Bozeman Chronicle gets set straight by Dr. Scott Creel
Bozeman, Montana. Last Sunday the Bozeman Chronicle ran an editorial about wolves based on the standard barroom biology that informs so much of the state’s policy on wolf management. Today MSU’s noted wolf biologist, Dr. Scott Creel corrected them on their most fundamental fact, which they got flatout wrong — the wolf population in Montana is continuing to grow despite longer hunting seasons and increased take limits. The opposite is true, as Creel tells them. http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/opinions/letters_to_editor/article_e319532a-eef3-11e2-a401-001a4bcf887a.html
It is hard to understand why that newspaper can’t get the most fundamental facts supporting their point of view correct. They are not hard to find, so it should not take a leading expert to clue them in. In addition, others with plenty of expertise, such as Norm Bishop of Bozeman who spent a generation working on the issue, have cited “chapter and verse” on the exact same matter.
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.
124 Responses to Bozeman Chronicle gets set straight by Dr. Scott Creel
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This is an eloquent example of the idiocy infecting Montana right now.
The local paper here publishes some letters to the editor and opinion pieces that are so misinformed it’s unbelievable they make it to print. Often the letters that you see published are from the same people over and over again. If you want to read ridiculous arguments about creationism vs. evolution ,wolves vs. game, or global warming look no further than your local paper. I am tempted to cancel it at least once a month but never do.
Im guessing it must be some kind of stunt to drum up business but it comes across as insulting. Every time they print and deliver this stuff it’s like they’re saying to their readers ” We think you should be enthralled by this because we think you’re stupid” I guess my point is that the people who run the papers can’t possibly be that dumb, they just think we are.
Living in Idaho how did you find this letter to the editor? It was small article in the Bozeman Chronicle on the opinion page. I read it at tea this morning. You must read a number of newspapers online every morning. The Bozeman Chronicle on line version is not easy to find articles like Scott’s.
I do a lot of web searches most days, though the last while has had me on the road, and so my production of news has been pretty meager.
That one (Creel’s letter) came as a email tip today, and I had seen the Chronicle’s editorial last Sunday. I could put this up quickly, and it seemed pretty relevant.
Fortunately, now I am home for a few days.
its because they don’t look for facts, they look for what will sell copies…
Curiously, Dr. Creel’s response to the Bozeman editorial piece is fairly narrow and challenges only comparing the official December counts from 2011 and 2012 (there was obviously a reduction has he points out). As I read the Editorial, the gist of it was whether the net number of wolves (and the trend over a period of just comparing just two years) was generally increasing, rather than nominally decreasing. And, if you do the statistics (including margins of error and confidence intervals), the difference may de minimus for the Montana change wolf population.
Of course, all this WILL change again, depending on how many pups were born and survived this Spring. And then there would be the continued hunts, again reducing the numbers, taking us back to an official count when the snow again hits the ground in mid-winter. Also add into that the phenomenon that Dr. Mech has addressed before – the fewer collared and the larger the range the greater likelihood the official estimate tends to be lower than the actual number (potentially upwards of 20% undercount).
Forgive the candor here, but Ralph’s introduction to Creel’s response is just a bit misleading.
Read the editorial for yourself and draw your own conclusions: http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/opinions/editorials/article_31293fae-ed68-11e2-8f9e-0019bb2963f4.html
As to the larger point, the decrease in Yellowstone NP wolf numbers IS TROUBLING and something needs to be done about that aspect, to protect their errant journeys outside the Park when a hunting season is in effect. Buffer!
Every once in while the comments are a bit more enlightening/educational than the editorial piece. I believe there lies a very good comment to this piece. Game on, which one is it?
There has been no discussion at all about creating a buffer for any other animal that is hunted? Why for the wolf?
There has been such a discussion for elk hunting along the south boundary in order to eliminate the outfitter practice of salting to draw elk out of the Park.
If Wyoming Game and Fish would move the boundary of the elk hunt backwards and then forwards every year or so, the idea has been it that this would greatly reduce the practice of salting because the salt would end up either inside a no-hunting buffer or as a redundant pile well back from the Park’s south boundary.
Ralph having a discussion and actually doing it, is a completely different conversation, you know that as well as I do.
We can discuss all we want to, but actually implementing is not going to be easy, I am rarely wrong on these issues and I just don’t see the states giving an inch, let alone a mile.
In reality, how far from the park were the wolves that were taken in this last season? Several of them were quite a few miles from the park. So how large would you like this “buffer zone” to be?
As far as the elk, all Wyoming has to do, is get rid of baiting, There is no reason to create a “buffer” zone I am not sorry to say, creating a “buffer” is a defacto way to increase the size of the parks without Congress doing it.
JB, I continue to maintain, wolf numbers are not low, there are plenty of wolves around, and if we continue to allow their migrations then there will be plenty of influx. (Remember I live with a lot of wolves in NW Montana) Which is where the majority of Montana wolf population resides.
As has been shown and proven, the harder the pro side pushes, the harder the hunters, ranchers and residents are going to push, just look at the new wolf season for Montana this year!
SB, I think they will keep increasing takes every year, regardless of what the pro-side does. The pro-side is a only a slight impediment, if that. I have always thought that the wolf is a special case and needs to have protections that other animals don’t need, because no other animal is the target of such irrational hatred. There is just no logical reason for the persecution. Case in point is the continued shooting of any Mexican wolf that is released into the wild, even though they are still protected by the ESA. The latest was killed after barely a month of her release. Holding wolf advocates hostage of sorts so that these people can get their way is getting old, and people are sick and tired of it.
It is just plain irresponsible to remove further protections for wolves, and I think a buffer zone is necessary.
You asked me, “There has been no discussion at all about creating a buffer for any other animal that is hunted? Why for the wolf?”
So then I wrote of discussions about buffer zones for elk hunting along the south boundary which have been taken place, and you write, “Ralph having a discussion and actually doing it, is a completely different conversation, you know that as well as I do.”
It seems like you changed the subject as soon as you got my example. Seems like you didn’t like seeing an example produced.
One other point . . . . Of course implementation is always more difficult than discussion.
Ralph, I didn’t mind your example at all, I simply ran two through processes together, sorry about that.
The answer to your question is quite simple–the need (or desire) for a buffer is a function of wolves’ low densities (relative to other species) and the desire (on the part of agencies) to restrict both their numbers and range. If there were less than 100 of another newly recovered endangered species we would be having the same conversation. I hasten to add that what has been discussed with respect to bison could also be construed as a buffer of sorts (i.e., extending protections for the species beyond park boundaries).
Why a buffer or safety zone for wolves around YNP?
First, SB is right about the relatively low density of the animals, and I might add, their tendency to roam widely, which of course makes them vulnerable especially when state wolf seasons last for more than 6 months, as they do in Idaho and Montana.
Second, wolves may actually be drawn to their death beyond park boundaries given the presence of gut piles (state wolf seasons overlap with ungulate hunting) and the use of electronic calling devices by hunters (permitted at least in Montana and Idaho).
Third, many individual wolves and even entire packs are cherished by thousands of park visitors, and thus have great value (economic, aesthetic, educational, spiritual)not associated with most other park wildlife. I might add that the emotional impact of killing these wolves is not at all insignificant.
Finally, the killing of park wolves symbolizes an ugly ideological intransigence and an “in-you-face” mentality that this country badly needs to remedy. It’s hurting us as a people and our reputation around the world (judging from comments I heard from foreign tourist recently in YNP). Consensus on a wolf safety zone around YNP could help greatly in this regard.
By the way, I suspect the Yellowstone grizzly bear will also need a buffer if and when it’s delisted…but that’s another story.
Best to you all.
First it is JB you were stating talking about densities, second as I have said many times in the past and it has shown to be true, the harder you push, the harder the states are going to push back.
Right now, we are at a stalemate, both sides are pushing real hard, and guess what, the states are saying screw you, we are going to do what we want to do. As long as those number state above objectives, which I have no doubt they will, the Fed’s are not going to do anything. The Fed’s want to wash their hands from this mess, it is a hornets nest and getting worse. Step back and look at what is going on, in Montana next season each hunter can take FIVE wolves!
You think things are in your face now, just wait, things will get far worse.
You asked why folks are seeking a buffer around the park for wolves and I provided what I think is a reasonable response. I’m not sure what the point of your follow up is, other than to say, “ha ha, states are telling the feds to ‘go to hell'”? Okay, what does that have to do with a buffer? If you’re insinuating that states might be more amenable to a buffer were advocates to stop ‘pushing’ so hard, we’ll have to agree to disagree.
What side has been winning this?
That depends upon your criteria for winning (or losing)? Some folks want no wolves (they’re not currently winning) and some folks want no hunting/trapping of wolves (also not winning). State agencies want the controversy to go away, so they aren’t winning at all. Seems the real winners are the right-wing politicians who have been using this issue to their political advantage.
What does this have to do with buffers?
JB it has a lot to do with buffers, if it happens, the pro side will declare a win as the antis will if it never happens
sb, I see hunters all the time on fb pages saying they are going to kill every wolf that they see. Do you think these people are telling the truth or talking out their you know what? I also wanted to ask you what you think the non-hunting public should feel about hunters who threaten illegal activity all the time by claiming on the internet they are going to illegally kill wolves? Do you think these threats of illegal activity are giving hunters a good image in the eyes of non-hunting conservationists?
I have stated many times my view of illegal activities and what I feel the penalties should be.
I heard a rumor, don’t know if it’s true, but if not enough wolves are killed this upcoming wolf season, FWP will let hunters and trappers kill 10 wolves for the 2014-2015 season. This is just a rumor I saw on facebook, but it’s troubling none the less.
Nobody knows what is going to happen next season, hell they just set this one.
SB – Actually, Montana’s game commission has wisely back off a bit at least for 2 hunting units next to Yellowstone Park. There, the wolf kill limit this coming season will be 1 wolf per hunter (not 5) for a total kill of 7. I hope we can re-frame the debate not in terms of who “wins” or pushes harder, but in terms of what’s most in the public interest and in the interest of wildlife conservation.
Good kunk in doing that, many of us have tried for years!
Opps, good luck, sorry on my tablet
Finally, the killing of park wolves symbolizes an ugly ideological intransigence and an “in-you-face” mentality that this country badly needs to remedy.
Yes, well put. I also believe the grizzly will be next, but I don’t know any animal that could inspire the ugliness of ‘smoke a pack a day’.
++Why for the wolf?++
Because the wolf is the target of violent extremists.
Got old Mike, chimes in with little information and a lot of bullshit opinion.
Why are you so grumpy all the time?
sb, you need to take a chill pill. Mike is moving to Montana soon I think. Buy him a beer and apologize to him for the way you treat him on this blog.
No I, he does not deserve an apology, he treats other with a lot more nastyness then get, I hope I never meet him.
While I disagree with SB’s view that the woods are there for him, and that he has a right to ungulate meat (and whatever else he wants to kill), He’s an okay guy who is just caught between true conservation and the NRA-style outdoorsman.
A lot of people are.
I only hunt deer and elk, I hunt with a bow and only it the years I need meat, which is not every year.
By the way Mike, I have never claimed the woods are there for “Me” I have no problem sharing with anyone. I just don’t like other trying to take away my ability to provide for my family. Also, I am not a member of the NRA and don’t subscribe to their doctrine.
Montana’s seeming attack on the wildlife of the Park itself bothers me a lot more than the rise or decline of various animals in the Park.
Were I to write to the Chronicle I would make that the centerpiece of my letter.
See my comments too to Elk 275
I don’t disagree with you, Ralph. I think their (and I mean the tone set for FWP by the legislature) motivations are about keeping tensions in federal-state relations, dissing the ESA whenever possible, and preserving money that hunting part time Park animals generates, and hunting opportunity for residents. And, of course, there is the “never give a inch” philosophy of the politically strong livestock industry.
Indeed, Yellowstone wolves should be of major concern, regardless of differences we have on the broader wolf conservation issue. Trophy trapping and hunting near the park makes no sense whatsoever. Stopping these activities is doable! But folks need to stand up and howl full volume.
My wife and I are doing our part. If you’d like to join us check out:
Tony thank you for your work there is a lot of bitching but not a lot of action. Its nice to see someone taking the time to write, post and object. Good to see that
I don’t disagree with your facts, but I would point out that where wolves are expanding range is where they are being protected (WA & OR). The numbers show population contraction in ID, MT, & WY, and, I would argue, range contraction is also likely with aggressive hunting and trapping (especially in WY). I think it is misleading to cite Mech’s generalization as there is no evidence of range expansion within ID, WY & MT.
FYI–to my knowledge there are no official error (or CIs) associated with the minimum estimates (much to the annoyance of many of us).
JB – I bet you a beer there are a bunch of “unofficial” statistical manipulations, projection models and other stuff on the computers of state and federal wildlife folks, and maybe some academics, all over the NRM, and likely updated regularly, with “unofficial” data. I also bet there are a lot of simulation scenarios, based on harvest prescriptions, as well.
As for the protection in WA and OR, I bet there is discussion in ID (at least) that they would need less if WA/OR, for example, want, get or actually produce more. And if the controlling baseline is just keeping wolves from being relisted, the are probably cheering them on.
By the way, tomorrow evening (7/18) is a recorded session of WDFW seeking input from IDFG on their wolf management experience. I think the link was posted by Louise earlier on this thread (or elsewhere). I may try to tune in online. I think it is 6-9 PM PDT.
Correction: The live webcast session begins at 6:30PM PDT on Thurs.,July 18. Apparently ID and MT wildlife agencies will participate. And the topic seems to be a bit more focused and they will “discuss their experiences managing game animals in areas populated by wolves.” Here is the link to the announcement, to get to the webcast link:
The link above also presents the public with the opportunity to provide questions and comments in advance. I provided this comment.
Dear Washington Department of Fish and Game,
I happy to see that you are providing a forum for the public to learn of your department’s efforts to understand wolf human interface challenges. However, while I applaud your efforts to research the issue of managing wolves as they begin to recolonize, I believe providing Montana and Idaho with a public platform to express their experiences is a mistake. These two states represent the worst examples of a wildlife policy management paradigms that I can imagine. Montana and Idaho, since delisting, have continuously pursued increasingly aggressive and hostile agendas against wolves. These states now allow their population of wolves to be slaughtered in the most barbaric fashions using traps and snares as well as allowing hunting with bows and arrows and rifles. The states ignore the sociality of wolves and the impact that random hunting has on the survivorship and health of the remaining pack members. In Montana and Idaho trap check times are inhumane and lengthy, wolves may be hunted almost year round now and into the birthing and denning seasons as well as when wolves are pregnant, and Montana now allows a 5 wolf quota. Montana resists any reasonable and logical efforts to provide buffer zones near and around Yellowstone. Montana has also driven out its best and most qualified commissioner Bob Reams, and routinely ignores their citizen’s input. It beguiles me why a state like Washington, that crafted a seemingly fair and progressive wolf management plan would look to states such as Montana and Idaho that rely on antiquated scorched earth policies, that many of their citizens oppose, as a source of data or advice on how to meet possible wolf-management challenges. Wolves within a landscape do not automatically mean conflict and coexistence problems. If you invite the old guard to influence the trajectory of wolf policy in Washington state, you are doing a disservice to the people of Washington. Your citizens urged its wildlife managers to adopt coexistence, tolerance and non-lethal strategies for wolves instead of lethal management as their first line of defense in situations where possible wolf human conflicts might arise. By inviting the two states with the most backward and draconian views about wolves and predators into your discussion you give their terrible policies and ideologies legitimacy. These are not states that should be looked to for advice, they are states that should be used as models of what not to do. No state should treat its wolves as Idaho or Montana do, using the minimum wolf recovery objectives as their goal or killing off the population so that it will hover just above a possible relisting challenge. Montana and Idaho FW departments and policy illustrate what not to do to a species, what not to do to allow a culture of coexistence to flourish, and what not to do to hear your constituents and their desire to live with and enjoy wolves as part of their landscape. If you are looking for examples of the worst in wildlife policy look to Idaho and Montana where wolves and other predators are despised, where special interests promote fear, hate and violence against wild wolves, and where tolerance is actively discouraged. Please listen to your citizen’s input and continue along the course of tolerance. Montana and Idaho should be seeking advice from Washington instead of being invited to sow the seeds of intolerance and fan the flames of predator hatred in Washington state.
You can bet your bottom the antis will be clicking their key boards.
WM did you see it, can you summarize
I have had a family emergency and I missed it
WM: I’m sure there are a variety of models floating around that examine populations under differing assumptions. I would be interested to see what sorts of assumptions they make, especially regarding the wolf population.
Thanks for the link/info.
WM thanks for reminding me. I did put the link up and then forgot now I’ll mark the time in the calendar. I have to admit, I cringe thinking about the input IDFG will give WDFG. worse yet that WDFG would not look at that plan and cringe themselves thinking that any state would “manage” an animal as Idaho does.
I did not view the WDFW webcast live, but it is now available on their website. I took about five minutes to spot scroll thru the nearly 3 hours of presentation. Most of what I previewed seemed well done (whether one agrees with content is yet another matter). I plan on viewing it some evening this coming week.
Here is the link:
I was viewing the presentation, and saw all of John Rachael’s presentation, and then got a phone call from an old friend and missed all but the very end (yeah a long call).
What I got out of it was, it was about wolf impact on ungulates, and the financial repercussions. Well said and fair interpretation of wolf impact on hunting opportunities and financial impact on IDFG funding. I was not anti-wolf, yet…
Rachael spent time with the Lolo elk herd, and emphasized that the population was too high when it peaked at about 16,000. This initiated antlerless hunting to knock the population down. Then the Winter of 96/97 happened. Wolves still had little impact. It was black bear that had the biggest impact on elk calves, and as wolf presence increased, their impact on elk cow increased and continued to drive the population down, Very matter of fact. The central corridor of Idaho has been impacted by wolves. No hyperbole. Then came the call.
What little i did pick up on was that Washington has been creative with funding for wolf expenses, ie not all on the state government dime. There is also concern that Washington elk population is only about half that of Idaho. I would like to watch what i missed.
I thought it was a good presentation, and going forward the challenges that WA faces will be greater than the RM states because of higher human densities, lower prey base.
I believe it was Ware that mentioned that they seek advice from many states, provinces and various experts in the field, not just ID and MT.
One thing I found interesting was Ware did see hunting as a management tool in the future. The wolf plan is considered a guidance document, not written-in-stone law and there was little mention in the draft documents about wolf hunting.
You do yourself a disservice by continuing to refer to the department, as fish and game, for nearly 20 years it has been the department of fish and wildlife and the people that still use F&G are good ‘ol boys living in the past. ( not an attack, but if you address letters to them it would help your cause)
so lets break it down:
“It was intended to reestablish the predators in the park – part of their historic range.(this is misleading; the two recovery areas finally established was Yellowstone AND central Idaho) But, as expected, (Yellowstone is in three states, DUH) it has impacted a large area in three states. Initially, federal biologists set a goal of establishing 30 breeding pairs and 150 wolves in each of the three states surrounding the park. Today we have well in excess of 1,600 specimens in the region.”
” Initially, federal biologists set a goal of establishing 30 breeding pairs and 150 wolves in each of the three states surrounding the park.”
Once again misleading. Not only were the population goals a MINUMUM goal, NOT a maximum, those population minimums are only ONE factor in the overall recovery plan.
“greater numbers of wolves than originally anticipated” who was doing the anticipating? there was and has NEVER been a Maximum #.
” the arc of wolf numbers continues to climb.” horseshit.
“State lawmakers, in a decidedly ill-advised move, banned the creation of a no-wolf-hunting zone around the park.” ya think?
“Because whether it’s wolves, bison or elk, once the animals cross that purely arbitrary park boundary, they enter into an entirely different set of problems.” Meaning a state wholly controlled by the DOL/livestock industry.
great break down Jeff infuriating to see the same BS
Why wolves? Well I ask “Why not all species limited by range and resistance?”
While we discuss how the states are scoffing at federal rules, I’m still waiting to see more federal intervention. Resources, including wildlife, should be managed by the nation as a nation deserves to have them conserved.
This area is where my right winged brain goes all left. The resources existing within this country are desperately in need of saving, for every person in every state, on many levels.
A buffer should exist like an inverted web, restrictions should be loosened the farther away from decent habitat, or something along a scientific line.
It will take a unique application of $$$ to do this, at least for a voice at the table that has any impact. There are creative ways for this to be done. It’s there if pro-wolf, pro-predator folks would use their collective heads. Outfits like DOW have shot their wad,and are archaic.
++Resources, including wildlife, should be managed by the nation as a nation deserves to have them conserved.++
Clearly you and I have difference of opinion about how effective, efficient, value-minded, and immune from political pressures, the federal government is when managing ANY of the resources within its stewardship, trust or management responsibilities (grazing, forests, hard rock mining, oil & gas, uranium, etc.), as well as its ability to regulate in so many areas.
Some of my recent favorite federal management fiascos are the do not call list, and revamping the scumsuckers on Wall St. Another perennial favorit is BIA obligations in Indian Country. Surely you jest.
And if you think bureaucrats are responsive to “do the right thing” pressures you only need to look at the very good article Ken just posted on the BLM “Vegetation Treatment Litigation” in NV, where the regulators are in bed with the regulated. Wildlife regulated by the federal government would not be well received, even if legally possible on and off federal lands, with only those narrow exceptions provided by federal statute (of course drafted and passed by individuals state representatives serving in Congressional).
You mistakenly assume that I think the current management by the feds, or any government facet, is ideal. Surely, you must know a fifth grader can see it needs fixing.
While I see sh*t policies on state level, corruption and havoc….the federal is far from pristine and sh*t free.
Seeing how it SHOULD be, and how it is, serves as testimony to the work needing done. But- and this was my point- managing resources on a state by state contingent basis, is no better than making resources islands of fragmented and propped up pseudo-environments. States vary their practices to the extent that inconsistencies abound and are impossible to manage with any degree of scientific certainty.
One plan, one management process, and one point of ultimate accountability…would be great. There would be a lot less passing the buck, if there were fewer people to point at.
I agree. But hey, dare to dream of reason and real progress.
Why do you people have so much faith in the Fed’s as well as one rule? I worked for the Fed’s for a long time, they will through you to the “wolves” in a heartbeat and not think one time about it!
A lot of people have faith in the American government because that it is our country and we love our country.
It seems quite a few people didn’t start having a problem with the government until the people they wanted to be in power weren’t in power anymore.
If we really want to look at the merits of the government, maybe we should stop voting the same morons in there year in and year out.
Why do you not trust the government? I am curious to hear your reasons.
I have told my story on here to many times.
sb, do you know Jim Williams of the Montana FWP?
I have met Jim, why jon?
Why is that Zach?
Zach anyone that has been here a while knows I retired from the army, where I served for 26 years then got my degree in wildlife biology then worked for FWP before loosing my position because I would not falsefy my study results.
So, I do have an extensive amount of experience with both the federal as well as state government.
It appears we are getting a bit off topic with this federal government thing. But, I think there is a need for a history lesson of how the United States came to be. Do recall that under the Articles of Confederation, the document which preceded the Constitution, the original states were sovereigns, and came together for common purpose of enumerated powers which were granted to an infant centralized government. I am no Constitutional scholar, but do know that the concept of a central government with enumerated powers is the basis of the Constitution and the states by virtue of reserving all powers not enumerated in the Constitution kept a lot for themselves.
The idea of balanced powers between states and a strong federal government, is part of the success story that is America. A strong central government takes a leap of faith that some other civilizations learned was not in their best interests. Intuitively, I think SB has some insight to this. I, like you, early in my life believed a strong federal government could do little wrong. Now after an additional 40 years of life and having worked for various levels of government and private industry I have come to believe that one size a strong federal government is not the answer. I am not sure what is, even in light the compelling arguments for a strong federal role for environmental matters. America is still a work in progress, and I don’t see our current Congress as much of a role model for solving problems.
While I truly appreciate your effort to inform me, I know these things. Even knowing them, I do not have the contempt SB does, because I was not unjustly fired from a federal job.
I also know there was a civil war which was just as historically significant as the above mentioned history lesson.
It was fought, contrary to popular belief, not simply to abolish slavery, but to establish a president of supreme power. It was a war fought to determine federal vs. state rights, and which trumped the other.
The Constitution was key in the war, as it established a foundation for rights of people, not just governments. States sought to defy the Constitution and wanted their laws to negate the laws and rights granted all people by the Constitution.
States which had markets built upon labor could not keep up with a more industrialized states that used machinery. So, those states (largely southern, cotton, tobacco producers) demanded a different taxation apply to them to prop up their failing plantations. The taxation they wanted would have provided preference to the states which failed to move into the industrialized market place. They felt that because they were older settlements they were entitled (kind of a running trend in history). They wanted taxes on their slaves and property to be ended.
Because the people who farmed with machines did not pay taxes on slaves, they were reaping more profits. (Damn those people who figured out how to capitalize, decrease over head and get rich without slaves).
Basically, this was what I perceive to be the beginning of a demand for farm-aid. It is also where we began to see more capitalistic values taking off, etc. In the end, the war was won by the side that supported a unified federal government and a progressive economy and technological advances.
I am far from a believer in the federal government doing nothing wrong. (I admit to have chuckled when I read that.) That assumption is flat out wrong. I am disgusted at the gross over-stepping which goes on in our federal government. I just happen to think that states are just as bad.
I am appreciative of your assumption that I am in my ‘early years’. You might be surprised to know I am probably one of the older dogs on this site.
I don’t think the size of the government is the issue. The size is probably (I could be wrong) growing right along with our county’s population. So, it may be relative to that, or not. I think the lack of clarity, and the misuse of power is. Well, those and many other things.
The current administration has been an epic disappointment. Past administrations have as well. None that come to mind have dealt with the failing environment, or the depletion of resources going on. Why? Because it is not profitable to do so, and it is uncomfortable to see that greed is pervasive in our country. It is like an STD,,,,spreads like crazy because nobody wants to stop the behavior that spreads it.
Our environmental management policies, laws, practices and places, can be traced back to well known socialists. The concepts were put in place for the greater good. It was that history of insights which led to the innovative conservation which we have today. The current federal government is failing badly at upholding the ideals that have so richly benefited this entire country for so long.
While I am no fan of socialism in general, I do see that we are lacking a government which recognizes that resources are invaluable, cannot be quantified, and have to be seen as a right for all people to access, which cannot be done if we defecate on them and then move on to the next pile of assets.
I typically agree with much of what SB posts. I always respect his opinions. I also know that much of what seems to be criticized here is people’s lack of experience in “living with this” or having “done that”. The truth is, each of us has their own experiences, and none of us has the same or equal experiences. What you may know or have done, may seem less than beneficial to someone who has seen it differently or experienced something else.
++I am appreciative of your assumption that I am in my ‘early years’.++
Wasn’t assuming you were, I was merely saying MY (idealistic) views of a strong federal government doing good had changed over time. A lot of my views were shaped as a result of watching and being a participant to the implementation of the numerous environmental laws passed in the 1970’s (CWA, CAA, TSCA, Superfund/CERCLA, ESA, etc.). And, let’s be clear many these acts have strong roles for individual states in implementation. If they did not, they would never have been passed. There was a lot of money wasted with little bang for the buck, in the first decade and a half of implementation as the federal government applied a one size fits all philosophy to regulation under those statutes.
I don’t think there is a facet of government, state fed, local included, that is not flawed and riddled with problems being fiscally responsible or efficient.
Most, if not all, policies and laws developed for benefit of people and/or environment are geared toward a participation on the state level. I do not dispute that.
Let me reiterate, I am not singing the praises of nor touting confidence in any part of government. I am saying there needs to be a more universal approach and a more unilateral regulatory system (preferably based on more rational science) for natural resources.
We can clearly see, even by looking at the examples you posted above, that having too many techniques or interpretations put into play causes a serious rift and precedes irreparable damage to the true goals of conservation (in it’s pure form and without extremist interpretation on either side).
A key consideration to what seems like a lack of ‘bang for the buck’ is that the environment and recovery there of does not occur on a monetary of human assigned time frame. We are simply not that mighty. So when these things seem to fail, it is often a failure on our behalf to prescribe a broad enough time span to give a genuine assessment to progress.
When you have 50 states trying to solely manage a species for recovery of for longevity, economics, or viability, what you have is a bunch of states failing to see the imperative that species do not recognize nor respond to state or land boundaries.
If one state got it all right, and had a perfect plan in place for wolves, bison, cougars, grouse-whatever species, and neighboring state had a different plan…the perfect plan will fail. It is just that simple.
I have also studied the management of species and resources in other countries, and we are far and away better than most. However, if we keep slinging resource management around every election, we teeter on becoming Mexico. That would be bad as I see it, and as many experts from Mexico do as well. (Or at least those I have personally spoken to.)
We can see through out this site various examples of how states interpreting and managing resources without agreement and participation with other states has failed. Even when failure is not immediately obvious, it is eventually imminent.
You cannot find an imperiled species that has not faced controversy and persecution on a state level. At least once it has been decided how to manage a species on a federal level, the plan can span a distance which optimizes species’ chances.
Once you get to the state level of management (after exceeding federal over sight) it all goes to hell in a hand basket. You have litigation, population fluctuation, erroneous and widely skewed and tainted studies, politically swung practices, and a lack of scientific relevancy. What you end up with it, like all avenues of politics, the people with the most power trumping the right thing for their own benefit- the rest of the country be damned.
Maybe a new branch should be established? One that is neither federal nor state in it’s capacity? Maybe it should be a branch of experts who are not bound by the pressures of federal or state peers of lobbyists. Hell, I don’t know exactly what the answer is? But I know what it is not- and that is the current state of disarray we call a system.
I think I liked it better when I thought you felt I was young 🙂 I retain some idealistic traits. Sadly, realism kicks us all in the arss. If I lose all my idealism, surely hope and optimism will be right behind.
That should have been “throw”
I think that is more a statement of humanity, or at least of an American mind-set, than just about the feds. I worked for private business owners, who sold their souls, watched good people suffer, and didn’t care about the pain they caused…..and they were doctors. I also worked for a disgusting pig who was aided by his brother the regional CEO of a financial institution. I know a wonderful woman who was trashed by the state because she complained about wrong doing. Trust this, there is enough bs to go around.
I am truly sorry you had a bad experience. I have been working with some amazing people, who I would normally consider the enemy, for the past several months. It is good to get an inside look at how things operate.
I am not talking about the people, I am talking about the entity, the Fed’s are not the answer and the founding fathers knew that, which is why we have 50 states, with thousands of counties.
Our country was set up a particular way, because those who set it up, knew that there were flaws and humans falter and fall subject to power and greed.
Right now, this is the biggest problem we have in this country.
I disagree. Our founding fathers didn’t conceive of 50 states, technological advances, or the issues that accompany natural resources.
They had no clue that their actions would precipitate a feeding frenzy on the land or resources.
But hey, different perceptions of history are what makes for the need to problem solve.
As for power, greed, and those who set it up, were guilty of as much themselves. No government has been made with perfect intentions. They are full of flaws, just like historical texts are, because they are written by imperfect people.
I disagree with you, I believe our founding fathers envisioned a lot more than what we think they did.
How do we reckon the founding fathers wanted 50 states?
There was no sense of expansion until we got independence from Britain. Expansion only came into play because we either had to keep fighting them to protect the original colonies and our boundaries or risk being brought back under British control. Possibly French if you think about it, if we didn’t keep fighting, they may have very well tried to attack us.
Even when we got the Louisiana Purchase, Thomas Jefferson wasn’t even looking for that big of a piece of land. He got it because the French were looking to dump it off on the cheap.
Thomas Jefferson’s vision was to have a separate country on the west coast based on more ‘progressive’ American values. He also wanted the land to be divided up into small plots and worked by families of farmers who didn’t over use the recourses on the land like what was happening in the east at the time.
Did not most territories celebrate statehood, and the accompanying benefits!
Let me just add that I don’t have faith in a system, but I do see a problem with too many hands in a cookie jar. I’d hope that some day, we might have a few people in positions of power that we can have trust and confidence in. But, that’s the optimist in me….the realist says we are s-crew’d.
You are a very naive person. If you want a few people in power, then I suggest you visit, China, North Korea, Iran and host of other countries that have a “few” people in power that think they know best!
I could be wrong, but you just got through talking of the founding fathers, and leaning toward smaller government. This one, is a contradiction of your last post.
If I didn’t know your on-line persona a little bit, I’d say you were being insulting and antagonistic? I am far from naïve, and you are seeming to be far from broad minded.
You can surely disagree with someone with out insulting them. I’d expect the same from those who have done so to you.
It would seem there are many people, some times like those who post here, who think they know best….and I am pretty sure most of us are not all that powerful.
Every issue with how things go here (this country) is not a political imperative or parallel to something some place else. But regardless, I wasn’t referring to communism, or dictators. I was talking about elected officials, and offices set up to manage resources…on behalf of citizens, via democratic process. You may not agree with my idea, but you don’t negate it by pulling out foreign failures to trump it.
Agree to disagree, which seems to be going on a lot lately.
If you are insulted, then I apologize, because that was not my intent.
I will agree, I am not a broad minded person, I am far to old and far to experienced to expect more, and I do hope I am wrong, but our current president does not give me any confidence.
You really think the last one was better?
I am not an Obama or a Bush fan by any means.
But, if you’re telling me you’re going to forget that Bush was in office when:
-the economy tanked
-the housing market bubbled
-the Patriot Act was enacted
-both dead end/worthless wars were went into carelessly, which racked up more debt that the current president has achieved
-the worthless “No Child Left Behind” was enacted
Obama may not be really doing anything, but he isn’t wrecking the county for future generations for like the last one did.
But, like many W Bush groupies, you put the blinders on because he’s your guy.
You are sure reading a lot of things I didn’t say.
My 26 years as a military officer showed me quite a bit.
Just curious. How old are you, where do you live, what do you do for a living, and what kind of formal education/training or other life experience do you have?
It might help in better understanding your comments and perspective? Most of us here know each other’s background.
I am wondering where I said I like Bush better than I like Obama?
You’ll have to forgive SB. He is the living example of a walking contradiction. This thread alone reveals that. He once revealed his first name as Donald and his last name’s initial as J. Then a day later he said his last name began with an H. I realize that J and H are next to each other on a keyboard and it could have been an honest mistake, but given Donald’s history on this blog, it’s more likely he tripped over his own BS again.
Regarding WM’s request, I’d be careful, if the information you provide doesn’t meet his minimum standards he will certainly use it to minimize your opinion if it doesn’t fit into his worldview.
What are you tlking about? My name has always been Donald J.
The last few days I have been on a tablet, so I may hit the wrong part of this tiny keyboard.
But I thought you were ignoring me?
Well, it is a for-sure certainty that some who post here (for lack of experience, education/training or common sense) don’t have a clue about economics, biology, natural resources, law or how big government works (or doesn’t). But they do have their opinions. From past discussions, you might just fit in about half those categories – the clueless part, I mean.
Well there he goes again, WM proving what a pompous a-hole he truly is.
I’m pretty sure my assessment of your post was on target. Last time I check posting on here wasn’t the equivalent of presenting credentials for a job interview. Are you the H.R. Dept. for this site?
The needle on your arrogant S.O.B. gauge is red lining. You might want to ease up a little bit there WM. Your head has expanded so much that you are in danger rupturing your hemorrhoids.
Perhaps a bit harsh. On the other hand, some examples are self-proving, as we can recently see.
I wouldn’t be so quick giving yourself a self satisfied pat on the back. I really wouldn’t categorize your post as harsh. It was simply another recent example of you fulfilling the need to stroke your ego. Nothing more, nothing less. Get over yourself.
I stand by my post. And I request that WM do us a favor and provide the information he requested from Zach. I do not know WM’s background, age, formal education, career, life experiences. I think WM needs to provide Zach and I his bio. This will us to weigh the responses of WM’s posts based the credentials provided….should we be respectful, condescending, dismissive.
WM needs to put his money where his mouth is. I want him to address each question he asked of Zach.
And I at least want to know his first name. Is it William M, Willard M., Ward M.,. Funny how a guy who his so full of himself can’t even give us the honor of knowing his first name.
You are right Immer, timing is everything, and it is now time for WM to provide the information I have requested.
I have a few emails from savebears. I don’t know what’s up with this guy. Some people are telling me that he posts as Dave Parker on the yellowstone forums. I went to the yellowstone forums and seen some of the posts made by Dave Parker and his comments seem very similar to the type of comments that sb makes on here. In one email sb sent me, he lists his name as Jackson B and on here he’s telling people his name is Donald? Very strange. If sb wants to lie about his real identity, that’s ok. He has that right to do that. Don’t bite my head off savebears. Just giving my opinion on the situation.
WM; I’d like to thank you for your enlightening postings. You’ve taught me a ton. I doubt I missed many of your comments, going on several years now. The world of terms is always a fascinating one. I believe you’re as honest as you possibly can be with the tools available you. Again thank you.
Timing is everything. Without really taking sides, your last sentence was, well, perfectly timed. The pen, though perhaps not mightier, cuts as sharply as the sword.
And now we see a time stamped example of why nothing changes….
I really, truly, wish that people could be a bit more respectful. I know at times it feels as though you are under attack. I too have wanted to type hateful notations on here. The fact is, most who come here hope to find answers, learn, and be a part of something meaningful. Talking crap to one another is juvenile and fruitless.
I do understand where you are coming from. But, and this is key, even the most annoying and curt person can be right occasionally, or at very least have something valuable to contribute. So, you might not like his approach…okay. I would just urge you to read the posts, and refute the opinions you disagree with. You need not be a doctorial student to make a point. Frankly, I’d suspect that stating appoint without coming across as elitist and hoity, using common language, will reach a broader audience.
I am curious, do you feel people’s backgrounds will impact how you converse with them here? I am not one to invoke anonymity. I could give a fig if someone assumes that a lack of letter following my name make me some how inferior or less intelligent. A person can be very educated, well informed, and highly experienced and never set foot on a college campus. I am certain you know that. So, I was just curious about what the info will change for you?
I have never provided my full back ground here. On the one hand, it provides me a level of comfort to post with passion and not fear attacks in the non-cyber world. On the other hand, people tend to assume that I am uneducated or clueless. They’d be wrong.
I would think a person with expertise and education would see the value in having others embrace what they say. After all, the best student is one who knows learning never stops and sharing knowledge is it’s own reward.
So I just have to say “Why do people feel they need to demean or alienate others here? What the heck does it accomplish?” I mean, really folks, don’t we have enough people in our actual lives to piss off? Why seek them out on a forum which is intended to spark a meaningful conversation?
Yes and no. The problem with electronic communication is, no tone of voice, or facial expression. I’d think that future technology will remedy that.
What’s wrong with being able to use the language properly? Go onto some sites and if one has an above average vocabulary, and is versed in the sciences, the individual with whom you converse is either googling or using a dictionary to understand what you say. That brands you an elitist snob. After a while your posts are not read, but serve as a launching pad for canned comments.
When using words, one must be able to choose battles. If you want to get into a pissing match on this site, there are some who will skin you alive, others will drop 16 tons on you, and others will throw as much “garbage” and “trash” as they can muster. 🙂
Please forgive me, as I have finally replaced smoke signals with an up and running computer, yet this iPhone goes with me everywhere. My thumbs and the key board at times are not in serendipity. Cobackcountry, not Cobalt.
This post should have been placed here in response to Coback…mods can go ahead and delete the previous, duplicate one. My apologies.
I stand by my post. And I request that WM do us a favor and provide the information he requested from Zach. I do not know WM’s background, age, formal education, career, life experiences. I think WM needs to provide Zach and I his bio. This will allow us to weigh the responses of WM’s posts based the credentials provided….should we be respectful, condescending, dismissive.
WM needs to put his money where his mouth is. I want him to address each question he asked of Zach.
And I at least want to know his first name. Is it William M, Willard M., Ward M., Walter M., Wilbur M.
Funny how a guy who his so full of himself can’t even give us the honor of knowing his first name.
You are right Immer, timing is everything, and it is now time for WM to provide the information I have requested.
If I remember WM’s first name is Wilderness and his last name is Muse. He just shortened to WM.
What makes you think a guy like WM who’s so gutless he can’t provide his name will tell you the truth about anything else including his background. One things for certain however if you go thru his posts it’s easy to tell he’s nothing but a pseudo-intellectual, imho.
++ I request that WM do us a favor and provide the information he requested from Zach.++
I have provided much of my background over time, here, as it seemed relevant to discussion of particular topics. If you are really that interested you can go back to various threads for several years, and it will become evident. It should be sufficient that a couple of respected posters on this forum, in fact, do know who I am, including my background as a retired lawyer with an advanced science degree relevant to what we discuss here, and a fair amount of work experience and extensive recreation of various types throughout the West.
If you were reading posts for content you would know this. However, the tone of your comments is not about substance and wanting to learn, or exchange reasoned views with someone you may or may not agree with. You, and a couple more like you, are obstructionists, because you don’t like what I say, and can’t articulate in a rational way the reasons why. Your last half dozen pissy comments are proof positive of this.
And, names of posters are irrelevant unless you plan on showing up on somebody’s doorstep, for some reason. Can you, or anyone else, give a rational argument why you need to know someone’s name?
The weight of a poster’s comment should stand on its own, including background, if someone wants to give it. Readers can draw their own conclusion about truth and veracity.
And, before you get all wiggy about it, the reason for asking about someone’s background is that life experience, education (formal or otherwise), chosen field of work and family all define who we are and how we think. And, some of the people I respect most in this world don’t have much formal education.
I asked Zach about his background for the reason stated above. He can either respond or not. Pretty simple, really.
Now, can we get back on topic?
Well said. You are one of the few who post here who are willing to say what others don’t want to hear. Over the past couple of years I get the impression you are very much In favor of predators such as wolves…yet not afraid to look at laws, EIS reports, interpretation of said documents, financial impacts (pro and con) ie how all stakeholders are affected, to name a few, with well articulated postings, and at time little patience for fools. Your logical approach to the topics at hand is one of the positives that distinguishes this blog from others out there.
That said, the exchange you and Salle had about a year ago was classic. It sounded like a sparring match between Jim Harrison and Tom McGuane stimulated by spirits. 🙂
Actually WM, I don’t have time to go back and look up your posts.
So I will ask again…..please provide the answers to the questions you asked of Zach. I’m looking forward to your response and learning about your esteemed background.
But this is not democracy. It is not I don’t agree with your idea, I really don’t care about it, I have way to much experience and most of it has not been good.
Fair enough. I’m not too inspired by our current status quo either.
Sadly, it is as close to a democracy as exists. Perhaps, the idealisms of democracies are as much a relic as tying your horse up at the Watering Hole Saloon.
I struggle with feeling hopeless every day. I am not too old, just too stubborn to cave in to it.
Have a nice evening. And remember, we will have an election soon, and in Colorado we will have a recall sooner 🙂 So times, may be a-changin’.
You also have a possible secession coming up!
Zach, why all of the hostility?
I know! It is a fascinating time in history, for sure. I am not so sure it will end well, but we will see.
Furthermore, my hope for a few honest people is in sync with the knowledge that there will still be more who are not.
I don’t fault someone for wanting to maintain their privacy. I as a wolf and wildlife advocate surprisingly find that I can appreciate SB’s comments, and I respect the hell out of the fact that he held to his principles, rather than cave to pressure. I think he’s more open-minded than he gives himself credit for, but his opinions not easily swayed. I’m finding that extremes on either side won’t do any good at all, whether ultra liberal or ultra conservative. It’s all about trying to work together sincerely. Whether someone’s background or education gives them more credibility – people do think so and maybe sometimes it is true, but we all have opinions as we seem to all be wildlife and wild lands enthusiasts, and they are all valid and worthy or consideration.
I agree. If he chooses to remain anonymous, I can understand.
I actually received death threats after being published speaking out against Wyoming’s Wolf Policies.
I give more credit to people’s passion, and ability to rationalize than their education history.
I don’t know that getting a degree makes someone more credible, just more educated. I know some straight up d-bags who lie, cheat, steal, harass and harm others….and they are highly educated (M.D. follows their names).
SB I generally informative, and I also commend his ‘stick to my guns’ attitude. I can also say, I have read him conceding to another when he was shown to be wrong, and rarely- his opinions are moved a slight bit. I enjoy reading his posts.
Having said that, I get sick of the tit for tats that are becoming too common here. I hope that stops.
Yes, I feel I was a bit harsh that way too in the beginning, but I can get a sense of everyone from their posts and I don’t need to be defensive in my opinions now. There’s no need to namecall – I just take a step away for a bit and then come back. 🙂
Here is something more on topic. I am somewhat relieved that there wasn’t a more extensive argument made by Creel. Had he said much more, people would have stopped reading shortly into it. The short, contrite, and factual retort was to the point.
I think too much can often be a deterrent to those who are standing on the fence when it comes to seeing the need for better practices.
I have one question about Dr Creel.
Does he have the time and resources to monitor the entire state wolf population. All of the wolves are not collared.
Do most of you realize the true size of Montana? Do some understand the vast tracks of private land where a lot of wolves can’t even be studied.
I’m not discounting the numbers here but someone want some grant money for ongoing studies.
SB stated why the wolf. The wolf is pawn and someone wants to make checkmate and have control of all animals and the environment.
I don’t know Dr. Creel, but I do know that most of his research is about wolves and his studies are in Montana and Yellowstone.
It is Montana’s announced policy to reduce the state’s wolf population, and they are officially claiming some degree of success. Because anyone following the matter at all closely would know about the decline in the population, he would know as much and more, I assume.
“Do most of you realize the true size of Montana? Do some understand the vast tracks of private land where a lot of wolves can’t even be studied.”
Gee Robert I’ll bet most of us don’t. Why don’t you use your obvious abundance of intelligence and enlighten us common folk. Between you and WM teachings we can all learn something. Maybe Dr. Creel will even sit in.
Thanks Robert R. I own land in Montana, thinking it was actually a province of Canada. Excellent post.
timz its really simple look at Montana on google earth. Take into account there are only 6.8 people per square mile and a 145,545.80 square miles. There are places that has never seen man and never will.
I don’t think Dr. Creel does his own estimates of wolf population in MT, but relies on data provided by MTFWP. Dr. Creel is a highly respected behavioral ecologist who studies anti-predator responses by prey species (around the world), and population biology, which I think involves modeling and projections. That means some of his NRM work is directed to looking at how elk respond to wolves by trying to avoid them, including indirect impacts (like behavioral changes,reproduction implications or weight loss). He has also publicly opined on potential implications of harvesting too many wolves from an estimated population. He has been a contractor to the state of MT doing some of this work and he has, according to some writings in local MT newspapers, some re-published on this forum, been the subject of some harassment by MTFWP, because they felt he was mis-using or ignoring certain data, and drawing conclusions without first consulting with the department. It strained relations with the university.
Here is a link to his website, and some of his papers: http://www.montana.edu/screel/Webpages/creel.html
By the way, in response to multiple assertions by a poster on this forum, who said wolves specifically target collared elk and that gave erroneous study results on depredation, he responded at my request, by saying that is not so.
Very true, Immer.
I must admit at times I don’t like what I hear from those with views different than mine, but it is important to hear it. As I said, I have come to get a sense of the people here from reading their posts, and WM is ok in my books. I do appreciate his comments.