It is time for a new “wildlife news” thread.

Please put  your news, links and comments below in comments.  Here is the link to the thread being retired (May 18, 2013).

Beaver pond in the high water of June. SE Idaho. Beaver remake creeks, streams, springs, even seeps. They usually greatly increase the diversity of wildlife in an area with their ponds. It is surprisingly hard to get Fish and Game departments to take them seriously, have a rational trapping season and to keep people from just killing them. Copyright Ralph Maughan. June 2013

Beaver pond in the high water of June. SE Idaho. Beaver remake creeks, streams, springs, even seeps. They usually greatly increase the diversity of wildlife in an area with their ponds. It is surprisingly hard to get Fish and Game departments to take them seriously, have a rational trapping season and to keep people from just killing them. Copyright Ralph Maughan. June 2013

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.

643 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news? June 5, 2013 edition

  1. Ralph Maughan says:

    OK folks. Here is the new post for interesting wildlife news

  2. JEFF E says:

    a non-native introduced species.
    where is the outrage

  3. Robert R says:

    This says what I have been saying for a long time but being I don’t have a biology degree or a phd and my opinion means nothing to some.

    • Immer Treue says:


      This appears to be a follow-up to your original THREAD in the MAY 18 DYHAIWLN.

      Robert R says:
      June 5, 2013 at 5:21 am
      Someone has an ax to grind.

      “Someone has an ax to grind

      Explain, please.


    • Leslie says:

      Robert: This was the 3 year field study done in my valley. Robert you are oversimplifying by stating you’ve been saying this for years.

      There were many many factors that aren’t even mentioned in this simple newspaper article. For instance this herd is calving only every other year on average as compared to every year in the front country herd. This biological strategy is because of poor nutrition due to early and shortened green-up during lactation.

      In addition, Middleton found that these elk were spending much more time eating than the front country herd, yet no more time being vigilant. His study notes that the migratory herd encounter wolves approx. every 9 days and that it isn’t till 1 kilometer distance that wolves changes elk behavior.

      I listened to his dissertation which noted that the key factor here is autumn body fat, not predation risk to this herd.

      I watched Middleton think about all the many complicated factors and try to piece that puzzle together. I suggest you read his entire study for a look at all the factors considered here.

      One interesting anecdote is that my 90 year old neighbor who grew up in the valley told me that there was no migratory herd here until the 50’s or 60’s when they changed their migratory patterns. I’d like to see some historical notes on that.

      • Robert R says:

        Leslie I don’t think so. All ungulates have been using private land for years and wildlife services cannot manage what cannot be hunted and the SSS also applies here on private land. Also the increased elk population also factors into private land with fact that most private landowners do not tolerate predators. The increased elk numbers are only where elk are protected by private landowners and there are very few bears and or wolves and lions.

        • Leslie says:

          Robert, your link and my comment applies to the Sunlight herd study, not private lands. Middleton only studied two herds–one migratory and one not. The non-migratory also has wolf packs there though the bear pressure wouldn’t have been as great.

          One of the recommendations of the Nelson wolf study was to manage elk hunts on private lands as a way of decreasing wolf-cattle conflicts. Elk on private lands increases wolf-livestock encounters. I suggest you read her study that has some excellent research and recommendations.

          • Robert R says:

            Lessie I was not referring to just Middleton but to whole political argument about elk increasing/decreasing debate and predation on elk. And yes it does apply to private lands.
            It’s not from Middleton but is the same article.

            The opposite seemed to be true in the Cody region. Resident elk from the same herd as the migratory elk found areas with irrigated fields to eat, few predators and more limited hunting on private land, McWhirter said.

            • Leslie says:

              “The increased elk numbers are only where elk are protected by private landowners and there are very few bears and or wolves and lions.”

              Do you have any data to support that statement?

  4. Lyn McCormick says:

    The National Academy of Science just published the results of its two year study of BLM’s Wild Horse & Burro Program

    • rork says:

      Time for scientists to show they’ve got some backbone, and at least start their spiel by flatly stating that eradication is what they would recommend. It was legislators who in 1971 insanely and without any regard for truth declared these pests “an integral part of the natural system of the public lands”, not biologists.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        But people want them. It will never fly.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Scientists do not make policy. As we are seeing with wolves, they advise on the best course of action for the people. Here, whether or not wild horses are indigenous or not, people want them in the landscape as part of our Western heritage, wild and free. If humans did abandon them into the landscape, something more humane and thoughtful needs to be done to manage them, other than just killing them to get rid of them.

          This report shows that they are not as damaging to the lanscape as was thought, the current method of dealing with them is counterproductive and short-sighted, and recommends much more humane method of managing population than rounding them up with helicopters till their legs break or running them to death. What could be wrong with that?

          • Theo says:

            Clearly other people also want cows and sheep “in the landscape”, so I don’t think that is a good argument.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              And most likely the cows and sheep are here to stay also. I can’t say that I mind. It’s part of our Western heritage also. But I think there has to be a little working together. There are ways of making things work.

            • Lyn McCormick says:

              The forage allocation is so stacked in favor of LS, 80% is what I’ve heard. The other issue, and I’ve witnessed this because I am surrounded by a million acres of PL which is heavily grazed, is that the grass never gets to go to seed. The cows came on a month ago and the sheep were on before that.

          • Lyn McCormick says:


      • Lyn McCormick says:

        What is “the truth” you are referring to ?

        • rork says:

          That they are as integral to the natural system in North America as Zebra Mussels are to Lake Superior.

          • Theo says:


          • Lyn McCormick says:

            Hey, Thanks for prompting me to read up on zebra mussels. So sorry to waste your time and mine. I’d love to debate further but I’ve got the full NAS WH&B report to read, chase range cows of my riverbottom grass pastures with my horse, bottle feed a bum calf, and plant willows along the riverbank. Have a good day.

        • WM says:

          Lyn McCormick,

          Now I think I understand why you were so dismissive of rork’s comment. It appears someone with your same name is pushing for the WHB horse roundups to stop with a national petition.

          I don’t know what your solution for the problem is – actually I don’t think you or supporters of the WHB Act have one. You horse folks statutorily created the problem and there is no way out. One hundred thousand dollars a day to run this joke of a program.

          I was just at the BLM wild horse adoption facility outside Burns, OR, two weeks ago. They take horses off Steen’s Mountain. These are the so-called Kiger Plateau mustangs. Beautiful horses, if the truth be known, but they are multiplying faster than they can be disposed. And, I do appreciate the iconic place the horse holds in the settlement of the American West , though it seems the memory is a romantic dream which some want to carry forward regardless of the cost and impacts).

          They had an inventory at the adoption facility, of something like 700 horses, mostly yearling colts and mares about ready to foal. They were stacked in holding pens, with no shade, not a blade of grass in sight, piped in water, and even a bunch of colts standing on a pile of horse manure 10 feet high and the width of a football field in the middle of one big corral.

          So, for all this, there is a staff of about a half dozen or more on-site federal employees, nearly a $1 million in equipment and assets: horse trailers, trucks, backhoes, tractors, hay barns, and a maze of makeshift corrals with expensive 8 ft high modular tube fence panels mounted on heavy steel I beam posts sunk in concrete cassions (that must have cost a fortune to build in itself). They are caring for these horses temporarily while they try to adopt them off. They have an out of date, incomplete and confusing adoption website, and a staff with an attitude, that won’t answer questions from the public. They have an on-line adoption auction website that looks like it was put together by an eighth grader.

          I expect the federal payroll for this small facility (remember there are lots more throughout the West in the states with the big wild horse/burro populations) is something like $.6M a year. I can’t imagine the fuel costs to round up and truck these horses from Steens Mountain to Burns, about a 200 mile round trip, so the operating budget for hay, vets, meds and hoof trimming has got to be astromical even for this little population.

          Don’t get me wrong. I like horses, and many of these were some good looking ponies. But this WHB statute putting stewardship with the federal government and specifically the BLM is a huge money waster. No National Academy of Science 18 month study that focuses on birth control is going to fix the problem in a cost-effective manner. What an incredible waste of time and taxpayer money for what are no better hooved locust than sheep or cattle, AND for which there is little to no commercial market, or way to knock down their numbers in a politically correct way. Idiots at the gate once again with Congress passing a law it didn’t understand for its implications, and forty years of incompetent federal stewardship by the BLM. There is a colorable argument this law should be repealed, and states should have a shot at taking over management (and maybe get rid of the Kleppe v. NM Supreme Court decision in the process, because the federal government has demonstrated it does a piss poor job as a steward of the public trust in managing what little wildlife has been handed over to it by Congress).

          • Lyn McCormick says:

            Hi WM, let me qualify myself a bit further. I am a rancher / conservationist. I’ve run buffalo on private dryland pasture and I lease out irrigated pasture to my neighbor who runs over 350 cow-calf pairs And, I still use horses to work livestock, three of the 9 ranch horses are mustangs and all are working ranch horses. Yes, I am partial to horses. My overriding concern is what is happening to the Sage Steppe and the Public range. I am surrounded by a million acres of it and it is heavily grazed by both sheep and cattle, and in some areas year round. It looks like the middle east and the watersheds look even worse. Yes, I jumped on the wild horse bandwagon mostly because I am tired of them being the scapegoats for everything that is wrong with the range. The way I see it, the wild horses are the canaries of what is wrong with the system. How can BLM repeatedly exclude livestock grazing from its Environmental Assessments ? The forage allocation in most of the HMA’s is waaaay skewed in favor of LS. Further, the numbers game is easy. The GAO calculates the cost of public lands LS grazing at over $ 120 million (I believe that is just the loss the public has to bear in lease fees because of the below market rate of the AUM’s) The total bill including collateral costs of conservation and wildlife services etc, etc., is in excess of $500 million – compared to what ? $120 million on the wild horses, and over half of that is the cost of off-the-range management. If we’re talking cost effective, there would be alot more forage for everybody if they only grazed from mid-June until August or September and fed hay in the feedlot until the grass went to seed. I watched the sheep come through here in April, just when the grass was getting started – it looked like a locust plague had gone through afterwards. I’ll bet if the grazing fees were at private market rates it would be cheaper to raise enough hay to feed into June. I said earlier that I ran 40 head of buffalo in eastern Colorado on dry land grass. I fed into June and the last three years, due to drought, started feeding again in August. Now, I have 500 acres of irrigated river bottom pasture that I am recovering from years of neglect and overgrazing by former tenants. So far this season we’ve managed to keep the range cows off, using horses, but it is a daily job – the cows are very breachy and the fences are old. However, I have such wonderful rancher neighbors and we work together so this fall when the cows come home they’ll get some good native grass pasture before they hit the hay fields. Here is a link to an article by Andrew Cohen of The Atlantic Monthly re: The NAS report. And, thanks for responding to my comment. LM

            • Lyn McCormick says:

              Link to Atlantic Monthly Article re: NAS on Wild Horses

            • cobackcountry says:

              Solid argument except that throwing in AUM’s and public land grazing part.

            • WM says:

              Lyn Mc,

              I am trying to picture where you run cows. Can you be a bit more specific?

              And, did you ever know W.D.(Bill) Farr, Sr.?

              • Lyn McCormick says:

                Hi WM, The name sounds familiar. If I should have known him I’d love to know more. I enjoy reading the history of an area and ranching families and when we have free riding time we ride to try and locate and identify the old homesteads around here. We just relocated back to the West Slope, NW Colorado. My husband’s family homestead ranched along Williams Creek near Pagosa Springs and the NW end of the Animas Valley in Durango. We spent many years on the East Slope. We always had horses and ran buffalo until the price of hay skyrocketed. The ranch we now have is our long awaited “returning home” dream. We hope to get back to raising buffalo, but as I said earlier the place needs alot of work !

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I don’t know how you can have any kind of wildlife management with these kinds of ‘wild cards’ running around unencumbered. This attitude is not conducive to healthy populations of wildlife, and needs to be taken into consideration when devising any plans.

      Now you’ve got legitimate hunting and these people, when before you only had this kind of mentality. Delisting never should have been rushed through (the only way it could get through), and never would have if we had experienced leadership. The stuff Louise posted also was just apalling.

  5. Alex Thal says:

    Dr. Ralph Maughan stated, “There are scores of scientific studies about the reintroduced wolves: their behavior, effects, prospects, etc.” I am interested in the scores of scientific studies Dr. Maughan refers to in his article, “Western wolf issue is mostly not really about wolves”.

    I tried contacting him. Can you help me Regarding the studies he refers to?

    Thank you,


    Alex Thal

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Alex Thai-

      A good way to find scientific articles on wolves is to begin with some important paper on wolves. It will have a substantial bibliography of others. Go from there.

      Another method is Google Scholar. I took me about 1 minute to find 50 or more articles there. Each has a brief description. The search terms were “wolf OR wolves AND rockies OR Yellowstone OR Idaho OR Montana OR Wyoming”

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      In fact my thesis is hardly original — that the big conflict over wolves isn’t really about wolves, although I came to it on my own after watching and participating for 16-17 or years. My quick little web search found this article.

      It was written in 1995 by Matthew A. Wilson. Here is the abstract.

      In spring 1995, wolves were returned to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for the first time in five decades. Despite this being hailed as a success, public opposition to the wolf remains intense in many rural communities surrounding the reintroduction site. This study shows that social controversy remains because it is much more than a debate about wolves; it is a conflict between the advocates of two social movements—environmentalism and wise use—struggling to impose their own preferences for land use in the American West. Wolves are merely symbols delineating the battle lines of a much larger conflict. Three underlying social issues drive the debate: (1) differential access to social power, (2) conflicting ideas about private property, and (3) divergent beliefs about nature. Recognizing these deeper levels of social conflict is important, because it is from here that future land use controversies are likely to emerge. By identifying and describing the symbolic nature of the wolf reintroduction conflict, this article addresses a major policy issue dividing the environmental movement from the wise use movement and reveals long‐standing social issues that recently have erupted into the foreground of policy discourse over the future of federal land management in the American West.

    • WM says:

      Alex Thal,

      In addition to what Ralph suggests, let me offer the official US Fish & Wildlife Western gray wolf recovery website. Here you will find all the state plans, annual reports, draft and final federal regulations. Within those documents are citations to enough studies to keep you busy reading for the next 10 years. Just look at the bibliographies in those documents.

      And, depending on how far back and how detailed you want to get there are books/texts/publication compilations by Dr. David Mech, one of the foremost wolf scientists in the world and who is involved in the NRM wolf recovery, which you can buy second hand on vendors like for pretty cheap.

      And, here is a good article. Look for the authors noted in this piece:

      B vonHoldt, D Stahler, J Pollinger, D Smith, E Bangs, et al. (2010) A novel assessment of population structure and gene flow in gray wolf populations of the Northern Rocky Mountains of the United States. Mol Ecol 19, 4412-4427. And a link to the text:

      The papers cited in the bibliography are enogh to keep you busy for a year or two.

  6. CodyCoyote says:

    A photo gallery going viral today at all the Lee Newspapers around Yellowstone. Photographer Max Waugh captured a sequence of a mother Red Fox fighting off a Badger at the mouth of her den of kits. A poignant reminder of the nature of carnivores.

  7. CodyCoyote says:

    Ralph- your commentary under the excellent photo of the beaver pond riparian area at the top of this section reminded me again of the dynamic of Beavers.

    I personally believe that the extirpative trapping of the Beaver from the Rocky Mountains ( and elsewhere) beginning in the early 1800’s during the fur trade and continuing to this day for other dubious reasons has been grossly understated as an ecological game changer. Beavers are the ditch riders of Mother Nature’s domain where they live, and their work is necessary in addition to being rewarding to us humans who see no conflict in having them. It is a shame that land managers, conservation services, and the agencies have not reformed their thinking on the huge positive value of beaver hydrology. Now that climate change is taking hold , the importance of having a robust beaver population and distribution cannot be understated. We need to start restoring beavers, at least in non-conflict areas ( which of course depends on your notion of ” those damn beavers are [ fill in the blank ] ” , usually uttered by the lips immediately under a Stetson hat brim ).

    But here is an interesting fact about Beavers. When a pair mate, they will have 4-6 kits. When the time comes as the kids grow up , the parent beavers will selectively kill all but one male and one female from their litter, and drive them off to find a new territory of their own. It’s their way of dispersing, increasing habitat and domain , and assuring good genetic viability. But it’s a little draconian to us primates.

    It’s also why you cannot transplant more than a mated pair of beaver anywhere, much as you’d like to have several colonies of beavers out there. I know of a couple instances where conservation-minded ranchers actually tried to restore beavers to their stream in the Cody area here, and they plunked down as many as six animals at once in the same stream basin. They immediately eliminated themselves by infighting. For not understanding beaver behavior, they overdid it and underachieved their goal of rebuilding riparian areas overgrazed by cattle in critical winter range for wildlife.

    We definitely need to restore beavers to the American West in the face of climate change and two centuries of land abuse by livestock and development. There must have been several hundred thousand beavers in the Rockies Pre-Columbus. I’m guessing the number today is a very tiny fraction of the natural carrying capacity of the suitable streams.

    But we have to do the reintroduction right, by understanding beavers. And with the beaver’s consent.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Good post.

    • SAP says:

      CodyCoyote – do you have a citation for the killing-of-offspring part?

      I can imagine that they might kill offspring in very marginal habitat, but it’s not mentioned in Walker’s Mammals of the World (6th edition, 1999) or other sources. Most sources state that a colony may consist of the monogamous breeding pair and offspring up to age 2 (similar to wolf packs?).

    • where on EARTH did you read that ‘fact’ about parents killing off spring? We have plenty of telemetry studies and observations that easily disprove that statement.

    • ma'iingan says:

      “When the time comes as the kids grow up , the parent beavers will selectively kill all but one male and one female from their litter, and drive them off to find a new territory of their own.”

      Hmmm. I’d like to know where you dug up this “fact”. I spent the first part of my career as a beaver control specialist, and it sure would’ve been easier if beaver behaved the way you claim they do. Actually, they’re among the most nurturing of our N.A. mammals, similar to wolves in some respects.

      The instances where we attempted colony relocation actually worked pretty well, as long as we could find unoccupied habitat.

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      This is good evidence of my argument that anti-wolf sentiment is really generated by the tea party people. It is personal and unrelated to wolves except indirectly.

  8. Beaver challenges can be successfully and inexpensively controlled with flow devices. I should know, my own low-lying city installed one 6 years ago to control flooding from a beaver dam. Now because of our beaver-created wetlands we regularly see otter, heron, steelhead, woodduck and even mink in our tiny urban stream. With the number of states that will face drought years again it’s a national failure that we don’t recognize the inherent value of these ‘water-savers’.

    Heidi Perryman, Ph.D.
    President & Founder
    Worth A Dam

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Thanks Heidi,

      Road crews, farmers and many others need to know of these “beaver deceiveers.”

      Efforts to restore them in the mountains near Pocatello, Idaho stalled when county road crews started trapping and shooting the beaver when any dam showed up that might conceivably flood the road. The problem was solved when they learned of the flow device and how to install it.

      Unfortunately, the restoration has continued to stall due to vandals shooting the beaver and perhaps the unmonitored trapping. I don’t think beaver restoration can work along any heavily traveled paved or gravel road where ponds are easy to access.

      • Mike Settell says:

        Good point in both cases, Ralph. We’d like to get volunteers to monitor roads where 0.22 caliber vandals have opportunity to kill beaver. It is an unfortunate coincidence that 99% of all roads, surfaced or unsurfaced, in Idaho are also in prime beaver habitat. By excluding roads as re-location sites, we just elminated many potential habitat sites. USFS West Side Ranger District recognizes this and has been moving structures out of the floodplain. I am currently working with county road crews to install some FCD (flow control devices) where beaver are flooding roads. I expect these to be completed this summer. Meanwhile, we’d REALLY like Idaho Fish and Game to improve the recording of depredation permits: The most significant beaver population “Black Hole”.

        • zach says:

          Mike, my partner and I would be interested in volunteering around the SE Idaho area. Anywhere around Pocatello and the surrounding area would be great.

        • zach says:

          Send me an e-mail if you’d like help.

      • zach says:


        I just counted 3 or so beaver dams up around Mink Creek rec. area on the main dirt road, any idea if those dams are inhabited or not?

        • Ralph Maughan says:


          I have been driving the area too. I think they are inhabited. I also saw two seemingly active ponds up the South Fork of Mink Creek.

          • topher says:

            I know of at least one active beaver up south fork. Just after the road crosses the creek for the second time down on the left side of the road before the cliffs.

            • topher says:

              While this beaver is close to the road he isn’t really visible unless you leave your car, there have been beaver here for the last several years if I remember correctly

  9. JBurnham says:

    Missoula Independent feature on grizzlies vs. the sheep research station in the Centennials.

  10. Just based on geography and beaver wisdom, I’m thinking you know Settell?

  11. alf says:

    The feature article in this week’s Missoula Independent ( is titled “The mysterious disappearance of Grizzly 726”

    That’s the bear that was killed in the Centennial Mountains in SW Montana last summer, apparently by a mutton conductor working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nefarious and notorious sheep “experiment” station.

  12. Louise Kane says:

    I have a good friend who is a consultant on oil spill prevention and response strategies. She and I did a kayak trip around the Gulf Islands some years ago after a conference I attended and presented at in Victoria. She just sent me this link from one of her clients who did a kayak trip for oil spill response assessment purposes. Its a beautiful little video and toward the end there is some footage of coastal wolves and their pups. What a spectacular place!

    • WM says:


      Very nice trip. Makes me wish I still had my expedition kayak, now that I have time to use it.

      • Louise Kane says:

        WM it looked like a killer trip. I’m hoping I can get back to BC with her and take advantage of her client’s expertise there. The kayak trip I took was one of those trips of a lifetime But I did not see wolves! That would be a dream. sounds like you need to get another kayak! there is nothing quite like kayaking around the gulf islands.

  13. Ida Lupine says:

    Oh no:

    This administration is horrible for wildlife.

    • jon says:

      There will be lawsuits though, so that’s a good thing. I want wolves in Colorado and Utah. You can bet your bottom dollar these states especially Utah will try to keep wolves out of their states. This is why wolves in places like Colorado and Utah need to be federally protected, so if wolves happen to find their way into CO and UT, they will be federally protected. Scientists sent letters to the Obama administration and to the DOI urging them to not delist wolves all across the US. Looks like the Obama administration has ignored scientists. Thank god there will be lawsuits.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I want them in Massachusetts, Maine, NH and VT!

        • jon says:

          I want a couple hundred if not thousands in my state of Maine.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Maine is perfect – I think VT is one of our least populated states also, so it would be ideal as well.

            I understand that black bears and bobcats have returned to Mass – so why not wolves.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              I hope VT stays that way. Keep the riff-raff out and natutre will thrive. I don’t know what the Obama administration has against wolves and the environment.

  14. Rita k Sharpe says:

    Rather interesting what Dr. David Mech said.

    • Mark L says:

      All that wisdom behind David Mech’s name and he only has a comment about wolves scaring kids at bus stops? Really?

      • jon says:

        Human tolerance is no reason not to protect wolves. If those people are scared of wolves or wildlife, that’s too bad. They need to get over their own unfounded fears of wildlife.

      • jon says:

        If wolves are delisted all across the US, that does mean anyone can shoot wolves on sight if wolves are in their state or do states still protect wolves as an endangered species even though if wolves aren’t “officially” in their state? I also am worried about hunters getting away with killing wolves by claiming they thought they were coyotes. Any hunter that kills a wolf needs to be prosecuted, fined big time, and jailed. This I thought it was a coyote excuse is not good enough. Hunters know the difference between a wolf and coyote.

        • Mark L says:

          I can imagine someone shooting a red wolf in North Carolina now: “I thought it was a gray wolf, honestly.”

          • jon says:

            Mark, there have been numerous red wolves shot in NC by hunters who either knew they were red wolves or thought they were coyotes. The only way to protect red wolves in NC is to completely ban coyote hunting.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          They do it in New England – when le loup steps one paw over from Quebec to VT, they’re shot with the coyote excuse. There’s lots of prime habitat for wolves where they haven’t been brought back yet.

        • Louise Kane says:

          If wolves are delisted the the states get to set their management objectives without hinderance of the ESA protections. And you have seen what the states do with special interests pumping money and lies to the legislators. Even in MI where a citizen’s initiative probably would have protected wolves, Casperson and his cronies pulled a super sleazy move and passed SB288 against the enormous accomplishment and plainly spoken will of the people vote on the issue. Delisting wolves is a national tragedy and is a shameful period in America’s history. Contrary to the BS about recovery being a huge success, delisting wolves pulled the scab off a huge western wound that never really healed and now that its opened again, that wound keeps festering and spreading its poison. There is no success here, just a return to hate, and sick policies that unduly persecute a wild animal. heartbreaking

  15. Ida Lupine says:

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe says ending federal protections would let the agency concentrate on restoring Mexican wolves in the Southwest.

    I shudder to think what this actually means.

  16. Ida Lupine says:

    Dr. Mech also said this:

    Even without federal protection, wolves are likely to migrate into several Western states, Mech said.

    Sections of Colorado, Utah, Nevada and Northern California might have enough habitat, prey and isolation from humans for wolves to thrive, he said. But he added that might not happen if hunters kill so many Northern Rockies wolves that it reduces the number that would disperse from packs and seek new turf.

    While management may be necessary, there should be restrictions on the amount taken and how they are taken. Hounding and poisoning shouldn’t even be on the table. Population management shouldn’t include unnecessary violence and cruelty.

    I would add that today’s kids at bus stops are sometimes more frightening than any predator.

    • Rita k Sharpe says:

      Thank you, Ida, for posting it for me, for my typing is not great.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Whenever someone talks about children being threatened or eaten by wild animals at bus stops, you can write them off as any kind of objective spokesperson because this just hasn’t happened despite years of predictions that it will. They always say “bus stops.”

      You can tell that they are just mumbling a cliche because a person who truly worried about such things would vary the claim. For example, “children riding their bikes,” people with a slow gait being taken by wolves, bears, or whatever, “babies will be snatched from their buggies.” Farmers will be jumped as they drive their tractors.

      “Children at bus stops” is just thoughtless repetition no matter who says it.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I think it’s because it does, or at least used to, get a visceral reaction from people because noone wants to see an innocent child hurt. They need a new script as you say.

  17. CodyCoyote says:

    Delisting the Grey Wolf everywhere in the Lower 48 based on a partial success in the Northern Rockies is political, not biological, and it goes against both the letter and spirit of the Endangered Species Act. It emanates from the west end of an east bound Bull. QED.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      And the fact that it is happening under a democratic watch is the worst.

      • Be carefull Ida, Obama is listening to everything you say. You might be placed on a no-fly list, or a hit list depending on which day of the week it is.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I hope they wouldn’t waste their time on me. 🙂

          • I understand that Obama picks out people to kill with hellfire missiles from drones every Wednesday evening. If you see a drone flying over your house on Thursday, you will know you are on the hit list.
            He enjoys killing. Don’t look for him to show any mercy for wolves.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              Funny, I’ve been hearing low flying helicopters as of late….

  18. Ida Lupine says:

    The northeastern United States provides suitable wolf habitat with over 26 million acres of northern forest from Adirondack State Park in Upstate New York through the North Woods of Maine. In fact, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 1992 Eastern Timberwolf Recovery Plan identified Adirondack State Park and 2 areas of New England as possible recovery areas for this subspecies. Despite the availability of habitat and prey, natural recolonization is unlikely due to many landscape barriers, including the St. Lawrence Seaway and extensive urban areas.

  19. Immer Treue says:

    Looks like complete handoff is coming.

    • WM says:

      Recall that PEER filed a suit over what it says is political deal-making with the states and FWS, as a precursor to and basis for this proposed rule. They had a bunch of closed door meetings.

      No doubt the states -those that have wolves and those likely to get them- have given FWS an earful, and likely their respective Congressional delegations as well. I have to wonder if Rep. DeFazio of OR will get a raft of shit if he opposes this, while his Oregon state Governor and its Wildlife Agency say, we want to manage wolves on our own. It’s a pretty blue state, so this likely will play well in Salem (the state capitol), and maybe in Eugene/Springfield and Corvallis, the population seat of DeFazio’s Congressional district. Query whether DeFazio has interests for wolves outside OR- and if so, will he be willing to go against folks at home so UT or CO gets wolves. Same argument goes for CO’s Senator Mark Udall, as CO’s wildlife agency want the decision local, as well. I also don’t think the Great Lakes states with wolves are going to tell those without them the feds need to keep them listed.

      There are some interesting dynamics at play here, and then the PEER law suit, which sort of pits federal (and state) employees against the Administration, Congressinal types who want wolves delisted and the states. I am not a big fan of PEER for its political meddling, and maybe even its legal intervention. There is a perceived conflict of interest there.

  20. Ida Lupine says:

    Comedy Central – I especially love the responses from WY and UT:

  21. Louise Kane says:

    My surfer friends have new company
    The great whites are migrating back into Cape Cod waters
    Its pretty spectacular to see the images of these sharks when they are just off the coast. This is the newest sighting
    a 13′ female. Pretty awesome.

    • Mark L says:

      Not hitting Horseneck beach until mid July. Hopefully they’ll get their fill of chum and move on before then.

      • Louise Kane says:

        They seem to stay off the coast all summer and into fall. I don’t mind them here at all, I think its quite wonderful. I don’t throw toys out for my dog anymore at least off the ocean side but they come for a reason. The seals are everywhere and the sharks are here to prey on the seals. I like to think of them out there doing their job and being a real and valuable presence. The images of them in the shallow waters are just awesome…They are so huge.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Yes so do I. All summer long they will be a cause celebre tho.

  22. Louise Kane says:

    not an about wolves post and rare for me but I went to a
    a dinner and presentation tonight by the author of Four Fish. I would highly recommend this book, despite some of the reservations I have about claims related to the ability to harvest fish sustainably. Some intriguing thoughts about fisheries and the way Americans have been duped into selling their most nutritionally and economically valuable seafood products in exchange for non native or farmed fish like Tilapia, shrimp and salmon that are having devastating ecological impacts and provide less nutritive benefits.

  23. Louise Kane says:

    for anyone following the discussion about the great whites
    this is a link to an aerial of Monomoy Island off Chatham Cape Cod. The great whites are often see off this area and also around the outer barrier beach called North and South Beach as well as the coastal Atlantic side of the Cape. In recent years thousands of grey seals have come into the waters and the sharks are following them. Its a pretty spectacular area. Monomoy is also a refuge for piping plovers and other wildlife. It can be pretty treacherous in a boat in foul weather as there is shoaling and strong currents.

  24. Ida Lupine says:

    Here’s a site about our NY wolves also. I’d love to see them in their formers range upstate NY, VT, NH, MA and ME and Canada.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Thank God.

      Louise, I enjoyed your posts last night which reminded me of the beauty of our own backyard. I have no need to ever set foot in the vile West and their ruined National Parks ever again. They hate their ‘romantic dream’ of the West so much, they want to turn it into another generic mess like so much of this country.

      Adirondack National Park has a ‘buffer zone’ around it. It would be nice if we had our own wolves. I’ll spend my money to improve my own back yard.

      • SaveBears says:

        Ruined National Parks and Vile West? Ida you are getting extreme again!

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Not your problem, SB.

          • SaveBears says:

            Boy, are we being snitty this morning?

            • Ida Lupine says:

              We are. 🙂 I shouldn’t be, I apologize. It isn’t your fault. Our idiots in leadership are the problem. I think I’ve screeched about them enough for one day. Ha!

      • WM says:

        ++Adirondack National Park has a ‘buffer zone’ around it. It would be nice if we had our own wolves.++

        They will never get wolves, Ida. Two reasons. Adirondack is a NY state park, which contains private land, AND, importantly, the park configuration with the lakes, roads, communities that rely on tourism, year round/summber cabins with residents that have their cute little lap dogs, don’t want wolves. Ever hear that story before? The park is about 6.1M acres, which makes it larger than Yellowstone NP plus Yosemite combined. The economic group that represents park businesses, I am told has gone on record as saying they don’t want them. And, if they show up there will likely be some 3S.

        Second, the state of NY wildlife agency doesn’t want them. Here is the official statement:

        ++New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation has a long and proud history of restoring ….It is not clear that a wolf population could survive in New York given the abundance of highways and our large human population. Nor is it clear that having wolves in the woods of northern New York would be compatible with the interests of residents or the farmers that live on the periphery of that region. For these reasons, DEC does not believe that wolf restoration warrants serious consideration at this time. ++

        Now if numbnutz Senator Schumer and other NY Congressional types push a wolf agenda on the rest of the US in light of the FWS proposal, with its own state saying this, there will be some push back.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Well, Algonquin does have them.

          • WM says:


            Algonquin is a Canadian Provincial Park in Central Ontario. There are about 7,000 wolves, mostly in the north – of course Ontario in the north is a big place and not many folks outside Ottawa, and not a alot of cows/sheep or humans with cute lap dog pets. Hunting and trapping, by the way, is allowed in parts of the Park (but not for wolves, though the park master plan refers to them as a “scavenger, which is a clue o what some Canadian bureaucrats think about wolves).

        • Ida Lupine says:

          We are a hotbed of Lyme disease here due to our overpopulation of deer. Coyotes have filled the niche once held by wolves and need to be kept in check as well. So it’s a win/win. Not only do we have prime habitat, we have prey. We have messed things up good and proper without them.

          • Ralph Maughan says:

            Ida Lupine,

            Lyme disease is a terrible problem, and I am glad it is rare in Idaho. Our ticks are nasty too, but they are big. You can see them.

            As far as the vector for Lyme Disease, it is not white-tailed deer as was once supposed, but the white-footed mouse, and the very best way of controlling the mouse population is the fox which really snarfs them down.

            As a disease control measure, fox populations need to be encouraged, built up in areas of serious Lyme Disease. Fox hunting and trapping needs to be stopped in these areas.

            David Quammen writes a great deal about this in his recent opus, ““Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic.”

            • Ida Lupine says:

              But we do have an overpopulation of them, and I’d much rather see them part of the natural food chain for predators than to starve.

            • WM says:


              Are you suggesting ticks are not a Lyme Disease vector, or is the mouse thing some kind of intermediate host that serves as a physical carrier from one location to another?

              The national Center for Disease Control (CDC) seems to think it is only the black legged tick, but doesn’t speak to how things move around geographically:


              Can you clarify?

              • Leslie says:

                Northern California has become overrun with ticks and Lyme disease is on the rise there. If the white-footed mouse is the vector, how come with the bulgeoning deer population in CA, deer ticks (those are the teeny tiny ones), which are the lyme vector, have become prominent. Not sure how this spreads from the east to west through the mouse.

                Wyoming doesn’t appear to have the disease but it could be the extreme dry weather and my understanding is that altitude plays a part as ticks ‘burst’ above about 7000′.

            • Immer Treue says:

              A sort of nature’s Koyaanisqatsi on humans.


              Ralph, yes and no.

              Deer Control for the Prevention of Lyme disease
              Deer have an important role in the life cycle of the ticks that transmit Lyme disease. Adult deer ticks need a blood meal before laying eggs and most frequently this is obtained by feeding on deer. Therefore, while deer do not serve as a source of infection, deer control can play a role in prevention of Lyme disease when used as part of an integrated pest management program to reduce tick populations.


              • Ida Lupine says:

                Immer, this map was on the front page of our Sunday paper last week. I have to ask myself what is different about our area than the others. Predators. A little simplistic an answer perhaps, but it got me wondering.

                From the map, there’s less evidence of Lyme around the Great Lakes, but again, what is different? You’ve got predators.

                The Western states have virtually none. Is it latitude? Climate change? More pets in the Northeast?

                I’m very careful when I’m out hiking, and I’ve gotten good at identifying which tick to watch out for. Nothing will keep me from hiking.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Or the Western states have virtually no Lyme disease.

              • Immer Treue says:


                Probably a combination of a number of things. Dense, moist woodlands. Plenty of food and cover for white footed mouse. Probably more deer than historical levels, with much more food, agricultural and ornamental, as well as artificial (feeding by humans). In the East, no predators in terms of indigenous folks or large predators such as wolves. Artificial removal of predators such as fox…

                As with CWD, too much of a “good” thing isn’t necessarily good.

              • Ralph Maughan says:

                The ticks are most numerous, not in the large northeastern woodlands, but in the small wood lots such as occur in suburbia.

                That is because the small suburban wood lots do not harbor predators of the white footed mouse (or of deer).

              • Nancy says:

                You could spend a good part of the day checking out the links here re: the origins of Lyme Disease:


        • Ida Lupine says:

          If management goes into state hands, it is beyond your scope, isn’t it. Too bad. 🙂

          • SaveBears says:

            “If management goes in to state hands, it is beyond your scope” hmm, there are a lot of people that are trying to circumvent state management in the NRM region, why would it be any different in NY?

            • Ida Lupine says:

              There might be, but generally wanton killing offends the sensibilities of people here.

              We may never have wolves, but it is nice to rediscover our own parks, and if the goal of the Interior Department is to get inner city kids out into nature, we certainly have some magnificent examples a lot closer than Yellowstone. If people don’t feel comfortable having their vacation dollars supporting bad wildlife policies, there are beautiful areas much closer to home, and where children are encouraged to learn about wolves without propaganda at bus stops. I’m planning to rediscover them.

              • SaveBears says:

                Ida, I really have no problem with you rediscovering wolves, but why is it up to you to ensure others rediscover wolves? Really when it comes down to it, it is not your business what other discover or rediscover.

                That is the problem with all of this, each side wants to impose their belief’s on the other and we can see, that ain’t working!

              • Ida Lupine says:

                It isn’t up to me really. I’m just thinking that others might feel the same way I do. I’m guessing that majority of people don’t care at all. And the Interior cares more about the park menus that the parks themselves!

              • SaveBears says:

                Ida, based on what I have read, seen and heard for the last 20+ years, you have it right, the majority don’t care and the National Park Service as we know it, is a sham, what is really bad, is I don’t even think they care about the park menu’s, let alone the parks.

  25. Ida Lupine says:

    Looks like the wolf might still be necessary as the Grand Overseer of the predator chain:

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Poor things. This evil targeting of parks wolves has to stop.

      • SaveBears says:

        Guess what, it is not going to.

        • Leslie says:

          not much Lamar Valley wolf watching this year

          • SaveBears says:


            I can’t say, I am sorry, humans and human predation on wildlife is part of life these days, the wolves were not suppose to be reintroduced to provide visitor wildlife viewing experiences, they were reintroduced to bring balance back to the ecosystem, unfortunately to many that pay attention think they were reintroduce for their entertainment.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              Yes. But I hope they are still there.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                What am I saying? I could never stop visiting Yellowstone and Teton Park. I remember when I first saw the Tetons, I almost fell down in awe. The lobby of the hotel had this huuuuuge window, and what a view.

                But I don’t know what to say about bringing it online, and trendy coffee. I guess I could appreciate the trendy coffee. 🙂

                But please put a buffer zone around it to protect it from the SSS crowd. Don’t make it easy for them to destroy wolves. It’s a little worrisome to see politicians mobilizing against the ESA.

              • SaveBears says:

                Ida, the wolf issues, could be the downfall of the ESA as we know it.

            • Louise Kane says:

              Save bears your comment poo poos the multi million dollar industry that revolves around wildlife watching and worse yet if, as you claim, wolves “were reintroduced to to bring back balance to the ecosystem” than your statement completely ignores the effect that excessive hunting is having on all wolves in the NRM, and elsewhere. Do hunters have some kind of superior right to kill wildlife that trumps those of wildlife watchers? Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people stood behind wolf recovery to correct the void after their extirpation. People like Leslie and Immer regularly comment on the enjoyment they get from seeing or hearing wolves, and then have also commented on losing “their” wolves. I for one never believed the same extirpation policies would once again be pushed by the states or tolerated by the federal government. Its their job to protect all of out interests, not just special interests. And the ESA is in place to protect threatened species. Wolves are threatened by human ignorance and hate, and now with ESA protections stripped in most places it matters they are threatened by excessive killing. The story in Psychology Today, When a Wolf Dies, makes me so unbearably sad. If this is life for the park wolves where some measure of protection exists, I can’t imagine the hell humans have created for the wolves that live in land littered with snares, traps and where they are hunted almost year round. Humans know enough to understand undeniably that wolves are social creatures that grieve, feel loss, and care deeply for their young. The strength of their packs directly correlates to their ability to survive. Ignoring the social relationships of these animals in their management is sinister and heartless. Unconscionable. Which family among us would survive where our family members were regularly and randomly executed and we needed to adjust each time to that loss while also living in a war zone. This is what the states have done to wolves. There is no excuse to randomly kill wolves that are not killing livestock or threatening humans. Two human fatalities in a hundred years, with one disputed, is a negligble offense for the widespread wrath the states rain down on wolves. Ida said it must stop, and that is true but not just for park wolves… for all wolves. Every person here who claims to care deeply about wildlife is bright enough to recognize that state management of wolves is unconscionable and indefensible. I’ve yet to hear one reasonable explanation to manage wolves this way. I am heartbroken and disgusted.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              But what’s different today is that there are a lot more people and a lot less animals, so hunting them is not sustainable in the long term, anywhere in the world.

              On top of those that go extinct every day, I think much of our iconic wildlife is going to go extinct, even in my lifetime, but I hope I don’t live to see it.

              • SaveBears says:


                Many species population numbers are higher than they have ever been.

              • Louise Kane says:

                most species don’t over hunt, trap, snare and hold killing contests to eliminate particular species. Ida’s point is how do you square ideas about sustainability if you don’f factor in the immense alterations to predator prey relationships and human influence. Where increased hunting effort as well as technological advances pit animals against men and technology how can certain wildlife populations be sustained responsibly? Throw in habitat loss and fragmentation, and “natural” mortality and its a losing war. Humans need to be more respectful, less invasive and revise ideas of wildlife management that ignore ecological repercussions of eliminating predators in systems. Predator populations and large mammal populations are crashing worldwide. I guess it depends on how you measure success but success to me is not 450 of one species in out largest states where thousands once roamed.

              • SaveBears says:

                Louise as I said, go preach to someone else, I know all of the issues involved in the wolves as well as other species. Ida and I communicate quite well, you don’t need to tell me what her point is. By the way, you did read the article that stated the USFWS says that they are a recovered species with over 6100 wolves in the lower 48.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Yes, SB, I think we do. Considering we might have been at opposite sides of the argument, but we aren’t. I’ve learned a lot from those who don’t see things exactly the same way I do.

                Have a good day, all –

              • SaveBears says:

                Ida, have a great day, all I have to look forward to on this beautiful Rocky Mountain day, is changing the damn ball joints in my truck!


  26. jon says:

    Science does not support what these people say about wolves.

    • Rancher Bob says:

      From what I read this article was written for people like you. Could it be they just hit to close to home. There were few to no wolves in this part of the world for quite some time so where did these wolves come from? What do we call people from different regions who now live here? What exactly is your problem with calling them canadian wolves?

      • jon says:

        They are not canadian wolves. This articles shows people that these people who hate wolves and live close to them are very misinformed about wolves. What is the difference between a gray wolf and a canadian gray wolf? None, but these people who wrote the article in the link above are clueless about wolves.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Evidently Dan Ashe thinks they are the same species because he is including them in the total numbers of wolves to justify taking them off the Endangered list:

          Today, officials say at least 1,670 gray wolves roam the Northern Rockies and another 4,430 are in the western Great Lakes Population. Ashe added that another 65,000 wolves are in Canada and Alaska.

          But what wolf? Grey or another?

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Look at America’s map, for a supposedly progressive country:

            Ashe compared the Amerian Bison estimated at 550,000 to justify the wolf delisting – that it doesn’t occuply its historic range, but far from facing extinction.

            He can’t include wolves living in Canada in the numbers to justify taking American wolves off the endangered list. You can barely see the range on the map. They can’t used the concept of range when it suits them. American wolves will extirpated without protection.

            It’s all rather vague and misleading, and the USFWS hasn’t finished the job it set out to do. Why is th Obama adminstration so dead-set on delisting wolves? It is about the only thing that actually gets done.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                From the looks of this map, if they are going to delist wolves everywhere in the lower 48, they should not be hunted at all except for livestock depredation.

            • Leslie says:

              Ashe using the 500,000 bison analogy ignores the fact that only a teeny tiny sliver of those bison are genetically pure. Most of those are infected with cattle genes and are raised as livestock, and they do not roam free as wild animals.

              I don’t understand understand this statement in the FWS Q&A section…”The comprehensive review is based on the
              best scientific information available and determined that the current listing for gray wolf erroneously included large geographical areas, all or portions of 29 eastern states, outside the
              historical range of the gray wolf.”

              What does this mean? That there is a completely different wolf species that inhabited the eastern states? or there were never wolves there, which would be completely erroneous? I could use a little help interpreting their ‘taxonomic error’ statement.

              I find it also laughable their ‘what are the states saying’ section

              Utah has high praise for delisting…Utah has no wolves!

              • Leslie says:

                “Ashe didn’t agree with that assessment, saying that wolf populations continue to thrive and Wyoming, on its own initiative, agreed to scale back the wolf harvest after its first hunting season.”

                Another strange statement. Wyoming ‘agreed’ to scale back because they were getting too close to the relisting number of 100 wolves outside the Park and 50 inside.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                “The comprehensive review is based on the best scientific information available and determined that the current listing for gray wolf erroneously included large geographical areas, all or portions of 29 eastern states, outside the
                historical range of the gray wolf.

                I thought the grey wolf’s range was in the Eastern states.

                Utah is part of the wolf hater’s cabal. Orin Hatch I am disappointed in.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                My understanding is that the Eastern wolf (Canis lupus lycaon) is a subspecies. But I also thought the grey wolf overlapped. At any rate, there is disagreement in the scientific community:

                from Wikipedia:

                Eastern wolf was recently recognized as a potentially distinct species, but closely related to red wolf. Some authors disagree and the status as a distinct species is not official. Now, many international and government organizations carry out scientific research for their taxonomy and genetics to answer this question, as well as researching their ecology and influence on the ecosystem.

                On March 31, 2010, a presentation by Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources research scientist Brent Patterson outlined key findings about the eastern wolf (and coyotes): Most coyotes in Eastern Ontario are wolf-coyote hybrids; wolves in Algonquin Park are, in general, not inter-breeding with coyotes; and the buffer zone around Algonquin Park is a great success with mortality rates down and populations remaining stable.[

                from Wikipedia


      • jon says:

        That does not apply to animals. Wolves are not immigrants. Calling a wolf an immigrant makes you look silly rancher bob.

        • Robert R says:

          Jon really!
          Immigrants know no boarders and neither do animals. There are subspeicies in any animal and the latitude and geographical location determines the size of an animal.
          Maybe we should call introduced wolf the lower 48 wolf.
          They were never (reintroduced) they were introduced.

          Robert R, I commented on your comment here below (far down the thread). In essence, I think what you say here is almost totally wrong. Webmaster

          • jon says:

            No Robert, the wolves were reintroduced, not introduced. Do you know what introduce means? it means first time. Wolves have always been in Montana and Idaho before they were extirpated by ignorant humans who hated them with a passion.

          • Immer Treue says:


            JHC! I thought you had more sense, but this is at least the third time in recent times you have alluded to the wolves brought into Yellowstone and Idaho were not the same type as we’re once present.

            What’s next, the indigenous wolf was there all along, light in color, existing on mice and hare while peacefully coexisting with elk? Why don’t you bring some Dr. Charles Kay into the discussion as well. Been going through some of his stuff, and it is quite enlightening.

            • Robert R says:

              Immer the type is the same in any animal but the subspeicies is the difference is it not.

              • Immer Treue says:

                Do you mean to tell me that the wolf that was brought to Yellowstone and Idaho did NOT appear in the area prior to “re”introduction?

              • Robert R says:

                Ok let’s say there is five subspeicies of wolves in North America for argument sake. so which one is the right subspeicies for the NRM’S.

              • Leslie says:

                Robert, do you know what subspecies means? All Canis lupis can interbreed. Subspecies are usually just regional adaptations. In general, the colder the climate the larger the animal–Bergmanns rule…

              • Robert R says:

                Leslie your right and that was part of my point.

            • jon says:

              Immer, you should not be surprised. Hunters like Robert tend to think alike when it comes to wolves. A lot of hunters in Montana do really believe that a canadian wolf is somehow different than the “native” timber wolf that lived in Idaho and Montana once upon a time. On the other hand, you have some hunters and ranchers who believe that a gray wolf period is not native to Montana or Idaho regardless if they are irremotus or occidentalis.

              • Rita k Sharpe says:

                I wonder what the Canadians say about those miniature wolves we have or had in the United States ? Everything must be meaner and bigger in Canada.

              • Immer Treue says:


                It’s not the “hunter” thing. Robert has contributed to past discussions. We are all entitled to what we believe is philosophically correct. Yet, I grow increasingly weary of this bullshit in regard to the wolf brought in to the NRM was: some exotic beast of mythological proportions, a vector of disease; a vehicle to bring hunting to an end; a tool to remove guns; a pestilence to the Serengeti of the NRM ( as artificial as that is); a threat to the legions of children at school (another boogeyman of the antis)bus stops; ad infinitum. These people can all go to the hell, and take their righteous spirituality with them.

                It’s got nothing to do with hunting but everything to do with coexisting.

                Oh, and by the way, if you want a Samurai put up your posterior, go tell the Japanese they’re subspecies of the Koreans.


              • jon says:

                I’ll have to disagree immer.Most of this canadian wolf nonsense comes from the hunting and ranching communities. I am very positive that you know this. Like you and may others, I too get sick and tired of the mistruths that constantly come out of the mouths of those that seem to hate wolves. I wish these people would just come out and admit their true feelings. They hate all wolves. Nobody for one seconds believes they like one wolf, but hate another just because it may be a different subspecies.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                I hate thinking that these poor animals are just trying to survive, and they have no concept that there are people in Washington plotting against them. Against an animal. They have no voice and no defense from it. Even in modern times. It is just terrible ane evil.

              • SaveBears says:

                Jon, you are one of the problems, your hatred of hunters, is just fueling the fires of this debate, you are starting to sound like Mike from Chicago.

            • Leslie says:

              Immer, thank you for enlightening me to this nutcase ‘Dr.’ Kay. I looked at a few of his ‘scientific’ arguments and laughed. I like the Farley Mowat one, but he forgot to mention Mowat’s alter wolf ego, Jack London. I was thinking about it this morning when a lone wolf was spying on me exercising in my front yard. Was that a London or a Mowat example?

          • Ralph Maughan says:

            Robert R

            This is the rejected argument that the Northern Rockies once harbored a sub-species named canis lupis irremotus. Biologists have determined that such a sub-species never existed, and for good reason. You need relative breeding isolation for a sub-species to develop. There no breeding isolation. Topography makes it impossible.

            Robert have you ever been to Alberta and British Columbia? It is typographically Idaho and Montana continued. It is a natural corridor for migration south.

            The wolves that were brought down from Canada came from a distance that wolves migrate, and since their reintroduction a number of them have migrated that great a distance and more. OR-7 is only the latest of several well documented migrations.

            The wolves to the north might have been a bit larger than those here originally, but then they might not have been. No one knows. Regardless, the wolf hunts so far have yielded average sized wolves.

            Hinton, Alberta is not very far north.

            • Robert R says:

              Ralph a wolf is a wolf and a native species is native and animals know no boundaries. I have one question for you and I’ll leave it at that. Is there proof beyond a doubt with DNA?

              • Mark L says:

                Robert R,
                You would had to have collected DNA from wolves that were around ‘right after’ the disappearance of the C. l. irremotus and test for a genetic trace in the ‘Canadian wolves’ that were mixing with them…unless you are saying they wouldn’t mix, and then a wolf wouldn’t be a wolf (they DO breed with each other). Not sure how eslse you would solve the conundrum.

              • Leslie says:

                At this point, when people begin their wolf discussion with ‘Canadian’, it tells me they are just mimicking sound bits and are incapable of an intelligent wolf debate based on any science. If you want to talk about reduced prey in the 21st century because of habitat loss, hunting, etc., I’ll spar with you then.

                ‘Canadian wolf’ is really a made up term and at best, a discussion for the biology ‘splitters’. Species can interbreed. Genus in almost all cases cannot (coyotes and wolves would be an exception here). ‘Canadian’ wolf is like talking about who are the ‘pure’ humans. We can’t interbreed with monkeys but we can with different races. Therefore, we are all humans.

                That was my point. Subspecies are really an invention for biologists, like birders who break down sparrows by their regional songs. They would be still white-crowned sparrows though. Splitters only.

              • Immer Treue says:

                Even Nowak, who the antis like to use as a reference, refutes the idea of a C l irremotus.

                And looking at the map, what geographical barrier existed to prevent his Cl occidentalis from moving further south, where they low and behold, already existed in N Idaho and Montana.

                It’s a mute point. And as Ralph has pointed out about OR 7, and numerous other instances of wolves traveling great distances, wolves don’t stay put.

                How can you tell the difference between a Canadian wolf and a non Canadian wolf. And I know someone said this before, but does the “Canadian” wolf say eh after it howls?

            • WM says:

              I guess I have never really understood, or rather AGREED with the strength of the, “but these are CANADIAN wolves” argument.

              Most species tend to intermingle at the fringes of their ranges, where subtle genetic gradations or certain traits become less obvious than comparing a specimen from deep in the heart of one range and another that is islated deep within a range somewhere else. We have been talking about subspecies of cutthroat trout here in the last month quite a bit, in which the differences in some cases are subtle, and others not so much.

              There is a discussion of this gradation phenomenon in the Mexican Wolf status document done a couple years ago by FWS- really saying at the fringe of their range they wer historically alot like their cousins to the north as individuals of the recognized/unrecognized variants bred.

              We see it in humans too, even moreso now that we have had the ability and motivation to easily travel long distances in the last two hundred plus years.

              Sometimes it is easy to tell where some humans come from, subtle genetic differences pasty skin and upturned or long noses from the British Isles, darker skin/more elongated bodies the closer one gets to the Equater, high cheek bones/almond shaped eyes from the Eurasian Continent in the far East and the South, but more of those genetic classifications have gotten blurred as people have travelled or been subject to political conquest (recall the veritably sun never set on the ancient Roman or more recently the British Empire. Surely some of those migrants folk bred with the locals. Heck it happend in Viet Nam just two generations ago.).

              As Ralph says, not a far distance from the US border to Hinton BC to N. Central ID or Yellowstone country. And then we have those Canadian in-migrant wolves moving in to the NE corner of WA, without any human assistance, not respecting human political borders.

              My reaction is SO frickn’ WHAT, on the mostly subtle (only size seems to matter, and to some degree what wolves prefer to eat, but that seems to change over time too, of necessity).

              What happens when WGL DPS wolves make it west and connect with some dispersing NRM(Canadian Hinton, BC descendents or those naturally coming down from just across the border on the Continental Divide in the mountains of MT) wolves?

              The only folks who really care are the purist conservation biologists and the anti wolfers with yet one more hook to criticize the reintroduction to the NRM. I think there is strength to the argument that both have a political agenda as much as a biological one. And, I for one, think the arugment is ridiculous. Now, if someone wants to bring in wolves from Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia I might have a bigger problem accepting the genetic differences. Genetically, North American wolves, regardless of taxonomic classification/somewhat genetic variation are fine for my somewhat Bohemian leanings.

              Ralph is right, in my view.

              • WM says:

                “….recall, the sun veritably never set on the British Empire and earlier in time..the Roman Empire (Italians).”

              • Mark L says:

                Robert R,
                And speaking of Italians, the same concept seems to work between Homo species too, as some (human!) Italians have several Neanderthal genes…drawing a parallel with red wolves and coyotes in alelle distribution.

              • WM says:

                Geez, first paragraph….SUBspecies

              • Mark L says:

                Me too….allele! Must me a ‘typo virus’ on this site today.

            • Rancher Bob says:

              It’s interesting so many find the term Canadian Wolf so vile, is a Texas Longhorn from Texas originally. It’s a term people from this area are going to use when talking about wolves in this area. The breeding stock of the wolves living here came from Canada, a fact. Is a Canadian wolf the proper name, answer no. When we kill a collared wolf and the collar say’s it’s the property of some where in Canada it looks no different than any other wolf living here. You all can post all the science that it’s a grey wolf you want, in truth your right, but people in this area will call these wolves what ever we want to call them. Many of those names worse than Canadian wolf, so feel all superior that you know it’s a grey wolf, but it breeding came from Canada not here. Therefore it will always be a Canadian wolf or whatever we want to call the SOB’s.

              • Ken Cole says:

                Maybe it’s because the term “Canadian wolf” was coined by someone who intended to misinform and scare people. Something that appears to have worked with you.

              • SaveBears says:


                I might agree with you if wolves recognized invisible lines drawn on the maps, but they don’t and when it comes to wildlife, we really shouldn’t either. I am very close to Canada where I live and see wolves quite often, I don’t know if they were born here or Canada, but really it does not matter. Wolves have been running around this part of NW Montana, long before it was NW Montana.

              • JB says:


                The reason people find “Canadian wolf” so offensive is because it is almost always used in conjunction with the silly ‘these wolves are differ’nt than the ones that lived here’ argument (the adjective “Canadian” being used to point out that difference). When someone calls a wolf a ‘Canadian wolf’ you can’t tell if they’re ignorant of biology or purposefully trying to perpetuate a myth. In either case, it should be obvious why people find this offensive.

              • Mark L says:

                Rancher Bob says,

                “You all can post all the science that it’s a grey wolf you want, in truth your right, but people in this area will call these wolves what ever we want to call them. Many of those names worse than Canadian wolf, so feel all superior that you know it’s a grey wolf, but it breeding came from Canada not here. Therefore it will always be a Canadian wolf or whatever we want to call the SOB’s.”

                Works both ways Bob. There are PLENTY of derogatory names for people too…but use them in the wrong area or at the wrong time and somebody gets an ass whuppin’ (which is how it should be). Oddly enough, if more people used longhorns, the wolf vs. cattle issue would be alleviated somewhat by ‘better’ suited cattle. The problem isn’t the native predators, it’s the wusses for cattle that can’t defend themselves through breeding for money.

              • jon says:

                “Therefore it will always be a Canadian wolf or whatever we want to call the SOB’s.”

                Thank you for finally admitting that YOU HATE WOLVES.

              • jon says:

                99% of the time, I never agree with sb on anything, but he is right. It’s not so much the name, it’s the intent behind the name. People who don’t like these wolves want to pretend like they are a completely different wolf that used to live in Idaho and Montana. Most of these people who hate wolves never lived with the so called “native” wolves and by all accounts, these native wolves were also elk, deer, and livestock killers. I find it hard to believe why some would like one gray wolf and hate another. It makes no sense to me. I’ve came to the conclusion some time ago that it’s not about the subspecies and it never was. It’s about the animal and these people who hate the gray wolves that are there in Idaho and Montana now, hate all gray wolves no matter what subspecies they are or where they come from. I’ll tell you one thing rb, them “canadian” gray wolves were in North America long before you or your man introduced livestock.

