Move makes Montana’s wolverine season doubly dead-

In a surprise move last Monday (Jan. 7),  the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced that on Jan. 18 it would issue a proposed rule protecting wolverines under the Endangered Species Act. This probably means it will be proposed as a threatened species instead of its current limbo-like status whose ESA protection is “warranted but precluded” (from protection).

The legalistic phrase “warranted but precluded” means a rare species probably should be proposed for protection but can’t be because the agency lacks data on its habitat, numbers, range etc., and the agency doesn’t currently have the resources to do this necessary step.

Because of the lack of federal action conservation groups were suing in Montana state court to stop the annual wolverine trapping season (annual quota of 5). Conservationists had obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping the trapping season before it began. The TRO was issued by Montana’s, Lewis and Clark District Court Judge Jeffrey Sherlock. Conservationists will continue this lawsuit for now, just in case USFWS does not grant threatened species status.

There are thought to be about 250 to 300 wolverine in the Northern Rockies of the United States and about half of them are in Montana. No state but Montana traps wolverine, a large member of the weasel family that looks a bit like a small bear. It has a well deserved reputation for its ferocity and ability to travel very long distances.

Groups suing are Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Swanview Coalition, Footloose, Friends of the Wild Swan, the Montana Ecosystem Defense Council, the Native Ecosystems Council, George Wuerthner, Wildearth Guardians.

Readers of the Wildlife News are familiar with co-plaintiff George Wuerthner.



About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is past President of the Western Watersheds Project.

133 Responses to Likely wolverine protection as a threatened species serves to keep Montana’s wolverine trapping season closed

  1. avatar Savebears says:


    If we are to use the ESA as it was set up, it requires science, I have observed Wolverines many times in the wilds of Montana, but because of pressure, I honestly think they are jumping the gun.

    I would really like to understand where you come from, please explain your experience besides these blogs?

    • avatar timz says:

      yes Loiuse they require no protection because Savebears says he’s seen them many times and as we all know here is a true know-it-all.

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Savebears this is the last time I’m going to respond to your attacks. This is a perfect example. The state opposing a listing when there are less then 300 wolverines in the US, and they want to trap them. Come on SB. If you want to converse with me great, but as you said last night you don’t ever intend to be or play “nice” with me. So please find someone else to jump on every time they post. I’m not going to engage anymore and its not productive to either of us or for anyone else.

      • avatar Savebears says:

        Good Louise, we don’t have to interact with each other, but I am still going to call you on your crap.

    • avatar JB says:


      A recent study found only 186 verifiable records of wolverine occurrence in Montana from 1995-2005 (there were 16 in Idaho, and 12 in Wyoming). The authors note:

      “All historical wolverine records in the western United States, and most in the eastern United States, were located in areas with a measurable probability of snow cover persisting through the wolverine denning period during the last 40 years.”


      “Virtually all historical wolverine records in the western mountains were located in relatively high-elevation montane areas (Fig. 5) and were concentrated in areas containing alpine vegetation”

      I do not wish to oversimplify the authors’ analysis or conclusions, but given our warming climatic conditions, and the already low prevalence of wolverine (let alone other concerns) I think there is adequate scientific justification for listing the species.

      Aubry et al. 2010. Journal of Wildlife Management: DOI: 10.2193/2006-548.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Louise –

      How dare you advocate for the protection of an animal with a total of 200 individuals in the lower 48. Can’t you see that SaveBears has utilized his patented “look out the window” method? ‘d consider consulting with he and his backwoods buddy’s intricate system before posting such nonsense on here again.


    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:


      I have backpacked thousands of miles in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and other places and authored or coauthored 3 books on where to go, including the details of the trips.

      I might be a poor observer, and I am not doubting what you say about your own observations, but I have never seen a wolverine in the wild. Some of my friends have seen them, like once. They are not common or easy to see. Therefore, I would not discount someone’s views because they might not have seen a wolverine.

  2. avatar WM says:

    ++…“warranted but precluded” means a rare species probably should be proposed for protection but can’t be because the agency lacks data on its habitat, numbers, range etc., and the agency doesn’t currently have the resources to do this necessary step…++

    Another name for it would be a “Catch 22” for novel of the same name, by Joseph Heller:

    “A situation in which a desired outcome or solution is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently illogical rules or conditions”

    Will the wolverine survive illogical rules of ESA listing? Yet another reason to consider changing the law, or pragmatically invoking Supreme Court Justice Potter’s famous words from a first amendment pornography case from 1964, “I know it when I see it.”

    • avatar JB says:

      WM: I think the rules of ESA listing–logical or otherwise–are the least of the wolverines’ concerns.

    • avatar Mike says:

      WM –

      Very strange response. Aren’t you happy to see such a magnificent creature finally receive the protection it obviously deserves?

      • avatar WM says:

        Not a strange response at all. Pay attention young Grasshopper.

        Quote from Ralph’s intro> Note similarity of his comment to a Catch 22 (and its source)> Definition of Catch 22> Question of whether wolverine listing would be held up because of the stupidity of the lack of data precluding it and no funding to gather (See Quote from Ralph’s intro, and then there was the invoking of humor from Justice Potter, parapharasing,”I know a needed ESA listing when I see it.”.

        Irony, my dear Grasshopper. Irony. Was it really that hard to follow?

        Dude, it is a PROPOSED rule, and there is no certainty of protection until it is a FINAL ADOPTED RULE.

        And JB is likely right about opposition and potentially the very future of the species – less snow covered habitat that it requires. Those who would oppose the rule will bring that up. Kind of like the issue facing the Woodland Caribou which may lose its protected status.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:


        • avatar Mike says:

          WM –

          You sure are angry.

        • avatar Immer Treue says:

          But someone like “Tim Kemery” and company, in cahoots with Cat Urbigkit are probably documenting hidden native populations of wolverines, in droves, dining on alpine chipmunks and spending their time reading old Jack Kerouac and Hunter S Thompson stories, thus even though their population is “robust”,they are rarely seen, and require no protection.

  3. avatar Robert R says:

    Most of you cannot even say you have seen a wolverine in the wild or even know where they live other than what you read.

    I to as Savebears have seen my share of wolverine because I know where they live. As big of a home range that the wolverine has it may not be possible to have one behind every tree like some think should happen.

    • avatar timz says:

      The following animals need no protections:
      Polar Bears – Because Mukluk the Eskimo sees them.
      Florida Panthers and Manatee – Because Louie the retired barber from NY sees them.
      Rhinos – Because Kunta Kintee the tribal chief sees them.
      Pandas – Because Yen Ching the Chinese farmer sees them.
      Wolverines-Because SaveBears the know-it-all and Robert whatever he is see from MT see them.

      • avatar Robert R says:

        timz for your information I only live ten miles from wolverins habitat so call me a liar if you wish.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          Don’t worry yourself Robert, Timz will tell you the sky is black, when in fact it is blue.

        • avatar timz says:

          duh, not calling you a liar, just pointing out how ridiculous it is you and savebears saying they don’t deserve protection because you see them. I am surprised however,Washington didn’t consult with savebears before they made this decision, he knows everything just ask him.

          • avatar Savebears says:


            I didn’t say they didn’t need protection, I said, it should be based on science and not this all out war by people who have nothing but speculation, like many do now a days.

            Currently the ESA is being abused by people who don’t know what the hell they are talking about.

            We have just went through the “don’t shoot Yellowstone wolves” Based on a political boundary, that animals don’t even know exists, we need to figure out how this game is play, because both sides are screwing up big time.

          • avatar Robert R says:

            timz I never said anything about protection one way or another ?

            I don’t have a problem with any animal being protected.
            After all the law suits to get an animal listed and protected by all these ESA groups. what support do they give after an animal is listed ? Do they donate money, do they help with habitat etc. to support funding for the study of said animal and I think this applies to all who want any animal protected.

    • avatar Mike says:

      Robert –

      Advocating for the protection of an animal that numbers 200-300 in the lower 48 is wishing for a “wolverine behind every tree”?


      • avatar Savebears says:


        And you know this how? The biologists don’t even know how many there are, but you a Luddite from Chicago that visits this area once a year can say with authority there are this many? Please explain?

        • avatar Mike says:

          ++but you a Luddite from Chicago that visits this area once a year can say with authority there are this many? Please explain?++

          Ugh. You just can’t help yourself, man. Why resort to personal attacks so quickly, if at all?

          There are numerous references for the NRM wolverine population.

        • avatar jon says:

          If the biologists don’t know how many there are, how in the hell can FWP allow a trapping season on them?

    • avatar JB says:

      The ‘us vs. them’ undercurrent (wait, who am I kidding, it’s the main feature of late) on this blog gets so tiresome.

      So anyone want to actually tackle the question–i.e., are wolverines in danger of extinction in the contiguous US? Or are you all content to take pot shots at each other?

      Forget it, I’m off to bed.


      “…we believe the most likely explanations for this apparent range loss involve human activities. Both regions have a long history of mining and high-elevation sheep grazing during spring and summer (Fritz 1941, McKelvey and Johnston 1992), and commercial trapping of American marten (Martes americana) and other
      boreal furbearers during winter (Coman 1912, Grinnell et al. 1937, Melchior et al. 1987). Each of these activities would have increased the likelihood of human encounters with wolverines…A recent synthesis of wolverine survival rates and mortality sources in North America by Krebs et al. (2004) indicated that wolverine populations with high levels of human-caused mortality cannot be sustained without immigration from neighboring refugia” (Aubry et al. 2010: 2156).

    • avatar Immer Treue says:

      I’ve seen a fisher. Is that good enough?

  4. avatar Savebears says:


    I really have no problem with listing Wolverines or any other species, I do have a problem with the strong political slant that many take to claim an animal is endangered, how can we say they are endangered? We don’t have the data to back it up. If we are on the side of caution, just say it, that I have no problem with either.

    Do blow smoke up peoples ass, just admit, we don’t know. that is not science, it is simply an admission, we don’t always know what the hell we are talking about.

  5. avatar Savebears says:

    Yesterday was a two part issue, the Bison issue, which I am thrilled that based on what the court said, Bison do belong on the landscape. I am a bit bewildered because we don’t have any real data to say that wolverines are actually dwindling, they are a elusive creature, we just don’t have the data to say what is going on with them.

    I fully understand siding on the side of caution, but please simply say that is what we are doing. We know the climate is changing, so perhaps they are moving north. Nobody even knows what their real range is. The ESA is being abused, plain and simple.

    • avatar ma'iingan says:

      “We know the climate is changing, so perhaps they are moving north. Nobody even knows what their real range is.”

      Maybe you missed this part –

      “All historical wolverine records in the western United States, and most in the eastern United States, were located in areas with a measurable probability of snow cover persisting through the wolverine denning period during the last 40 years. Virtually all historical wolverine records in the western mountains were located in relatively high-elevation montane areas (Fig. 5) and were concentrated in areas containing alpine vegetation”

    • avatar JB says:

      Save Bears:

      If you don’t think there’s good science to show that the wolverine is at least threatened with extinction in a significant portion of its range, you need to read this paper: Aubry et al. 2010. Journal of Wildlife Management: DOI: 10.2193/2006-548.

      They provide documented evidence of wolverine in 18 states across the country during the 1800s. Note, this includes the Sierra Nevadas, Rocky Mountains, plains states, Great Lakes, Northeast and even my state of Ohio. However, from 1951 to 2005, they document wolverine in just 9 states, and during the most recent 25 years, it’s just 5 states, mostly in the northern Rockies.

      These data convincingly show that wolverine have experienced a substantial–a “significant”–range contraction in the conterminous US. And recall that the ESA requires decisions to be made using “the best scientific and commercial data available”. There is nothing in the ESA that requires us to know why a species is imperiled before listing that species. Indeed, given the pace of science, such a requirement would prove a substantial barrier to listing species at all.

  6. avatar Craig says:

    “The legalistic phrase “warranted but precluded” means a rare species probably should be proposed for protection but can’t be because the agency lacks data on its habitat, numbers, range etc., and the agency doesn’t currently have the resources to do this necessary step.”

    I’ve personally read 1000s of ecology,progress,survey reports and data from Jeff Copland, Kim Heinemeyer,Audrey Magoun,Leonard Ruggiero, John Squires ect ect.
    WTF else do they need? It’s ridicuous, these people have spent lifetimes researching and logging all this info. My Fathers boss was Clint Long who is a Founder of the Wolverine Foundation with Jeff Copeland and he introduced me to the Wolverines Kits he got from a grant to study when I was a child. I’ve always has a special place in my Heart for them.

    • avatar Robert R says:

      Craig was this the same man that was feature on Wild America ? It was a good show on wolverines.

      • avatar Craig says:

        I’m not sure, Audry & Jeff did one in Alaska with two kits on PBS too. There have been several just on Wolverines.

  7. avatar Savebears says:


    I have no problem with listing them, even if it is just to say “We Don’t Know” , but to use it as a political ploy is repugnant, the ESA at is root is a good law, used correctly, it is a god send, but more and more it is being used as a bargaining chip for other things on both sides.

    I am just as tired of this crap as everyone else is. Use the law as it was intended, but not as it is being currently used.

    • avatar Craig says:

      I don’t disagee with you savebears, but I do believe Wolverines should be listed. I’ve Listend to experts, studied this for over 25 years, just for my own curiousity. I’m no Biologist nor am I an expert on the them. But being in the Wilds of idaho for 41 years and months above 8000ft for many months and only seeing 1 set of tracks, seems to think protection is valid.

      • avatar Savebears says:


        As I said, I have no problem with them being listed, but don’t list them, just because we don’t see them, list them because we know their habitat is dwindling, list them because their numbers are diminishing, list them for a large number of reasons. But don’t list them to bow to politics. Science is no longer involved in these decisions, it is all political and that is wrong. If we continue down the path we are on, then we have prostituted a good law.

        • avatar Jeff N. says:


          Please explain to me how this decision is all politics and zero science. And I’m not be a smart ass. How do you come to this conclusion?

          • avatar Savebears says:


            We have no data to base this on, we simply have people saying they don’t see them. But there are many of us that see them ever year, I saw over 30 of them last season. They live in areas that 99% of the population don’t visit.

            We just don’t have the science behind it, they have always been elusive, only the most dedicated film crews have ever filmed them. There is a population of thousands north of our border with Canada. If we are to save the world as a whole, we need to start looking at the world as a whole.

            • avatar Jeff N. says:

              You didn’t answer my question SB.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Yes, I did Jeff, We simply don’t have the science behind it.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                If we don’t have the science, then it is political, if there is no science, then there is no reason.

              • avatar Jeff N. says:


                Is that because “you say so”. And where are the politics. Christ SB, your entire purpose on this site is to be the devils advocate/no-it-all cynic, who resides in the North Fork and has the ear to some underground/backwoods network of knowledge that the rest of us are incapable of understanding. You need to get out a little more SB. Go see a movie, I’d recommend one that isn’t about a conspiracy….maybe a nice, light-hearted romantic comedy.

                And by the way you still haven’t answered my question. The “because I said so” answer doesn’t cut it.

              • avatar Savebears says:


                I have got out enough in my life.

                Now a question, why are we praising this listing and forget about one of the most endangered species on the earth, there has been no cry to list the North American Bison, there is only one proven genetically pure herd in the world.

                Why is there not a cry to list them?

  8. avatar Craig says:

    The Science says they are threatend, the habitat is dwindling and the warming trends do not help. In Idaho we have done many studies with GPS radio collars and Snowmobiles which show major intrusion on dening sites later in the year! It’s been a good study and many people who snowmoblie really helped out carrying GPS units on their trips. But for Wolverines all Science points to listing them! It’s been done and Over done, If any North American Mammal should have been listed it should have been the Wolverine way before the Wolf!

    • avatar Savebears says:


      I don’t agree.

      • avatar Jeff N. says:

        “Don’t agree based on what” SB? Explain to the less enlightened of us why. I mean we all do not have the opportunity to live in the womb of nature’s all knowing North Fork. It sounds like there is a “Chronicles of Narnia” mysticism to your immediate region. A vortex of sorts.

        • avatar Savebears says:


          Why would you expect your smart assed question would even warrant an answer?

          • avatar Jeff N. says:

            My initial question wasn’t “smart ass”, my initial intentions were good but your refusal to answer the question transformed me into a smart ass.

            I’ll ask again….what evidence do you have that the decision was purely political and not based in science?

            • avatar Savebears says:


              If there is no science to back up the appointment, then what is left?

              • avatar Savebears says:


                There is only two reasons to list an animal as “Endangered” The first is science saying they have a real threat of going extinct, or the Political pressure by certain groups that say they don’t see enough of them.

                There is no science at this time to show that Wolverines are in danger of going extinct, they have always been elusive, clear back to the journals of the original explorers of this continent, to the stories of the native Americans. We just don’t have the data to back this up.

                I am not saying we can’t get the data to warrant a listing, but we don’t have it right now.

                And because I disagree with this announcement does not make me a bad guy, I knew it was coming, as I posted before Christmas, I was in Washington DC and one of the main reasons was because of this, I was dismissed, missed a couple of flights, sat in a few airports, I presented my data on this data, and with this announcement obviously was disregarded.

                So be it, I will continue to go on.

      • avatar Craig says:

        What is the politics of listing them? I’m only looking from a (what I studied and learned point of view) purely no impications of anything else but to preserve the species.

        • avatar Savebears says:


          We just don’t have the data to show them in danger of going extinct, we have data on many other boring species, but we don’t have the data on this species.

          • avatar Savebears says:

            There needs to be a very strong study done on Wolverines, but we don’t have any real historical data, we need to establish a baseline then go forward, we don’t know if they are declining, if they are expanding, if they are adapting. I think the USFWS needs to commission a full blown study so we have a baseline to go forward from.

            • avatar JB says:

              Again, SB. See the study I cited. There has been a study that provides good evidence. The ESA does not require rock solid evidence of decline, it merely requires that when determining if listing is warranted that agencies use the best data available. These data suggest widespread decline.

              • avatar Savebears says:


                I have been reading it. And again, I didn’t say they don’t need protection, I simply stated I disagree with this announcement at this time.

                When It is all said and done, I agree with Ralph, that it will probably be a threatened listing and not a full blown endangered listing, as they did with the Grizzly Bear back in the 70’s.

        • avatar Craig says:

          Ok, after that you posted. So I’m going to say you are wrong.
          “There is no science at this time to show that Wolverines are in danger of going extinct, they have always been elusive, clear back to the journals of the original explorers of this continent, to the stories of the native Americans. We just don’t have the data to back this up.”

          What part of all the data collected can’t you comprehend over the last 20 years?

          • avatar Savebears says:

            Well Craig,

            I guess we are at an impasse, because I say you are wrong, I don’t accept the data that has been sparsely published.

            This is ok, I learned in College that biologists will disagree, I think we need to do more intensive studies over the next 24 months to actually establish the wolverines are in danger of going extinct.

            • avatar Savebears says:


              Can you actually point out an area in the current data that shows that wolverines are endanger of going extinct? Because I have read the studies, and I am not seeing it.

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                Sounds like data from the study cited in this article gives reason for a threatened status to be warranted.


              • avatar Savebears says:

                Jeff I spoke in front of that group, guess what we disagreed, the major point I brought up was, when dealing with species habitat, we can’t do it based on human political lines, we need to look at ecosystems, if we look at ecosystems, then there is a whole different picture to be revealed, and this article does mention, there are thousands north of the border in Canada..

                I am not against wildlife, I am against managing wildlife based on boundary lines, we need to start thinking a whole lot bigger folks.

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                Edit to my last post:

                Sounds like data from the study cited in this article gives evidence that a threatened status is warranted.


              • avatar Mike says:

                Savebears is making an argument that many anti-predator opponents make:

                That endangered species should be measured on a global basis, rather than in specific ecosystems. Of course, going by this goofy measurement, grizzly bears are aplenty in the world, so why protect them in Yellowstone? Alaska has a bunch of wolverines, so why protect them in the lower 48?

                It’s a common tactic used by those who just don’t care for biodiversity. I call this group the “Outdoor Life” sportsmen, where their idyllic outdoor experience is a tree farm filled with white-tailed deer, grouse,and rabbits. “Fishing” is simply driving your 10 MPG Ford Excursion to your buddie’s artificial bass pond, and dropping in your 200 HP Yamaha bass boat.

                These people ask not what they can do for the outdoors, but what it can do for them. This outlook happens by failing to spend time with other cultures and/or engaging in mind expansion via literature or hallucinogenic substances, or wilderness excursions with the goal of inner-examination. Some people are born with this self-awareness, but many have to seek it.

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                Huh SB? The evidence had nothing to do with political lines. It was a study of the affects of global warming on the wolverine’s habitat

              • avatar Savebears says:


                The wolverines habitat is not just in the US, it extends far beyond the US.

                Mike, you have not clue to what you are talking about.

              • avatar Savebears says:


                I don’t hunt predators.

              • avatar Savebears says:


                I guess, I am going to have to give up, this is not worth the time or energy, so see you all later.

                Donald J.

              • avatar Jeff N. says:

                Well, that pretty much sums up SB in a nutshell…Makes claims, gets defensive, argues his claims without any evidence to back up his claims, gets frustrated, then bails out.

                Sleep tight all.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Go to hell Jeff.

                Now Mike will chime in to say us wildlife haters have so much anger, predictable.

                You people are so predictable, it is the norm.

              • avatar Mike says:

                ++Go to hell Jeff.++

                It’s amazing how angry hunters get on this blog.

              • avatar Savebears says:

                Just what I said Mike.

                You know, I could have a beer across the table with you and tell you to go to hell with a smile on my face, and no anger at all, you are so predictable.

              • avatar Rancher Bob says:

                Now your experiences in Montana make sense it’s the “hallucinogenic substances” part of your above comment.
                Talk about mind expansion.

            • avatar Jeff N. says:

              So what’s your point SB? Seriously. Do you even have one….or are you just being your argumentative self.

              Where is your evidence that this decision is based in politics, not science?

  9. avatar Jeff N. says:


    Savebears says++++
    If we don’t have the science, then it is political, if there is no science, then there is no reason++++

    You just blew my mind….I think I’m beginning to see…I feel the vortex.

  10. avatar CodyCoyote says:

    Boy did this topical thread unraveled in no time…

    Just to show no one of us has the Magic Answer, I will dive into the fray by saying there is no way the Wolverine should be considered endangered or need protection *** . Over 42,000 of them are enrolled on the campuses at Ann Arbor, Flint, and Dearborn. In Michigan.

    *** except maybe from excessive predation by Buckeyes, Boilermakers, Nittany Lions, Cornhuskers, Spartans, and even Golden Gophers

  11. avatar Craig says:

    So what Scientific info makes you think they don’t deserve listing savebears? (asking your opinion not being a asshole) Everything I’ve read and done is to the contrary. but I’m open to any interpitation of science or thought.(you have been in this field and know way more than me so I do respect your opinion) As I said I’m no expert and am going off what I’ve learned and read for 20 years.

  12. avatar Gail says:

    As long as tagged or collared animals can be “harvested” (ahem) with impunity, I suppose “The legalistic phrase “warranted but precluded” can and may be used as commonly as aspirin. It’s a big headache that needs to be addressed now! Take the wolves as an example.

  13. avatar Craig says:

    Are you saying Jeff Copeland and all others are full of shit and are just guessing on Wolverine status savebears? I KNOW they have done the research and know a helluva lot more than you or me do about Wolverines! Is the 20+ years in the field a guess? Why would these people dedicate there lives to one species if they were not in trouble?

    • avatar Savebears says:


      Why would I devote my whole life to wildlife since 1991 if I didn’t believe in my point of view? I know they have done the research, I just happen to question their research, I would think that my Masters Degree would at least Warrant the same amount of respect? But I guess not.

      I didn’t say they were full of shit, I said, I don’t agree with their findings.

  14. avatar Savebears says:

    Before we go much further, you might want to pose the question to Dr. Ralph Maughn, how many times over his career, he actually disagreed with his fellow teachers were teaching.

    Do that then get back to me.

    • avatar Jeff N. says:


      My guess is that if we did pose that question to Dr. Ralph he could reply with evidence/studies supporting his side, and articulate them in a professional manner.

      I’m beginning to question your supposed credentials. You said you went to D.C. to argue against the listing of the wolverine. The way you carry yourself here, with your lack of being able to give evidence to justify counterpoint makes me believe that you may be stretching the truth. If you can’t present convincing evidence to your counterpoint here, then how the hell is your testimony worth a shit when arguing against the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

      Saying you disagree, and it’s political, without backing your assertions pretty much renders your point moot.

      • avatar Jeff N. says:

        Edit: SB never said he went to D.C. to argue his opinion on the delisting of the wolverine. I believe he’s made that statement in the past but in not aware of him making it in this thread.

        • avatar Savebears says:

          No Jeff, I did say it in this thread, but at this point in time it is moot, I just hope we continue to study the issue and gain far more knowledge than we currently have.

  15. avatar Ida Lupine says:

    The wolverine has languished waiting for protection since 2010? There seems to be no doubt about listing them, just a large backlog of other animals ahead of them. Threatened is a different designation than endangered. It would be unwise to continue hunting them and trapping them if there is any doubt about their numbers, where a pregnant female or any animal is valuable when their numbers are deceasing. But I am no biologist or scientist or hunter, just a concerned citizen who loves wildlife and walking and hiking in the National Parks and other areas. Even city parks. I am still a stakeholder.

  16. avatar Kayla says:

    Now I fully support this protection for the Wolverines! It is about time something like this happened. This protection should have been afforded to Wolverines years and years ago. I personally would like to see this protection be given to also Fishers and Lynx and some other species as well which deserve this protection.

    Now I have been hiking for near 35 years all over here in the west with espicelly in the Absarokas and the Greater Yellowstone Region. Only once have I been blessed with seeing a Wolverine and that was in September of 1991 up in Glacier NP. In August of 2007, I believe I came across some scat from a Wolverine high in the Absarokas in the headwaters of the Yellowstone.

    Hope indeed this protection for the Wolverine comes to be! It is wayyy past due in my opinion!!!

  17. avatar Rich says:

    Dear BS, er, ah.., SB,

    Why don’t you share your research and the data you presented in WDC opposing listing of the wolverine on this forum? If you are unwilling to provide those data and just contend that you are right and that the research performed by scientists is wrong, you may be on thin ice in a scientific arena

    Acording to Mark Twain – It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.

    • avatar Savebears says:


      I have been on thin ice in the scientific community since the day I told my supervisor at agency that I would not doctor my studies to fit their agenda.

      What is it with you people that can’t help yourself from the name calling and such?

      Again, I didn’t say they didn’t need protection, I simply disagreed with the timing of this.

      I have nothing to prove to you or anyone else on this blog or any blog, I continue to have my opinions just as anyone else does, because you don’t find them valid, has no bearing on the issue at all.

    • avatar Jeff N. says:


      He’s been asked that question by me and others on numerous occasions, regarding this topic.

      It’s clear he has no evidence or studies to produce. He simply disagrees because he feels the decision is political and he won’t even offer the reason he feels that way. SB is in back pedal and deflect mode.

      • avatar Savebears says:


        You just posted an article that wolves are being managed in Washington with the accusation of them being managed based on social pressure, if they are then they are being managed based on politics and not data.

        • avatar Jeff N. says:


          I agree….and your point is?

          • avatar Savebears says:


            That is basically what I was saying last night.

            • avatar Jeff N. says:

              If you are trying to compare the politics of wolverine recovery vs. the politics of wolf recovery, you are making quite a stretch.

              The politics of wolf recovery are, and have always been, obvious:

              99.999% of ranchers and ranching groups, along with 90.0+% of hunters and hunting groups opposed wolf recovery.

              Huge politics involved, we all know this.

              Not so much with the wolverine, an animal that primarily scavenges, and takes smaller prey.

              The opposition will include some ranchers (they need something to whine about, constantly) but they will not be significantly impacted based on what the wolverine eats and the elevation it mostly calls home. Snowmobile groups will probably piss and moan a little, and a few ski resort owner operators may voice their concerns about the impact on resort expansion.

              But comparing the politics of the wolf vs. the wolverine is like comparing apples and oranges.

              • avatar Savebears says:


                There are several Ranchers and other groups already lined up to oppose this listing.

                The animal may be different, but the groups are always the same. I received an email today from the Blue Ribbon Coalition in response to the announcement. I don’t ride sleds, but I ended up on their list somehow.

                When it comes to listing animals, no matter which animal, the fight is always the same and it is always perpetuated by the same groups on both sides.

                We have seen it with wolves, mice, bears, rabbits, you name it, it has been fought.

  18. avatar Rich says:

    Ok, SB,

    Just post your research data or the paper you presented so that we can be educated.

    • avatar Savebears says:


      My information is not peer reviewed, I have not been able to submit data to be reviewed since I parted company with the agency, so it does no good to post it as it is not reviewed and accepted by anyone other than myself.

  19. avatar Harley says:

    This has turned into an interesting yet at the same time depressing conversation.

    We are all jumping all over each other, snapping and yapping like a bunch of rabid dogs. I’m willing to bet that everyone here on this blog, well, darn near everyone is on the same side of the argument and that is preserving wildlife be it wolves, wolverines or any other animal. Some of us go about it in vastly different ways based on our own experiences but when it boils right down to it, YOU ALL STAND FOR THE SAME BASIC THING!! And look at you all! Name calling? really?? Mike, you may not like Savesbears and visa versa but deep down, you both want the same things. The same goes for Savesbears and Louise. When you do this harping and backbiting at each other, it only accomplishes one thing and that’s to weaken any support the cause may have! Then the only thing that looses in the long run will be the animals, why is this so difficult to understand?
    Are there people out there that are only interested in the political financial gain they can get from this? Absolutely! But there are also just as many if not more that really do care and are passionate about what they truly believe in.

    I just get so sick of all this craziness! I respect just about all of you here on some level or another, even Mike, whom I find myself at odds with more than most. It’s obvious though that he is very passionate in what he stands for. But this stupid juvenile name calling and the like is just wearing on the majority of the people here.

    • avatar ZeeWolf says:

      Well said, Harley. Are you a professional mediator?

    • avatar Louise Kane says:

      Harley I agree with you very much. Its one reason why I posted what I did last night, its not productive and I don’t like engaging that way or getting sucked into personal attacks or defenses. One thought that you may or may not agree with. The most rabid disagreement seems to take root when a status quo position, culture or way of doing things is challenged – despite your observation that the two parties may be on the same side of the issue. Its much more interesting when all of us are not on the attack.

      • avatar Harley says:


        I can well understand your frustration but more often than not, it’s those who hunt that also participate on this blog that seem to get the rough end of the stick, particularly when they are defending their right. SB hunts, but he also is against the total annihilation of a species. However, because he hunts and upholds that right to do so, many here doubt his validity. Because you believe in preserving animals, but perhaps go about it in a way that doesn’t always align with they way others would do so, you get the rough end of the stick as well. Frankly, I think if people were less prickly (and less of a prick in some cases!) perhaps some medium ground could ge found. For some, the thought is all or nothing and the world is full of too many shades of grey (NO, I did not nor will not read that book!) and not as much black and white.

        Point in case, when Mike is not goading hunters, I find some of his information useful. It’s nice also to see a fellow suffering Illinoisan here! But when he starts going off and brushing all hunters with the same brush, I just want to reach through my computer and smack him! (Sorry Mike!)

        I’m not sure I would have the patience to be a mediator ZeeWolf!

        Perhaps I’m looking at it through rose colored glasses in my, almost childish desire if you will, for everyone to just get along and exchange information in a civil level. I guess that’s what happens when you get people together from all different walks of life that are so passionate about what they believe in.

        • avatar Ida Lupine says:

          I refuse to engage childish behaviour also.

          BTW, JEFFE, I patiently await your apology for insulting me on the blog the other night. Thanks in advance! 😉

    • avatar Immer Treue says:


      Back to eating our own young. Consensual agreement is a precipitous and slippery goal among the experts and experts, as well as among the non experts and all those in between. The open uncluttered mind can be a rare gem indeed.

      • avatar Harley says:

        LOL eating our own young…. When my kids were both still living at home and would get into it, I would tell them that I fully understood why some species would do that!

  20. avatar Nancy says:

    Thanks Harley 🙂

  21. avatar SEAK Mossback says:

    There are some good sources out there with information on wolverines — here are a couple that include links to several of the recent and ongoing regional studies including here:

    I find wolverines fascinating because they seem an enigma, i.e. how they work out the energetics of consistently finding enough mostly dead stuff (before other scavengers) at high altitude and high latitude to balance the costs of traveling almost constantly on short legs (often over deep, soft snow and with limited agility to catch small prey) and with presumably a very high rate of energy expenditure (and probable high mustelid metabolism rate without substantial fat reserves).

    We seem to have a pretty healthy population on the mainland around here that’s heavily keyed to mountain goats. I guess they take a few kids, but otherwise many goats keel over and die up there, and how hard would it be to locate one? It seems like it could take an awful lot of searching, dodging avalanches to find a single one. Their main competition must be birds, ravens and eagles, that can spot and strip a carcass pretty quickly. The snow must be key to concealing and especially preserving meat.

    I imagine a wolverine is determined to make the best of anything they find. The guy who does much of the goat research here took some great video footage from a helicopter last October. He had observed earlier from a supercub that a collared nanny had very recently died on a ridge top on the east side of Lynn Canal. A wolverine was on it when he returned a few days later by helicopter to get the collar. They stopped and hovered for a few minutes very close while he filmed. The wolverine did not act aggressive toward the helicopter (although years ago I learned that they certainly can from a rare September encounter with a mating pair while squeezing under fog through a pass behind Juneau). However, it sure seemed to sense that it was in danger of losing the carcass and focused single-mindedly (with little direct attention to the screaming, gass’n machine) on trying to rip off and drag away as big a chunk as possible while it could, finally retreating to a gap in the rocks as they touched down to investigate and snatch the collar. The wildlife folks have several wolverines collared in the general area as well, and they are curious about what one of them is eating because it has a home range with few or no goats (or other large animals), which leaves mostly marmots and ptarmigan as possibilities — they are hoping stable isotope analysis may provide some clue.

    • avatar Ralph Maughan says:


      I didn’t see your comment until late on Jan. 10, but I want to add that I have also wondered how wolverine survive for the same reasons you spell out.

  22. avatar MAD says:

    The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is advertising on their website that they have obtained an extension on their TRO for wolverine trapping.
    On January 7, 2013 – a Montana judge granted our joint motion to extend the temporary restraining order granted on November 30, which effectively ends the 2012-2013 wolverine trapping season!


January 2013


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

~ Edward Abbey

%d bloggers like this: