neighbors from my chair”

              And you shouldn’t have to RB, its not like any of you have anything in common.

      • Jeff N. says:

        Brett and RB. I clearly stated that the pack needs to be controlled if the depredations are chronic, which it appears they are.

        I’m not disputing the depredations. Just pointing out that “100% pure beef manure piles” made me chuckle. Sounds like it should be used in an advertisement or something. Settle down boys.

    • Mark L says:

      On a related issue, I’d be curious to know how many of those cat killing coyotes have been taken during night hunts. Do they keep stats on this stuff? If not, how would we know if it’s effective?

    • Louise Kane says:

      anyone know if the wolf killed had anything to do with the the stepped up coyote killing plans? The article does not say much

  17. steve says:

    I was down in the Ozarks last weekend and around sunset saw what I at first thought was a run-of-the-mill deer warning sign alongside highway 65 near the Buffalo River National River. My wife and I laughed at the unusually large antlers on the sign.

    A couple miles later, we looked off to the left and in a meadow about 150 yards off the highway was a herd of about 20 elk, with 3 large bulls.

    Yes, I knew that elk had been restocked in Arkansas, yet still it was a treat to see them.

  18. jon says:

    This is a sad story. Another grizzly killed just for being a grizzly.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Such stress for the poor cub. I don’t know why they kill the mother like that. I will always say that losing cattle is the cost of doing business when you have a ranch in areas with wildlife, and if you don’t take steps to watch the animals or to keep predators at bay. There was a story here that I found absolutely shocking – a man freaked out and destroyed hundreds of birds and their eggs because they were pests on his farm. Hundreds. Something has to change in the way we do things, especially since in modern times we should have better, non-poisonous and non-lethal means, and also because there are so many of us and so few of them. Also, I never can understand why an animal is called “it” – they are male or female, he or she. To keep the great divide between humans and other living things going, I guess.

  19. JEFF E says:

    “but…but….but…accelerated climate change is just a environmentalist party trick”, says the Maine jelly fish.

  20. Louise Kane says:

    more on the MN lawsuit
    The case appears to have merit based on the DNR ignoring an administrative rule making process. Specifically notable are the comments at the end of the article. The tone, level of thoughtfulness, and concern about the DNR overstepping its authority are impressive and differ radically from those you mights see in response to something written about Idaho or Montana wolves. A refreshing step in the right direction if these wolves are left unmolested from the hunting and killing spree. I’d especially love to see this population remain free from hunting so there is at least one group of wolves to use as a baseline study to determine natural dispersal, effects on prey, livestock,stability of population densities, overall health, and to as the author notes to allow even more more time for public acceptance of wolves to thrive. Keep the lawsuits coming

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Domesticated dogs have always had the potential for carrying tapeworm and other such things. This is a new one? All the more reason for people to clean up after their dogs in parks for santiation purposes (one of my pet peeves!) 🙂

    • Salle says:

      When asked about the utility of predator-prey relationships, Allen explained, “Natural balance is a Walt Disney movie. It isn’t real.” Under his leadership, the Elk Foundation recently offered the state of Montana $50,000 to contract with the federal Wildlife Services agency to “aggressively” kill more wolves. “And the next step is the grizzly bear,” he said. “We’ve got bear issues with elk calves in the spring—both grizzly and black bear. We can’t have all these predators with little aggressive management and expect to have ample game herds, and sell hunting tags and generate revenue.”

      This approach has not gone over well with some conservationists. Ralph Maughan, a director of the Western Watersheds Project and the Wolf Recovery Foundation, said that Allen “has not only taken a strongly anti-wolf position, but he has done it taking an in-your-face way to traditional conservation organizations such as those supported by Olaus Murie. … Allen has also expressed contempt for many of the concepts of ecology, as he seems to be moving the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation toward a single-species, single-value-of-elk (hunting) approach.”

    • jon says:

      “”Mr. Allen and his anti-wolf rhetoric have alienated him and his organization from many of the very organizations that have helped the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation—in subtle and profound ways—garner the successes it has had over the years,” said Bob Ferris, a 30-year wildlife researcher.

      It’s sad that a foundation that once understood the complex relationship between elk and wolves has succumbed to the pressures of hunters who don’t like wolves.”

      So very true imho.

  21. Salle says:

    Chimney Rock to be named a national monument

    Chimney Rock to be named a national monument – The Denver Post
    Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content:

    The land will be managed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service, and White House officials said they will work with the tribes in the area. Ranchers will maintain grazing rights.

    This appears to be a bi-partisan effort. It is in the midst of Southern Ute Indian Reservation which indicates that the grazing permittees are quite likely tribal ranchers.

  22. Salle says:

    Arctic Sea Ice Levels Hit Record Low, Scientists Say We’re ‘Running Out Of Time’


    ‘Planetary Emergency’: New Data Elevates Climate Change Alarm
    Arctic exploitation ‘perfect indictment of our failure to get to grips with the greatest problem we’ve ever faced’

  23. Nancy says:

    Hmmm……..”The most recent national survey shows hunter numbers are up nation-wide”

  24. Ralph Maughan says:

    Because there is no room for another “reply” in the thread where it is posted, I will make this comment at the top level.

    Mark Gamblin (IDFG) wrote on September 20, 2012 at 4:35 am

    “The most recent national survey shows hunter numbers are up nation-wide. Idaho hunter numbers have been stable or slightly increasing for a number of years. Surveys that cross-reference recreation activities by wildlife enthusiasts consistently document that a significant percentage of “wildlife watchers” are also “hunters”. This again illustrates why wildlife conservationists – hunters, wildlife watchers, those who simply want to know that abundant wildlife resources are being conserved – have more in common than in conflict. Unity among all wildlife advocates is absolutely necessary for wildlife conservation to succeed in the face of the increasing challenges we know are coming.”
    [boldface is mine — RM]

    I couldn’t agree more with Mark though we our differences over specifics. This is a major reason why I began this on-line newspaper though it is not the only reason. Having said this, I am dismayed at the reflexive anti-hunting attitude some people who comment take in post after post. I wish people who constantly “hum” this one note would take their tune somewhere else.

    • JB says:

      Hear, hear!

      • Louise Kane says:

        do you think that the anti-hunting relfex might have something to do with the evolution of a destructive hunting ethos that seems to be prevalent in so many places and that we see evidence of all over the internet and elsewhere. There appear to be a great many sites and organizations devoted to killing predators and to celebrating killing as much and as fast as is possible. This does not embody a conservation ethic to me. Is the kill as much as you can model one that will sustain abundant wildlife resources? A bigger question to me is can wildlife populations sustain the hunting losses they have in the past in the face of human encroachment and habitat loss? Is it that unreasonable to rethink hunting, at least trophy hunting, of large mammals. Is it unreasonable to think that the proverbial olive branch might not work in management regimes anymore because hunting ethics are not what they used to be, we have less wilderness and fewer robust populations of animals.

        • Savebears says:

          Fewer Robust populations? Come on, most large mammals are at all time highs in populations Louise..

          In the early part of the 1900’s Whitetails were all but gone in the US, now they are the Most prolific game animal in the US, in many areas Elk are running at all time highs, many species have recovered and are thriving!

        • Savebears says:

          Why would a pro hunter want to rethink management based on an anti hunters ideas?

          • Louise Kane says:

            maybe because a rethinking is in order because the current managemnet practices do not appear to equally incorporate the desires of both sides – hunting and non hunting. Most of you here argue that the majority of hunters have ethics and that you are trained to kill and employ the least suffering possible when doing so and that you utilize your kill. So there would be little argument from most of you then that eliminating killing for fun, trapping, snaring and the use of arrows would help you to legitimize that position?

        • Immer Treue says:

          But Louise,

          “do you think that the anti-hunting relfex might have something to do with the evolution of a destructive hunting ethos that seems to be prevalent in so many places and that we see evidence of all over the internet and elsewhere. There appear to be a great many sites and organizations devoted to killing predators and to celebrating killing as much and as fast as is possible.”

          1. In the posting guide lines it states this is not an anti-hunting blog.
          2. It would appear from the postings of those who hunt on this site, there exist only those who hunt for food, and that includes the few bears that some admit to have taken.
          3. Other than the few bears, no predator hunters here. Nobody posing with pictures of what they have killed.
          4. These are the very people, those who hunt with ethics, who post here. Why in the world would someone try to alienate them?
          5. Unethical hunters and poachers are continually exposed on this blog.
          6. Logical debate is stimulating, it makes one think and defend the points one makes. There’s a lot of good “stuff” that goes on in the world of wildlife. Wolves are the lightning rod critter. Twenty years ago in the lower 48 they were found only in MN, and a few in WI and MI. In the NRM SSS took care of the dispersers from
          Canada before they could propagate. We’ve come a long way.

          • Louise Kane says:

            I agree logical debate is stimulating, and its one of the reasons I read this blog. There is a great deal to learn here from some pretty impressive people.

            However, I am not so sure I agree that there is so much “good stuff” going on. I think your assessemnt that wolves are a lightning rod critter and not necessarily representative of other wildlife policy or attidtudes has merit. But anti predator policy is a die hard tradition that is going to take a lot of work to reverse. You said, “Twenty years ago in the lower 48 they were found only in MN, and a few in WI and MI.” The main reason they persisted in the last 17 years is because they were protected. taking away those protections only reveals the need to reinstate them until tolerance has been fostered, learned and implemented through laws and regulations. You are probably right there is some good stuff but there is still an avalanche of disturbing bad policy that does little to foster coopertaive startegies and relys heavily on killing. For people who don’t believe that killing wildlife is necesary, good or valuable as management, the current paradigm tha creates a defensive environment that does not make it easy to work coorepratively. Its hard to feel hopeful in 2012 when its still legal to maim, torture and harrass wildlife. Penning, hunting with dogs, snares, traps, arrows – all methods of suffering that are incomprehensible to me. and for trophies or fun!

            • Immer Treue says:


              In terms of recreational trapping, I’m with you 100%. I don’t know if coyote killing feeds this predator frenzy, but it seems the more they kill, the more coyotes there are.

              The moribund need to kill, just to kill is, well, moribund.

              All that said, the hunters on this site all appear sound and ethical with what they do, and for them to continually have to defend themselves and their legal activity, against a few very vocal individual is wrong.

              Perhaps what we need to do is capitalize on instances such as the anti- wolf/predator folks do. The smirking idiot in front of his trapped wolf posting for the entire world to see for example. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and there will be many such opportunities.

              Harranging the individuals who are on our side is counterproductive.

              I said to Nabeki on this site that we are all on the same side, our perspectives might be different, but we are on the same side, why eat our own?

            • Mike says:

              ++All that said, the hunters on this site all appear sound and ethical with what they do, and for them to continually have to defend themselves and their legal activity, against a few very vocal individual is wrong.++

              If this truly is a forum for multiple viewpoints, then anti-hunting posts must be accepted as well as pro-hunting.

              To many non-hunters, hunting is an unethical act, period. Many legal acts are unethical (see the trapping season on Montana wolverines, which I’m sure you agree is idiotic).

              They way you frame your paragraph above Immer, is that somehow anti-hunters are at fault. That falls in line with why’s and how’s of this site’s transition.

              To many ethical U.S. citizens, hunting is unethical. This does not make these people “wrong” or “bad”, even on this forum. This is a valid a viewpoint as any others.

              And please, note the title of this site. “Wildlife News”, not “wildlife shoot-em up”.

            • Immer Treue says:


              You have made your point, perhaps thousands of times, and at times I have stood up for you. But you over generalize about those who contribute to this site. There is very little contribution on this site that deals with the actual act of hunting, it’s about wildlife.

              You continually paint yourself into a corner with outlandish statements about hunting cabals and advocates for killing wolves and bears. I’m your perception, killing one is too many. You’ve made that point. Other than continually rant, what do you propose to do about it. You’re not going to end hunting. You won’t end trapping (although here you might have a better chance than hunting)what are you going to do about it. Lead, be realistic, stop bitching. You just might get some to join you.

            • Mike says:

              Immer –

              And others have made their points (IE, that we should kill predators) over and over again.

              The difference of course is you agree with them.

            • Immer Treue says:


              Another “over” generalization.

        • ma'iingan says:

          …”fewer robust populations of animals.”

          Simply not true – all or our large carnivores are expanding their ranges due to robust core populations; wolves, both species of bear, and puma.

          With the notable exception of moose, ungulate herds are exceeding management goals in most states, and the moose losses seem to be more related to climate change than hunting or habitat.

          I think the “fewer robust populations” exist only in your imagination.

          • Louise Kane says:

            Ma…I think there is a substantial body of evidence that exists to show terrific historical declines in animal populations as well as habitat loss throughout the US. I guess it depends on what the baseline was. Are we better off this year then we were five years ago, ten years ago, 50 or a hundred? Are there more large mammals and carnivores then there were 50 years ago, do they inhabit substantial portions of their former ranges, and in what densities? Do we define success becasue in the wake of extirpations like wolves in the RM, there are now some, number debatable.
            There are also those that question the North American model of conservation, those who argue that the current methods for assessing healthy and robust populations need revision.
            Its been debated endelssly here but really your statement that “its all in my mind” ignores some very real questions and concerns.

            If the recovery goal for wolves is listed at 150 for the huge states of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho what does that say about the notion of robustness as it currently relates to traditional management practices?

            The link below outlines the means of estimating populations and some of the issues related to accurate assessments. While I am not as educated as you are about the methods used or the data, it appears to dovetail similar problems that plague fishery management and that have resulted in crashes worldwide.

            As in fisheries, wildlife managers use data and statistics that can not and do not always rely on head counts and extrapolate data from take or harvest and then use that as the basis for the baseline population data. The resource extractor exerts pressure on the managemnet system to allow high “harvest” rates and management is focused around the desires or needs of the recosurce user. There may be an incentive to use euphamistic numbers perhaps even when those numbers are challenged. (Idaho and Montana)
            This is one of many links I found outlining several methods of assessing populations that raised questions in my mind about he reliability of the data. I’m sure you, JB or Wm will have others that may be better sources and if so I’d like to read them.

            I also placed this link that relates to reassessing the way that large mammals and carnivores are managed and what constitues scientifically defensible popupulations
   I hope you’ll take the time to read it.

            if this is truly a place for open debate and learning then why should’nt we question the values and accepted norms that bring us to a place where 150 wolves in huge states with huge tracs of federal land is deemed to be a defensible postion by wildlife managers. And where many scientists and environmenatlists argue that the loss of apex predators is having a tremendous negative impact.

            • JB says:


              There is no question that we are better off than we were 50 or 100 years ago, and much of the success is attributable to the efforts of hunters to procure and preserve habitat, and reintroduce game species. 110 years ago there were no deer in Ohio; now we have too many. 100 years ago there were no black bear; now we have ~150 that are slowly recovering. Protection and restoration of other important habitat types (e.g., wetlands, grasslands) have also helped a number of other species–especially migratory birds. There are certainly problem species that will require tremendous efforts (bats and amphibians come to mind). But by and large the picture is not as bleak as the one you would paint.

            • Mike says:

              ++There is no question that we are better off than we were 50 or 100 years ago, and much of the success is attributable to the efforts of hunters to procure and preserve habitat, and reintroduce game species. ++

              Actually, it was hunters/trappers, and a similar mentality we are seeing now in the Rockies towards wolves, that wiped out all the wildlife all those years ago.

              Awards are not given to a guy who intentionally starts his house on fire, then who marches a hose over to put it out.

            • Mike says:

              JB –

              Actually, core habitat is down considerably from 50-100 years ago.

              Roadless areas, by definition the purest habitat, are down 75% across the lower 48. So is biodiversity.

              If it wasn’t for conservation groups fighting for protection of these roadless lands and public land, we’d be even worse off.

            • Mike says:

              ++if this is truly a place for open debate and learning then why should’nt we question the values and accepted norms that bring us to a place where 150 wolves in huge states with huge tracs of federal land is deemed to be a defensible postion by wildlife managers. And where many scientists and environmenatlists argue that the loss of apex predators is having a tremendous negative impact.++


              You make a fantastic point.

              I’d like to see Ralph answer this. And perhaps, I think I’d like to see a clarification as to whether non-hunting views are welcome here.

            • jon says:

              The government, hunters, trapers, etc were all responsible for extirpating the wolves all those years ago and today, it’s a little different. The feds want to make sure wolves are around and hunters, trappers, and ranchers share the same attitude they did all those years ago, they want wolves exterminated. There was a recent survey done in Montana fwp and guess what, the ranchers and hunters surveyed had a low tolerance for wolves, but they supporting killing wolves. These people are living in the 1800s. I understand the disdain that people have for ranchers and hunters in their regards towards wolves.

            • jon says:

              Idaho fish and game have not said how many wolves they want in Idaho. I think this is their way of secretly saying they want only 150 wolves in Idaho. Idaho can sustain much more than 150 wolves. The thing I find most troubling is bringing wolves down to these low numbers when there are over 20,000 black bears in Idaho and over 3,000 cougars.

            • JB says:

              “Actually, it was hunters/trappers, and a similar mentality we are seeing now in the Rockies towards wolves, that wiped out all the wildlife all those years ago.”


              It is hard to generalize about these things, but I think it is fair to say that most species declines in the US were due to unfettered destruction of habitat. Where you and I live (the Midwest), that meant converting the dominant second-growth forest and wetlands to use for agriculture. This happened before modern hunters existed; indeed, much of it happened before hunting was even regulated. Furthermore, it happened at a time when calling oneself a “hunter” would have no meaning–it would not have differentiated you from any other settler.

              The elimination of numerous bird species was due primarily to MARKET hunting, which has essentially been outlawed. Wolves were a special case. They were not eliminated by hunters but rather via the use of bounties and poisons sponsored by state and federal governments.

              “Actually, core habitat is down considerably from 50-100 years ago.”

              Habitat as a concept is only valuable relative to a particular species. What is “core” habitat for grassland birds, doesn’t work for forest-dwelling species. So I don’t know what you mean when you say “core habitat is down considerably”. Core habitat for what?

              Now listen closely Mike and you may learn something. Every year the amount of public land in the US increases–every year. One of the major mechanisms is via the purchase of private land to conserve habitat via federal excise taxes from hunters and gun purchasers. These lands are called “Wildlife Areas” and anyone can access them. And guess what? Many of these lands get permanently protected from uses that do long term ecological damage (oil and gas extraction).

              Other major mechanisms are the designation of parks, monuments, seashores, forests and other protected areas, along with the acquisition of land by other conservation groups (e.g., the Nature Conservancy).

            • Mike says:

              B –

              Perk your ears up on this one, and you might learn something.

              Adding public land does not mean such land is the best habitat. “Best habitat” is defined as habitat untrammeled by man, which can host a variety of species at any given time.

              The best habitat for apex predators in the lower 48 (as are often discussed on this site) are roadless areas. Roadless habitat is down 75% compared to 100 years ago. Your comments that we are “better off” than 100 years ago is completely off the mark ,and perhaps a sign that you don’t value biodiversity, but rather common, huntable species that easily adapt to disturbed environments (such as grouse and white-tailed deer).

            • JB says:

              “The best habitat for apex predators in the lower 48 (as are often discussed on this site) are roadless areas. Roadless habitat is down 75% compared to 100 years ago.”

              Mike: Let’s analyze this a bit more shall we? You say that large carnivores are worse off because the “best habitat” for them is declining. And yet there are more cougars, more black bear, more grizzly, and more wolves in the US–all increasing both in numbers and in range. Where I live bobcat are also making a comeback, and coyotes are doing well everywhere, including downtown Chicago and LA. Clearly these trends conflict with your hypothesis. If large carnivores required “roadless area” (as you indicate) to prosper, and said roadless areas are decining, then carnivores should also be declining–they aren’t. The logical conclusion is that your hypothesis is at fault.

              Indeed, the term you use “roadless” areas is the problem. Large carnivores don’t requires roadless areas (as the thousands of black bears in New Jersey would tell you, could they talk). Heck, they don’t even require freeway-less areas.

              Got any more hypotheses you’d like to float, Mikey.

            • Mike says:

              I don’t even know where to begin, JB.

              a 75% reduction in core roadless habitat is not “better off than we were 50-100 years ago”.

              Roadless habitat is, by definition, the highest level of habitat you can attain. It has been reduced by 75%, or more.

            • JB says:

              I don’t even know where to begin, JB.”

              That’s right, Mike–you don’t, glad you’re finally willing to admit it. 😉 Here let me help you… One reason your pulled-from-a-hat statistic isn’t predictive of carnivore success is because it isn’t meaningful for carnivore populations. Good quality habitat for carnivores does not require an absence of “roads” (again, see bears in New Jersey, coyotes in Chicago, cougars all over the West).

              Also recognize that many of the so-called “roads” on federal public land are not roads in a conventional sense–at least not in the way a guy from Chicago would understand them; rather, they are temporary roads (two tracks) built for timber harvest and then pretty much abandoned. These don’t hinder large carnivores in the least. Indeed, the may facilitate their movement.

              Again, your utter inability to recognize nuance prevents you from understanding.

            • SAP says:

              JB – I agree with a lot of your central point here – if we’re not killing them, carnivores can thrive in many places, including suburban Connecticut and Lincoln Park in Chicago. But, with regard to roads, the devil is in the details.

              With the huge popularity of ATVs — in particular, the little side-by-sides with very narrow widths — a “troad” (a trail that has become a road due to repeated use, or a former logging road mostly deteriorated into a trail) can end up having quite an effect on wildlife.

              The biggest issue is just that a road /troad brings people into closer proximity to large carnivores. If it’s a place with no motorized access, few people are going to go there, and in particular they won’t go set up big camps there. If they can go there with all their crap and set up small villages, then formerly remote habitat suddenly has a lot of human activity in it.

              I don’t see a lot of guys actually trying to hunt from the seat of their atv’s, but they do use them to get themselves to a remote jumping-off point very quickly (10 miles from the truck in less than an hour). If they had to walk or ride a horse to the same place, they probably wouldn’t get there at all.

              The key here is that if it’s supposed to be roadless/non-motorized, then there have to be rules, enforcement, and actual physical impediments to ATVs getting there.

            • JB says:


              Actually, I think what you’ve written reinforces the point I was trying to make. In fact, you went straight to the heart of the issue when you wrote: “…with regard to roads, the devil is in the details.”

              Exactly! It isn’t the qualities of road per se that cause problems for carnivores, but rather what people do with/on them. But of course you’ve just added another layer of nuance. For Mike, roadless=good, road=bad. Period.

              A colleague of mine has amazing video of coyotes using roadways in downtown Chicago. One animal actually stops at a red light, waits for it to change, and then crosses the street with traffic. Has the coyote learned to use our system to avoid getting squashed…? I don’t know? But I do know that they do quite well despite high road density AND heavy use.

            • Mark L says:

              I wouldn’t conssider a coyote a ‘large predator’ in the class of wolf or puma…maybe meso and the fact that they are very tolerant of roaded areas makes them a poor example. FLorida panthers would be a good example of a subsp. that has been impaced by roads more that many others…heck, 2 roads specifically have killed most in last 10 years. Wolves prefer to be away from humans also….leaning to roadless areas. If I recall, even the USFW uses roadless areas as a determinant for candidate places for panther and red wolf reintro.

            • Mike says:

              ++That’s right, Mike–you don’t, glad you’re finally willing to admit it. 😉 Here let me help you… One reason your pulled-from-a-hat statistic isn’t predictive of carnivore success is because it isn’t meaningful for carnivore populations. Good quality habitat for carnivores does not require an absence of “roads” (again, see bears in New Jersey, coyotes in Chicago, cougars all over the West).++

              JB –

              The water seems to be at your chin, and you’re doggy-paddling again.

              We are talking about apex predators, and rare species within the context of the lower 48. These include wolverine, grizzly bear, wolf, cougar, and so forth. All of these animals correlate with roadless habitat, or within the first two or three “habitat rings” that emanate from roadless cores. Without these cores, these species do not exist. A good example is the 1 million acre roadless area in Minnesota (known to some as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness). This roadless core provided a refuge for wolves and allowed for the natural recolonization of Michigan and Wisconsin.

              Without this massive core, wolves are not back and healthy in the upper Great Lakes.

              The same holds true for grizzly bears. They only exist in substantial populations within the largest roadless ecosystems in the lower 48 (The Crown of the Continent Ecosystem and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem). Roads of all kinds are a major deterrent for their spread to former range, such as the island ranges in central Montana and the Bitterroot Mountains.

              ++Also recognize that many of the so-called “roads” on federal public land are not roads in a conventional sense–at least not in the way a guy from Chicago would understand them; rather, they are temporary roads (two tracks) built for timber harvest and then pretty much abandoned. These don’t hinder large carnivores in the least. Indeed, the may facilitate their movement.++

              JB, you are in over your head. I worked on behalf of the Roadless Initiative for several conservation groups,and much of my study involves roadless areas. I spend far, far more time than you do camping in them and traversing the roaded country alongside them.

              These roads can be devastating to apex predators like grizzly bears and wolverine. There’s really no such thing as a “temporary” road. Their imprint will last as long as you live. These roads allow for increased use of motor vehicles such as ATV’s and snowmobiles, which in turn bring invasive species, poaching, and habitat displacement by audio (see wolverine denning studies and motors).

              You are realy showing your inexperience with roadless areas her. I strongly suggest you read this primer to get acquainted with the nature of these places:


              The effects of roads on grizzly bears:


              The effects of roads on wolverine:


              Your assertion that these national forest roads are “not roads in the traditional sense” is absurd, and reveals absolute shallowness of your argument.

              And of course this goes directly back to my point about the loss of Roadless Areas in the last 100 years, and you’re comment that we are “better off”.

            • Mike says:

              ++Exactly! It isn’t the qualities of road per se that cause problems for carnivores, but rather what people do with/on them. But of course you’ve just added another layer of nuance. For Mike, roadless=good, road=bad. Period.++


              You’ve swung and missed again.

              The quality of the road plays a significant part in the impacts on the ecosystem. For example, see this study on logging roads, the maintenance backlog, and fisheries:


              If there is a road, people will try and use it, whether by car, truck, ATV, snowmobile, or cross country skiing. Roads have an immediate effect on rare predators such as grizzly bears, wolverine, and lynx.

              By and large, these predators avoid roads, and these roads can fragment their habitat. This fragmentation has occurred over the past 100 years, with a massive reduction in core roadless habitat, and thus a reduction in these species.

              Roads, no matter the kind, are the single biggest block for species dispersal in the Northern Rockies and elsewhere.

              Good page on the effects of roads on certain wildlife:


            • ma'iingan says:

              “Wolves prefer to be away from humans also….leaning to roadless areas.”

              That’s a fallacy – all wolves need is a food source and human tolerance. They would happily live in suburbia if we would tolerate them killing and eating our family pets. Here in Wisconsin we have cases every spring and summer of wolves denning and rendezvousing on cranberry marshes and other ag facilities, where they have human contact on a daily basis.

              We have 5000+ wolves in the WGL states that are thriving amidst high road densities – very few of them are in areas of less than .6km/km2 of road density, which was once thought to be the threshold of desirable recolonization (Thiel, 1985).

              In fact, there is ample evidence that wolves do very well in higher road densities, not only to aid efficient travel around their territories, but to provice an easy means to maintain territorial signposts.

              Our well-vetted winter census technique in Wisconsin is to search out wolf tracks on forest roads after a fresh snowfall – a protocol that has provided us a solid population estimate since the late 70’s when it was first implemented.


            • JB says:


              I agree; the Florida panther is a great example of an animal that is very much impacted by roads. But the types of roads that surround them are a far cry from the two-tracks and “troads” SAP describes in our national forests. They are the counter-example to the coyote example I provided (both being on either end of a continuum, I would argue).


              I lived for 2 years exactly 5 minutes from a National Forest in Utah, I spent 20 years about 20 minutes from a National Forest in Michigan–both of which a frequented on foot–usually running trails and the FS roadways. To your larger point–I don’t disagree with what SAP wrote; rather, I disagree with Mike’s contention that “roadless” is required for large/apex carnivores.
              It’s not. If it were, populations of these animals wouldn’t be increasing and occupying new territory–much of it full of roads of one sort or another.


              Large carnivore populations are generally increasing, many in places where there are no “roadless areas”. Spin as you may, you can’t escape this fact. Habitat for carnivores is also increasing with more added every year, and populations are responding. These are the pertinent facts.

            • Salle says:


              I am gad that you had some brief time in the RM area but there are few, if any grizzly bears in Utah, and until recently no wolves, per se. Sure, there are some felids in those areas but I don’t think your analogy addresses my point, and in some ways Mike’s. (I’ll let Mike make his own arguments here.) But in this case I tend to agree with his point on the necessity of “roadless” areas for apex predators, thus my citations in the prior comment.

              Sure, these predators can be found in metro areas and suburban areas and where there are roads but the broader picture here is that this expansion into reclaimed-by humans-habitat is the interface where they also end up dead due to their interaction with humans in this roaded interface territory. Humans won’t tolerate other species than those which they perceive to be acceptable as pets, within their developed areas.

              This is my primary argument about how wildlife is perceived and treated (usually by trapping/shooting/poisoning and disposing of-usually in the form of dead) when they wander into human developed areas and that humans are way too self appointedly entitled to life sanitized of anything considered wild. Thus,it also precedes the arguments you make with regard to the animals who find their way into human dominated/developed areas being in need of management for the safety of those very special humans and, consequently, most of those nonhumans usually end up dead. On that, I vehemently disagree that there is any true justification… only a severe lack of consideration, self reflection and compassion.

              And to finish, this interface concern also expands to the realm of wildlife habitat that is actually wild. Apparently, they aren’t allowed to be wild or exist even in their last remnants of untrammeled habitat… as many claim, “…you can’t have wild animals just running wild in the wilderness…” (as I have heard this from F&G and elected officials for heaven’s sake!!).

              Humans need to back off. Enough is enough! Russian Proverb: What we have we don’t treasure; having lost it we cry.

            • JB says:


              I guess I’m not sure what we’re disagreeing about?

              My argument is simply this: Roads per se are not a problem for the vast majority of NA carnivores. In fact, roads are merely a proxy for human access and activities. When and where human access and subsequent activities cause conflicts with carnivores, we have problems (and carnivores are killed in response).

              As you well know, our great America storehouse of large carnivores (Yellowstone National Park) has a very well-traveled interstate highway (89) that runs right through the middle of wolf and grizzly habitat, in an area that up until recently had some of the highest wolf densities ever recorded. If roadlessness were required, this would not have been possible. The question is why? The answer is that human activities are heavily managed in the park so as to avoid conflicts with carnivores.

              People (not roads) are what is required for conflicts. Thus, FS access roads are not a good metric for habitat quality for carnivores–especially if motorized access is not allowed. Roadlessness may be next to godliness where wilderness is concerned, but it ain’t required for carnivores to prosper.

          • Mike says:

            ++I think the “fewer robust populations” exist only in your imagination.++

            Ma’ have you had your coffee yet today? Because she’s dead-on. For example, see this map of current grizzly populations, and previous populations:


            Or see this current and historic habitat map for wolves:



            It seems you are quick to lash out, Ma’, but often very short on actual facts.

            • ma'iingan says:

              “It seems you are quick to lash out, Ma’, but often very short on actual facts.”

              You wouldn’t know a fact if it walked up and slapped you upside the head, Mike.

              Did you intend your historical range maps to dispute the fact that large carnivores are expanding their ranges?

              NRM wolves have recolonized Washington and Oregon. Grizzlies are expanding their range to the east and south. WGL wolves are dispersing into Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri. Black bear are thriving everywhere, and puma are increasingly being sighted in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

              Those are facts, Mikey.

          • Salle says:


            I have to ask you, just how much time do you actually spend in in the NF areas out here? If you can’t see it in person you can’t really see what’s at hand… the Internet views aren’t likely to help you gain perspective on the issue here.

            Your description of “roads in this area are not in line with what I see on the ground on a regular basis. Aside from that point, you seem to ignore the evidence that MOST grizzly bear mortality takes place near roads, whether interstate and US highways or dirt tracks or “troads” as SAP calls them.


            but most telling is this study:


            Before you totally condemn others (including those who either live here or engage in extended annual visits) for their views on bear mortality causes etc., perhaps you might look into some of the evidence that is out in the public domain for possible reasons for the claims they make, sans personal bias on your part. Roads appear to be the death knell for bears whether they are paved or “abandoned” timber harvest trails. Just because they don’t appear on a map doesn’t mean they haven’t been made permanent or expanded by off-roaders, as SAP indicated. The evidence is all over the place in the Gallatin and near-by areas, and in Idaho as well, like pretty much everywhere. According to some studies I cited, years ago in some class papers, in the Targhee as I recall in one study, it was found that the majority of bear mortality took place within roaded areas and less than four Kilometers of a dirt road, abandoned, illegally made or what-have-you. The information at the links above indicate that most bear mortality, for grizzlies either in YNP or outside, are human caused and most notably near (within 2-4 Kilometers) a road of some type. Roads are elements of fragmentation of habitat.

            In addition, even though many of the NFs have been attempting to reclaim or negate, if you will, abandoned forest roads, ATVs still travel on them and remake them into “troads” In the past couple years the FS has engaged in a campaign of “rototilling” some of these illegal passageways and attempting to close them off from use to some level of success yet to be seen. Bears still have a hard time of it regardless of these efforts. Habitat lost is habitat that takes a long time to regain if it’s possible at all. Human presence isn’t such a good thing for wildlife.

            • Mike says:


              I have to ask you, just how much time do you actually spend in in the NF areas out here? If you can’t see it in person you can’t really see what’s at hand… the Internet views aren’t likely to help you gain perspective on the issue here.

              Your description of “roads in this area are not in line with what I see on the ground on a regular basis. Aside from that point, you seem to ignore the evidence that MOST grizzly bear mortality takes place near roads, whether interstate and US highways or dirt tracks or “troads” as SAP calls them.++

              JB just revealed that he spends no time at all near roadless areas, along with a complete misunderstanding of how rare predators function.

              Very, very naive comments.

            • elk275 says:

              Mike exactly how much time do you spend in the national forest? I am going to have dinner at my brothers cabin in the Gallatin National Forest in an hour or so.

            • JB says:


              Please enlighten me…how do “rare predators” function?

        • Mike says:

          Great points, Louise.

          • Mark L says:

            I see your point, but please remember that ‘sightings’ are not evidence of a thriving population…or even a single female. IN fact in the case of cougars, sightings of males may actually be a sign that dispersal is NOT occurring…the males are looking more and more for even more rare females, and in places they would not normally go . Just math.

            • ma'iingan says:

              Mark L. –

              Female puma do not disperse in the same in the same manner as males – “females are far more philopatric, dispersing at lower rates, and distances than males (Lopez-Gonzalez 1999, Sweanor et al. 2000, Maehr et al. 2002, Anderson et al. 2004, Thomas and Jenks 2010).” Larue et al., Cougars Are Recolonizing the Midwest: Analysis of Cougar Confirmations During 1990-2008. JWM Vol. 76,(2012).

              Puma dispersal into the WGL states is well-documented – that females are lagging is a species trait, and the establishment of breeding pairs in these areas is only a matter of time.

            • Mark L says:

              i think you missed my point, and yes….I’m aware of the female distribution pattern. You used human ‘sightings’ as a basis to back your point…my point is that sightings don’t indicate a rise in population (if I see the same roaming puma weekly its not a rise in population). You are using the same hunter’s logic that others have complained about on this site…..your (or other’s) anecdotal sightings don’t establish a population increase. But you knew that…didn’t you?

            • ma'iingan says:

              …”anecdotal sightings don’t establish a population increase. But you knew that…didn’t you?”

              Sure did – that’s why I used peer-reviewed research to reinforce my point. Why don’t you do some reading of your own? – you’ll see that the empirical evidence includes collected carcasses along with DNA samples from live animals, with instances increasing annually over the last decade.

              Clear scientific, not anecdotal, evidence that Black Hills puma are not only recolonizing the WGL states, they’re expanding into Nebraska and Oklahoma as well.

    • JEFF E says:


    • Mike says:

      Ralph –

      Thank you for at last confirming that this is a pro-hunting only site.

      Perhaps a post at the top of the forum clarifying this position is in order? I think it is owed to many of the long-standing, pro-wildlife, non-hunting folks who have championed this site and frequented its pages for years and years.

      BTW, almost all of my friends watch and photograph wildlife.

      None of them hunt. Some “graduated” from hunting to a camera.

      It is naive to think that a group who champions wiping out wolves and grizzlies across the Northern Rockies (hunters and ranchers) can somehow coexist with a group that wants to see them flourish.

      It’s like saying that anti-abortion and pro-choice groups need to just “hug it out”.

    • Mike says:

      ++Having said this, I am dismayed at the reflexive anti-hunting attitude some people who comment take in post after post. I wish people who constantly “hum” this one note would take their tune somewhere else.++

      Ralph –

      How do you feel about the reflexive attitude that every species that “recovers” needs to be shot?

    • Mike says:

      A very important point here, that so far has not been mentioned, is that not a single hunter’s group came forth and admonished Wyoming’s extreme plan (or Idaho’s).

      No hunter’s group said, “let’s have sensible quotas”. No hunting group said “150 wolves is cutting it awfully close in a state so big.” No hunter’s group, NOT ONE, tempered any of these radical hunting approaches by Idaho and Wyoming.

      Had that happened, had some group that represents hunters inched towards the middle, you wouldn’t be seeing this backlash. Instead, hunters and their leadership fell in line behind medieval management plans in Idaho and Wyoming.

      No pro-wolf group is going to sign onto anything regarding hunting wolves sunless someone is willing to meet them in the middle.

      Hasn’t happened yet. Instead, we’ve seen a “mad dash” to just plain taking as many wolves as possible, with no regard for science, or the views of non-hunters (IE non-consumptive users)

      The “reflexive” attitudes on display so far have been the head of Fish and Game units, and hunters and ranchers at large.

      The problem is, and always will be, that these groups practice consumptive, potentially damaging uses, while non-consumptive users do not.

      And finally, take a look around, folks.

      Where the hell have the pro-wildlife folks gone?

      This site is now a hunter’s cabal. Very, very few wildlife watchers or anti-hunters are left. We used to get these awesome wildlife sighting reports, have great discussions about them, etc.

      Instead we see posts by spokespeople for a state that wants wolves gone, with little regard for science. Instead we see hunter after hunter posting, advocating shooting wolves, or even grizzly bears.

      This site has changed big time. One could perhaps blame this on an Obama-like wish to “lets be friends”. But in this case, Obama gave the Republicans the White House, and Boenher has his feet on a chair in the Oval Office….

      The people this very sight fought against for years during wolf recovery…are now the people who make up its core.

      Amazing how life works sometimes.

      • Jerry Black says:

        “A very important point here, that so far has not been mentioned, is that not a single hunter’s group came forth and admonished Wyoming’s extreme plan (or Idaho’s).

        No hunter’s group said, “let’s have sensible quotas”. No hunting group said “150 wolves is cutting it awfully close in a state so big.” No hunter’s group, NOT ONE, tempered any of these radical hunting approaches by Idaho and Wyoming.”

        Yep, and they continue to call themselves “conservationists”

        • Immer Treue says:


          In my opinion, this is a comment that has great merit.

        • jon says:

          Exactly, and to a lot of these people the only wolf is a dead one. Hunters and ranchers are no friends to wolves and coyotes. I am sure there are some good ranchers and hunters, but in today’s age, they are minority and the anti-wolf crowd has become the large majority.

        • Louise Kane says:

          Yes Jerry thats true but what is interesting is that when you read the comments, and I have at least from Montana and Idaho many individual hunters did not want to see extended seasons, trapping, snaring and or hunting of wolves at all despite wanting to know that they wolves were being managed. So the states don’t even appear to be listening to some of the hunters just the radical extremists. And if you read the comments those are the comments that start like “you introduced all those non invasive woofs and they don’t belong here…” or of that ilk.

      • Immer Treue says:


        “This site is now a hunter’s cabal. Very, very few wildlife watchers or anti-hunters are left. We used to get these awesome wildlife sighting reports, have great discussions about them, etc.

        Instead we see posts by spokespeople for a state that wants wolves gone, with little regard for science. Instead we see hunter after hunter posting, advocating shooting wolves, or even grizzly bears.”

        Self immolation.

        • jon says:

          Immer, I assume you have been following the wolf issue for quite a while. I haven’t been following it as long as you, but I’ve come to the conclusion that non-hunters and hunters will never get along. I’ve also come to realize that the most hostile people and the ones that support the eradication and the illegal killing of wolves are mostly hunters/ranchers. With these types of attitudes that these people have, it is understandable to me that these non-hunting conservationists are no fan of the hunters and the ranchers who are anti-wolf. You are never going to change the attitudes that hunters and ranchers have and you will never change the attitudes of the non-hunting conservationists. The hunters in Idaho has gone on record saying they don’t want non-consumptive users a seat at the table. The hunters want to be the only ones “managing” wildlife in Idaho. As sad as this is to say, this is a cultural war.

          • Immer Treue says:

            “, but I’ve come to the conclusion that non-hunters and hunters will never get along. ”

            Jon, this is false!

            In terms of who wants wolf seasons, you are beating a dead horse. Sure ranchers want wolves hunted. And hunters want them hunted for one or both of two reasons, they don’t like the competition for game or want the trophy.

            • Immer Treue says:

              Perhaps throw another group o hunters in there who sincerely believe they are being given the opportunity to manage all wildlife, including wolves.

          • TC says:

            While you’ve been “following the wolf issue” for quite a while, hundreds of members of the evil axis (hunters, ranchers, farmers, energy industry biologists and executives, etc.) have been accomplishing habitat and wildlife conservation projects and contributing to what you claim to love – wildlife and wild places. How? By not being spoiled ignorant children, but by realizing that there are common goods and there are ways to collaborate with people that do not always share your cultural or core beliefs. By being adults. By being educated about specific projects, ideas, and agendas, and realizing they are in their best interests. At the behest of jaded, tired, overworked, overcommitted, underpaid, and frequently pissed off professionals that work for federal and state agencies, NGOs, associations and societies, and in academia.

            Get over yourselves, you and Mike. Stop being so GD ignorant and making statements like “all ranchers and hunters” or “all” ANYONE. Put up or shut up – where’s your list of wildlife or habitat achievements? What have you done for wildlife lately? I just finished a deal with a rancher (egads) to support and train two graduate students in wildlife disease studies – to work on applied projects that will benefit wildlife and produce two new professionals in this field. I suppose I should have told him to feck off because he’s a rancher? And told him to take his conservation easements and shove ’em? And told him to stop his riparian corridor reclamation project, because he’s a member of the axis of evil and it doesn’t matter? He’s done more for wildlife in a week than you’ve accomplished in your lifetime. Deal with it.

            • JB says:

              Well said, T.C. Things get done when people put aside the ideological crap and start working from what they have in common. And despite what some will claim, it does not require compromising one’s principles; rather, it simply requires people to find common ground–things we can agree upon that will result in better conditions for us all (and/or for wildlife). This is how conservation started–with an alliance between a new generation of “sport” hunters and the first generation of preservationists.

              The “all-or-nothing” approach that some consistently advocate actually gets in the way of pragmatic conservation. Mike, for example, is so hell-bent on hating hunters and getting in their way, he can’t see that they’re the best ally he has in conserving wildlife.

            • Mike says:

              TC –

              I’m not really interested in getting into a dick-waving contest.

              However, I will say this: I belong to about 15 conservation and animal rights groups and donate regularly. One of the business I own donates 30% of all proceeds to conservation organizations, and promotes responsible use of public land.

              And some of my projects are at your local book store, and all of them have to do with animals and the outdoors.

              My job, 24/7, is wildlife and public lands. It is what I do, and it is what I will always do.

      • Rancher Bob says:

        Bolt cutter Mike
        Your against hunting period.. So where would the middle be that hunters should inch towards. Why give in to the likes of you, you have no middle ground.

        • Mike says:

          Bob –

          Yes I don’t like most hunting. But I would have been more sympathetic to hunters and wildlife “managers” in these states had any of them made reasonable approaches to the majority (IE non-consumptive users).

          When wolves first became delisted and hunted (although I don’t care for hunting) I expected rifle seasons with strict tag limits based on science and the continuation of the species. Instead, we got a “shoot on site” kill zone and no bag limits, and sloppy trapping where the wolves suffer.

        • jon says:

          All hunting Bob or certain forms of hunting? Most hunting is what Mike is against and although I don’t want to speak for him, I assume he is talking about snaring, baiting, trapping, hunting predators for “sport”, etc. If Americans were polled, I bet a lot of them would be against these “forms” of hunting. The word conservationist does come to mind when you see hunters smiling while standing over dead wolves and coyotes they just killed either by hunting or trapping/snaring.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        You have made some good points here – thanks for your perspective and speaking out in the face of a lot of criticism.

        It seems to me that you have a valid point in regards to core wilderness areas including the Boundary Canoe Waters in Minnesota, Bob Marshal-Great Bear-Glacier NP in Montana, Greater Yellowstone ecosystem and the central Idaho wilderness including the Frank Church and Bitterroot-Selway. Without these core areas I doubt that the residual population in Minnesota could have expanded into Michigan’s upper penninsula and then into Wisconsin after the ESA was passed or that reintroduction in the Northern Rocky Mountains would have been attempted.

        Your last comment concerning the silence of hunting organizations and their acceptance of the barbaric plans for taking wolves in the NRM is particularly revealing of their attitudes.

  25. Nancy says:

    My, how things have changed since 1995:

    “More on Idaho’s refusal to allows ID F&G to participate in wolf management


    Idaho State Senator Laird Noh (produnced Nay), a large sheepman himself, pleaded with the legislature to enter into an agreement, but the majority view was that they hated what the wolf lovers and government had done so much Idaho wouldn’t participate.
    There was also expressed the belief that the endangered species act would be repealed soon and then they could take care of the wolves.

    The newspapers I read also hinted that some thought they could take care of the Nez Perce Indians too”

    From the 1995 archives:

    Okay everybody….. if you can remember the tune, lets all sing or “hum” along:

    “You know the more things change the more they stay the same
    The same sunrise, it’s just another day
    If you hang in long enough they say you’re comin’ back
    Just take a look, we’re living proof and baby that’s a fact
    You know the more things change the more they stay the same
    Never and forever just keep comin’ back again
    Don’t hold out for tomorrow or hold onto yesterday
    The more things change the more they stay the same”

  26. Immer Treue says:

    A bit more from mn

    The telling part of the article: The agency (DNR) developed the wolf hunting and trapping season using data and research…

    In addition to receiving public input(80% probably not all from MN against the hunt)on the season the DNR received strong direction from the MN legislature ( at least a portion of the reason the season was extended to the end of January)…

    • Louise Kane says:

      same old story used data and research and need to kill wolves blah blah blah

      • Kathleen says:

        Yes, I wonder too if the “data and research” revealed that animals caught in traps don’t suffer or experience terror…maybe that animals don’t feel pain, or, if they do, they don’t experience it the way *humans* do blah blah blah

        Or, more likely, animal pain and suffering just doesn’t matter.

        • Immer Treue says:

          Last year I had a white tail fawn get itself caught (trapped) within a small fenced in garden enclosure. Late July, so the fawn had some size to it. It just could not find the opening, and in pure terror, as I tried to shepherd it(from outside the enclosure) toward the opening it would EXPLOSIVELY launch itself toward the opposite side, crashing into the fence, only to get up and repeat the process again and again. It finally found its way out, but TERROR, you betcha!

  27. Immer Treue says:

    Colorado wolf debate heads to court.

    Which side of the pros and cons holds the most H2O?

    • WM says:


      The news article does not disclose the legal issues on appeal, but I gather from the cryptic reference there this is largely about alleged procedural deficiencies of RMNP officials documenting how it reached its decision not to reintroduce wolves into the Park. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which will hear the case, is a highly respected federal appellate court.

      And, of course, there is WildEarth Guardians keeping wolves in the headlines, once again. Query whether putting wolves in the Park (much smaller than Yellowstone) to replace selective removal of a few elk that make their way into the town Estes Park solves that problem, or creates (?) yet another that Colorado Div. of Wildlife and the livestock industry does not want to create by getting its very own wolves. The query is punctuated by sixteen years of watching wolf reintroduction tensions play out for the NRM states to the north.

      Even without knowing the issues, the best WG could hope for is sending NPS/RMNP back to the drawing board to rewrite a report more fully detailing why the didn’t want to reintroduce wolves, with consultation of FWS and the state of CO.

      • Immer Treue says:


        Nothing cryptic intended. It’s more than obvious to most, you and JB in particular who I feel understand what I attempt to say, that I am pro-wolf. Yeah, there exists plenty of habitat for wolves in Colorado, but how long before wolves get in trouble for just being, wolves.
        That’s what I mean by which holds more H2O.
        No disparaging feelings in your direction, but as a pro wolf individual who understands the “baggage” that accompanies wolves, I feel as though I am caught between a rock and a hard place, which we have plenty of in N MN.

      • Louise Kane says:

        WM you wrote… Query whether putting wolves in the Park (much smaller than Yellowstone) to replace selective removal of a few elk that make their way into the town Estes Park solves that problem, or creates (?) yet another that Colorado Div. of Wildlife and the livestock industry does not want to create by getting its very own wolves.

        do you suggest that the livestock industry and the Colorado Div of wildlife are the policy makers here?

        • WM says:


          The elk herd in RMNP is small (600-800 head), as is the suitable elk habitat in this small national park. Most of RMNP is simply not good elk habitat because much of the park is above timberline or denuded avalanche paths, with only aspen colonies in the alluvial fans at the bases of the slopes. Wolves, I am told, would likely drive even more elk into the safety of the town of Estes Park, a small tourist town at the east edge of the park entrance. A similar phenomenon exists in Banff Provincial park in Canada.

          So, the thinking was, there was no support by locals or agencies (FS and BLM land at lower elevations outside the park, along with private lands on which folks have mostly cattle and horses).

          There couldn’t be an isolated population just “a few” RMNP wolves – that would mean the same sort of genetic issues with a minimum viable population that has been a hot issue for the NRM – this isn’t about just a few wolves to trim the population of elk within RMNP. It’s a significant undertaking just like the NRM,unless some of those wolves in the dead zone from WY would make it through the gauntlet to CO.

          WildEarth Guardians is chipping away at the edges of the bigger issue.

          And, yeah, the livestock industry and CO Div. of Wildlife have alot of policy say, and of course its federal Congressional delegation, who I have suggested has been keeping a low profile on wolves – even Sen. Mark Udall.

          And, you can bet these guys are all watching what is playing out in NE WA, OR and the NRM right now.

          And, this reference to the Chicago Tribune article you cite below, shows precisely that a editorial board does not understand the larger issue.

          • Louise Kane says:

            WM I’m digesting your response and will be looking at the issues you raised further. Thanks for your thoughts. Still not seeing though why the livestock industry should have any greater say then the rest of the public. It would also be helpful to see what local people, non ranching community, feel about it. A cousin who lives in that area says most everyone he knows is in support of native predators and of using them to manage game ….

            • Louise Kane says:

              of course his information is highly anecdotal

            • Salle says:

              You gotta wonder about this mindset of those who fear indigenous predators and keep domestic livestock in the places where there are large predators.

              Why the hell did they go there in the first place? If there is a concern about keeping livestock on the interface of “wild” lands, then be vigilant about protecting your livestock within the boundaries of your property… and don’t expect that the same protection would apply on public lands where wildlife exists. I really drives me nuts when people expect that god and the government are expected to protect your property and violate/alter the landscape for your pleasure. It’s very much like the desert dwellers expecting god and the government to make the desert a fully hydrated paradise just because they moved there.

            • Salle says:

              It really drives me nuts…

  28. Rancher Bob says:

    Sounds like a line in a joke. How many wolves do you put in a 415 square mile park and how long will they stay there?
    first answer: as many as you want, that depends on how fast they’re running.
    At this point I feel give every state 70 or so wolves.

  29. Mike says:

    Hunters blows away grizzly in Alberta, leaving her cub without a mother:

  30. Salle says:

    Looks like SLAPP suits are on the rise again…

    Shell Sues to Ban Public Protest Against Arctic Drilling
    Hefty fine aimed at Greenpeace for Arctic actions

    Oh, and this was in some news feeds yesterday…

    Brits Decry ‘Reckless Rush’ to Drill in Arctic Waters
    House of Commons Calls for Moratorium Until Stronger Safeguards Are in Place

  31. Salle says:

    “…a season on wolves “may” serve as a pressure relief valve for those who don’t care for wolves…”

    This thinking is equivalent to acquiescence to a bunch of screaming children engaged in a protracted program of throwing loud temper tantrums to get what they want, screaming loud enough to drown any voice of reason on whatever issue is at had… because it has always worked for them. Such positive reinforcement of this kind of bad behavior only ensures that it will continue to happen until adults come along and, as my mother did, take them by the earlobe and – theoretically – put them in a room and tell them to shut up, calm down, and that they will remain there until they can act in a civil manner with other people to resolve the problem… (I certainly learned early on that temper tantrums are a waste of time and energy and serve no purpose other than to exhibit a form of bad behavior that only result in negative endings.) Nobody will get entirely what they want, but that’s how democracy works. The no compromise mindset will only perpetuate the temper tantrums and other bad behavior.

    I see this temper tantrum set of tactics not only happening with regard to the localized, or regional, wolf issues but also with regard to the Congress behaving in much the same manner with regard to social issues that are designed to bring about the betterment of the majority of the population of the country and in some cases the entire planet. Look at what they have been doing just this past week since returning from their summer vacation. They-the House in particular-have essentially thrown gas on an open flame and now plan to go home until after the election when, like the raging wildfires in the west, most of the forest will have already burned down along with much of our social fabric that they have been slicing apart at the seams. Sorry about the mixed metaphors but they do illustrate my point, for those who read carefully.

    We can’t go forth as a democracy unless we can act in a more mature fashion in working out differences among us.

    For those who find my comments infuriating, I suggest you go sit quietly and meditate on what I said for a spell before responding.

    • Rancher Bob says:

      Great comment, both sides of the wolf issue have their unhappy children.

      • Salle says:

        Thanks, I meditated on it for a couple days.

        • SAP says:

          Good stuff, Salle!

          Reason versus aggression. Your mom put you in time-out instead of walloping you because, seriously, what kind of lesson is that? If you’re big enough and/or aggressive enough, you, too will get your way?

          Aggression certainly “works,” at least for a little while (going to go back and re-read Konrad Lorenz’s “On Aggression”). But, as you so eloquently describe it, it short-circuits reason.

          I see a lot of people (especially in this election season) so ready to resort to aggression, and to justify it by claiming to feel threatened or scared. So much of this is a cynical affectation, especially by the manipulators in the media. Many of the manipulated ARE genuinely fearful now, and — as the new brain science tells us — are processing stimuli through their amygdala instead of the prefrontal cortex. The amygdala is good at keeping you from getting eaten by a tiger: mostly binary, fight or flight, shoot-first-ask-questions-later. Prefrontal cortex is all about ask-questions-first, big-picture, long-term consequences kind of stuff.

          Keep people in amygdala mode and they won’t be capable of thinking about what kind of society they prefer, just how to get away from that tiger. Eventually, all that cortisol will corrode their brain and ruin their health. And the manipulators will convince them to blame somebody else for those problems.

    • Immer Treue says:


      Doesn’t take a whole lot of thought to see wisdom in your statement. Yet, hopefully if the MN plan goes through, which I hope in it’s current form it does not, some of the steam will also be taken out of the sails of the anti-wolf folks up here, and politicians as well.

      As a little aside, and analogy, with Obamas comment about not being able to fix Washington from the inside, the Republicans put a spin on it, yet isn’t that what the Tea Party is all about.

      Different times we are in than when wolves were largely exterminated. In my minds eye, we won’t see that happen again. Too much communication, too many advocacy groups. In a sense, wolves have a legion of tea party-like groups working for them. But it will take a long time to rid the mindset that prompted your thoughtful response.

      • Salle says:


        What it does require is a mediator who can give all the screamers a time out and when they can calm down and communicate sans the finger-pointing, name-calling and cheap shots make a list of “wants” and work it out from there. It has come to analogies of childish behavior, seemingly borne of frustration and angst. Adult or mature interaction is what it takes to steer a democracy, it seems we have lost the ability to remember that part at present. Instead, a paradigm of scorched earth tactics seems to be the only tool anyone can locate in the toolbox anymore, and that will never do for anyone, human, flora or fauna.

        On all levels, I guess the mantra could be, chill out before acting out, especially with regard to legislative actions that effect us all.

        • Immer Treue says:


          Therefore WI, and to a lesser degree Mn in their rush to hunt post delisting, have opened the door for litigation. Might it have happened even with a waiting period post delist, perhaps. But it is more then obvious haste was involved to appease.

  32. Salle says:

    Idaho Wildfires Head Toward Radioactive Sites
    The wildfires that have ravaged Idaho for over a month are now bringing new fears as the fires have burned through three radioactive mining sites and are heading towards a fourth

  33. MAD says:

    typical, but not unexpected

    “Alaska game officials reject wolf protection zone around Denali”,0,1112962.story

    • Nancy says:

      “In their definition of ‘emergency,’ every last wolf in Denali National Park could be wiped out, and still would not constitute an emergency to the state wolf population,” Steiner said in an email to the Los Angeles Times.

      ******* The state’s Neanderthal policy on wildlife management is moving closer and closer toward anyone can kill anything, anywhere, anytime, and with any method they so please.******

      Just me? Or does that have a familiar “ring” to it? Like in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming?

  34. Mike says:

    just got this from the Center for Biological Diversity. It looks like goons in the Senate are trying to pass a bill that will ban the EPA from regulating toxic lead ammunition, and prevent 20 million unnecessary wildlife deaths a year.

    Dear XX,

    We just learned that the Senate has scheduled a last-minute vote on a bill that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting wildlife and people from toxic lead ammunition and fishing tackle.

    Bald eagles, endangered California condors and dozens of other species fall prey to toxic lead poisoning by the millions, and we need to act now to prevent their needless deaths from becoming enshrined in law.

    The bill ignores the mountain of scientific evidence that lead ammunition and fishing tackle poison at least 130 animal species. It’s being pushed by powerful gun-lobby groups like the National Rifle Association, and it writes off the health of low-income venison donation beneficiaries and 10 million hunters and their families who will remain at risk of lead exposure.

    More than 150 organizations in 38 states have called on the EPA to regulate toxic lead in ammunition and fishing gear under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

    Take action before Monday and help us stop this last-minute gambit by contacting your senators — ask them to oppose this deadly legislation.

    Make sure you call on this one! The suffering of great birds like the bald eagle is horrifying:

    rock n’ roll on this one, folks. Very important.

    Hunters put 3,000 tons of toxic lead into the earth each year, and cause the unnecessary death of 20 million birds annually.

    • timz says:

      I’m sure Obummer had his pen ready to sign it into law as someone promised him an extra vote.

      • timz says:

        Unless those enviromentally conscious democrats in the Senate put a stop to it like they did the wolf rider. Oops, I forgot they helped pass it.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      The Senate did not take up the bill. Instead it adjourned, much to displeasure of Republicans and Blue Dog jackasses like Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia.

    • Dude, the bagman says:


      Lead ammunition is already exempted from regulation under TSCA § 3(2)(B)(4). That section exempts articles subject to taxation under IR Code § 4181. IR Code § 4181 imposes a tax on guns and ammo.

      As used in this Act:
      (2)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the term ‘‘chemical
      substance’’ means any organic or inorganic substance of a particular
      molecular identity, including. . .
      (B) Such term does not include . . .
      (v) any article the sale of which is subject to the tax imposed
      by section 4181 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 . . .”

      Ҥ4181. Imposition of tax

      There is hereby imposed upon the sale by the manufacturer, producer, or importer of the following articles a tax equivalent to the specified percent of the price for which so sold:
      Articles taxable at 10 percent—
      Articles taxable at 11 percent—
      Firearms (other than pistols and revolvers).
      Shells, and cartridges.”

      So…I’m not really sure why this bill was introduced. Maybe it’s just more symbolic harumphing to appease an already lead-poisoned constituency. Although there is a self-contradictory passage of legislative history that suggests that EPA may have authority to regulate lead in ammo, this is not the actual legal language. Further, that passage itself states that the exemption is clear on its face. Read it for yourself –

      “Although the language of the bill is clear on its face as to the exemption for pistols, revolvers, firearms, shells, and cartridges, the Committee wishes to emphasize that it does not intend that the legislation be used as a vehicle for gun control. Consequently the Administrator has no authority to regulate ammunition as an unreasonable risk because it injures people when fired from a gun. However, the Committee does not exclude from regulation under the bill chemical components of ammunition which could be hazardous because of their chemical properties.”
      H. Rep. No. 94-1341, at 10 (1976)

      It seems pretty obvious that the ammunition exemption was created specifically to allow lead ammo. It makes no sense to exempt ammo as a regulated chemical substance, then say (outside the law) that ammo can be regulated for its chemical properties if it’s a hazardous chemical substance. If ammunition wasn’t known to be made of a hazardous chemical substance to begin with, the exemption would be totally unnecessary.

      • Salle says:

        I wonder if this could be a prelude to the allowance of DU in domestic ammo…? It’s used in military munitions, maybe they are getting ready to allow its use here…? If lead’s okay then… Just wondering. It’s hard to determine what these guys mean sometimes, by use of such language, especially if you weren’t privy to committee minutes and transcripts, since we can’t actually be there.

        • Dude, the bagman says:

          Ha. Yeah, you need DU ammo to defeat today’s modern armored elk.

          To me, the last passage seems to mean that the law means what it says. Ammmo is not to be regulated because we’re worried about gun control, and we don’t want the toxic substances that go into ammo to be regulated because that would be gun control. Except that you can regulate it as a substance, not as ammunition. Except that the law clearly states that you can’t. Wait…what are we talking about?

  35. Louise Kane says:

    The content of a petiton sponsored by Lobowatch and others. Crazy, dangerous hateful people they are…

    The Petition


    Newborn horse colt killed by Luna pack Mexican wolves. One of many depredations ignored by FWS.

    The Mexican wolf is a non-native, hybrid captive bred animal. The
    population has shown increased habituation behavior and does not have
    the natural wariness of man that wildlife naturally posses.

    Due to
    its listing as a species of gray wolf under the 10 J section of the
    Endangered Species act, we do not believe this wolf is still considered
    endangered under the the Endangered Species Act we believe it is
    technically subject to control measures authorized under the 10J rule.
    Control measures that the US Fish and Wildlife service have chosen to
    cease implementing.

    These animals have been released and remain
    un-managed in clear violation of the 10J and the 1998 final rule for the
    sole purpose of implementing societal change which is illegal under the
    Endangered Species Act.

    Our task and purpose as rural Americans is to expose the Mexican wolf recovery agenda
    what it is and in addition, ensure that problem wolves are subject to
    the proper wildlife management to ensure the health safety and well
    being of the citizens of the rural Southwest.

    We the undersigned, insist that ranchers and others impacted by wolf damage be compensated for property loss attributed to wolves.

    the undersigned, demand that the United States Fish and Wildlife
    Service (USFWS) cease further releases of the Mexican gray wolf into New
    Mexico and Arizona and consider no plans to release these animals into
    Texas, Utah, and Colorado.

    We the undersigned demand that wolves
    that are in the presence of rural children, or are defined under the
    1998 10J Rule as problem wolves be removed or lethally controlled.
    the undersigned insist that the 98 Mexican wolf final Rule criteria are
    upheld to the fullest extent possible in order to protect ranchers and
    other involved parties from the damage these wolves have and continue to
    cause. This effort includes our support for permanent or lethal removal
    of livestock depredating wolves in accordance with the 1998 final Rule.

    Should the wolf population fail to flourish under these legal
    requirements, We demand the program be terminated as required by the
    1998 10-J rule. The Endangered Species Act requires only implementing
    programs that are practicable not those that continually damage small
    rural communities and fail year after year to sustain themselves.

    Sign petition

  36. Louise Kane says:

    a series of images for trap free NM public lands
    and of trapped wildlife and the real face of this disgusting “pastime/sport”.

  37. Louise Kane says:
    HR3432 retire grazing lands / revitalization act

  38. Salle says:

    Schmidt said an archery elk hunting season is open in the area, with many archery hunters taking part. He said the elk that the five hunters were retrieving had likely been killed by an archery hunter.

    He said it appeared the hunters fired at the bear with a shotgun and several handguns, but no rifle. He said he didn’t have details on the size of the bear.

    “I think the situation is they had an elk that was down, and they probably gathered a few guys to go in and help bring it out,” he said.

    Okay, a few things that I see need some attention.

    A) It’s the time of year when bears are looking for all nutrient dense food they can find and we have people out killing things they consider nutrient dense food. In a year where, in most places, food has been pretty scarce for most wildlife is it too hard to consider that this might be a common occurrence and that there might be some adjustments made on behalf of the wildlife for once?

    B) So these guys just start blasting away at a bear that is attempting to claim the dead elk instead of backing off or using pepper spray (but they should have left the scene instead of initiating a melee on the bear.)

    C) Why is it that they expect the bear to give them right of way to something that has been lying there dead and unattended for however long? In the “bears’ book of rules, it’s finders keepers when it comes to a big dead elk lying there waiting to be eaten.


    I wonder when wildlife “managers” will come to realize that just because people want to go hunting for a specific species that all the other species will not automatically comply with what they want and expect, like those who expect that predators, in particular, should automatically fear humans or suffer death for not living up to the expectations of the humans.

    I suggest that in such circumstances as this, where bears or other predator(s), come along in the absence of the hunter and claim the killed animal, the hunters should give deference to the predator and the human can go find another elk or whatever. If you need to get another tag, go get one… the F&G should consider such events and allow for such adjustments. Even if the hunter doesn’t get another elk or whatever, they would have a good hunting story to tell. My rationale tells me that this would be a reasonable component of the concept of “fair game”. Common sense, folks. When you go fishing and some bigger fish comes up and eats the fish on your line do you just whip out the guns and start blasting away? Or if flyfishing and an Osprey or Eagle comes up and grabs the fish on your line, even for C&R, do you just whip it out and start blasting? Honestly.

  39. Savebears says:

    Sorry if this has been posted, I did find it interesting in light of some of the conversations as of late.

  40. JEFF E says:

    some things to ponder when you fire up the ol’ computer|utmccn=(direct)|utmcmd=(none)&__utmv=14933801.|8=Earned%20By=msnbc%7Ccover=1^12=Landing%20Content=Mixed=1^^30=Visit%20Type%20to%20Content=Earned%20to%20Mixed=1&__utmk=87611800

  41. Salle says:

    Editorial: Where the cows and the sage grouse roam
    Agreements between the government and landowners will benefit those who own the land while also protecting endangered species.
    Read The Denver Post’s Terms of Use of its content:

  42. Salle says:

    Sportsmen’s bill passes Senate test

    The House had passed a similar bill in April that was co-sponsored by Rep. Denny Rehberg, Tester’s Republican opponent in the Montana Senate race. In the end, Tester would get only a test vote as the Senate, yet again, punted another issue until after the election.

    Tester’s bill combines 19 measures favorable to outdoorsmen. In addition to dealing with the polar bear hides, it would allow more hunting and fishing on federal lands, let bow hunters cross federal land where hunting isn’t allowed, encourage federal land agencies to cooperate with state and local authorities to maintain shooting ranges, exclude ammunition and tackle from federal environmental laws that regulate lead, boost fish populations and protect animal habitat.


    • Ida Lupine says:

      You would think that these types of things are the only issues on the table – wolves, polar bear hides, sportsmens hunting and fishing, making sure we pollute the land and water by not restricting lead. We’ve got the economy, jobs, health care, Wall Street reform, etc etc. Damn right this should be kicked down in favor of more important issues for another time, like to the bottom of the list or out all together.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Oh god is this yet another version of the sportsman heritage act

    • JEFF E says:

      I would encourage to actually read the bill instead of a newspaper article “about” the bill.

      Regardless of one’s stance we would all be better off if the discussions were based on actual content rather than hyperbole.

      For example when ever this topic comes up, “polar bear hides” are always mentioned, but the rest of the story is that the “hides” referred to are all pre 2008, when the ban on importation was enacted, and the 40 or so hides that are actually in question are caught in limbo because of the timing of the law.

      Point is, we should all do our utmost to come to the table with the full range of facts on a given subject even if all the facts do not support our belief system and (((then))) debate our point.

      After all, not every one is from the windy city and should not let the discourse sink to that level.

        • JEFF E says:

          I could not get your link to come up.

          Here is another.

          the polar bear section is Tital III.

          • Salle says:

            Thanks, Jeff E. That’s a better format too. More reader friendly.

            • JEFF E says:

              Thank you Salle.
              I always enjoy my conversations with you

            • Salle says:

              Ditto, Jeff E.

              I am glad you had that site at hand. I usually go for the legalese sites first because they have the text and other legal references that I am used to… but they can be a real turn-off for a lot of people whose eyes glaze at the sight of that kind of format, which can be daunting.

              As I said elsewhere, info-sharing is important. No single person can know it all and I’m glad when there’s someone else there to offer up stuff I haven’t stumbled onto yet.

              But I still don’t like several things about this Bill… 😉 I’ll elaborate when I’ve had a chance to read the whole thing and digest it all.

            • JEFF E says:

              there are things I do not like about this bill also.
              for example “who are the owners of these ~40 polar bear hides” that they have such influence over a member(s) of congress that a specific passage of a bill is written to benefit them, valid or not.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I don’t know about you, but I read the bill the first time around.

        I agree, we shouldn’t let the level of discourse sink to thinly-veiled insults or assumptions. Thanks in advance! 😉

        • JEFF E says:

          and your point is?

          • aves says:

            Perhaps that you shouldn’t assume those posting are uninformed about this bill in both it’s present and previous forms. Many of us have been all over this bill for months now.

  43. Virginia says:

    I guess I have been unaware for the past several years of reading and participating in this blog that this is a hunting blog, not a wildlife news blog. My mistake, and as an anti-hunting person, I will take my leave.

    • Savebears says:

      Good bye Virginia, sorry to see you go, your contributions have been good over the years, but you are going to have to understand, when talk of wildlife comes up, it is going to include both sides.

    • Nancy says:

      Virginia – I wouldn’t call it quits just yet. I’ve certainly noticed in the past few months, many new posters weighing in with their comments/concerns regarding the treatment of wildlife and their habitat.

    • mikepost says:

      The beauty of this blog is that it does attract the entire spectrum of view points. Once you get passed the few blowhards and the ego-centrics, more often than not there is a good presentation of opposing view points. Thats what quality debating is all about. Thats how you hopefully can impact someone’s thoughts who is on the “other side” of an issue.

      Virginia, if your view of worthwhile social discourse is to only hang out with people who agree with you, then you wont be happy here. Unfortunately, you wont be as well educated in the ways of the world and how to affect change either.

      • Nancy says:

        “Thats what quality debating is all about. Thats how you hopefully can impact someone’s thoughts who is on the “other side” of an issue”


  44. Ida Lupine says:

    It is disturbing – but I can see that hunters feel threatened that their hunting rights could be taken away by wildlife advocates and so would rather side with the poachers than the wildlife advocates for this very reason. It is so not true. Personally, I would just like to see our wild places remain that way, with all of our unique critters, I’m not against hunting unless it is done in a perverse way. I know that predators prey – but I see no difference in how we raise cattle and other animals to be slaughtered, calves and lambs also. We do the same thing. even have taken it to a next level. It’s nature. We don’t get wolves anymore where I live – every now and then (too rarely) you’ll hear of an animal being shot that a hunter thought “was a coyote” who may have dispersed from Canada. It’s the same thing here – shoot them.

    You may wonder why I visit this blog – as an Easterner, I had always wanted to vist, and when I did I fell in love with the place. My husband lived in Idaho for a time too. When I first visited, I remember vividly the air being so clean, upon returning to an East Coast airport I thought I might nearly gag from all the smog. You don’t want to lose that! 🙂

  45. Salle says:

    Prop. 120 would give AZ ‘control’ of US lands
    If passed, measure would be symbolic, with little real effect

  46. Salle says:

    Bears are busy in town

    A GIS map that shows the locations of Teton County’s high-priority bear zones is available at

    • Salle says:

      One problem not mentioned is that the nearby fires are also driving animals in from the burn areas.

    • Nancy says:

      Interesting and informative read Salle, thanks for posting it.

      • Salle says:


        It’s quite a problem everywhere, it seems. Listening to PSAs on the Rexberg, ID radio station (what I can get from here unless I want to listen to West Yellowstone’s not-much-for-info local station) they were announcing that cave tours in the eastern ID area required some pretty definitive restrictions to cave visitors. They asked that you to not bring in anything that you had from one cave to another and I think they even wanted you to change shoes between caves.

        It makes sense, nobody has pinpointed the cause of this epidemic. This approach is novel and I hope it does something positive but I suspect that it’s only going to prove to be a small, temporary solution if anything. Maybe these bats are getting the spores from old, rotting wood in places they frequent… or maybe from something the insects are carrying after being in the presence of GMO crops…? Hard to say, and until unfettered research is allowed to investigate modern ag practices without recourse from ag product manufacturers, nobody’s probably going to have a chance to find out before it’s too late… that would be when all the bats are gone.

        • aves says:

          The most common theory is that the fungus was initially brought over from Europe on someone’s clothes or shoes and then spread amongst caves by spelunkers and the poor bats themselves. It’s devastating effect and continual expansion is similar to the chytrid fungus wiping out frogs after being brought from Asia or Africa into new environments. Yet another ecological catastrophe with our fingerprints all over it.

          Interestingly, the endangered Virginia big-eared bat has not been found to get WNS despite roosting in the same caves where other species have been found to be infected. It’s thought that the Virginia big-eared bats roost in a deeper part of the caves which is too cold for the fungus to survive and/or that they are a more ancient species that may have been exposed to WNS sometime before and developed a resistance. Unfortunately, other endangered bats and once common bats are being decimated.

          • Nancy says:

            aves – sent Salle’s article to a friend in NY.

            His response:

            Thanks, I have been following this for years. Most upstate NY bats have been effected and are dead. I sent it out. Hopefully they will recover they are nesting in smaller groups

  47. Louise Kane says:

    Jon Way wondering if you have seen this article and if you noted monogamous relationships in the coyotes you studied. Also wondering if severe and sustained hunting pressure has led to changes in their fecundity, the size of litters, age of sexual maturation etc. One of the effects of overfishing is believed to be that the age and size of fish at maturation has been altered. There is evidence that some ground fish now reproduce earlier and are smaller at reproduction.

  48. JEFF E says:

    Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water

  49. Salle says:

    Lest we forget…

    Rachel Carson and the birth of modern environmentalism

    “The ‘control of nature’ is a phrase conceived in arrogance,
    born of the Neanderthal age of biology.”

    ― Rachel Carson,0

  50. Louise Kane says:

    not exactly wildlife news but interesting in the context that agribusiness impacts wildlife, and human and environmental health. a big double standard in the whitehouse and for our presidential candidates and presidents. I hated seeing Michele Obama talk about growing an organic garden whilst hubby was doing nothing to actively promoting a new generation of GMO foods. Not just Obama either, apparently Clinton, Bush administrations also.

  51. Louise Kane says:

    oops doing nothing but

  52. Louise Kane says:

    Breaking news. Natural Resource Board DENIED DNR’s request to move forward on emergency rules for the use of dogs to hunt wolves.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Thank you!

    • ma'iingan says:

      Don’t interpret this as a victory for the opponents of hound hunting. This vote by the NRB means that they don’t feel additional rules restricting the use of dogs are necessary at this time.

      WDNR will now approach the presiding judge and claim that the NRB considered the establishment of rules and restrictions and felt that hounds would not be endangered under the current rules.

      Only one NRB member had the backbone to dissent, so it’s quite possible that the judge will lift the injunction and allow the use of hounds to proceed.

  53. Louise Kane says:

    From Howling for Wolves – Rally info

    We wanted to send you an important update about a time change for our rally this Saturday morning, September 29 in Minneapolis.

    The new rally time is 1-3 pm, same location.

    Location: Minneapolis at 1st Avenue N and 5th Street N. Click here for a map.
    Time: 1-3 pm
    Date: Saturday, September 29th

    To get our message in front of the largest possible group the rally time needed to be moved to better coincide with a schedule change for the Twins game that afternoon.

    See you Saturday!

    Keep howling,

    Howling for Wolves
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    • Louise Kane says:

      Thanks for sharing Aves
      Its amazing that coyotes are allowed to be killed in areas where red wolves live and then to think of expanding that area. Its beyond comprehension, really

      • ma'iingan says:

        “Its amazing that coyotes are allowed to be killed in areas where red wolves live…”

        Cross-breeding with coyotes has been one of the major obstacles to red wolf recovery. What action would you recommend to reduce the occurrence?

        • Louise Kane says:

          Ma from the article I posted.
          “Between 1987 and 2003, a total of twenty–eight red wolves were killed. From 2004 to the end of 2011, fif­ty–two were shot. The situation has become so serious that Rabon has ended the “Track the Pack” section of the project’s quarterly report that listed the wolves’ loca­tions. That space now says that “the U.S. Fish and Wild­life Service is investigating the suspected illegal take of several red wolves found dead in the [five-county] Red Wolf Recovery Area. . . . The red wolf is protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The maximum criminal penalties for the unlawful taking of a red wolf are one year imprisonment and $100,000 fine.”

          Most shootings happen during hunting season, when the sportsmen who are out and about may mistake a wolf for a coyote. In fact, however, in North Carolina it’s le­gal to kill a coyote during daylight hours at any time of year, so the hazard of mistaken identity is not confined to autumn. And now there’s a proposal to expand coy­ote hunting to nighttime hours, when distinguishing the two canids is even more difficult. Although other states allow coyote hunting after dark, they don’t have an endangered red wolf population in the same area, observes Hutt.”

          clearly hybridiization is not the only threat to red wolves, overzealous coyote killers seem to pose a serious problem. Would there be any objection to killing predators that you would defend? Killing coyotes is a stupid and ignorant thing to do in and of itself, doing so in a red wolf recovery area seems even more ignorant, stupid and short sighted. There are approximately one hundred of these animals that look very much like coyotes, so what do you reccomend?

          • ma'iingan says:

            “Killing coyotes is a stupid and ignorant thing to do in and of itself, doing so in a red wolf recovery area seems even more ignorant, stupid and short sighted. There are approximately one hundred of these animals that look very much like coyotes, so what do you reccomend?”

            I think I asked you for your recommendation first, and this is all you’ve got?

            Obviously public harvest of coyotes is problematic, but in order for this recovery project to succeed, and given their fecundity and adaptability, coyotes will have to be removed lethally.

            Coyote sterilization is a short-term solution, but it seems unlikely that it can be continued indefinitely or on a larger scale – and I agree with Aves, there needs to be a second recovery area established.

            • Louise Kane says:

              Allowing the hunting and killing of coyotes is a stupid and ignorant thing to do… and I stand by that, especially so where they look very similar to an endangered species. Aves provided some of the information in his last post, where he wrote…” The USFWS has proven very effective at managing the hybridization through constant scouting and trapping, proper identification of canid species, sterilization of coyotes, and, yes, lethal removal of hybrids and coyotes. None of this is accomplished by hunters killing coyotes, red wolves, or hybrids.”

        • aves says:

          During the debate over the state of North Carolina allowing the night hunting of coyotes the absurd notion that it would help red wolves by reducing hybridization kept popping up. The very demographic responsible for the majority of red wolf mortality was now claiming they would help red wolves by shooting at canids in the dark.

          The USFWS has proven very effective at managing the hybridization through constant scouting and trapping, proper identification of canid species, sterilization of coyotes, and, yes, lethal removal of hybrids and coyotes. None of this is accomplished by hunters killing coyotes, red wolves, or hybrids. If red wolves have a choice they will breed with another red wolf so the sooner people stop shooting them, whether deliberately or accidentally, the better off they will be.

          The western edge of the red wolf’s recovery area will always be an entry point for coyotes but the biggest impediments to long term recovery are human caused mortality (bullets and cars) and the need for another recovery area.

          • Mark L says:

            Why not find a use for the hybrids? Is there not some argument that these are a valid mix also? Is half a red wolf a bastard or nothing? I know its not an easy question but it needs to be asked. There’s a huge amount of genetic heritage being lost to ‘purism’ here. (just playing devil’s advocate)
            I made the same argument for bison with cattle genes being moved south for non-tolerance and tiger salamanders in California.

            • Louise Kane says:

              good question Mark
              maybe Aves or Jon Way can take a stab at it

            • aves says:

              Historically, before we diminished the ecological integrity of the Southeast, there was always hybridization at the edge of the red wolf’s core range. Those hybrids may have functioned in the ecosystem similarly to red wolves but we have no way of knowing since nobody payed attention until red wolves were eliminated from all but the thickest swamps along the Louisiana-Texas border. If hybridization was occurring naturally and the red wolf was not critically endangered there would be no need to kill or sterilize coyotes and hybrids. If red wolves ever recover then that dynamic will resume unfettered, with a core range where red wolves mate with red wolves and a periphery where red wolves, coyotes, and hybrids can interact however they please. But since we have less than 100 red wolves it is crucial to maintain their genetic integrity. Our understanding of the ecological roles and genetics of wild canids is still evolving. Anything that makes a red wolf less of a red wolf genetically could have a profound effect on the species that has been shaped over generations to live in a specific area and do specific things.

              Thanks to the USFWS, hybrids are rare in the red wolf recovery area and would be even rarer if not for humans killing the wolves. I don’t think we are losing any genetic heritage with the removal of hybrids, the genetics of breeding red wolves are better served by allowing them to breed with each other. The only role for hybrids in the equation is sterilization and release where they could hold down a territory and possibly even pair with a red wolf and later be removed if a red wolf enters the area or can be translocated to that area. If they allow reproductive hybrids to remain in the red wolf recovery area they might as well end the recovery program. The species is too endangered to allow crossbreeding with another species. I would equate it to standing by while our actions cause endangered whooping cranes to breed with common sandhill cranes (which has only occurred in captivity) or endangered ocelots with common bobcats. These hybrid scenarios are only present to a significant extent if we mess things up, they would not occur if we left things as they were or still can be.

              I realize some people are uncomfortable with that but we should remember that hybrids are not protected by the USFWS and the ESA, that ending the current approaches to hybridization will fuel the fire of the many opponents of the red wolf program who are always harping on the debate about the red wolf’s true genetics to try and shut the program down, and that of all the justifications people kill wild canids this is the only one supported by science.

          • Salle says:

            The KKKarl Rove school of thought grads no doubt.

            In the early days of the Red Wolf recovery, there was a large number of hybrids (both with dogs and coyotes) and there were very few Red Wolves. Part of the program, initially, was to capture and neuter the hybrids but keep them on the landscape in the recovery zone(s) for a time as place holders. This helped to keep other non-target species from inhabiting “open space” that would have been available if the hybrids had been removed while ensuring that lone Red Wolves would not be able to reproduce with them. This practice was to be phased out over time as the Red Wolf population increased and as the recovery zone(s) became repopulated.

            Mind you, during the recovery process, as political powers shifted, the property where recovery zones were established had been blasted by hurricane(s) and eyed by the procurement desires of the DoD. Unfortunately the human population of bubbas with flashlights and guns, seem to have won out with brute force and ignorance once again. But then, if you look at how the political landscape is shaping up since about 1999, this is no big surprise.

            One sad part, aside from the decline in Red Wolf population, is that the program was put into place after a major effort to educate the public and a process that included the public in approving the program. It was well planned, appropriately executed and the early success of the program is due to these factors. The good elements of democracy in action, very inclusive and well implemented once approved by the well informed general public in the area. A sad day for these wolves and all those who worked so hard on this program.

  54. jon says:

    The person who wrote this claims there are 5000 wolves in Idaho alone.

    • Salle says:

      I wonder how many times they had to reuse all their fingers to count that high.

      • JEFF E says:

        Most of them can only count to 11.
        he had to have had help

        • Salle says:

          Yeah, and it was probably a three-year-old who just figured out how to use the term five thousan! As in: “Uncle Bubba, I bet it was five thousan woofses!!”

          Sorry, I just heard a three-year-old say something similar yesterday and that reminded me of the event. %]

  55. Louise Kane says:

    et all advocates
    one for us

  56. jon says:

    Some great news for California. Hound hunting of bear and bobcat has been banned in California starting January 1, 2013.

  57. Salle says:

    Five Food-Conditioned Black Bears Euthanized In Northwest Montana
    Neighbors complained a Heron-area resident was feeding them

    Either these bear-feeding s^*theads are totally ignorant or hate wildlife so much that they will do crap like this to get them removed by any means possible. Whichever it is, these clowns are truly the most selfish kind… or maybe they think that nobody is going to notice or do anything about it.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Argggh! For every step forward, it seems there are two steps back. Stay away from and don’t feed bears for your own safety and others, and for their continued well-being as well. Five seems a lot – what a terrible waste. I hope that man that was fishing and got hurt by a griz will be ok too. 🙁

    • JB says:

      It’s terrible to lose wildlife to stupidity. Fortunately, Montana has plenty of black bears.

  58. Salle says:

    I’m transferring this comment to the current “News” thread:

    jdubya says:
    September 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    More on wolves in Utah…

  59. Salle says:

    Battle of the lakers
    On Yellowstone Lake, biologists fight to save cutthroat, ecosytem, from exotic lake trout.

  60. Salle says:

    Every time there’s a “hunt” to “gain acceptance” and to teach bad, depredating wolves in livestock areas a lesson, the quotas are always filled right outside the National Parks, where wolves are protected, first…

    Quota filled, wolf hunting season closes outside Glacier Park

    • Rita K. Sharpe says:

      By the comments,they are just out just to kill them and protect the the elk,which someone posted, are defenseless against the wolves.Never hear of them protecting the cattle.

  61. Salle says:

    Why the Beaver Should Thank the Wolf…
    Wolves and other predators have a powerful effect on the well-being of the ecosystems around them.

  62. Salle says:

    The “return” of Moby Dick?

    Albino Humpback Whale: Migaloo, White Whale, Spotted Off Australian Coast (VIDEO)

  63. Salle says:

    50 Years After Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring
    an essay by

    Rep. Ed Markey

    U.S. Representative, Seventh Congressional District of Massachusetts; Ranking Member, House Natural Resources Committee

    • Salle says:

      Perhaps I should have placed these in the LORAX thread… Nonetheless, Everyone should consider the impact of what Ms. Carson’s writing had and how we seem to have chosen to generally ignore her wisdom half a century later. I would argue that, as a society, we have chosen to focus on distraction from reality with the temporary rewards of what seems to be convenience that will eventually prove to be our greatest mistake for our species and all the others with whom we share the biosphere.

      ‘Silent Spring’ Turns 50: Rachel Carson Warned Of ‘Pesticide Treadmill’ Powered By Big Ag

      An iron triangle of incredible proportion; big ag, the chemical industrial complex and the fossil fuels industrial complex.

  64. jon says:

    This is a very disturbing article. Why should people who use to dogs to hunt other wildlife be reimbursed if their dogs are killed by wolves? Don’t these hound hunters understand there are risks letting your dogs chase after wildlife? These hound hunters make me sick to my stomach. Hound hunting in Wisconsin should be banned.

    • Salle says:

      It seems that these groups are offering a proclamation of brute force and ignorance winning all arguments based on threats.

      Ignorance and hatred revolve around each other like binary stars engaged in a death spiral… eventually they burnout but the damage to all things nearby equates with absolute destruction of all those things.

    • Salle says:

      So he’s one of the ranching interests that plague the Dinosaur NM… I was wondering about that ever since I visited, and camped in, that awesome place a few years ago. (And he’s probably one of the fossil fuels producers who have ravaged the lands around it with all those nasty rigs everywhere.)

      It would be nice to relieve that issue but it seems he’s creating another in Paonia and using the DNM as a bartering chip. How unfortunate for all of us.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      I guess this man is the “good” Koch Brother relatively speaking.

      There is a cautionary lesson here regarding the Romney Campaign. Mitt clearly has no regard for the public lands and would auction them off. People like this would end up owning millions or acres where there used to be national forests replete with big no trespassing signs.

      The dispossessed and uneducated people of the West that Romney says can’t take responsibility for their own lives could earn their meager wage by patrolling the borders of the billionaires’ principalities, strip mines, hunting preserves, faux Western towns, or whatever.

  65. Salle says:

    All the Missing Horses: What Happened to the Wild Horses Tom Davis Bought From the Gov’t?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Ugh. Couldn’t you just vomit after reading that. 🙁

    • Louise Kane says:

      just having time to read that article about the wild horses now, more connections to Salazar. I don’t know much about this issue but wonder why the program ignores the warnings of advocate and auditors as stated here” For decades, government auditors and wild horse welfare advocates have warned that the policy of capturing and storing horses is unsustainable and have pushed for the BLM to use fertility controls, introduce predators or expand wild horse territories, but the agency has made little progress toward these goals. In the first half of this year, for example, it treated fewer than half as many wild horses with a birth control drug than was planned.”.

      I also do not know what natural predators would help keep wild horse populations in check? Anyone knowing more about this I’d love to hear from you.

      And Ida yes it does make me sick too. The thought of rounding up wild horses or other wildlife for that matter and taking them to slaughter houses is unconscionable. Humans devise some of the most insanely heinous torture for animals. Its hard not to be angry and disillusioned.

      • Nancy says:

        Louise – there is an excellent documentary out called Cloud, Wild Stallion of the Rockies filmed a few years ago and narrated by Ginger Kathrens (she is mentioned in the above article – The Cloud foundation)

        According to Kathrens, after filming these wild horses for years, mountain lions, who prey on their foals, seem to be the only real threat (that and roundups)

    • CodyCoyote says:

      Funny thing. Every western state has strick livestock laws and Brand Inspectors. All horses ( indeed, all livestock ) have been Bar Coded ( branded) for time immemorial under that system. Penalties for rustling, use of ‘ running irons’ or selling slick stock are harsh , and the Feds respect those laws and abide them , yet we can’t determine where this Horse Slaughter advocate disposes of his BLM wild horses ? Horses he bought at the BLM Fire Sale for ten dollars a head ?? What’s wrong with this picture?

      G.A.A ( Go Ask Alpo)

      • WM says:

        ++What’s wrong with this picture?++

        Since you asked, it is a set of really stupid federal laws that do not adequately or comprehensively deal with the wild horse problem – once again the result of some city slickers or in this case, wild horse advocates, not thinking thru the likely scenarios when disposing of a federally protected asset.

        Wild horses will procreate, have no natural predators, compete with wild ungulates and livestock for feed and winter range, inhabit federal Indian reservations or other federal reserves, and nobody really wants them, there is no way to dispose of them (especially after wild horse advocates lobbied to shut down meat processing facilities for horse flesh) and, it appears, loopholes or administrative nightmares with the likes of BLM trying in a half-assed way to get contractors to take them. They don’t care what happens to them after the fact, and this incident illustrates the problem in spades.

        I’d like to see the wild horse advocates come up with a viable, comprehensive solution that works for tribes, federal and state lands, and creates a market for either the sale to the public of live horses (burros where applicable) and processed meat if the American public can get past the “ick” factor that Europeans and other cultures got over centuries ago.

        What you see today is another empassioned advocacy story that got screwed up by their own doing. What exists today sure as hell isn’t working.

        • JB says:

          WM: I agree with most of what you’ve written (though I don’t think Wild Horse Annie could be considered a “city slicker” by any stretch). However, this is a great example of what happens when agencies exhibit zero care and compassion for animal resources under their control. In this case, the good intentions of well-meaning animal rights activists have resulted in deteriorated habitat for wildlife, poor conditions for wild horses, and a huge bill that’s being picked up by the American people. The phrase “giant cluster #$%!” comes to mind.

        • CodyCoyote says:

          WM- I am not against slaughtering horses of any class —wild , feral, or domestic—for meat and hooves. Not at all. It’s pretty much the only solution , and I disagree with so-called wild horse advocates who demand the horses remain alive but offer no viable alternatives as you clearly state.

          Where I live in Cody WY we have a very strong Horse subculture and do all that ” western ” stuff. Everybody wants a few horses to call their own , even if they seldom get used for anything other than the 4th of July parades.

          Cody also has three large BLM wild horse alllotments withing an hour’s drive of town…Mc Cullough peaks, Fifteen Mile, and the only actual Spanish Mustang wild horse colony in this part of the world, the Pryor Mountains grullas. All those other horse units are descendants of turned out ranch horses and better termed as feral, not wild. Yet there is no end to the obsessive sympatico towards the horse.

          I have two points: One, the adoption program isn’t working. supply exceeds demand, and the BLM loses money on every animal. People have every opportunity to adopt around here and everybody wants a nhorse, yet the BLM cannot adopt out even the meager local supply of culled horses. I’ve ridden more than a few ” wild” horses and they have all been exceptional sturdy animals. For mountain saddle horses, you really can’t beat them—but they really REALLY do not go solo well. Range culled horses are used to being around other horses 24/7 — the herd heirarchy— and that’s a tough trait to overcome. If Wyoming folks are not enthusiastic adopters of BLM range horses, then it’s difficult to expect the rest of the planet to step up. We’re adopted out.

          Second, to the point of this article , the Faustian bargain that the BLM made with this Davis guy to take huge numbers of unwanted horses for $ 10 a head is egregious in both directions. The BLM is being wanton , and Davis is being a callous privateer. The point being: no accountibility of what happens to those horses after Davis takes possession . He probably sells a few as saddle horses or working stock , which helps his image and gives him cover, but I suspect the bulk of them end up slaughtered in clandestine facilities. You have to ask. And the public should know the horse’s fate , regardless.

          Adoption is one tool, but does not alleviate the problem with overpopulation of range horses. Cull and slaughter would accomodate the excess , and the meat can be put to a variety of good uses , but is politically unpalatable. Perhaps what Davis is doing could be turned around to show the sympaticos that slaughtering has a place , obviously , since it never really went away . But the whole situation has a huge stink to it.

          It can be changed, though . But has to be done in bright sunshine.

          It’s never easy to dispose of an unwanted or deceased horse. Never.

          • WM says:


            I agree with almost all you said. In addition, the tough part of the unaviodable processing of horse flesh (in the US rather than under the table transport of horses to Mexico or Canada is the need for facilities with the blessing of USDA.

            Several tribes, the Yakama nation for example, have something like 10,000 wild horses they want to reduce down to a manageable number, and this will require a sustained existence of logistically available processing facilities (and jobs for tribal members).

            No place and no federal support for an approved processing facility – and to sell meat off reservation it has to be USDA approved. The wild horse advocates, through Congressional action, as I recall, stopped US horse processing everywhere. This means BLM, as the article notes, is coloring between the lines out of necessity by selling low, and letting buyers send (wink, wink) animals to a less humane end at facilities out of the US. Ain’t that a dumb secondary impact from apparently well meaing, but, let’s be candid here, shortsighted, wild horse advocates.

  66. Harley says:

    Caught the tail end of this on the radio yesterday. Looked it up. Wow…

    • Louise Kane says:

      I’ve been sick thinking about the wolves and how they have not had to dodge bullets, traps, snares and are probably somewhat used to a human presence. I hope there is a gigantic outpouring of outrage, sadness and a call for heads to roll when the wolves that people love to watch start to be killed.

    • Salle says:

      Sam Parks,

      Cool! Thanks for posting that. Glad that’s settled… for a couple weeks.

    • JB says:

      I heard about while listening to NPR yesterday. It’s great news, and shows that the constant pessimistic tone of many discussions on this site is uncalled for.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Oh come on JB….the constant pessimistic tone is uncalled for. First off, the message of the post was celebrating Rare Good News. Then contrast the good news with the bad. First off there are swings in shifts of opinion, policy etc based on any number of factors. Yet the assaults on environmental, wilderness or wildlife policy never seem to let up.

        To characterize condemnation, criticism or analysis of a realistic impression of the current state of management of wildlife and natural ecosystems is not pessimism. Pessimism implies “a state of mind in which one anticipates undesirable outcomes or believes that the evil or hardships in life outweighs the good or luxuries”. I’d characterize the sentiments of many here who oppose the way that politics, ignorance, and apathy prevail over science as realistic. which implies looking at things as they really are. There is a big distinction between pessimism and realism.

        If you can paint a rosy picture of the way wildlife and natural systems are managed then maybe that might be characterized as denial.

        • Louise Kane says:

          JB – and for you to use one example to illustrate your point is well…unlike you. Where are the studies she says, in good humor mind you

          • JB says:

            Louise: Since we spend much of our time talking about carnivores, here are a few you might consider:

            Enserink & Vogel. 2006. The Carnivore Comeback. Science, 314:746-9.

            Eberhardt & Breiwick. 2010. Trend in Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Population. Int. Journal of Ecology, doi:10.1155/2010/924197

            Larue et al. 2012. Cougars are Recolonizing the Midwest: Analysis of Cougar Confirmations During 1990-2008. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 76(7)1364-9.

        • JB says:


          I can paint a VERY rosy picture of wildlife conservation in the US–especially looking over the long term. In fact, I would argue that nearly all of the relevant trends point in a positive direction for the majority of species (as I mentioned in a previous post there are always exceptions.)

          The most relevant trends relate to habitat conservation. Every year states use sportsmen’s dollars to conserve more habitat for wildlife by increasing public lands (in the form of state Wildlife Areas). Likewise, every year NGOs and land trusts protect more private lands through purchases and easements. Legislation enacted in the 1970s has resulted in cleaner air and water, improving conditions for birds and fish (e.g., Lake Erie, once a cess pool, is now the most productive of the Great Lakes). It also resulted in the removal of DDT and the return of top level avian carnivores (e.g., bald eagles). Legislation protecting T&E species at the state and federal level is arresting extinctions for protected species and has even resulted in the outright recovery of some species. And new science comes out every day that increases our collective knowledge base and allows for “wiser” management.

          So yes, I think the pessimistic tone that so many adopt here–especially as it relates to carnivores–is overblown. When you focus on individuals as opposed to populations, you lose the forest through the trees.

          Note: My comments and examples speak largely to terrestrial species and inland aquatic species. I am more pessimistic about marine environments, mostly because of climate change.

          • Louise Kane says:

            JB “The most relevant trends relate to habitat conservation.”
            I’m sure we could find endless science, reports, and articles to defend our positions. I tend to rely on what I consider to be very real threats and how they are evidenced daily as gag worthy and destructive policy that is regularly shoved down our collective throats. AS for the legislation that you indicated most of that was enacted because we had reached a tipping point that was unacceptable to human health and were in a crisis mode also coming at a time of social activism/awareness that has pretty much been unparalled since. The ESA was a rare piece of legislation in reaction to extinction threats. Is it time to relax, time to celebrate success. I think not especially in such a conservative, post citizens united world where policy, elections and candidates seats are more easily bought with the possibility of several SC seats up for grabs. The focus of political debate rarely shines a light on anything other than climate change and then conservatives are so out of step with mainstream America or science its truly appalling. Take for example the Warren/Brown debate last night. When asked about examples of differences in their policy and agendas, Scott Brown indicated his support of the keystone pipeline… He looked like the cheshire cat who just got the tweety bird. But he is so out of step with the majority of Americans and their opinion on this issue as well as their concerns he seemed genuinely surprised to receive the loud disapproval. Didn’t that proposal receive a mind boggling 800,000 signatures against it in a day or two. and the president vetoed the proposal. Still its being rammed down our throats, just like drilling in the Arctic wildlife refuge. A never ending cascade of bad policy and management actions being thrust on us with little or no regard for long term consequences. Thats my gripe, my dissillusionment. Without constant vigilance the picture would not be as rosy as you insist nor would the advances be made.
            Some refrences about habitat fragmentation and loss

            Some key questions is habitat protected keeping up with habitat loss, what uses are allowed in the “protected habitat” that impact species and ecosystem health and what are the continued threats and how they are addressed.

            as for predators
            JB I don’t believe that a concern about carnivores and their protection is grounded in a focus on individual animals, as you suggest. Most studies that are directed at a loss of apex or mesopredators express a concern of general ecosystem health and a concern over trends in the loss of large numbers of them worldwide.
            JB you wrote “And new science comes out every day that increases our collective knowledge base and allows for “wiser” management.” the key here is that it allows for wiser management but when and how often is it used? and where is the science in much of this decision making, woefully inadequate

            • JB says:


              I too bemoan the constant onslaught by (largely) conservative politicians. However, I never said conservationists should claim victory and call it a day; rather, I said that there is a LOT to be happy about.

              And there is a risk in preaching gloom and doom all of the time. First and foremost, you risk becoming the ‘boy-who-cried-wolf’ (pun intended), teaching people that you are not a reliable source of information. Second, you risk turning people off to the topic altogether. A common response to overly-gloomy information is to tune-out because it gives people the perception that nothing can be done to fix the problem (so they ignore it and go on with their daily lives).

              So yeah, the ESA and most of the rest of our effective environmental is 30-40 years old. But that’s not a reason to lament. In fact, we should be celebrating what these laws have accomplished and figuring out ways to make them do more.

              Honestly, the stuff about the loss of carnivores “disrupting” systems is way overblown in my opinion.

            • Louise Kane says:

              JB your thoughts noted

      • Salle says:

        How long has it been since that initiative was signed into law? It has been a screaming match ever since and for many of us, the sway of the federal government has been directly involved in whether or not the courts would even hear the case ~ again. In current times and circumstances, any idea that something like this would be settled is a rarity indeed.

        And as I said above, I’m glad that’s settled… for a couple-few weeks. There will be some well-funded lobbying effort to re-argue this one soon enough.

  67. Salle says:

    This is different

    Get bird’s eye view of the world in new documentary
    A new documentary called “Winged Planet” features breathtaking views from the perspective of our feathered friends. Series producer and director John Downer talks about capturing the stunning images.

    • ma'iingan says:

      The information on Wisconsin is wrong – the 782 animals counted in 2011 is the “minimum observed population”. We don’t do an estimate, we conduct an actual count.

  68. Barb Rupers says:

    WWP information regarding a grazing allotment in central Idaho impacting salmon, bull trout, and steelhead; just came in an email:

  69. jon says:

    Something is not adding up in this article. Other articles I read said that there were atleast 328 wolves in Wyoming. I read that there were 20-40 wolves in the areas where they could be shot on sight as predators. There should be many more wolves than 200 in the trophy game area.

    • jon says:

      Wyoming gov. Mead even said Wyoming has 328 wolves.

      “The current wolf population in the Wyoming Trophy Game Area is estimated at just over 200 wolves.”

      If there are 328 wolves in Wyoming and 200 wolves live in the trophy game zone, that would mean that the other 128 wolves live in the “predator” zone? If this is true, then Wyoming lied. They said in numerous article that I read that only 20-40 wolves live in the “predator” zone.

      • jon says:

        Maybe Cody can answer this for me?

        • jon says:

          If all of that is true, seemed like Wyoming is pulling a fast one on people.

        • Leslie says:

          YNP has the remainder. The only wolves in the Predator zone I’ve heard of are a few to the south and there have been wolves that make it to the Big Horns, kill sheep, then they are exterminated.

          • Salle says:

            Wyoming isn’t allowed to count any wolves on the Wind River IR. Don’t know how many are there and I don’t think they’re interested in telling either since they have a different way of perceiving wolves that doesn’t seem to include killing them for “sport”.

            I’m guessing that either the Game and Fish guys are spinning and etch-a-sketching their data and/or sometimes including the Wind River and Park (both YNP and GTNP) numbers in their tallies ~ even though it’s impossible to know exactly how many there are in any given place at any given time.

    • Salle says:

      As I read that article and the small number of wolves (total) in Wyoming, it does seem like pretty small population. The state os not allowed to include the number of wolves living in YNP, GTNP and WRIR which is roughly 5-6 million acres of the NW corner of the state. That doesn’t mean that people aren’t going to go sit on the borders of these places and “get” their wolf.

      It seems to have become a trend where the hunting units where the quotas are reached first appear to be those bordering areas where wolves are still protected… go figure.

      I was also interested in the way that this new wolf hunting thing was being presented over at the Wyoming Game and Fish web site.

      Interestingly, there is no mention on of a “wolf hunt” in the hunting regs page, but if you scroll waaay down, you’ll see it stands out from all the other regs that include the word “hunting” you’ll find it listed as “Wolf Management”

      And another thought arose while reading the article, if there are only < 400 wolves in the state for much of the state, why are they selling nearly 1000 (or more?) tags for 50+ wolves? A new way to imagine "collateral damage"?

      • Mark L says:

        Salle said,
        “It seems to have become a trend where the hunting units where the quotas are reached first appear to be those bordering areas where wolves are still protected… go figure.”
        Hence my wondering what becomes of the red wolf hybrids at the ‘edge’ of red wolf territory earlier. Odd–the US jaguar support argument involves a claim that jags that are on the northern edge of a population are more likely to adapt to differing climes/biomes, but the same isn’t applied to red wolf hybrids that are ‘cannon fodder’ in the name of the ESA. Which way we going here?

        • aves says:

          Your analogy makes no sense. Jaguars are all of the same species, there aren’t even any subspecies of jaguar. Red wolves and coyotes are not the same species and the hybrids have no advantage over red wolves.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Salle I think Idaho sold 40,000 or so and MOntana a similarly high number. Its hard to fathom the ignorance and disregard for this species and the responsibility to manage a public trust responsibly. Its all out war

  70. CodyCoyote says:

    Oregon farmer eaten by his own hogs.
    … and folks are so-o-o-o-o-o worried about getting eaten by wolves.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Shades of Deadwood. Not to make lite of the man’s unusual departure, what is now done with the swine. Sent immediately to the butcher? Wait to see which if not all did the eating?…

    • Salle says:


      • Louise Kane says:

        yes Salle
        I like to think the same kind of response that helped to keep viewer activity so low for the SPalin show that Animal Planet dropped although they did not drop the show even despite the hard core public response in opposition to it.
        I think AP also recently aired a singularly offensive and disgusting show on killing wolves where one of the killers said it was the most fun they had experienced. The programs that glorify killing are reprehensible and the networks need to be called out. I was so glad to see this one cancelled. Kudos to the petition drafter

  71. CodyCoyote says:

    A NASA satellite graphic showing the extent of the drought across the Lower 48 states.

    Using infrared imaging to infer the amount of chlorophyll and comparing it to a database of images going back many years, this shows where the drought is worst . The southern Rocky Mountain Front seems to be the boundary of this summer’s rain shadow in a very demarcated way…everything east of the Rockies out into the Plains is damn dry.

    Saskatchewan and eastern Alberta had above normal rainfall, however. Guess the Canadians will be selling us a lot of hay and feed this winter.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Very nice reinforcement of the rainshadow effect of the Rocky Mountains as one moves east. Almost textbook.

      • Salle says:

        Those areas were also hit with a lot of tornado activity this year. To have a long, arid and hot season to follow. Not much “give” for recovery of a traumatized soil/vegetation system… must have significantly contributed to the severity of the drought.

  72. Louise Kane says:

    From the creeps at Big Game Forever they have some television special spewing their garbage
    It would be good for Outdoor channel to hear some thoughts about this



    Tonight we invite you to watch Big Game Forever’s predator management show on Outdoor Channel with MacMillan River Adventures’ (9:30pm Mountain Time, 10:30pm Central Time). This episode highlights the importance of responsible predator management in wildlife conservation. Not only does the show include some great mountain lion and bear hunting, it explores coyote control and other predator issues affecting the health of Western big game populations. There is one scene where a group of mule deer tries unsuccessfully to save a fawn from a group of coyotes. While the scene is hard to watch, it dramatically illustrates what is happening every day to the West’s Mule Deer herds. It is worth watching.

    Thanks again to hosts Keith Mark and Shawn Michaels of MacMillan River Adventures for their support of wildlife conservation and of the mission of Big Game Forever. Last year, MacMillan River Adventures’ wolf episode with Big Game Forever won Outdoor Channel’s Golden Moose Award for the best conservation episode of the year.

    We hope you enjoy tonight’s show.

    Ryan Benson

    Please sign the petition to support state wolf management at

    • HAL 9000 says:

      Speaking as a hunter, hunters (in general terms) have really got to get over rotten, ignorant attitudes regarding predators.

      • Immer Treue says:


        Apologies if my exchange was with someone else other than you, but we went back and forth on the issue of hunting rags doing an editorial along these same lines. Me thinks it might go at least a short way to reign in some of the obnoxious discourse, and be a step in the correct direction of finding common ground with environmental groups. Needless to say, there would also be required a corresponding gesture to control anti-hunting rhetoric.

  73. jon says:

    Fantastic news for California. Why are hunters angry about the name change? It’s now the California department of fish and wildlife. Wildlife is wildlife and it should be called wildlife, not game imho.

    • JB says:


      This article encapsulates everything that is wrong with conservation right now. The “us-vs-them” mentality of SOME hunters and SOME animal welfare groups is the problem–it is putting conservation at risk. We can conserve wildlife populations for future generations AND hunt them too!
      The fears of SOME hunters from California are silly. I can assure you from personal experience that agencies using the term “wildlife” can still have “traditional” focus on game (and that’s not all bad).

      • Louise Kane says:

        JB is your comment a fair assessment or a personal value judgment? I think you’d call out others on a claim like this.

        The name change to California Department of Fish and Wildlife is a subtle move away from the concept that states manage wildlife solely as a commodity to be hunted. And while I know you are correct in stating that agencies that use the term wildlife in their title may likely still have a focus on game, California is flexing its muscle and showing that they are willing and ready to move toward a greater consideration of non consumptive uses for wildlife, as their constituents desire. They have recently banned hounding for bears and bobcats and provide protection from trapping. They also recently ridded themselves of the official that went to Idaho to hunt cougars, wasn’t that the issue. The coastal western states all seem to be taking a progressive stance, despite the recent Wedge Pack killing, that went against public opinion. California in particular is presenting and voting for initiatives that I think represent some core beliefs about conservation that are more in keeping with a public trust concept of managing for the future and to protect the resource for the benefit of all its people, not just hunters. For some of us its good to see a shift in attitude to reflect our non consumptive attitudes about wildlife. It seems that you do not want to consider the possibility that hunting in its various forms, with few restraints, lack of effective enforcement, and in contravention of notions of fair chase and humane killing (if there is such a thing), do not equate to conservation for many of us. The deck has been stacked for hunters for a long time, there is going to be some us and them to effect change… unless you believe that hunters out of sheer good will – will voluntarily self-police themselves and adhere to true conservation policies and ethics that nullify the need to advocate for wildlife protection. I think there is room to work together but the very reaction you point to by the hunters is a good example of why advocates feel that its come to us or them. Them (hunter) interests always seem to trump us interests (wildlife conservationists and advocates.

        • Louise Kane says:

          JB this portion of the article describes the reason for the name change. “This department’s been around under the same brand for over 100 years,” Huffman said. “The resources of the department have not kept pace with its mission, which has become very broad. The trend not just in California but in the United States has been away from managing only for hunting and fishing, and managing broadly in a way that includes hunting and fishing.”

          The bill also beefs up the department’s law enforcement role and its use of science to guide policies that will be designed to protect entire ecosystems instead of individual species. It also allows it to increase and broaden its collection of fees beyond the money raised through hunting and fishing licenses.

          Huffman’s legislation, which does not change the name of the regulatory California Fish and Game Commission, was one of several bills signed by the governor that supporters say will modernize a department that traces its origins to Spanish and Mexican laws enacted before California became a state. Brown also approved SB1249 by Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, which will let the department contract with nonprofit conservation groups to manage state-owned lands and charge fees for using more of its properties.

          This is a step in the right direction, its inclusive of both user groups, not just hunting!

        • JB says:


          Yes, what I wrote contains a very explicit value judgment–specifically, that the goal of conservation is enhanced when we (hunters and non-hunters) work together, not against one another (just think how much habitat could’ve been conserved were all of the groups who have been suing to have spent their attorney’s fees on land acquisition and easements).

          Regardless, I think you’ve read far too much into my comment. When I wrote that the article “encapsulates everything that is wrong with conservation right now” I was not referring to the name-change for California’s agency, which makes perfect sense to me (BTW: I work closely with a Division of Wildlife that doesn’t feel the need to distinguish fish from wildlife). Rather, I was referring to the “us-vs-them” framing and the silly fears of hunters that changing a word was some how symptomatic of a change in focus. As the article pointed out–the focus changed long ago, the name change merely brings the agencies name in alignment with their responsibilities.

          The idea that this is (or should be) controversial at all is utterly ridiculous.

          • JB says:

            And yes, that’s another value judgment. 😉

            • Louise Kane says:

              (just think how much habitat could’ve been conserved were all of the groups who have been suing to have spent their attorney’s fees on land acquisition and easements).

              love this idea!

          • Kathleen says:

            Agreed. The term “wildlife” is the most inclusive and accurate. Animals who–at limited times of the year–are considered “game” are still always wildlife. Categorically calling animals “game” reduces them to a commodity and a target. The first time I saw a “game crossing” sign (WY) I was literally shocked and recognized it to be a political word choice.

  74. ma'iingan says:

    A study of opinions regarding the management of free-roaming cats –

    • Ida Lupine says:

      This is very heartening.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Thanks Jeff Its easy to stand behind people who are willing to do the right thing or at least protect that which they are entrusted to protect!

      “It might surprise some to hear he often advocates for preservation of local species. He voted to shut down salmon fishing for two seasons when the population crashed. He also recently closed the already limited hunting season for sage grouse in Lassen County. Fires there decimated the birds’ habitat.
      “It was just the right thing to do. We’ve lost so much habitat over the years,” he lamented.”

      • JEFF E says:

        thank you Ida and Louise, I appreciate your open-mindedness to understand that there are always different shades of grey on every, if not all, issues.

  75. savageslc says:

    Hey folks just to lighten up your day i’ve included a link to my Yellowstone photography taken in May of this year. Take a look at all the beautiful wildlife we are so passionate about preserving. Wolves, grizzlies, fox kitts and much more. Thanks

  76. Salle says:

    Hill promotes hunting, fishing plan

    “Hill appeared with NRA President David Keene in Great Falls before about a dozen people to field questions on fishing, hunting and public access to land.

    The former congressman said he wants the state to take over management of threatened grizzly bears from the federal government and said that there is no room for free-roaming bison in the state.”

    Pretty much sums this guy up, and according to statements in this article, this candidate hasn’t held a hunting license in at least a decade. He doesn’t appear to have very many values that many of the state’s residents share, only those of the loudest ~ not very well thought out views ~ minorities.

    • jon says:

      he doesn’t hunt, but he’s being endorsed by the nra which many consider to be an extreme right wing group.

      • Savebears says:


        When are you going to post some of the political issues from your state? I would really like to know what is going on in your neck of the woods?

  77. Ida Lupine says:

    Talk about those who need to be hazed back from whence they came!

  78. Salle says:

    Fed bears become seven dead bears

    “The Sanders County Ledger contacted Barbara Sweeney, the woman suspected of feeding the bears, and she openly admitted doing so for the purpose of “teaching them to survive in the wild.”

    She said she and her now-deceased husband operated an animal refuge on their property for the last 22 years. She said people would bring her orphan bears and she would teach the bears how to feed and flee from threats in the wild.

    “I taught them to run from outfitters and pickups,” she said.

    Sweeney said no one told her it was illegal to feed bears or other wild animals.

    “People have known I’ve been doing this for years,” she told the Ledger. “If they would have said something, I would have stopped. I can’t get over they killed these animals.”

    • Savebears says:

      Here in Montana, it is pretty well known, you don’t feed wildlife! Come on!

      • Salle says:

        Maybe it’s just that nobody told on her until now…? A lot of folks thinks that some things are okay to do, even though they know better, as long as they don’t get caught.

  79. Salle says:

    Talk about plugging your ears and shouting, “lalalalal!”… and these folks are running for office. OH and the Montana law that prohibits Citizens United type activity has been overturned yet again. Glad I don’t have a TeeVee. But my mailbox is full of wasted paper.

    Auditor candidates tout coal bonafides at debate

  80. Immer Treue says:

    Rather discouraging news via the international Wolf Center

    The IWC maintained a comprehensive radio telemetry data base of wolves in Superior National Forest. Gret in terms of education, or if one wanted to plot wolf territories on their own. And for the nonconcumptive user, one could plan Winter camping trips where wolf pack activity was consistent. So, if a particular lake was the site of wolf activity, strap on the skies, haul a sled with your gear, and spend a few nights on the lake.

    This information could also have been used by hunters and trappers. What bothers me most about it is that with the anti-wolf clamor in the state, the wolves of Superior National Forest in general and the BWCAW in particular are far removed from most people, farms, ranches etc.

    Another one of those little reasons for perhaps holding the wolf season off for another year or so. Just my opinion.

  81. jon says:

    Hunter wants to poison coyotes with xylitol.

    • HAL 9000 says:

      That forum tends to be a clearinghouse for the worst stereotypical redneck attitudes from within the hunting community. As a hunter myself, it’s virtually never failed to offend me… LOL!

    • Immer Treue says:

      Of the few comments, no real sense of right or wrong, other than the bird hunter voicing. Oncern if one of his dogs ingested xylitol.

  82. Salle says:

    Things are heating up in Texas! It appears that the XL pipeline operators’ impunity includes treating landowners like a pariah on their own land. It’s obvious that there is only one thing they care about, and it ain’t anyone or anything that doesn’t bring them a profit at someone else’s cost.

    Tar Sands Blockade: Along with Landowner, Actress Daryl Hannah Arrested
    Great grandmother, Eleanor Fairchild, and film actress both arrested after blocking machinery

    “How can you be arrested for “trespassing” on your own land?” asked members from Tar Sands Blockade in a statement. “Well, anything can happen when a multi-national corporation comes in and expropriates your farm for their profit.”

    • mikepost says:

      Many folks are clueless about the nature of the easements and mineral ownership of the property they consider “theirs”. So yes, you can, often quite lawfully, get arrested on your own land.

      • Salle says:


        Indeed, that’s what I was thinking when I first read about this story. A lot of people don’t realize that when they buy a piece of property that it may well not include the mineral rights for the whatever may be below the surface area they’ve purchased. It’s one of those things that may be considered “doing the homework” for when considering a purchase. Same for water rights and other incidentals.

        But if she does have the mineral rights to her property, then there’s some legal rights. These are some of the particulars of the ancient mining laws that need to be changed, that kind of bait and switch real estate chicanery is a ghostly holdover from the era of carpetbaggers and robber barons.

        • mikepost says:

          Salle, if a piece of property changed hands in the late 19th or 20th century it probably did not include mineral rights. There are even giant swoths of public land purchased for conservation reasons which usually do not have the mineral rights included. Discovering all this is an escrow nightmare. Now usually the mineral exploitation possibilities have been long ago examined and dismissed but as new technology arises, such as ultra deep drilling processes, there could be some real surprises.

  83. Salle says:

    New cougar sighting near Eagle Thursday afternoon; sheriff’s office advises public on how to react if they see big cat up close

  84. Salle says:

    A study that may, possibly be fortunate for bears in CO…

    URSINE 101
    Durango provides prime urban wildlife habitat for bear study—

  85. Salle says:

    Not only is the idea of grazing permits being retired a good thing, this is too…

    AP Exclusive: Wyo. Range gas lease buyout planned

    The Trust for Public Land plans to buy out 58,000 acres of oil and gas leases owned by Houston-based Plains Exploration and Production Co. for $8.75 million, the San Francisco-based group tells The Associated Press.

    The announcement opens a fundraising effort by the trust. Almost half the money needs to be raised if the deal is to be closed at the end of the year as the agreement requires.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      What a terrible idea. People will find ever more inventive ways to traffick in drugs and get around these barriers, and only the wildlife will be hurt.

    • Mark L says:

      Most busy Interstates without a grass median serve the same function. It’s not good for wildlife, but fairly common.

  86. Nancy says:

    Okay, which jar do you want to see on the table in the morning with your buttered muffins?

  87. Maska says:

    The USFWS has rejected petitions to separately list the Mexican gray wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) as either a subspecies or a Distinct Population Segment. Here’s the 12 month finding:

    • Jeff N. says:

      Read this disappointing news after returning from a camping trip in the White Mountains of eastern AZ….Lobo country.

      The trip will be hard to top in the future; basically spent the weekend with the Bluestem Pack consisting of 8 wolves. Happened to get extremely lucky and observed them Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Nights and mornings were filled with wolf howls. It’s all about being in the right spot at the right time.

      • Salle says:

        I guess! Lucky you. Glad it was a good adventure and you could really enjoy their company.

      • Maska says:

        That has been our experience. Seeing lobos is a mixture of about 20% knowledge and experience and 80% good fortune.

  88. Maska says:

    Here’s the press release from the Service regarding the 12-month finding on the WEG and CBD petitions.

    • Nancy says:

      “Without the wolf, elk and deer are free to dawdle in valleys and by streams, eating their fill and degrading the ecosystem; wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone has resulted in flourishing streamside vegetation and increased biodiversity”

      Interesting choice of words and a lot more complicated than most realize, when it comes to the delicate balance of life, whether wild or not, out here in the western states.

  89. Ida Lupine says:

    Wisconsin wolf hunt latest:

  90. Salle says:

    A Farm Bill Only Monsanto Could Love

    What’s the big deal with the new bill? Most importantly, the House version of the 2012 Farm Bill contains three industry-friendly provisions, numbered 10011, 10013, and 10014. Collectively, they have come to be known as the “Monsanto Rider,” and the name is entirely appropriate. If passed, this bill would make it more difficult to stem the tide of GMO foods hitting store shelves.

    These three provisions in the 2012 Farm Bill would grant regulatory powers solely to the United States Department of Agriculture, preventing other federal agencies from reviewing GMO applications and preventing the USDA from accepting outside money for further study. The bill would also shorten the deadline for approval to one year, with an optional 180-day extension.

    And here’s the kicker: the approval time bomb. If the USDA misses the truncated review deadline, the GMO in question is granted automatic approval.

    Among other bad legislative issues this Bill contains.

  91. Salle says:

    Wish I could go to this…

    Biennial science conference in Yellowstone

  92. Leslie says:

    As of today, just 8 days into the WY wolf hunt, the area I live in, which has one of the biggest wolf quotas of 8 wolves, already has 3 dead. The Sunlight/Crandall area, as of last winter, had about 13 or 14 wolves in 2 packs. A pack of around 9 and one of 4/5. Killing 8 out of 13 wolves (well, now there are pups too so the packs are larger), reduces the two packs to almost nothing.

    2 winters ago there were 4 packs with around 35 wolves. The wolves self-regulated themselves, fighting for territory and killing each other off to their present numbers. This area is one of the principle areas for genetic exchange, roaming in and out of the park (most of these wolves cross into the park), and repopulating the park when numbers are low there due to disease, etc.

    It makes me sick that the WG&F has targeted this area as well as area 11 & 8 which are in the flex-zone for high quotas.

  93. Louise Kane says:

    Thank you Leslie for your post we can only hope that as the wolves start dying there will be a great public outrage and backlash.

    Someone sent this to me, can anyone confirm if the first wolf was killed was lured out of the park with a call of pup in distress?

    • Leslie says:

      One friend of mine, an ex-Forest Service person, is sure that now that WY hunts are legal, even tho they have quotas, rules, etc., these mean-spirited wolf hunters who’ve been gearing up with hatred for years, will go ‘pop’ a wolf if they see one whether the quotas are met or not, whether they have a license or not, and there will be plenty of poaching.

      You know, in my valley, there’s been poaching going on for years. Now people can just say ‘I thought it was a coyote’. I was at the G&F mtg. last spring. Someone asked what the fine would be if the quota had been filled and they didn’t know and they shot a wolf (read: poaching). The answer: $100!

      • Mark L says:

        Leslie said,
        “You know, in my valley, there’s been poaching going on for years. Now people can just say ‘I thought it was a coyote’.”
        I suspect the law was written just so this could happen. This is the same problem they have in North Carolina, where the law encourages ‘mistakes’ that can be excused as errors. If we don’t hold our representatives accountable, this is what we get.
        Also, anyone know if there are there any restrictions on what happens to the wolf after it’s been shot? Is there any rule on what can’t be done with the carcuss and pelt?

      • JB says:

        $100? Is that correct? The cost of a gray wolf hunting license in Wyoming is $18. If memory serves, the success rate in Idaho for wolf hunters was 1% with ~twice the number of wolves. So if your probability of bagging a wolf is 1 in 100, it will on average take 100 attempts at $18 a pop (or about $1800 to “bag” a wolf). Or you could not pay a dime, and hope you don’t get caught. And if you do, hey it’s only $100 fine–you still come out on top!

        IF this is true, Wyoming’s policy incentives poaching by making it cheaper–on average–than paying for a license.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Wyoming’s policy incentives poaching by making it cheaper–on average–than paying for a license.

          I noticed the same thing, but for different reasons. The “flex zone” which amounts to nothing more than running a gauntlet while “hunters” wait outside parks, and a shoot-on-sight policy elsewhere, and a ridiculous 10-day reporting policy.

          • Salle says:

            This situation reminds me of conversations I’ve had with my Native American friends. When we discuss anthropologists and archaeologists with regards to their relatives, the response from most of them when asked by some researcher about where their relatives might be buried or something about “digging” things up… “You want to dig up my family to answer your questions. So let me ask you, where’s your grandmother buried so I can go dig her up?”

            My point is, the general American culture seems to assume that it has all the answers and that the most brutal manner of dealing with concerns, that have many resolutions, is the only way of dealing with whatever the concerns might be. Like killing wildlife in order to pretend that it is “management”. Most of the situations that our culture seems to think requires brutality to “make right” are problems the culture has brought upon itself. Nothing can come to a positive resolve if the only manner of approach is through violence and death of “the other”. Now-a-days it seems that the only answer to any problem is to go out and kill someone, human or other life form.

            Violation of anyone or anything to get results is just wrong, no matter what the issue is whether it’s trying to figure out some anthropological curiosity or working within the natural world that really isn’t accepted or respected because most business models doesn’t allow for the vital components of that environment within which the business is to operate. Wildlife is necessary, humans and their entertainment are not. (Humans contribute nothing to any ecosystem, they only take.)

          • Salle says:


            Thanks. I feel the same of you and your diligence in getting important facts out from under the carpet.

      • CodyCoyote says:

        It is very presumptive to expect when it comes to Wolf ” hunts” that Wyoming hunters will follow the rules…

        The only question remaining is how well can Wyoming riflers connect on long range running shots at any and all wolves ? They might as well put a free ” fire at will ” Grey wolf coupon on every General hunting license from Cottontail rabbit Small Game all the way up to Elk and Deer…

        The so-called ” Trophy” wolf hunts in the northwest corner barely resemble hunting. Everywhere else in Wyoming ( 84 percent of the state) it’s Caniside.

        Neither are Wildlife Conservation by any stretch.

    • Connie says:

      Louise, have you received any more information on this report? I find it disturbing and would like to know if it is factual. Thanks.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Connie, please refresh my memory
        which report? There are a number of things I am reading about and researching.

        • Connie says:

          Sorry I wasn’t clear. I was asking about the story regarding the first Wyoming wolf killed supposedly lured from YNP with a wolf pup distress call. Is there any truth to it?

      • Savebears says:

        I have seen nothing to indicate this story is true, I have even talked to many involved, the wolf pup distress call story is just that……….a story.

  94. Leslie says:

    again, here is the online link for the daily mortality rates and quotas in each area.

  95. Immer Treue says:

    Wolves cost BC cattlemen $15,000,000 per year.

    Somebody help me with what I missed, if indeed I missed something, and I will glady eat the proverbial crow, but with 107 confirmed depredation cases, not all of which were wolf confirmed.. Comes out to over $140,000 per cow/calc. Something does not sound right.

    • JB says:

      Yikes! Those are some expensive cattle. What do they make ’em out of…platinum?

      • Salle says:

        It must be the BC version of Kobei cows, the ones that get a massage and milk baths and spa treatment and a steak from one of those pampered bovines is about a month’s rent or a mortgage payment… But that can’t be because with all that human attention and “presence” wolves wouldn’t be able to get near them. A puzzlement for certain.

    • SAP says:

      Is the exchange rate THAT bad now? 😉 Looks like two extra zeroes.

      • Salle says:

        Perhaps it’s the result of selective dyslexia..?

      • Immer Treue says:

        No zeros in the headline. 15 million.

        • Nancy says:

          Well its obvious how they figured this – The loss of just one of those cows (say the market value is $1,200) times the potential of her having 12 calves in her life time, times the potential of those 12 calves, having 12 calves 🙂

    • CodyCoyote says:

      Wow. And I thought Japanese Kobe beef was expensive on the hoof.

      Immer, this is a wholly ridiciulous and probably egregious misapplication of statistics, don’tcha think ? The BC livestock producers must’ve attended a few Wyoming-Montana-Idaho seminars on how to game the Ag Statistics system .

    • Barb Rupers says:

      It didn’t sound right to some Canadians either.

      And some residents of northeast Alberta oppose a $300 bounty paid for a wolf. $87,000 paid out so far.

      • Immer Treue says:


        Two good comeback articles, ESP the first about the $$$. Any right thinking person understands depredations will occur, and certain ranchers may be hit harder than others, yet, that same thinking person can see with painful obviousness that the wolf
        becomes the scapegoat for a great portion of the ailment(s)possessed by the cattle industry in both Canada and the States.

    • RobertR says:

      I don’t know about the dollar amount but Canada as a whole has around 50,000 plus wolves and British Columbia alone has 8000 wolves.

  96. Louise Kane says:

    Democracy Now, Amy Goodman interview on the horses the US sold to Davis

  97. Louise Kane says:

    October 20 wolf walk to protest wolf hunt in MN- please facebook and distribute….as posted

    JRey Crow posted in WOLF WALK 2012

    JRey Crow 2:39pm Oct 9
    PLEASE SHARE this on your walls, private messages, email or fax to ALL media (radio, newspapers, tv stations, etc.) in your area… we need to draw support from the rest of the nation, at least!

    Media alert

    Contact: Reyna Crow 218.269.2661
    Deb Balzer 6.12.481.1571

    WOLF WALK 2012 in Duluth

    DULUTH, MN (October 9, 2012) Minnesotans from across the state are expected to rally in Duluth on Saturday, October 20, 2012 in a show of public opposition to the controversial MN wolf sport hunting and trapping season to begin November 3.

    Wolf protection advocates are inviting the public to join them for WOLF WALK 2012.
    The Duluth-based Northwoods Wolf Alliance and Twin Cities- based Howling for Wolves will be co-hosting WOLF WALK 2012 in Duluth, MN on Saturday, October 20th at 1:00 pm.

    The groups will gather at the Civic Center Plaza, 411 W. First Street for a rally and then march to Lake Superior Plaza West (corner of Lake Avenue and Superior Street) to demonstrate against the planned wolf sport and trapping season and to encourage wolf supporters to contact Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton and DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr and urge them to stop the hunt on the state’s legacy animal.

    Howling for Wolves, along with the Center for Bio-Diversity, recently filed a lawsuit seeking an injunction to stop the sport hunt and trapping season. Howling for Wolves founder, Maureen Hackett, M.D. will speak at the event.

    Also scheduled to address the group is Robert DesJarlait, Red Lake Anishinaabeg, member of the University of Minnesota Council of Elders and co-founder of “Protect our Manoomin.” DesJarlait will speak about the historical, cultural and spiritual significance of ma’iingan (the wolf) to the Anishinaabeg people. The speaker list also includes Lisa Herthel, a mother, grandmother, UW-Superior student and member of the Mole Lake (Wisconsin) tribe and Howard Goldman of the Humane Society of the United States.

    The Little Horse Drum Group from the Duluth Native American community will perform at the event. They are Anishinaabeg traditional singers who want to protect the wolf and keep our traditional teachings strong. They sing for the community and have brought the drum and their songs to many community gatherings, celebrations and spiritual events.

    The event is free and all people are invited to participate in the WOLF WALK 2012.

  98. Leslie says:

    I just found out that the grey yearling I’ve seen several times over the year was one of the wolves taken this week. Last May I saw him just 20′ away, watching me from behind a tree, curious. I assumed he’d be shot early on. Wolves are curious about us humans–isn’t that how they became dogs long ago. My own curiosity which has allowed me to see these wolves in my valley from time to time, makes this all too personal and sad.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Leslie that is heartbreaking. I think these wolves in Wyoming are going to be sitting ducks as its hard to imagine they are not somewhat habituated to seeing humans, who up until now they have not had to fear. You must feel terrible. I am thousands of miles away and it keeps me up nights. I will never understand the mindset to kill animals for fun. Cowardly and perverse are two words that come to mind.