              • Robert R says:

                I guess what it comes down to is don’t believe e everything in text, so you can’t believe what the average joe says or a scientist.
                Maybe this not to everyone’s liking but is what it is.

              • Immer Treue says:

                Well hell’s bells, Cl occidentalis must be up here in NE MN as I have observed a pack of 8 from black to white and everything in between, and black wolves on two other occasions.

                Black gene supposedly comes from dogs, and as Asian wolves don’t have the black color, it is specific to NA wolves. So, is it a product of continual breeding with dogs, which seems unlikely as wolves would just as soon kill dogs, or the more likely case that wolves move, at times over great distances? I’ll opt for the latter.

              • jon says:

                that article is very old robert r and outdated. I believe it was immer on here who said there are now 5 subspecies of canis lupus. Others on here can tell you that the number of subspecies has been brought down to 5 or so. As I understand it, the number of subspecies was brought down to 5 because wolf experts see very few differences between the subspecies of gray wolves.

              • Leslie says:

                Worth noting that lots of biologists, the lumpers, don’t even recognize subspecies in wolves. All these subspecies analysts are just a bunch of anal splitters who like to overthink these things. Here’s another read from 2012 FWS.

                Frankly, from doing more reading, there just isn’t enough DNA available to make these calls, being that we conveniently killed off most of the wolves in the lower 48.

      • zach says:

        The same thing we call white Christians…

  27. Leslie says:

    Uh oh…now what are these guys up to.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Oh Boy. Just the names say it all.

    • Louise Kane says:

      “The ESA is an invaluable tool that was passed to protect threatened and endangered species from special interests that would squander the species that need help to remain viable. The people of America support these ideals. This committee made up of people like Cynthia Lummis smacks of an ill- concealed attempt to abrogate its provisions and original intent. Please go back into your holes and leave our wildlife alone. And please re- list wolves. The states are committing atrocities against these magnificent animals. Lummis et al you are fooling no one”

  28. jon says:

    What other predator is kept at low levels? How many bears and cougars are in Wyoming? I suspect many hundreds if not thousands and yet wolves have to be kept low. The chances of wolves being put back on the endangered species list in WY are fairly good. Given the fact that WY want to keep the wolf population very low and they treat wolves as vermin in just about all of the state, it’s fair to say that it’s looking pretty good for WY wolves to be returned to the endangered species list.

  29. CodyCoyote says:

    here is an interesting journalistic thesis from Olga Khazan at The Atlantic. Satellite data set against historic data are pretty definitive about coal burning causing the lion’s share of the devastating drought in West Africa in the 60’s and 70’s which saw hundreds of thousand of people lose their lives and the landscape decimated.

    Even if it’s only partially true or just contributory , it’s implications should not be ignored. Please note the culprit identified is not CO2 and global warming, but the sooty aerosols produced by coal stacks COOLING the atmosphere and shifting the rain patterns further south.

    • Immer Treue says:

      And another black bear attack in MN, just a few days ago.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Interesting and very sad that the random unusual bear or predator attacks are emphasized as significant events when humans impose mayhem on wildlife every day.

        I wonder what predators might write if they used written language.

        Amber alert warning…

        Once again, a red alert is issued in all western states for bears, cougars, wolves, coyotes, foxes and wolverines.

        Please use extreme caution when traveling, feeding, or drinking at streams. Men that appear to be suffering from some form of insanity, and that are dressed in orange have been observed attacking and killing entire families of wolves, coyotes, bears, and other predators that they encounter.

        Please take all precautions to protect your young. Instruct pups and cubs to stay away from all humans, to watch for wires, protruding devices in the soil, and to stay away from any food left in plain sight. It is also not safe to use known watering holes or to travel by day.

        Terrorist attacks are not isolated to adults. Pups and cubs are routinely and savagely attacked, as are innocent bystanders and the elderly. In some instances the elderly are attacked and then are skinned and their bodies left to decay in sight of their families.

        In recent days, more than 20 neighborhood bear cubs were chased by shrieking men and packs of vicious dogs. At least five cubs were torn to shreds, while the humans laughed. This morning a mother wolf was executed while her family watched from the forest. The pups are orphaned now as their father was murdered in a prior human encounter. The aging aunts and uncles are now trying to hide the pups from the murderers.

        Experts are attempting to understand the rise in violence. Some believe that humans are suffering from a rare form of rabies. Other theories are that the attacks stem from border disputes and that humans intend to drive all predators from the territories they now claim.

        Members of the society for human and predator coexistence are attempting to negotiate a truce at borders where disputes arise but it appears that humans are unwilling to negotiate and intend on executing all wolves and coyotes. It is expected that some bears and cougars will be allowed to live in specified areas but they will not be protected from the yearly random attacks by the men in orange, until a cure can be found for the killing disease.

        To date more than several thousand bears, wolves, cougar, fox and coyotes have been killed in the first few months of the disputes in Idaho and Montana alone. In Utah more than four thousand coyotes were executed in a three day terrorist attack by men also dressed in orange and appearing to suffer from an extremely dangerous form of the insanity disease. Entire communities were massacred with prizes being given among the humans for who killed the most, the smallest and largest of the coyotes.

        Experts are hoping a vaccine may be developed to treat the infected humans in orange soon and that this may allow the border issues to be negotiated separately.

        Please use extreme caution when conducting any daily living activities, make preparations for your pups or cubs in the event your family is affected, and stay hidden until further notice.

    • Nancy says:

      Hey Jeff E – a few minutes on the internet, with the right people and oh my!

      (Hopefully it won’t be as painful (or as expensive) as “reintroducing” an important predator like the wolf, back on the landscape 🙂

      “Yes, you’re right. The decline of whitebark pine is a huge issue across the western United States. High elevation whitebark pine forests are declining extensively due to disease and insect infestations. One way to stem the loss of these important forests is to plant blister rust resistant whitebark pine seedlings. We, the National Forest Foundation, are doing this currently on Washington’s Okanagan Wenatchee National Forest. In a couple years, we will be expanding our work in the arena by planting whitebark pine trees on the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Thanks for your inquiry on this important issue!
      If you’d like to contribute towards those efforts, feel free to reach back out to me

      • Leslie says:

        Glad to hear that they are finally doing that. This research for resistant trees has been going on intensely for a long time.

        In terms of the bears though, it takes about 50 years before white bark trees cone.

        Despite the judicial mandated whitebark study before delisting, seems like the USFW and states are hell-bent on delisting. It will be interesting to see what their ‘fly-over’ studies come up with. In my area you can walk it and see 90% of the mature whitebarks are dead. In my hiking through the Winds, in the last 2 years the count went from about 20% to 45% dead. I’ll be there again this summer and wonder if that death is accelerating.

      • Ralph Maughan says:


        This is tremendously important. Thank you for your good work.

  30. Immer Treue says:

    Yellowstone Unravelling:  The Ecosystem is in Grave Peril and the Most Damage is Caused by Elk

    September 1996 tome to which anti- wolf favorite Charles Kay contributes.  Pay particular attention to the Northern Yellowstone herd.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Allow me to indulge myself in response to my own thread. It does tie in a bit with Cody Coyotes thread about Middleton and elk numbers.

      From the above 1996 article:…”National Park Policy has allowed elk numbers to increase from 3100 in1968 to some 20,000 today on the northern range – ‘what they’re changing this into is a lawn. There’s more to an ecosystem than grass,’ says Charles Kay…”

      And the kicker

      “Tourists like abundant viewing opportunities for wildlife in the park (Yellowstone). To which Kay bluntly replies:”if you want lots of elk and bison to make the tourists happy,its not a nature park, it’s a theme park-it’s entertainment. So you might as well let Disney run it.”

      Pause for deep breath. This is a guy who the anti wolf folks like to quote. How many times have you heard/ saw pro wolf folks accused of Disneyfying nature? Well, the drama queen Rockholm keeps pushing his “Yellowstone is Dead” tripe because so
      Many of the elk are now gone. Who is guilty of Disneyfying Yellowstone? According to Dr. Charles Kay, it would appear that Mr. Rockholm has some Disneyfied egg on his face.

      More interesting stuff to come.

  31. CodyCoyote says:

    A couple of notations from the upcoming annual meeting of the Western Governors Association in Park City Utah , on June 28-30, open to the Governors of 19 western US States and guested by the westernmost Canadian provinces.

    • Idaho Governor Butch Otter is the chairman of the roundtable on Endangered Species Act ( I suppose because among the Yankee Guvs and Canuck Premiers, his last name most resembles an animal )

    • Attendees will be treated to a special pre-screening of the new Walt Disney movie starring Johnny Depp, ” The Lone Ranger “. That soireé will likely be the most productive at the 3-day confab.

    • WM says:

      ++Idaho Governor Butch Otter is the chairman of the roundtable on Endangered Species Act ( I suppose because among the Yankee Guvs and Canuck Premiers, his last name most resembles an animal )++

      Or it could be that Butch is just the latest in the spotlight now over wolves (since Gov. Mead seems to have other plans for the Conference).;) And, WA and OR have already had their turns as experienced ESA moderators with spotted owl, fisher and marbled murellet protections that basically killed their logging industries and brought persistent poverty to some of their coastal timber communities. But, how about “blue Jay” for a backup moderator nomination?

      Water transfers to ameliorate the persistent drought is also a hot topic.

      Gotta remember, Governors and their respective political parties have lots to think about regarding their local economies. Jobs or lack of jobs is high on the list of things that get them re-elected or kicked out, just like Presidents (who in this instance speaks through a new Secretary of Interior and FWS agency director).

      • JB says:

        “Water transfers to ameliorate the persistent drought is also a hot topic.”

        One benefit of the Rs and TPs constant efforts to limit the power of the federal government– those of us in the Great Lakes states will be able to tell westerners where they can go when they come looking for our water. 😉

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Ha! 🙂

        • WM says:

          Unphased by gravity, water in the West historically flowed toward money. While the days of the big federal water projects are likely long gone, there is no particular reason to believe this rule of econophysics is altered in the 21st Century. Water still flows toward money, aided by political will. Watch them closely, those Westerners will steal your water – they steal amongst themselves if they think they can get away with it, and they are constantly trying.

          Remember continental weather flows generally from west to east. If Western states can figure a way to seed clouds or alter weather patterns economically and without adverse environmental effects before those clouds leave the West, Ohio could become a desert. Just sayin’. 😉

          • Immer Treue says:


            “Remember continental weather flows generally from west to east. If Western states can figure a way to seed clouds or alter weather patterns economically and without adverse environmental effects before those clouds leave the West, Ohio could become a desert.”

            Only problem with this logic is the rainshadow effect of the Rocky Mountains. Very little moisture in the atmosphere until Gulf moisture works it’s way in farther east.

            • WM says:


              You are right. I was just teasing JB.

              The important part to remember is that water in the West is a precious commodity (ever see the Jack Nicholson movie Chinatown?).

              When I was in grad school at what is now the Warner NR School at Colorado State Univeristy, I wrote a paper in a watershed/hydrology class that looked at the use of long chain alcohols to suppress surface evaporation from reservoirs, and another on a proposed massive removal of tamarisk (also called saltcedar), a highly water consumptive and drought resistant non-native invasive species riparian tree of the Southwest, to increase water retention for beneficial use. This was about the time they started looking at and first using silver iodide crystals for cloud seeding to increase rain and snowpack in the Rockies, before those even marginally moist clouds headed for the Great Plains to merge with the stuff moving north from the Gulf.

              • Immer Treue says:


                I figured you knew as much. Sometimes we just like to hear ourselves. Interesting thing going on in Illinois and Wisconsin in regard to Lake Michigan water, towns on other side of watershed to L Michigan have wells drying up and have found some pretty nasty stuff in their water, Wisconsin in particular. Last I heard the states were pretty steadfast in NOT allowing Lake Michigan water to be piped into those areas. Something to be said co the importance of H2O, eh?

            • sleepy says:

              @immer treue

              Slightly OT–You live in northeastern Minnesota, correct?

              I was up in the boundary waters area this past weekend and saw what I am assuming to be 2 wolves crossing the Grade between the Sawbill Trail and the Caribou Trail near Lichen Lake. They looked too large to be coyotes. Question–are there coyotes in the area, or did I see 2 wolves? I am guessing that wolves keep the coyotes out for the most part.

              • Immer Treue says:


                There are coyotes up here. I’ve seen them and have pictures of them on the game camera. Every once in a while, I’ve seen coyotes passing through Ely.

              • sleepy says:

                @Immer Treue


                I’ve never seen a wolf in the wild before–seen plenty of coyotes and these were larger–so I’ll just stick to my optimistically biased guesstimate that what I saw were two wolves.

              • Immer Treue says:


                Go with your gut. Did you stay dry? Too bad the telemetry data has been taken down by the IWC (because of hunting/trapping). There was a time you. Oils have seen if there was wolf pack activity in a given area.

                Regardless. If wolves, with the way vegetation. Ecomes so thick up here, it was a good observation on your part.

          • JB says:

            “…Ohio could become a desert.”

            Ha! You’ve vastly underestimated the importance of breadbasket farmers (and the people who protect their interests). The Great Lakes states (i.e., PA, NY, OH, IN, IL, MI, WI, MN) contain a very significant portion of the US’s population, and the majority of our agricultural lands. So you’re not only facing states’ rights, but an extremely powerful voting block (not to mention Canadian interests, eh). 😉

            • sleepy says:

              @Immer Treue

              Arrived Friday and left Sunday. Beautiful warm sunny weather until we hit Two Harbors on our way back. Then it poured the next 300 miles to Iowa.

              The wolves I saw were crossing the road, so vegetation wasn’t an issue. It was near to the same area a large moose crossed in front of us last year. Must be my lucky spot!

              Funny when and where you see wildlife. I spent a few weeks in Newfoundland last year which as a large black bear population. Saw plenty of caribou and moose, but no bears until we were nearly home in northern Iowa. Then out of the blue, a black bear ran out of the cornfields across the highway, 10 minutes from my house in an area and a state where bears are virtually unknown.

              BTW–there has been some confirmed evidence of an occasional wolf in northeastern Iowa. Makes sense since there is at least one confirmed wolfpack in Wisconsin about 50 miles northeast of the state line.

  32. CodyCoyote says:

    Arthur Middleton , PhD, has released another paper derived from the 5-year Absaroka Elk Ecology Study done in northwest Wyoming and funded mainly by hunting organizations. He was principal researcher . This paper , published this week in the ” Ecology” journal, is called ” “Linking anti-predator behaviour to prey demography reveals limited risk effects of an actively hunting large carnivore”. It concludes that wolves have only a minor impact on elk herd reproductivity. The declines are more due to grizzlies eating new calves, coupled with habitat factors galore.

    Read more:

    Please note the paragraph quote from Tom Toman, the science and planning director for the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, who provided the bulk of the funding for Middleton’s study . Toman sounds almost conciliatory about the findings, which is at odds with the negatory rhetoric about wolves that has been spewing from RMEF in the past couple years.

    Guess the hunting clubs will have to shop around elsewhere for their science.

    • Leslie says:

      Cody, these are results from his dissertation and I’m glad that he is writing it up for publication. I was wondering why after all this time since his dissertation defense, suddenly he’s all over the news. Listen to a 6 minute interview on WPR

      • CodyCoyote says:

        Leslie- it’s in the news because it’s just now in appearing the scientific journals after peer review. Some of those journals are quarterly if not single annual publications. And journalists are a lazy lot or always up against deadline…they need someone else’s words out there first to ” borrow” from wholesale.

    • SAP says:

      Hear that sound? Heads exploding on both ends of the wolf spectrum:

      ‘If wolves’ presence doesn’t shift elk to new territory or prevent them from getting pregnant, then they also may not be the cause of the increase in willows and aspen in the Yellowstone area, as previously believed, he said.

      “Even if wolves play a role it’s likely considerably smaller than we thought,” Middleton said.’

      Side note: I knew Tom Toman back in the early 90s when he was still with WY G&F. He was an honorable and ethical public employee. I’ve been curious how he’s getting along at RMEF under Dr. NASCAR.

    • Rancher Bob says:

      This study may have let the wolf slip off the hook some but how about those who want to hunt grizzlies. Looks like ammo for large caliber hunting.

      I thought those sounds were thunder on a sunny day.

    • Louise Kane says:

      hopefully they won’t be targeting grizzlies with the same vengeance as wolves. I imagine its too much to hope for some enlightened response by those harboring such hate for wolves.

  33. JEFF E says:

    Now, if I was a little sycophant that lived in Maine or any of his disciples, I would blame wolves for this, because as we all know, dogs descended from wolves, so wolves have to be the vector for this.

  34. Immer Treue says:

    Possible retribution for parvo? 🙂

    Canineparvovirus(CPV)emergedas an apparentlynew virusduringthemid-1970s.The originofCPV is unknown,buta variationfromfelinepanleukopeniavirus(FPV)or anothercloselyrelatedparvovirusis suspected

  35. Ida Lupine says:

    We have way too many domesticated animals, including our pets. I have always suspected that there is more risk to wildlife from us and our pets than vice versa.

  36. jon says:

    Good for California for protecting both wildlife and humans. Other states should follow suit.

    • ZeeWolf says:

      This should be done nationwide, IMHO.

    • Mike says:


      Death by lead poisoning is probably the worst death one could conceive.

      The horrific toll taken on raptors and mammals needs to end.

  37. jdubya says:
    “A scathing decision by an administrative law judge has concluded the Bureau of Land Management underreports impacts of grazing leases on Rich County’s 25,000-acre Duck Creek allotment.

    If the ruling’s reasoning is applied broadly, it could change the way BLM manages grazing on its holdings across the arid West, according to Jim Catlin of Wild Utah Project.”

    Way to go Jim!

  38. Mark L says:

    Snakes may be getting a White Nose Syndrome equivalent:

    • Ida Lupine says:

      In Vermont, researchers found that the timber rattlesnake population had relatively low genetic diversity, not surprising given its isolation. “Low genetic diversity and a fungal disease is a combination I find very disconcerting,” says Doug Blodgett, a wildlife biologist for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife.

      Low genetic diversity because they have been driven to near extinction for the same irrational human-only perceptions of reality as the wolf, despoiled the garden of Eden, etc.

  39. Mark L says:

    Yep, lower a population’s genetic diversity along with it’s distribution area and diseases increase damage on remaining population.

  40. timz says:

    This says a lot.
    “Strader said his supervisor, who had accompanied him that day, watched and laughed as the agency’s dogs circled the coyotes and ripped into them. ”

    IMHO they are “stonewalling” because supervisors and managers are involved in this stuff.

    • Louise Kane says:

      can you imagine the kind of people that would laugh about this, and that they might be in a supervisory position. This agency has got to go. with a federal budget in crisis, funding this agency is criminal, as are their actions against wildlife.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Ha. Well, I imagine there will be those who will laugh when a grizzly rips his arm out of its socket one day. I remember reading an account of that happening to a hiker and I’ve been terrified ever since! 🙂

  41. jon says:

    More hunters advocating the illegal killing of wolves.

  42. Immer Treue says:

    60 days and Ted Nugent still alive and not in jail!

    • Jeff N. says:

      Oops. Wrong link. Let’s try again.

      Pretty interesting motorcycle ride….

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Officials had to issue a wildlife alert last year when pictures of a wolf being fed rice cakes surfaced.

        We really do not have the intellectual capacity to have a voice in managing our wildlife.

      • WM says:

        How about a replay, to make contribution to “best available science.”

        Experiment: This time with a mountain bicycle. First one in daytime. Then one at dusk or near dark. Empirical equipment list: 2 bicycles, 2 cameras and 2 riders. Note to self: Do not tell riders of motorcycle experiment.

        How’s that for an experiment design. And the hypothesis would be????

        • Ida Lupine says:

          The third wolf attack in the history of the United States.

          • Harley says:

            Haven’t there been more than 2 or 3 attacks in the U.S.?

          • Immer Treue says:

            Not an attack and not in US.

            • Harley says:

              Do you define attack as in killed, injured, what is the criteria?


              • Ida Lupine says:

                I would define it as something totally unprovoked, where the person or people did not contribute in any way. Leaving 6 year old children unattended, feeding wild animals, getting too close, going into dangerous areas, not taking the proper precautions would we contributing.

                Many of these examples are people feeding wild wolves or being too close. Utterly ridiculous. I certainly would not describe an ‘attack’ as this example below, but poor judgement on the part of the photographers. We’re supposed to be the smart ones. The author also states that the accounts may or may not be the truth, and the first sentence states that wolf-human encounters are rare.

                But it seems like a propaganda piece to put the seeds of doubt in people’s minds. To think that a wild predator isn’t going to show aggression when someone gets too close is ridiculous. All animals do when threatened.

              • Immer Treue says:


                Some interesting scenarios/encounters. Some recent ones not mentioned, in particular elk and deer hunters, looking like trees, sounding/smelling like what they are hunting, and being approached/investigated by wolves.

              • Immer Treue says:


                Not to oversimplify, but the wolf is a large capable carnivore. Any type of habituation to people should be avoided. Will the same wolf behave identically in identical situations? More than obvious that some of wolves in reports behaved differently from other wolves(in same reports). Natural curiosity of wolves could escalate into incident.

                As an aside, my shepherds have for most part been mellow dogs who were naturally good with most other dogs that did not demonstrate aggressive tendencies. However my prior shepherd had a flashpoint aggression toward an aquaintences shepherd. It took a while to find out why. Watched as friend walked by with her dog, and he peed(posted) on stop sign at corner of lot. First thing my dog would do when he went outside was go directly to that stop sign and cover. As dogs, wolves will behave differently in different circumstances.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Immer said:

                Any type of habituation to people should be avoided.

                Yes, this is my feeling also. Even the more seemingly benigh contact like wildlife watching, for the continued existence of wolves, may have to be discontinued. And certainly feed them is the wrong thing to do.

                I read one comment in that article, where a 16-year old girl was too close to a wolf, and was injured or nipped at and park scientists attributed it to ‘disiplinary’ or ‘annoyance’ behavior. Almost as if she were another wolf. Wolves have a different way of communicating I would guess, even our pets nip and bite to communicate with each other. We can’t expect them not to act like wolves.

                Hunters disguising themselves, attracting wolves to them with scent, and then complaining about ‘attacks’ really stretches the limit, IMO.

              • Immer Treue says:


                “Hunters disguising themselves, attracting wolves to them with scent, and then complaining about ‘attacks’ really stretches the limit, IMO.”

                I believe ma’iingan has attested to this occurring in Wisconsin, and of course we had the wolf shooting granny last year.

            • Immer Treue says:

              For the weak minded or those who need an explanation…

              “Not an attack and not in US.”

              Comment was in reply to Ida and motorcycle incident in Banff. It’s not in the US. Was it an attack? No.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                I was being sarcastic. Giving an exaggerated example of how the incident might be spun into an attack by those who would be so inclined. Sorry!

              • Immer Treue says:


                Sarcasm noted. My recent reply was not to you, but my varjostaa.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              and of course we had the wolf shooting granny last year.

              lol 🙂 What a visual, from little Red Riding Hood.

        • Jeff N. says:

          Regarding experiment and equipment list. I would add third participant and allow him to have a package of rice cakes handy.

  43. Jeff N. says:

    Since the incident happened in Canada, I’m surprised this Canadian gray wolf, with all it’s ferocity and superpowers, wasn’t able to catch the motorcyclist. They can reach and sustain a speed of 167 mph, and that’s damn fast for a 250 lb. wolf.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Yes, or leap on to the back of the bike to devour him. 🙂 But who knew the big bad wolf likes rice cakes? Must be his cholesterol.

    • Immer Treue says:

      One of my wolf encounters was on a road bike. Just completed a tough 50+ mile ride at the end of the Fernberg at Lake One (one of main entries into the BWCA and I turned. A k down the road to easy pedal 4-5 miles. I could see a black shape on the right shoulder that appeared to be all legs. When I about twenty yards away I gave it a couple tongue clucks. It looked back at me with those big gold eyes with a bit of “embarrassment” and proceeded to take off into the woods. A spectacular and beautiful animal.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Now that sounds like quite an encounter. I would love to experience that someday.

        I was sorry to read about what you wrote about MI citizens not realizing what a wolf hunt would mean. Now they can’t stop it. That’s what the citizens of the US would like to avoid.

        Wolf recovery is not a success story yet because it isn’t finished, and now it could be a tragedy. If they hadn’t started hunting immediately, I think most people could have accepted the delisting.

      • WM says:


        If that had been a big cat, like we have so many of in the Northwest, you could have just as easily been dinner, or more readily mistaken for it. We have had a couple such cougar attacks up here on single track bikers.

        • Immer Treue says:


          Did a bit of single track on Mt Bike on a few trips to Colorado. When camping in the Flat Tops, one always had to use caution. The eerie thing was if nature called in the wee hours. Could be a compromising position, which would favor the cat. Always had a dog with me though. Those ears and nose pick up most anything, and a big shepherd in itself might Make a cat think twice.

  44. Louise Kane says:

    Immer and other living in MN…Howling for Wolves fundraiser

  45. Louise Kane says:

    “Recolonizing wolves trigger a trophic cascade in Wisconsin (USA)” by Callan et al. Read the commentary below written by Journal of Ecology Associate Editor Charles Canham.

    “It would be hard to imagine that this study could have been done without access to the long-term data on wolf pack distribution collected by state officials. Ecologists are becoming more and more adept at the use of routine data collected by resource managers, whether for inventory purposes or as measures of regulatory compliance. The questions addressed by Callan and her co-authors are not novel in and of themselves – ecologists have long known that current densities of white-tailed deer are high compared to levels prior to European settlement, and exclosure studies routinely show that deer have strong impacts on abundance and diversity of understory species. But prior to this study there has been only very limited empirical evidence that the presence of predators could alter that dynamic.”

    • Immer Treue says:

      Add to this the enormous agricultural damage ($$$) caused by deer in Wisconsin.

  46. Louise Kane says:

    Salle where are you?
    I remember some time ago, you were looking for the footage of the hunting opsreys. I think I might have posted something in that exchange but I came across this link in another discussion. There are 3 clips of hunting ospreys. The clips are just amazing.

  47. Louise Kane says:

    Jim Robertson posted the information on how to provide a comment on the wolf delisting debacle

  48. Louise Kane says:

    abstract on new paper about wildlife services

  49. jon says:–Federal-Lands-Wyoming

    People need to continue to support western watersheds. They are the good guys.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      The focus of the funding is to expand FWP’s wolf collaring program in areas where the impact on elk, deer and other ungulates is particularly severe. More collars will provide information on wolf territory, home range and the number of wolves in a pack.

      More collaring of wolves. To validate their own preconceived ideas about elk. Yes, we will continue to badmouth them.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Unless they are saying these newly collared wolves will be protected from being hunted with RMEF’s blessing? lol

      • Robert R says:

        Ida are not all studies wolves good in your opinion.
        Is this not calling the kettle black. After all have biologist/scientist not studied the same thing in Yellowstone who is killing what and who is doing the killing of ungulates. I do believe there are as many or more collared wolves outside of the national parks that FWP monitors.

      • jon says:

        Why collar wolves if FWP is going to let hunters and trappers kill them?

        • jon says:

          RMEF has become anti-wolf in recent years. RMEF would like nothing more than for the wild to be one big giant elk farm with no wolves, bears, or cougars in it.

          • Robert R says:

            Jon say what you want. The land purchases RMEF has made has helped wildlife because the land cannot be sold for subdivisions or worse. No I do not belong to RMEF. I’m trying to look at the positive side here because it does not just pertain to ungulates but also preserving habitat.

            • Louise Kane says:

              preserving big game hunting reserves with no predators…..

              • Robert R says:

                Louise this is where you just don’t understand. You are right about one thing, they are preserving what you keep arguing about, lost habitat.

              • Louise Kane says:

                Robert R I understand completely you appear to be in denial about how these conservation lands are used…(abused)

              • Robert R says:

                Louise do call putting water tanks, removing fences and making feces animal friendly and getting rid of noxious weeds and restricting motorized travel (abuse)
                Every organization has good and bad sides on their actions.
                Why do you always think negative about anyone who don’t fit in your line of thinking. You know I try listening to both sides, pro and con because both sides has good ideas and if they could just work together it could be a positive thing but that never happen.

              • Robert R says:


              • Immer Treue says:

                Feces friendly? I know you corrected it Robert, but all too often my dog thinks deer droppings are very friendly feces.

              • Robert R says:

                Immer you have to love dogs!

              • JEFF E says:

                One of my schipperkes thinks “his own” is very friendly!!

          • Cody Coyote says:

            When RMEF gives money or gives land, keep in mind it always comes with strings attached. Nothing new there. Except in RMEF’s case they use their beneficence and clout to have things both ways…” Yes, we are all for wildlife conservation and habitat improvement…except for wolves ” Yada yada

            What the field of wildlife conservation really needs— both public and private / nonprofit segments—is a total overhaul and rewrite of the North American Wildlife conservation model to include ecosystem wide science management and restoration of predators as an essential component of any sustainable native wildlife or huntable big game habitat area. For starters.

            The North American Model developed by the Teddy Roosevelt clique was ignorant of predation and not exactly a thesis on zoological sciences. What it was instead was game farming disguised as a reconstruction / reformation policy program. Of hunters, for hunters, by hunters. Woefully short of comprehensive.

            RMEF is a contemporary example of that obsolete late 19th century-early 20th century mindset.

            By the way , the last I heard, less than 6 percent of the American populace hunts these days.

            • Ralph Maughan says:

              I certainly agree, Cody Coyote. See my comments further down.

              • Robert R says:

                Ok yadayada!
                Who besides a billionaire is going to put the money out to but land and keep it from subdivisions etc. weather RMEF is liked or not for their policies.

            • Louise Kane says:

              exactly cody! new paradigm needed

            • save bears says:

              6%(still not clear) but yet those hunters still contribute the majority of the funds.

            • savebears says:

              and yet, they still provide the majority of the money for mst progrms

        • CodyCoyote says:

          Answer: they need the radio collars to find the wolf at all.

          Take away the beacon , the bait, and the binoculars , and the Great White Hunter reverts to his rightful place on the food chain…8th down from the top

          • Leslie says:

            RMEF might keep funding until they get a study with the answers they want.

            • Robert R says:

              Leslie is this not true with any organization with an agenda that suits their needs to satisfy what they believe is right.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Couple of what ifs.

      What if this further supports studies such as Middleton’s. Will it provide incentive for Montana to back off a bit on its wolf hunting?

      What if this shows wolves are indeed impacting elk, will the collared wolves serve as Judas wolves?

  50. aves says:

    The latest blunder in Mexican wolf recovery, almost releasing a pair within the territory of another pack:,0,917541.story

    • Jeff N. says:


      That story leaves out a few important pieces of info.

      1st – the pair of wolves that were in the pen “Coronado Pair” were unsuccessful in raising their pups. The female initially did give birth to pups but they did no survive.

      2nd – the “Rim Pack” (the “pack” that visited the wolves in the enclosure) really wasn’t a pack, it was a pair. The old alpha female had been captured recently because she hadn’t produced pups in the past few years. As mentioned, she was captured due to her old age/lack of pup production and also because of the importance of her genetics. I believe the recovery team plans on harvesting her eggs because of her genetic make up.

      Her capture supposedly left the male by himself and theoretically opened up the territory. However, he showed up at the pen with a new mate, and they displayed aggressive behavior towards the “Coronado” pair in the enclosure.

      Based on the the weekly flight tracking information, this new “Rim” female may be denning and if the new “Coronado” pair had been released, the aggressive “Rim” pair would have most likely blown them out of the area, probably resulting in their separation.

      I believe the recovery team may have plans for a release of the “Coronado” sometime down the road.

      And yes, you are correct. The recovery effort for the Lobo has produced many blunders, but I think this decision is sound, based the circumstances.

      Releasing captive pairs requires a lot of babysitting, and releasing them in a territory that, again, is occupied is not a smart move.

  51. aves says:

    Grassland birds are declining faster than any other group of North American birds primarily due to habitat loss. Good, or potentially good, habitat remains on private farmland. One way to help these birds is to have farmers delay their harvest until after nesting season is over. This costs farmers money so conservationists need to pay farmers to help the birds.,0,4866890.story

  52. Louise Kane says:

    Park Service Burns Buffalo National River Wilderness: We’ve reported recently on how the Forest Service (FS) has been proposing extensive manipulation of wilderness around the country via prescribed fire and fuels reduction. The Park Service recently got in on the act with a 10,000-acre prescribed burn in the Buffalo National River Wilderness in Arkansas. According to a Newton County Times article, “The burn accomplished the reduction of hazardous fuel loads, promoted the restoration of post oak savannas and cedar glade areas, improved conditions for stands of native grasses and improved that habitat for all animals.” However, the ecological consequences will likely be far different from those caused by natural lightning fires. Even if manager-ignited fire may bring some perceived ecological or species-specific benefits, human-ignited fire in Wilderness is a significant manipulation of the area, which should be allowed to evolve on its own accord, as set forth under the Wilderness Act.

    • Read the article by clicking here.

  53. Louise Kane says:

    The Sportsman Heritage Act rammed down our throats again
    second paragraph

    Congressman Benishek, Homeland Security Again Take Aim at Wilderness Act: The Senate Judiciary Committee has finished marking up the new immigration reform bill, S. 744, and sent the bill to the floor of the U.S. Senate. Officially called the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act,” the bill contains extensive problematic provisions and more than $1 billion to build more border walls and increase border security measures along the U.S. border with Mexico, some of which will occur in Wilderness along the border with Mexico. The bill also expands the authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any laws that he or she so chooses. Senator Leahy added an amendment limiting Homeland Security’s ability to build fences along the Northern border. Wilderness Watch is urging Senators to remove the Secretary of Homeland Security’s authority to waive laws, like the Wilderness Act, to build fences, barriers, towers, roads, and other infrastructure along the borders.

    In the House, Rep. Daniel Benishek (R-MI) has reintroduced a new version of his disastrous 2012 Sportsmen’s Heritage Act. This bill passed the full House of Representatives last year, and would have eviscerated the 1964 Wilderness Act and protections for every Wilderness in the nation. This year’s version, H.R. 1825, called the “Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act,” has slightly narrowed its damage from last year, but would still gut protections for the entire National Wilderness Preservation System and every Wilderness in the U.S. The House Natural Resources Committee passed this bill on June 12 by a 28-15 vote.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      The bill also expands the authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive any laws that he or she so chooses.

      Waiving laws at a leader’s discretion is starting to become a trend. Bye-bye, Democracy!

    • jon says:

      This bill must be killed. “sportsmen heritage”, gimme a break.

  54. Louise Kane says:

    the link to the bills
    as if there are not enough places to kill and harass wildlife. I’m so tired of the BS of promoting killing as a cultural heritage/right.

    stay tuned for more ad to fight this indecent proposed bill

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      The Republican base hates Latinos so much I think this will die. Some Republicans who thought they would vote for the bill if it had enough hideous provisions are now having second thoughts because they fear they will lose their party’s primary election.

      At least that is what a lot of news commentary is saying today.

      • Louise Kane says:

        I hope you are right Ralph
        I was surprised a new version had been introduced, I watch carefully and had also not heard much from the NGO’s
        I fear one day it will just slip in unnoticed while other fires are being stomped out

      • jon says:

        I follow politics Ralph as I believe you do as well. If the GOP doesn’t pass immigrant reform, they are done. They will never win the white house again. The demographics of this country are changing and will continue to change as years go by. The republicans base mainly consists of older white people. The republicans in my opinion seem to be very bigoted and hostile towards immigrants and minorities.

        • SaveBears says:

          “They will never win the White House again” Quite a bold statement Jon, and completely speculation based on what you believe. I suspect we have a good chance of having a Republican President again in the 2016 Election.

          By the way, if they are here illegally or undocumented, then they are not immigrants, they are criminals.

          • Louise Kane says:

            until Citizen’s United is repealed the highest bidder wins
            remember the days of election reform
            that was the right track
            we are so far off
            I’d love to see all election contributions whether from individuals or corps capped at some amount that is equal for all parties. Then it would be a fair race. If you knew how much you had to spend you actually have to use strategic planning and get back to promoting concepts and ideals instead of smear campaigns. Perhaps then politicans could concentrate on work instead of a never ending stream of fundraising. For example, All presidential campaigns are allowed 20 million for advertising, travel, staff etc. Then each party does what it sees fit to earn the money and spend it wisely. it doesn’t matter where the money comes from but thats all they can take in. They would be forced to create a budget and stick with it and the big corporations would have much less clout

          • WM says:

            It would be pure speculation on which party controls the White House in 2016. The R’s will likely still have the House and maybe by a larger margin, and who knows what will happen to the Senate.

            But, it seems almost a certainty the uber-rich will be richer and more politicaly powerful with large corporations taking even more seats up front on setting the course of this nation, while concentrating even more power in the few; the middle class will be smaller, baby boomers a whole bunch grayer and demanding more of failed health care system, and the country will be more brown (some the offspring of illegals) with a larger and more marginal under-class demanding even more from the middle class in the way of taxes (which the uber-rich will sidestep). And, China will own more American businesses and have greater investment here, and as a result seeking more political clout. See sentence first sentence of this paragraph.

            • WM says:

              …and Congressional types will be whores to Wall St., regardless of which major party they shill for (products of a dysfunctional, heavily entrenched and virtually unseatable two-party system).

            • Mareks Vilkins says:


              your second paragraph 90% consists of one sentence – nice style 😉

              • WM says:

                Indeed, Mareks. Pretty sloppy form. But then do disagree with the post content, as viewed from a Latvian perspective?

            • Mareks Vilkins says:

              if you mean my take on US tectonic shifts (economics,politics, demography since 1970s) – then yes

              but from Latvia’s perspective it’s not the worst ‘alternative’ – when 1/5 of labor has emigrated to UK,Ireland,Scandinavia,Germany or Netherlands in the last 10 years … so one could say that there’s less of pressure on environment

              • Mareks Vilkins says:

                I mean, how people in Latvia are forced to respond under similar / or worse financial pressures from the same policies

  55. aves says:

    Why Colorado’s fires, even with global warming, need not be the “new normal”:

  56. Ida Lupine says:

    We’ve grown our vulnerability at a pace far exceeding whatever forces climate change is exerting on the same scenarios.

    My feelings exactly. Good article.

  57. Louise Kane says:

    I hijacked some space instead of putting a link in. I think this is one of the most easily digestible and sadly accurate depictions of wolf policy I’ve read.

    National Geographic contributor/writer

    The federal government’s proposed delisting of the wild wolf is an environmental regression, not only for the wolves, but also for next generations–who in the future may only see a CGI wolf in films, not loping wild through our forests. News of the federal abandonment of wolf protection is a haunting reminder of the devastating war against the wolves waged in earlier centuries. Before federal protection, wolves were hunted to extinction: by airplanes in Alaska, poisoned, trapped, and shot on sight throughout the West. As a New York Times op-ed asks, “Have we brought back wolves for the sole purpose of hunting them down?” Here’s a reminder of the unsustainable, anti-wolf culture that we’ll revert to, if we allow this proposed delisting to stand.

    In 1993, I was in the Far North, reporting on the Alaska Wolf Summit and the aerial shooting of radio-collared wolves. One of the wildlife managers advised me, “Take off your press badge.” Another advised, “Come see how we really manage endangered species up here–in the what’s left of the Wild West.”

    In a Last Frontier hotel bar adorned with deer and elk trophies, I silently observed a small but very powerful group of Alaska’s Board of Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials swaping hunting stories and ridiculing the Summit protesters for their signs: “Don’t Kill Wolves on our Public Lands!” and “Respect the Wolf!”

    Without my press badge in that Fairbanks bar, I was, invisible–after all, only a woman. The real world of federal and stage wildlife management is dominated by men with deep ties to hunting, ranching, and agribusiness. In many Western States, hunting licenses fund most of the wildlife programs–a conflict of interest so obvious, but rarely reported. Some federal and state wildlife managers only grudgingly admit scientists to their inner circles because of the Endangered Species Act. Their fervor that night was reserved for talk of “wolf harvests” and “caribou calf crops,” of “lethal management,” and “sustainable yield” to assure higher populations of big game for hunters.

    I was dismayed at the wildlife managers’ sense of entitlement, authority, and control over the natural world and all other animals. In the smoky haze of that Fairbanks bar, it was like watching wildlife managers play poker with the fates of other species. I forced myself to remain quiet, staring up at a gigantic moose head trophy.

    It didn’t seem to matter to these wildlife cronies at the Wolf Summit that statistics didn’t support their politics and 80 percent of Alaskans identified as “non-consumptive wildlife supporters.” The wildlife managers were the “alpha” males driving all wolf management policy. After the Wolf Summit, the state of Alaska declared a “land-and-shoot aerial hunting” of wolves that led to widespread slaughter of wolves from planes.

    In 1993, only 10 percent of the U.S. population were hunters. In 2013, the USFW reports that only 6 percent of Americans are hunters. “Hunters are 89 percent male and 94 percent white,” the report notes. Fishing and bird-watching are more popular than hunting. So why are our wildlife policies still so skewed in their support of hunting agendas?

    Much–and little–has changed for the wild wolf since that 1993 Wolf Summit. In 1995, wolves were granted federal protection and wolf packs successfully reintroduced in Yellowstone and throughout the West. Wildly popular, the wolf-reintroduction programs in Yellowstone and the Northern Rockies still provide huge tourism income. Wolf biologist, Cristina Eisenberg, author of The Wolf’s Tooth, notes that since wolf reintroduction in Yellowstone, scientists have documented “rapid recovery of over-browsed aspen, willows and cottonwoods, stream bank stabilization in eroded streams, and a dramatic increase in biodiversity of songbirds.”

    Welcoming wolves back to their rightful habitats has restored our public lands. It has also restored something in our national psyche: a sense of balance and humanity. We can generously share with these other “keystone predators” who nourish the entire ecosystem.

    The delisting of wild wolves is premature and scientifically unsound. For years, Republicans have tried to gut the Endangered Species Act; but why is the Obama administration supporting such unenlightened wildlife policies of the past? Do Democrats need Western State senators so desperately, that they’ll sacrifice environmental ethics–and the majority of Americans who support wolf protection?

    “This is politics versus professional wildlife management,” former Director of the USFW, Jamie Rappaport Clark says. “The service is saying, ‘We’re done. Game over. Whatever happens to wolves in the U.S. is a state thing. They are declaring victory long before science would tell them to do so.”

    One of the wildlife managers at the Alaska Wolf Summit told a story that still haunts me these ten years later. “My Grandaddy was a trapper,” the man said proudly. Once his Grandaddy found a fierce wolf with his paw clamped shut in the metal teeth of a trap. “‘That wolf just stood there looking at me,’ my granddaddy said. ‘He just kept staring at me and wagging his doggone tail. That wolf wagged his tail like that–until I shot him.'”

    The return of wolf management to Western states still trapped in 19th-century frontier mentality is irresponsible and short-sighted. We are in the 21st century. The forests are not our farms. Wildlife is not a “crop” to be “harvested.” Wolves are top predators who restore, balance, and protect our wild lands. They are our future allies, not our foes.

    It’s time for the majority of Americans to tell hunters and ranchers that it is not the Last Frontier for the wolves. It’s time the feds and states listen to the majority of this country who support wolf protection–because wolves are what is most Wild about our West.

    Over one thousand wolves have been killed in the wolf-hunting seasons in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. As one of the more visionary wildlife managers told me when wolves, “Forget wolf control. How about a little self-control? The wolf is the real hunter. We can learn from wolves, if we can just keep from shooting them.”

    Public comment on this delisting:

    Natural Resources Defense Council

    Wolf Watcher: Take Action

    Brenda Peterson is a National Geographic author who has covered wolf reintroduction for The Seattle Times and in her memoir, Build Me an Ark: A Life with Animals. Her new book is Seal Pup Rescue and her new novel is The Drowning World.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Fantastic article.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        I agree. Great article.

        Those who have a broader appreciation of wildlife than the one thing they might light to do in field and forest need to not only get mad, but broaden their search for allies. That means some new thinking to get new friends.

        The Teddy Roosevelt model of wildlife and public land worked pretty well for 75 or more years, but economic and cultural changes are making it obsolete with a lot of unpleasant side effects. I’m hardly the first to say it here, but it bears repeating.

    • Immer Treue says:


      Very good +1

    • SAP says:

      Don’t “digest” too much of it . . .

      Ms. Peterson is incorrect when she states that “In 1995, wolves were granted federal protection and wolf packs successfully reintroduced in Yellowstone and throughout the West.”

      Wolves have been protected under the ESA since 1973. The reintroduction program was finally implemented in 1995. Wolves were translocated to YNP and Central Idaho, not “throughout the West.” Seems like a simple enough fact to keep straight.

      I also don’t like the vague reference to “huge tourism income.” We’ve discussed that here before — wolf watching does provide revenue to a few towns near Lamar Valley. Under Montana’s tax structure, that revenue mostly stays right there (we have no state sales tax).

      Ms. Peterson should have linked directly to Duffield’s work,
      which indicates about $35 million in WY-ID-MT “attributable to wolves” annually. Not bad. Compare that to the size of the ag economy just in Montana at $2 billion — the three-state total wolf tourism impact is less than two percent of the size of agriculture.

      The overall tourism economy in Montana is $1.8 billion.

      [side note: I expect that the size of the “wolf economy” is actually quite a bit larger than $35 million. Duffield did not measure the economic activity of either pro-wolf or anti-wolf advocacy in these states, which is not trivial (not counting six figure consulting contracts by UT legislature to keep wolves out of the Beehive State!). Nor did Duffield include dollars spent on lethal control, wolf research, or litigation . . . none of which would be happening without wolves.]

      I won’t wade into a fruitless debate on whether or how wolves change the landscape, other than to note Arthur Middleton’s recent assertions:

      ‘If wolves’ presence doesn’t shift elk to new territory or prevent them from getting pregnant, then they also may not be the cause of the increase in willows and aspen in the Yellowstone area, as previously believed, he said.

      “Even if wolves play a role it’s likely considerably smaller than we thought,” Middleton said.’

      OK, why bring all this up? Because the wolf story is complicated and constantly unfolding, and I’m tired of the pro- and anti-wolf ends of the spectrum arguing from dramatically oversimplified “cartoon” versions of this complex reality.

      I get it that we may be seeking very different things in this situation. Some folks are just seeking arguments that support their position and validate their world view.

      Myself, I strongly question whether it genuinely serves wolves to keep oversimplifying the situation and stoking the fires of dogma.

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        about $35 million in WY-ID-MT “attributable to wolves” annually. Not bad. Compare that to the size of the ag economy just in Montana at $2 billion — the three-state total wolf tourism impact is less than two percent of the size of agriculture.


        but hey – livestock depredation from wolves doesn’t make up as much as 0.0..% of MT ag economy

        • CodyCoyote says:

          SAP—Here in Wyoming, Agriculture is listed as the third largest sector of the economy in gross revenue after Energy and Minerals and Tourism . But Ag workers are always in the lowest personal income brackets, with Ag contributing less than 2 percent of the state payroll. The Ag service sector is equally low income for those secondary employees and reps coming at it from Retail . Finally , Ag ends up being a drain on the overall tax base when you factor in the subsidies , cheap or zero interest loan programs , and lost public service income from the many Ag tax breaks. In Wyoming, 6 percent of the resident population works directly in Agriculture but they contribute only 2.5 percent of the gross state personal income. While Ag generates a lot of spending, its yield for net income to the purveyor remains historically miniscule. Witness the sheepherder who makes a whopping $ 600 / month .

          Comparing the wolfwatcher economic model to the agriculture economic model is Animals and Oranges. Since you brought it up as such , it deserves an equally disparate response.

          Having said that , Duffield’s UM wolfwatch study is dated. It needs to be updated. I suspect a revised study would likely show an increase in wolfwatching economic input and a decrease in outfitted hunting and general hunting dollars. It is also difficult to parse out the wolfwatching from the more general tourism niche…my local Cody WY tour operators added Wolf Sighting and Grizzly Bear Sighting Opportunity to their longstanding tour packages , but they almost all note that wildlife are now the major bait for booking tour clients thus and so. Ditto the so-called ” Wild Horses” that roam east of my town . Tours to visit them were nonexistent 15 years ago. Today there are three large tour outlets devoted solely to wild horse ranges , or bundled with other wildlife tours.

          One thing I do know. Wolves have caused nowhere near the negative economic impact that many ( perhaps yourself ) would like to attribute to them.

          • SAP says:

            Cody – no, not “perhaps myself.” Read the last three paragraphs of my above post. I have worked for years on wolf conservation, focusing heavily best practices for proactively managing risk of livestock conflicts. I won’t belabor that point, other than to say that I found out early on that this is a cultural conflict. We have some promising technical solutions, but the cultural conflict stops from us from getting past the front gate. My objection to Brenda Peterson’s writing is that she continues to paint things as very black and white — wolves are so amazingly good, but these bad bad people are messing everything up.

            I’m not trying to argue that someone moving irrigation pipe or living in a sheep wagon has a really bright future, just pointing out that $35 million may sound like a lot, but is pretty small potatoes in context. Yes, the downside of wolves is quite small in context, too. Hysteria on the anti-wolf side does not justify bending the rules of reason and logic on the pro-wolf side.

      • Immer Treue says:


        I +1’d above comment. You get a +2 for taking a more critical look, and once again bring to everyone’s attention that the answer to this complex situation is loosely anchored somewhere in the middle of both extremes.

        That said, unlike 100 years ago, wolves now have folks willing to go to bat for them, and it is more than obvious that it will take time to properly discredit the myths of old that continually haunt wolves, as well as tempering the wolves can do no wrong mantra of the uninformed.

      • WM says:


        Thanks for taking the time to deconstruct the Brenda Peterson propaganda piece. I had neither the time nor energy to point out some of the factual errors, and gross misinterpretations of federal law. She totally misses the role of states and the very base population of wolves which still exist today (reduced little it would seem even after take-off of 1,000) and are expanding range in the NRM, even to Ms. Peterson’s home state of WA. Of course, there and OR they will be protected under state law; they still get that in most of the NRM, too, even though some don’t like the numbers.

        Let’s do add to the list of inaccuracies the idea that there is not really a federal abandonment of ESA protections, since even after delisting (if it indeed comes to pass after the litigation train has come to the end of the track), there will be monitoring for 5 years after delisting, and ALWAYS the opportunity to relist. This sort of bullshit tires me out.

        Then there is final sentence or two where she wants you to buy her latest books. That is what these pieces are really about – advertisement for commercial gain and to hell with the facts or objectivity about an issue.

        So, where Louise and others give praise to this story, I say look a little deeper for facts and spin.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          1. …they still get that in most of the NRM, too, even though some don’t like the numbers.

          Well, that’s the thing. Are the numbers too low for genetic diversity?

          2. …and ALWAYS the opportunity to relist.

          How long would that take, if the numbers become too low? Will it be held up in litigation from those who don’t want them relisted? I guess hunting seasons could be stopped, but you’ll always have the SSS crowd.

          The anti side is still going to have to make some kind of offer of good faith, such as a buffer zone around the park, or not hunting collared wolves.

          Then I think both sides might be able to move on. But a continuing hunting free-for-all with an anything goes mentality is wrong. I’d still like to know why wolves bring this ugly side out in humankind and not other predators where there is more real evidence of predation and human attacks. That Yakima article was what I would call a classic propaganda piece. Experts saw cougar tracks at the scene, but Joe Schmoe’s dogs didn’t think it was a cougar. 🙁

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Buffer zones around the park(s) would be the civilized thing to do.

          • Louise Kane says:

            Ida it is extremely bizarre as you point out that the idea of wolves bring out such ugly, hateful, disgusting indecent behaviour. They behave and look like the world’s most amazing german shepherds, akitas or siberian huskies. How people can be so cruel to an animal that so closely resembles a dog is surreal to me, painful even. And what they do to coyotes may even be more unspeakable. I’ve heard all the arguments but nothing comes close to helping me to understand such base and reprehensible treatment of these animals. I believe that there is something terribly wrong with a person who can inflict pain on an animal purposefully, without reason, without mercy and so disrespectfully. The most frustrating and disappointing aspect is that inflicting terrible agony on wildlife is usually legal and those who fight to change the antiquated dismal laws that pass for “management” are labeled as extremists.

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          This sort of bullshit tires me out.


          judging by your body’s reaction you could safely conclude that you are on the other line of the wolf’s front – and consequently to adopt Save Bears’ policy – to ignore misinformed opponents 😉

        • Louise Kane says:

          “She totally misses the role of states and the very base population of wolves which still exist today (reduced little it would seem even after take-off of 1,000) and are expanding range in the NRM, even to Ms. Peterson’s home state of WA.”

          wm I don’t think she totally misses the states’ role. Like many, Ms. Petersen recognizes the extreme measures used by the states to slaughter wolves. How many people, beside here, do you think give a damn about the nit picking differences that are used here to obscure some of the broad strokes. And yes wolf recovery is complicated but the point of this piece is to illustrate the shortcomings in wolf management. Just because you don’t agree with the take does not automatically qualify the piece as propaganda. While we bicker endlessly over whether wolves are having a positive or negative impact or none at all, or how many individuals are required to maintain genetic diversity, people like Ms. Petersen are writing with skill and clarity to ensure that the general population understands the terrible consequences for wolves, of a national delisting.

          • WM says:


            I think we could agree Peterson is writing with skill. However, I know we would disagree that she is writing with “clarity” or accurate facts.

      • Louise Kane says:

        SAP I can’t take credit for finding these new publications, but as the party that sent them commented, they are some new and relevant information on trophic cascades. Since you brought it up in your post critiquing the Peterson piece.

        “FYI: A couple of new and very relevant publications…
        Scholar Alert: [ wolves trophic cascade ]

        Recolonizing wolves trigger a trophic cascade in Wisconsin (USA)
        R Callan, NP Nibbelink, TP Rooney, JE Wiedenhoeft… – Journal of Ecology, 2013
        To assess the potential for such a top-down trophic cascade response, we developed a spatially
        and temporally explicit model of wolf territory occupancy based on three decades of wolf monitoring
        data. Using a nested multiscale vegetation survey protocol, we compared the understorey …

        Landscape of fear in Europe: wolves affect spatial patterns of ungulate browsing in Białowieża Primeval Forest, Poland
        DPJ Kuijper, C de Kleine, M Churski, P van Hooft… – Ecography, 2013
        … Knowledge from European systems, in contrast to North American systems, on how this might
        lead to cascading effects on lower trophic levels is virtually absent. We studied whether wolves
        Canis lupus via density-mediated and behaviorally-mediated effects on their ungulate …

        License to kill: reforming federal wildlife control to restore biodiversity and ecosystem function
        BJ Bergstrom, LC Arias, AD Davidson, AW Ferguson… – Conservation Letters, 2013
        … economic correlates on the sheep industry. Cons Biol 20, 751-761. Berger, KM, Gese,
        EM, Berger, J. (2008) Indirect effects and traditional trophic cascades: a test involving
        wolves, coyotes, and pronghorn. Ecology 89, 818-828. …

        Trait composition, spatial relationships, trophic interactions
        K BIRKHOFER, MH ENTLING, Y LUBIN – Spider Research in the 21st Century: …, 2013
        … Management effects on soil-living prey may therefore cascade up to affect predator populations …
        For example, body condition of wolf spiders increased with the size of cereal fields … Spiders on
        fruit trees provide an example where indirect trophic effects of habitat isolation may have …”

        Thank you for sending these

        • SAP says:

          Thanks Louise – should be interesting reading. Of course, you see the distinction between “wolves may have these effects” versus “we are obligated to ensure that wolves have these effects.”

          To me, there’s a lot of interesting ground to be covered in that is/ought interface. I’ve got work to do, and it seems like one can’t raise these questions without being labeled an anti-wolf maniac, so I’ll leave it there for now.

          That last reference — Birkhofer et al 2013 — must be an artifact of the search terms? Looks like it deals with wolf spiders, not wolves.

          • Immer Treue says:

            I believe wolf spiders have been used as a study specimen quite often in regard to predator prey relationships / total body mass of spiders vs total body mass of prey… Yea though mammals they are not.

            Got some pretty big wolf spiders up here. Takes a while to get used to them
            Each year.

        • JB says:

          There is a LOT conflicting evidence coming out about trophic cascades at the moment. A few weeks ago I reported that I would speak with one of the authors at a conference this week. Unfortunately, his research kept him from the conference. But I did have the chance to speak with 2 other carnivore ecologists who were familiar with the research (one of them works for USDA’s WS, the other for a private research institute). Both agreed that large carnivore induced trophic cascades were likely to be dampened by the presence of humans for a wide variety of reasons (e.g., human-caused mortality of apex predators, displacement of these animals during the daytime, modification of landscapes, etc.). Some (wolf advocates) will see this as a reason not to kill wolves (and so gain the ‘benefits’ of trophic cascades); others (hunters) will see this as a positive development, as the principal cause of trophic cascades is the reduction in herbivory brought about by a reduction in ungulates. Both scientists agree that we have no idea really under what conditions trophic cascades should come about; hell, the scientific community still cannot agree on whether, when and the extent to which wolves are capable of reducing ungulate populations.

          Now everyone can go back to yelling at each other.

          • Mareks Vilkins says:

            hell, the scientific community still cannot agree on whether, when and the extent to which wolves are capable of reducing ungulate populations.



            heck, wolves certainly can’t reduce livestock herds/populations

            and to my taste this song captures it all just nicely (both wolf harvest ‘bag’ and livestock/game ‘casualties’ hysteria)

            AC/DC – Back In Black

            as 400 hunters in one operation can’t stop wolves from spreading in Latvia so I hope NRM hunters will not stop wolves spreading throughout Lower 48


            Back in black
            I hit the sack
            I’ve been too long I’m glad to be back
            Yes I’m, let loose
            From the noose
            That’s kept me hanging about
            I keep looking at the sky
            ‘Cause it’s gettin’ me high
            Forget the hearse ’cause I’ll never die
            I got nine lives
            Cats eyes
            Usin’ every one of them and running wild
            ‘Cause I’m back
            Yes, I’m back
            Well, I’m back
            Yes, I’m back
            Well, I’m back, back
            (Well) I’m back in black
            Yes, I’m back in black
            Back in the back
            Of a Cadillac
            Number one with a bullet, I’m a power pack
            Yes, I’m in a bang
            With a gang
            They’ve got to catch me if they want me to hang
            Cause I’m back on the track
            And I’m beating the flack
            Nobody’s gonna get me on another rap

            So look at me now
            I’m just makin’ my play
            Don’t try to push your luck, just get out of my way
            ‘Cause I’m back
            Yes, I’m back
            Well, I’m back

          • Louise Kane says:

            JB you brought up an interesting point when you said that researchers are agreeing that the presence of humans may be dampening large carnivore induced trophic cascades. I had never thought much about it but I remember hearing Jon Way give a presentation and that he said coyotes have adjusted their normal life behaviors to become nocturnal creatures to avoid humans.

            I would like to see more research on how hunting impacts large carnivores

            and thank you

            • Mareks Vilkins says: