Do you have some interesting wildlife news? Sept. 6, 2013 edition
By Ralph Maughan On September 6, 2013 · 403 Comments · In Wildlife News
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.
403 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news? Sept. 6, 2013 edition
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“Claimed as a dramatic increase most of that increase was in people who hunted and fished”
Do you suppose that might of had something to do with the economy RB?
“The data show that 33.1 million people fished, 13.7 million hunted, and 71.8 million participated in at least one type of wildlife-watching activity such as observing, feeding and photographing wildlife”
Not 100% sure but I believe hunting and fishing activities increase with a good economy,decrease with a bad economy. The old saying, I work so that I can hunt and fish.
Looking at the data a state would be smart to cater to wild bird watchers because of the sheer numbers, other wildlife watchers like butterflies and hunters and fisher persons because of the dollars spent per year. Being that Montana doesn’t have any marine wildlife and it’s against the law to feed wildlife I’d say your stuck with us hunters because the numbers say we are at least equal in number to land mammal watchers.
The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have completed a Draft EIS for reducing the population of nonnative lake trout in Flathead Lake, Montana. With a total population in excess of 1.5 million fish, lake trout imperil all other fish populations in the Flathead drainage. Native bull trout have been reduced to less than 3,000 adult fish. The westslope cutthroat population is down by over 50%, all due to predation and competition by lake trout.
Lake trout have invaded many other lakes throughout the drainage. In Glacier National Park, 10 lakes have been infested by lake trout and in several of those, the native trout populations are functionally extinct. An ongoing project to suppress lake trout in Swan Lake and the rest of the drainage is showing some progress although two upstream lakes have now been found to have lake trout and the small bull trout populations there are likely lost.
Please support the tribes in their quest for funding from BPA to reduce the over-abundant lake trout population and re-balance the Flathead Lake and River fishery. The proposal would remove only 143,000 adult lake trout per year for 50 years, but would give native fish a chance to survive. Learn more at http://www.flatheadtu.org/
Looks like a useful and worthwhile project, but why should or would Bonneville Power Administration want to fund it? Just asking.
BPA mitigation funding is aimed at recovering native fish in the Columbia basin. Native fish in the Flathead have been decimated by predation and competition from lake trout. Lowering the lake trout population is the only hope we have for maintaining a population of federally threatened bull trout in the Flathead. BPA has funded many projects aimed at recovering bull trout throughout the basin, including Swan Lake in the Flathead and should provide funding for lake trout removal.
Thanks for the reply. I was looking more for the nexus between the project funding and electrical rate payer subsidy of it. Can you provide some insight.
Also what is the overall cost of the proposed alternative in the EIS? And, would this be a jobs program of sorts for some tribal members?
This money is collected annually from utilities who buy power from BPA to mitigate for effects of (36?) BPA dams on fish and wildlife in the Columbia basin. They currently fund around $450 million in projects each year. Rate payers will not be assessed any additional money for this project. Each year the Independent Science Review Panel (ISRP) reviews submitted projects and decides which ones are deserving of funding. The money will be collected and spent regardless of whether it is spent in the Flathead or elsewhere.
Overall cost of the most aggressive alternative under he plan would be up to about $934,000. The Tribes are already spending $350,000 annually on popular fishing contests and those will continue, but the contests do not remove a sufficient number of lake trout to reduce the population. The additional half million would be spent on gillnetting, trap netting and a range of other proposed strategies to reduce the lake trout population by an additional 73,000 fish.
Tribal folks will be involved in some of the project work. Currently, the removed lake trout are collected, processed and donated to local food banks. That will continue. I would think they would use a few more people to process the increase in fish caught, although not many. As for the netting, that is pretty technical work and I suspect the Tribes would contract that out to non-tribal professionals as they have done on Swan Lake, Yellowstone and Pend Oreille. TU, USFS, USFWS and other organizations also provide volunteers to help with these projects and would do likewise on Flathead Lake. Hope that helps.
The interesting twist to the lake trout issue is, why is the state regulation allowing only 1 lake trout over 36 inches. Your allowed 100 daily in the north part of the lake yet none from 30-36 inches and only 1 over 36. Two different regulations same lake. Also if the tribe wants to get rid of the lake trout why charge non-tribal members to fish Flathead lake. I know several of people who would spend more time in the southern part if not for the tribal licence. I know the reason for the state restrictions is because the guides want the lake trout. The reason for the licence is for tribal money, seems we’re missing a full effort by both parties while they both rake in the dollars.
Fishing regulations are the same on the south half of the lake as on the north. The slot limit applies to the entire lake. The state and tribes co-manage the lake and work to keep regulation consistent.
As far as I know, every tribe in Montana charges for the privilege of taking game or fish on their reservation. They charge for the same reason that the state does, so they will have funds to manage their resources. Tribes don’t have access to the state license funds. I doubt the extra $12 stops that many from fishing.
Interesting side note however; FWP has finally come to realize that those older fish (>30″) are reaching the end of their lives. Those fish are mostly 20+ years old and are not being replaced because the harvest focus is currently on fish just under the slot limit and all the big ones are dying or being kept for trophies. No matter what happens with the management, those older, larger fish are going to disappear in a few years. Therefore, FWP has agreed that the slot limit will go away under all alternatives of the CSKT plan. Stupid rule anyway to protect the largest and most fecund predators while you are trying to reduce the population.
If you have an interest in western fisheries, I encourage you to read “A History of Bull Trout and the Salish and Pend d’Oreille People” by Thompson Smith.
This is an excellent and well researched paper that explains in detail how we have spent the last 150 years screwing ourselves (not just the tribes) out of one of the best and most important fishery resources in the country.
This is sad…
An attempt by wildlife agencies to find a single living specimen of the rare Fisher in all of northwest Wyoming has turned up nothing. The weasel-like mammal is apparently rarer than either the Wolverine or the Canadian Lynx in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Interesting. I was at some beaver ponds a couple evenings ago watching the evening fauna and I saw a beaver across the road and as I got to other side I found a dead animal that I thought was a fisher, hadn’t been there all that long. I tool some photos of it, poor thing… had obviously been hit by a vehicle. It was a bit small for a marten and didn’t have the same “paint job” (coloring) as the martens around here but certainly a weasel-like animal, after looking at some images online, I still think it was a fisher, too bad it was dead.
“It was a bit small for a marten and didn’t have the same “paint job” (coloring) as the martens around here but certainly a weasel-like animal, after looking at some images online, I still think it was a fisher, too bad it was dead.”
Are you confusing marten with fisher? Fisher are larger than martens. Marten rarely reach 3 lbs, and fisher commonly attain weights of 10-12 lbs.
It could have been a mink if it was near water.
And yet 22 were trapped accidentally and 15 died in Idaho’s last wolf trapping season!
It looks like the collateral damage of Idaho’s wolf trapping needs to be publicized more.
I’m surprised that hunting groups haven’t come out against this, that they aren’t policing the bad policy.
Oh wait. I’m not shocked at all.
The only way to stop this collateral damage is to ban trapping completely. Idaho fish and game wants an elk and deer farm for their elk and deer hunters. The wolves, bears, cougars, etc have much more of a right to the elk and deer than elk and deer hunters should. Elk and deer hunters hunt elk and deer by choice. I never heard of a hunter in Idaho starving to death because he couldn’t kill an elk or deer. Sadly, many more animals will continue to be trapped and killed. People need to expose the country to what kind of damage these trappers are doing to the wildlife.
So they searched Sunlight Basin where I live–I suppose last winter. Well there was extensive logging going on here all winter long. Logging trucks ran from 5am till 2pm every half hour up and down the road. And from the article…”Factors such as over-trapping, timber harvesting and habitat fragmentation” are the main cause of loss of fishers.
I’ve never seen a fisher track since I’ve lived here for eight years. But I understand Cooke City has had one or two. Wyoming doesn’t have a lot of forest habitat compared to MT and ID. So I’m not that surprised. I am surprised Fishers are not listed as endangered in the West as CA Sierras has only two tiny isolated populations
Fishers are a bit of an enigma to me. Their most important prey is generally said to be snowshoe hares which are generally associated with open/broken forest with deciduous shrubs, etc. and yet fishers are also said to need mature forest. They just don’t seem built to catch hares on soft snow (maybe they catch them under larger timber near openings?). I can see that Cooke City would be a good area, as there is (was before 1988) plenty of forest. I hunted snowshoe hares from snowshoes in the creek bottom around Cooke as a kid, and hares seemed reasonably abundant then.
There have been occasional fishers found around Juneau for a couple of decades, that probably moved out of interior B.C. via the Taku River — as occasionally do mountain lions. Fishers have ample porcupine opportunity here but it is thought they will not become abundant because snowshoe hares are not particularly abundant. Fishers are not found in the rest of Alaska (despite a great abundance of hares in places, although cyclic) and there is no open season for them — hunting or trapping.
According to the Olympic National Park website, Fishers also eat “shrews, mice, squirrels, and birds.
After the successful release in the Olympics, they are now considering releases in Mt. Rainier National Park, as well as North Cascades National Park.
In comparison to the ONP website, the Seattle Times article lists their diet as consisting of “snowshoe hares, mountain beavers and porcupines”.
I’m curious about how well fishers and lynx compete with each other for snowshoe hares?
In the Sierras, porcupines are major food for fishers. Last few years the porcupines are also nowhere to be found. The Calif. F&G and FS had asked anyone who sighted a porcupine to report it.
I understood from a COoke City person that there are few snowshoe hares around last year as foxes are taking them all. Around Sunlight, we have plenty of snowshoe hares so go figure…
Well said! Hypocrisy at its best! (or worst).
Good News. More sheep to disappear from public lands around Ketchum, ID.
The unhappy article below from an Ag newspaper tells of sheep grazing cuts. I think it is great news, especially now the the hillsides are burnt around Ketchum and Hailey, Idaho.
The news article talks about Idaho’s Heritage of sheep . . . oh yes its heritage of having a tiny handful of livestock barons trample over the rights of the rest of us.
From the Capital Press. http://tinyurl.com/p2amw7m
Here is an example of what is happening in central Idaho after the fires and the monsoon season got stronger.
In Greenhorn, scarred hillsides slide
If this is happening in populated areas on the edge of the huge Beaver Creek fire, we can only imagine what is happening in the huge backcoutry burned this summer.
Mother Nature, when she comes roaring thru there’s no telling what’s gonna happen 🙂
Bannack State Park (southwest Montana) had a freak, flash flood thru there back on the 18th of July.
Some actually thought the park would be open again within two weeks of the devastation.
As expected, guns take their first national park victim:
Salle already posted that on Sept.7th around 7:11 pm, Mike.
As was stated above, it is sad, but the fact that it happened in Yellowstone really has no bearing on it, guns handled carelessly are very dangerous and those who allow this child access should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Unfortunately it did happen in Yellowstone, where these guns had been banned before 2010.
No gun, no death.
Someone who leaves a hand gun out and accessible to a 3 year old is likely not going to observe laws regarding where one can or cannot legally have a (loaded)firearm. Unfortunately this sort of thing could have and possibly would have happened whether on other federal, state or private land (or even at home).
This is likely more about incredibly bad parenting skills than recent legality of firearms in national parks. Some people just don’t have the skills to raise and protect their kids.
That being said, it makes little sense to have a blanket law that allows for firearms in national parks, and I think it should be changed.
One of the things about going camping,especially those who don’t do it often, is that things get disorganized.
I can see myself leaving things out, though very hopefully (almost certainly) not one of my guns when the grandkids are along.
Sad. I never thought it was a good idea to allow guns in the National Parks where there are children, except I think for during elk season, but that is a different situation.
Some interesting comments below the article:
A needed essay http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/elist/eListRead/wildernesss_midlife_crisis/
Read some of the neo-conservative links he provides such as http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/journal/past-issues/issue-2/conservation-in-the-anthropocene/
These neo-conservationists are dangerous. They would make our world into a cultivated backyard where species we don’t like are expendable.
“Had I not been able periodically to renew myself in the mountains and deserts of western America I would be very nearly bughouse,” novelist and wilderness lover Wallace Stegner wrote.
I love it. Thanks for that first essay!
Actually, I don’t have a problem with the fundamental premise of the essay–we are going to need to make use of ‘working lands’ in conservation, and we may need to blur the distinction between working (multiple use) and protected lands, as well. However, some of the statements are just wrong:
“Just as the United States was dammed, logged, and crisscrossed by roads, it is likely that much of the Amazon will be as well.”
You cannot compare deforestation in the US (and its effects) with deforestation in the tropical rainforest (with higher rates of nutrient leaching, runoff, and lower soil fertility). Deforestation in the Amazon will have clear and prolonged detrimental effects; deforestation in Michigan and Ohio made amazing soils accessible for farming. These two scenarios are more different than similar.
There was an essay in the recent SUN blasting conservation organizations for removing indigenous peoples to protect lands. This neo-conservation talk is very outdated. I was in Australia several years ago and from all my reading, while Yellowstone USED to be the world model, it no longer is. Uluru is the model for parks now. Uluru, formerly Ayers Rock, was given back to the aborigines in the ’80’s who now have their land. They then leased it back to the Aussie government to manage. They have a board that consists of a majority of tribal members and meetings are held in their native tongue. They close the park if they want to do ceremonies. I think its a fantastic model.
These neo-conservationists have been touting this without updating the story. There’s been a partnership for a long time with native peoples and their lands. That’s the new model.
Here is the link to that SUN article
I worry about this kind of anti-conservation that isn’t really coming from the ‘right’. It gets mixed up with a new model for wildlands, like ‘new’ conservation thinking.
Yes, I’ve noticed it too!
The “premise of the essay” sidesteps the core problem. The real issue is not that efforts at conservation are failing. It is that the effects of a continuing rapid increase in population and the need/desire to extract or convert resources is far surpassing conservation efforts.
I would submit that the conservation effort over the last 30 years in many parts of the world has been substantial. In a more staticly populated world we might actually be making progress.
We now mostly ignore the warnings of Paul Ehrlich in the “Population Bomb,” gradually dwindling petroleum reserves, economic desires of third world countries to develop, and the demands for natural resources (from iron ore, to new farmlands brought to production, to exotic bubinga wood for flooring) from the “civilized” world. Anybody hear about theories of global warming, or climate change?
The struggle is not about conservation methods and tactics. It is about population increase, and until we acknowledge it and deal with it, we are on a collision course for a severely impaired world. Multiple use conservation of sorts may slow the inevitable, but it sure won’t stop it.
These conservation writers and the Nature Conservancy have missed the mark. It is the increasing population, STIPID. And, that is damn sad conservation academics and quasi-academics won’t deal with it squarely head-on.
Center for Biological Diversity is one org that is addressing overpopulation
My uncle gave me the Population Bomb as a gift when I was a teen, it really stuck with me
I agree with all your comments on this topic
Okay, let’s ignore the issue of consumption rates and assume the core problem is simply population. What is it that you propose we do? Nearly all first world nations (and many second) now have zero to negative population growth rates. (In the US, our population growth in recent years is entirely attributable to immigration–both legal and illegal).
So what has worked for decreasing population growth? Increases in human well-being (e.g., the expectation that your child will survive to adulthood) as well as education and equality (of women, most importantly) have worked to slow and eventually stop growth in most first world countries. In the absence of such expectations, China’s ‘one child’ policy and the incentives put in place to enforce the policy also helped curb that country’s growth rate. These solutions are known to academics–who have no power to impose them. More importantly, the governments of countries have neither the moral nor political authority to impose restrictive policies on third-world nations–which account for essentially all of the growth. So the only thing we can do (that has been proven to work) is to attempt to use foreign policy to attempt to increase equality, education and human well-being in these nations–I suspect those in power in our government would suggest they’ve been trying to do this for decades.
The chinese model, while surely not perfect, did actually use economic disincentives and social stigma to impose their control program.
“Query, why is the US the world’s peacekeeper, but we and the rest of the developed world seem to ignore what might be a dim horizon by the end of the 21st Century…”
Again, what alternative do you propose? Starting a war to reduce a population in another country? (And we wonder why people in other countries hate us?) The reality is that population growth rates are highest in countries that don’t/won’t have the resources to adequately feed their populations. If I may be presumptuous, the result will be civil wars, sectarian violence, and other types of social strife (frankly, it is already occurring and has been occurring since Ehrlich’s time). Many here have noted that when wolves reach carrying capacity, the number one mortality source is other wolves. It will be the same for human populations. Think source-sink dynamics. Right now the habitat patches of the lowest quality have high growth rates, while those of high quality (mostly in the temperate, northern hemisphere) have stable human populations. Speaking in the terms of population ecology, we will see the same scenario play out for humans that plays out for wildlife: some population growth will be handled by emigration from high population/low habitat quality areas, while other growth will be handled by high mortality and population crashes in areas with poor habitat quality.
If you have a bit of time, check out Jarod Diamond’s review of “Why Nations Fail” (link below). Scholars are talking about this, WM; but clearly they don’t agree upon the causes (let alone the solutions).
Thanks, I’ll put it on my list of books to read. Jarod Diamond (author rather than reviewer), is a biologist and also author of “Germs, Guns and Steel,” whose work I found fascinating. Both of Diamonds books reinforce the themes of James Michener’s fiction plot novels decades earlier, steeped heavily and accurately in the histories of some of these cultures – “Caravans” (1963) and “Mexico” (1992) are good examples; there are others (The Covenant is about S. Africa). Each focuses on the haves, have nots and exploits of conquering European cultures. The theme of Caravans continues today in Afghanistan.
The new paradigm, however, in places like Africa is that some Europeans with their wealth and technology seem on the surface to truly be concerned about improving living conditions. The cynic in me believes some of this is (in addition to guilt) about creating new generations of consumers, and developing cheap labor markets. Were it not for isolationism which dominated China, a culture also technology rich during era of European colonialism, I suppose it wouldn’t just be about the evil Europeans. I guess that is changing, as China in an ever smaller world now casts tentacles into South America in search of reliable petroleum stores to satisfy increasing demands (close ties to the late Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is but one example).
And all of this comes full circle to an increasing human population with expanding consumption rates to peoples of developing countries, and the apparent sustained rate of consumption of peoples of developed countries – to the detriment of the environment and a competing desire of some of us to sustain and increase meaningful “conservation efforts.”
To respond to your earlier question, I have no answer, but I sure do hope the deep thinkers of academia and elsewhere are taking a look at how long a window of opportunity will remain open before we reach a flashpoint, which seems inevitable in a climate-warming world with expanding human population.
I too have enjoyed Diamond’s books (his training is actually physiology, though he is self-taught as an ecologist and geographer). Truly an amazing individual. I’m not sure if it is available, but Scott E. Page’s book review of Diamond’s Collapse is awesome (it gives the traditional economic critique, but in a much more nuanced way). Unlike Julian Simon, Page is actually sympathetic to the conservationists perspective.
Anyway, not trying to give you reading assignments, but Page’s essay is definitely worth your time.
First, let’s NOT ignore consumption rates, because it is a function of population. People in many “developing” countries want (along with clean water and food) the same material wealth and all that brings as people in developed countries. They are being conditioned for it. There is constant discussion of and need for “jobs” for people in developing countries. Jobs typically mean people make (or grow) things, or provide services in support of things other people make or grow. They hang on promises of a better more full and civilized life, enjoyed by others around the world.
The middle class of China has become a huge consumer group, with rapidly increasing consumption rates (even though the 1 child policy has slowed/stopped population growth for the moment). India is not far behind.
Nobody wants to take on the stark realities of dealing with it. The UN has some frightening statistics. It is also the only organization, if any, that can do anything about it. But it won’t because “developing” countries with the youngest populations and highest fertility rates (think Africa and especially Nigeria which will likely exceed US population in the next forty years). The UN is, according to some, pretty much a worthless organization for the countries in power, but gives the smaller ones some voice in policy.
Query, why is the US the world’s peacekeeper, but we and the rest of the developed world seem to ignore what might be a dim horizon by the end of the 21st Century (unless science and decreased consumption combined with restrained population growth, can save us). It sure doesn’t look like we will be conserving as much of the earth as we need or would like to as population and natural resource consumption continues to grow. Isn’t it the Australians that now top the list for per capita consumption these days, followed, maybe by one or more of the Scandanavian countries, and of course the US and other parts of Europe filling out the top ten?
Tough choices for sure, but we can’t ignore them. I have said before the work of the Gates Foundation and PATH to improve birthing conditions resulting in higher survival rates for infants is the right moral thing, perhaps. But it is contributing to acceleration of dramatic population growth in some of those countries.
Looks to me like we are ignoring what may be an accelerating bus taking us over a cliff. Changes in Conservation strategy, as discussed by the Nature Conservancy folks and this academic provide nominal environmental improvement, while the bus gains speed toward the precipice, IMHO.
You might find these charts and narrative helpful:
Or, these maps of population growth and climate change with least resilience:
And, here we are diddly-dicking around with small thinker Nature Conservancy types and their mostly nominal tactics for “Conservation in the Anthropcene.”
Sorry. This one got me stirred up.
I knew you were old, WM; but I didn’t know you were that old.
The links didn’t work for me.
I think a big part of the reason you don’t hear more from those NGO’s about population growth is because most people aren’t willing to even have a rational discussion about the issue.
Just this morning I had a brief discussion about it with a loud-mouthed co-worker and drew a Hitler reference…..
Both of those links are pdf files that load quickly for me. Not sure what the problem is on your end.
I’m not that old, well at least at heart. 😉
Going into the Enchantments in a few days. I was telling my wife, just last night, how I got a hole in my knee on a past trip in there 30 years ago, when ice axes were much longer and had the 3″ long spike on the end. I managed to skewer myself while hopping from rock to rock on a snowfield up near Colchuck Lake.
Just read the second essay – Conservation in the Anthropocene. “Dangerous” was the word that came to mind for me as well. The second essay paints entirely too rosy a picture of the effects of continued human growth and usage of resources, discredits any value of a reason for being for wildlands and wildlife other than a utilitarian benefit to humans, discredits conservationists. We all know who the original displacers of indigenous peoples were/are.
My daughter’s friend had a close encounter with a couple of coyotes while walking his dog in our neighborhood. Daylight. Big dog. Heck the kid’s a big kid, over 6’5.
Kinda sucks when you can’t even take your dog for a walk without having to worry about that. 🙁
That’s life, some times it sucks, if it’s not the four legged predators it’s the two legged ones. A person just has to enjoy life be prepared for the worst and if that’s not good enough take as many of them with you when you go as you can. 🙂
So all the world should be sanitized so that people with pets can take their domesticated animals out without taking into consideration that the environment outside your house is what’s actually outside your house?
I don’t get that part. The predators were there before they were species-cleansed from the landscape so people could ignore the natural world.
Sorry, I don’t mean to sound cranky but honestly, if you can’t accept the other species in the world, stay in the house. If you have to have a gun to go camping, same answer. My two cents.
I might have a bit more sympathy if we didn’t already dominate the lion’s share of everything.
Talking about gun control while lifting a ban on guns in the national parks makes no sense. While I do support some forms of gun control, ban on assault weapons for instance, the realist in me thinks that when there is an estimated gun for every person in this country (300 million guns or so) and illegal weapons, that horse left the barn a long time ago.
The key Ida, Assault weapons are already strongly controlled, the weapons that are being used for these tragedies are not assault weapons and no military person would try to attempt an assault with them. True assault weapons are select fire weapons that can be used in full automatic mode. We have weapons that look like military weapons for the same reason we have giant tires on 4×4 pickups, because image sells, there are many weapons on the market that are not considered assault weapons, but can do the same amount of damage. These are simply semi automatic guns that have been stylized to look like a military weapon. Now being retired military, if you really want to see damage, let me pull out an M-16, AK-47, MP-4 or a host of other weapons that shoot over 600 rounds per minute.
The media has done its job again with the hype about so called assault weapons.
I’m covering my eyes at the thought of those weapons!
Next time have your friend try singing. Believe it or not, I know a gal with her dog who was surrounded by coyotes in the open space around a suburb. She just started singing and the coyotes left–or maybe they laid down and went to sleep. I forgot which!
“So all the world should be sanitized so that people with pets can take their domesticated animals out without taking into consideration that the environment outside your house is what’s actually outside your house?”
So your solution is… Don’t have a dog? Or keep it in the house? Or let the coyotes kill it if they want to, because they were here first?
domesticated pets should not be left out alone and should be supervised if they are out alone. Wild predators should not have to pay with their lives, be relocated or killed because some moron is an irresponsible pet owner. if you live in coyote or other predator land than your dog should be controlled. How many reports of dogs being ripped from a leash do you have in your files? Dogs are taken when they are left out in a yard and or might have been harassing the predator or entering its area. My dog runs with me every day in the day light and is under my voice command. I never let him off leash at night for his own safety. Its time to adopt better coexistence and tolerance policies and stop labeling encounters with all wild predators as close calls.
supervised if they are out….
Lightning is dangerous! Shoot the sky!
I wouldn’t worry about big dogs and coyotes. A smaller toy dog? Yes. Cats? Hell yes.
I let my cats out in heavy coyote country only under my supervision, and only in full light.
What is a “close encounter”?
sorry Timz did not see your question!
what is a close encounter? if your son is over 6’5 and has a big dog that does not sound like a close encounter more like an encounter. Coyotes can usually be easily discouraged from being near humans by hazing. See project coyote website. I have come across coyotes on my walks and I am a relatively small woman with a big Shepherd, I’ve never felt threatened just lucky. I think its time to reassess why any encounter is labeled as close just because one might see another wild predator.
I was walking my dog recently,she weighs about 45 lbs, and we spotted a coyote about
50 yards away. It looked up, saw us and ran off.
Whew, sorry, been a busy week and I am now trying to play catch up!
Close encounter, they were following this kid and his dog, which was on a leash. Following about 2 houses away from where they were walking. Scout, the dog, did not like the fact that they were being followed and wanted to take issue. The young man who was walking him finally had to pick him up and carry him home, they were fairly close to home so he didn’t have to carry him too far. The dog was about medium size, cross between a Shiba Inu and I think he said a Labrador.
What would be your solution to this? Just curious. I mean, it wasn’t like he was walking the dog at dusk or dawn or night or anything like that. He was in a residential area. Dog was leashes (Though I’ve heard that can also complicate an issue when the dog feels restrained and less secure to defend itself.) The coyotes were stalking them. (Gonna have to tell him about that singing bit! That might work, specially if he sings really badly!!)
I’m not looking to sanitize the outdoors. Never once did I say or advocate that we should kill off all the coyotes and predators in the world so that people can walk their dogs. But, if one lives in a suburb or even the city, I don’t think it’s too elitist or unrealistic to expect to walk a dog without being stalked by coyotes. If you live rural, that’s a whole other ball of wax. At least that’s my humble opinion.
Wolf Tourism: So Hot Right Now
Fewer apply for MN wolf season.
My math says 3300 licenses to kill 220 wolves is 15 per wolf in MN.
In MI it’s 1200 to kill 43, about 28 per wolf, maybe cause no trapping allowed yet. There have been articles questioning whether MI license sales (a free-for-all) will sell out fast. I’m thinking they’ll be gone in 20 minutes based on MN application numbers.
Sad thing is the illegal take will continue, minus the opportunity of those taken legally.
great comment about carrot and stick at end of the interview
“Yakama and White House square off over mustangs”
Yakama Tribal horse confrontation w/ Whitehous – I just loved the response from the Humane Society guy (commenting from some lush Western WA grassy spot,by the way), about how gelding horses and contraception would solve the problem. Well, to geld horses you have to catch them in a corral, lasso, throw and tie them, before cutting off their goodies. Anybody who has ever seen or done that, knows it is tough work, and is painful for the horse, especially when older, and it is a bloody, and infection risky job when done under field conditions if not done right. It takes a couple trained wranglers for each procedure.
It can also be done by a vet, at substantially greater cost, after sedating the horse, disinfecting the area, clamping things off, and stitching things up afterward, or using twist technique with a portable drill. For some who have never seen the procedure, there are a couple vet instructional videos, one I saw was near bloodless, on Youtube – key words “gelding + horse,” and I believe this horse is sedated (Warning: some of these are graphic for those a bit squeamish, and the horse generally doesn’t care for it much either, and won’t for several days after). Where is the humanity part of that for the horse advocates?
Now why would Yakama tribal members want to spend the time and effort to nut a bunch of young stud horses just to let them run free again on over-grazed range, which is the problem in the first place? It won’t stop reproduction because only the herd stud breeds. By the way, who is going to pay for all this?
Gary Chittham’s Channel 5 report stops short.
Grizzly bear USF&W delisting news
Immer I thought you being a GSD and wolf lover would enjoy this. I know there are other GSD crazed dog owners also that might enjoy. WM? I think
Odd that my last two GSD have not responded (vocally) to wolf howling, live or recorded. The occasional siren will set my current GSD into sustained howls. Also, on the rare occasion, he will howl when sleeping.
I have not owned a GS, but did own a Siberian Husky years ago. I often started a howl, and the dog would join in. So, it was me, the dog and my girlfriend of the time all howling together, … and neighbors thinking WTF.
While in Montana I owned several sled dogs, Samoyed, Siberian huskie, and malamute mix. They all liked a good howl.
Recently I have only had border collies. I have a 60’s record of wolves howling; one of the collies came to the area whenever I put it on and joined in. The other two never paid any attention to it. That same dog also joined during one passage in the final movement of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor; it didn’t matter who the artists were, record, or radio – he howled.
good story WM, I’ve had many Siberians and they love a good talk. Your neighbors must have had a good laugh from time to time!
Interesting piece on wolves including figuring out ESA on the Eastern….
October 2 wolf hearing in Sacramento California.
I hope this is not a duplicate post
the article says no one was hurt, I hope the bears also went unharmed
those bears must have had enough
I was trapped in a tree for about 12 hours by a bull elk many years ago. I really don’t think it was a choice on his part, he was simply doing what elk do during rut.
Saying the bears had enough is a pretty ignorant statement Louise.
“The officers along with the camp owner entered the wooded area where they were baiting the bears”
And I would guess there is a big difference between “baiting” bears and a rutting bull elk SB, when it comes to tree stands?
Louise’s statement sounds like another human assigning human traits(Revenge) to wild animals, I will never understand or accept that line of thought.
Of course you don’t believe in it, SB. You view animals as things to be used and abused by humans, that we are all going to a better place, so screw everything else:
Show where I have ever said, I believe animals exist for humans to abuse Mike.
“Dr Poole’s study showed that a lack of older bulls to lead by example has created gangs of hyper-aggressive young males…”
The research suggests that the animals become more aggressive after the elimination of older bulls, who were seen as role models for younger animals. The inference that these animals are out seeking revenge isn’t supported by any data. Isn’t it at least as plausible that the animals simply became belligerent without a role model? To the people involved (or observing) this may appear to be ‘revenge’, but I don’t see any evidence of such motivation.
(See Save Bears, sometimes I agree with you.)
Perhaps the real ignorance is in believing that all emotions sprung into being first and only in the human animal, a position that ignores evolutionary continuity (but then, perhaps we don’t all believe in evolution). Evolutionary biologist Marc Bekoff and many others have done groundbreaking work on animal emotions as the precursors to human emotions given the similar brain structures and chemistry we share.
Who said “all emotions sprung into being first and only in the human animal”? The problem in using either the physiological or behavioral responses of animals to gauge emotion is that these approaches wholly ignore cognition. Information processing in the human brain occurs in such a way that stimuli can initiate emotive responding prior to cognitive recognition (e.g., as when one jumps in response to a loud noise or quick, unexpected movement); however, the time lag between emotive reaction and cognitive recognition can be measured in milliseconds. Once signals move past the limbic to the neocortex, then what we feel as ’emotions’ become distinctly human, because at that point cognition cannot be separated from emotion. Those who promote the notion that emotions are similar for humans and animals seem to ignore this fact.
“One reason may be that humpback whales, and many other cetaceans, have specialized cells in their brains called Von Economo neurons (“spindle cells”) and these are shared with humans, great apes, and elephants. The exact function of these elongated neurons is still unknown but they are found in exactly the same locations in all mammal brains for the species that have them.
What is intriguing is that these parts of the mammal brain are thought to be responsible for social organization, empathy, speech, intuition about the feelings of others, and rapid “gut” reactions. So the presence of these cells is neurological support for the idea that cetaceans are capable of empathy and higher-order thinking and feeling.
In either case these whales are apparently demonstrating a high level of sensitivity and concern (morality, if you will) that is laudable in any species.
It’s hard not to be dismissive of such claims. We (humanity) cannot agree upon what is “moral”. Caribs, as well as numerous other cultures, have found it moral to kill and consume members of their own species. (But, of course, some folks would use animals ostensible ‘morality’ as justification for not killing them…ever.)
More importantly, to assume that because SOME brain physiology is similar, that humans and non-human animals feel or think the same is preposterous. We share some brain physiology with snakes as well…
I don’t see where anyone claimed that animals and humans “feel or think the same.” Evolutionary continuity suggests that animals have emotions and that humans and our emotions evolved from that. As for cognition, animals have their own, and that has certainly not been ignored by the research scientists who study animal behavior. I pulled two books off my shelf–one by Bekoff and one by J. Balcombe, and both have chapters on cognitive ethology. Animal cognition might not be the same as human cognition–so what? That’s an argument one hears quite often from exploiters–“sure, they might ‘think,’ but they don’t think like WE do”; “they might ‘feel,’ but they don’t feel like WE do”; I’ve even read a trapper’s post claiming that “animals might feel pain, but they don’t feel it the way WE do” –as if the human experience is the ONLY valid one, and therefore, animal pain–an inferior manifestation–simply doesn’t matter. That’s the wonderful convenience of speciesism.
JB, you said, “But, of course, some folks would use animals ostensible ‘morality’ as justification for not killing them…ever.”
Most of the folks I know, myself included, do not refrain from harming animals because of *their* ostensible morality, but because of our own.
“The question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?” Jeremy Bentham (b. 1748)
“I don’t see where anyone claimed that animals and humans “feel or think the same.'”
With all due respect, you’re being extremely disingenuous, Kathleen. These arguments (i.e., animals feel like we do, animals have morality like we do) get brought up again and again as justification for given them rights—whether it is stated explicitly, or implied (see Beckoff’s essay on morality in animals).
You said, “That’s an argument one hears quite often from exploiters–”sure, they might ‘think,’ but they don’t think like WE do”; “they might ‘feel,’ but they don’t feel like WE do…as if the human experience is the ONLY valid one, and therefore, animal pain–an inferior manifestation–simply doesn’t matter. That’s the wonderful convenience of speciesism.”
The fact that the argument is mis-used to justify a moral claim (we should kill animals) does not invalidate the argument. Look, we need to separate the SCIENTIFIC claims here from the MORAL claims. I don’t have any problem with people making the case that animals should be protected–it’s a free world. And the argument that animals that are more similar to humans (in terms of emotion, cognition) is fine (though isn’t that its own form of ‘specism’, LOL). But I do have a problem with people who would draw comparisons between human emotion or cognition and that of non-human animals for the purpose of justifying their protection. The SCIENTIFIC point here isn’t that animals don’t think or feel, it is that animal thinking and feeling is incommensurable with human thought/feeling. It’s apples and oranges.
“Most of the folks I know, myself included, do not refrain from harming animals because of *their* ostensible morality, but because of our own.”
Not all humans are capable of higher thought and emotion either.
In response to the other posts, while I wouldn’t call it ‘revenge’, bears, elephants, wolves, etc. may have learned to associate humans with danger (who wouldn’t?, and so defend themselves.
Despite actions and behavior, in scientific terms, almost all humans are capable of what is considered higher thought and emotion. The ones that are not considered capable, are considered psychopaths. Psychopaths are not considered capable of feelings, even to their own family members.
Normally when an animal perceives a “threat” the flight condition is triggered, rarely will you see an animal attack in a threat situation when it concerns a human.
If bears, wolves, elephants, etc. were to “defend” against humans, we would hear of a lot more attacks than we currently do.
Now as to this particular instance we are discussing, the animals were not wounded, so I have a hard time believing they were “defending” more likely, there was an odor in the area or the hunter was wearing a scent that attracted them and they were investigating as a potential food source.
From Scientific American, an interview with Michael McCullough, a psychology professor and director of the Evolution and Human Behavior Laboratory at the University of Miami:
If it (revenge) is so well tuned in humans, do we see this sort of behavior in other animals?
Absolutely. Imposing costs on individuals that have imposed costs on you is really common in nonhuman animals. We see it in birds. We see it in fish. It does actually seem to change them. It produces reformed behavior—the way it ought to if it’s designed for deterrence.
I have read many of the studies over the years with great interest, Unfortunately I don’t put much into them, I and many other biologists disagree with the findings presented by these individuals and believe much of their information is clouded by their emotions.
SaveBears, categorically dismissing work on animal cognition based on the charge of “emotion” is a cop out. But even the flat earth theory had its defenders.
If I were the only one in disagreement, perhap your statement would be valid, but it is not only me disagreeing.
“If it (revenge) is so well tuned in humans, do we see this sort of behavior in other animals?
Absolutely. Imposing costs on individuals that have imposed costs on you is really common in nonhuman animals. We see it in birds. We see it in fish. It does actually seem to change them. It produces reformed behavior—the way it ought to if it’s designed for deterrence.”
You’ve provided an excellent example of the problems inherent with extending terminology used for human thought and behavior to animals. I agree completely with the quote you provided; yes, animals may “impose costs” on other animals that have imposed costs upon them (this, of course, can happen anytime two animals have an altercation). The problem is the use of the word “revenge”, which suggests that the animal in question is motivated to seek retribution for prior imposed costs. In humans, we understand that revenge is often motivated by spite, and may be pursued even at a cost to the person seeking revenge. Use of the word “revenge” implies that we can make the same sorts of assumptions about animals. We can’t.
Actually, no, it really isn’t. Animals can become irritated and stressed by repeat negative experiences. The better the memory, the more response to this they can have (see elephants).
Actually, yes it does Mike.
In a way this dead bull elk gave a little payback.
SB, I think there’s a very low bar set for emotion for the non-psychopaths as well. Emotion is frowned upon in favor of ‘reason’. Humans can and do all over the world and throughout history agree on what is moral and what is not, generally.
Humans do not agree on what is moral, morality is an opinion, what one thinks is ok another thinks is bad, it has been that way through out time.
But we are talking about bears, that hung out around a tree that a hunter was in, even those reporting the story are trying to say, the bears “trapped” the hunter, which I find hard to believe, as I said, it is more than likely that there was a scent in the area that caught their attention, or perhaps that is where the cubs decided to play and the adult decided to hang out.
I would also say, the hunter in the tree is probably the least of the reasons that the bears hung out, after all, the hunter was over bait.
I would say that hunting has always been a dangerous business; today, we expect everything to be given to us as if we were buying it at a store, with none of the dangers of the wild – expect a guaranteed wildlife viewing, a trophy, a pelt. It doesn’t work that way. You go out into the wild, you take your chances. Sometimes you win, sometimes you don’t.
Most people do agree that murder, thievery, corruption, dishonesty, greed and selfishness, and wanton cruelty are immoral, all over the world, in every religion or non-religion, throughout history. There is no opinion here.
Wrong Ida, certain cultures feel that eating humans is ok, there are cultures that believe in cutting off the hands of thieves, there are cultures that believe all kinds of things you and I don’t believe in. Come on, you are talking based on your belief’s not others.
But as I said, we are talking about wild animals, not fellow humans, the original reason I said anything, was the statement was made that the bears may have had enough, in other words seeking revenge.
This is not a conversation about humans.
I will agree, hunting can be a dangerous activity, as can walking across the street, driving a car, eating puffer fish, etc.
There is no difference in what is believed to be immoral – the way different cultures deal with it is the difference. Some cultures are overly punitive, others are overly permissive (such as ours). We have evolved away from certain human behaviors, but very very few.
Yes, there is a difference in what is believed to be immoral, come on, moral is a judgement, not a constant.. What You or I believe to be moral or immoral is a whole bunch different that the the rest of the world.
I wouldn’t call it revenge – but a threat to survival. Every living thing fights to survive. Not every creature flights, some fight.
From the sounds of it, these bears didn’t feel threatened, they were simply hungry and the hunter put a scent out they wanted to investigate.
Ida, you sure seem to be on edge this evening? What is up with that? Did some jerk kick your dog today?
Really when it comes down to it, this is a very simple story, hunter puts bait out, hunter attracts what he was after to the bait and the overwhelming number of them, scares the hell out of him, so he comes up with a story, that he was trapped in a tree by bears, media picks up on it and people starting thinking the bears were out for revenge!
No, not on edge at all.
I hope I don’t sound on edge! I just like a lively discussion and different points of view.
Have a good night,
I do believe that not everyone experiences emotion equally, just as not everyone is equally intelligent. Lack of empathy is one example.
We developed an emotional system because it could induce quick responses to danger (for theorists on emotion and evolution, see Antonio Damasio, Joseph LeDoux, and Robert Trivers).
I and many other biologists disagree with the findings presented by these individuals
while I certainly respect SB for his education and experiences, I must admit that I have to laugh when I read statements such as this which exemplify a particular attitude. I too have worked with biologists & animal physiologists, etc., who have spent DECADES in the field studying various animals (such as fox, caribou, wolves, polar bears, geese, coyotes, and many other species. Funny how none of them summarily dismiss the research of scientists who have questioned the emotive capacity and display of behaviors as SB has, but then again, he obviously is the omniscient, all-knowing, all-powerful Oz when it bones to every species is animal and any exhibition of behavior.
ho-hum, it becomes tedious hearing people who have such a wealth and breadth of wisdom lecture us simpletons about all things related to science, ecology & biology. now all we need is a legal seminar by WM explaining how stupid we are in thinking animals deserve any respect, condideration or “rights” under the law
++now all we need is a legal seminar by WM explaining how stupid we are in thinking animals deserve any respect, condideration or “rights” under the law.++
You won’t get such a such a “seminar” because I mostly have not taken the position you suggest. On the other hand, federal and state wildlife laws, as Draconian as some think they are, do largely ignore “animal rights” (as you suggest they are defined), when discussing “management” of wildlife.
And, if you are real interested in the infant field of animal rights law, there is a very knowledgeable lawyer in the Northwest who specializes in it, and even gives CLE seminars, I think. His name is Adam Karp. I would bet Valerie Bittner knows him, so maybe you ought look that direction for the learning experience you seek.
OK, just so I don’t disappoint you, let me at least suggest something to think about, regarding this anthing but easy, concept of “animal rights.” When society gets too many cats or dogs (feral or unwanted because of owner social circumstance or health condition), many of those animals get an opportunity to be adopted out. County and municipal governments spend a lot of money on these necessary functions, as do folks who give donations (Our family gives to this cause – both cash and dog/cat food, blankets, etc.) If nobody wants them, they are lethally removed from the population. That is a distasteful job humane societies and animal control operations engage in all around the country, or world for that matter, on a daily basis.
Now, I presume you are keying in on some of my comments regarding wolves or wild horses, and maybe even grizzly bears (when they get in trouble or there are too many). You got a better idea to deal with these animals that duly elected governments have determined need to be managed? Why should it be different in how we deal with domestic animals? And, the answer is NOT just leave them alone and allow their numbers to increase and ranges to expand, if they can’t be relocated* (or adopted out in the case of wild horses), because society, through its laws, has already made the determination that they will be “managed.”
* Footnote: Relocation of wolves and grizzlies (or uncut horses maybe) might be a good interim solution to reduce density where they may not be wanted, but it is not a permanent solution, as long as they continue to reproduce and the problem really doesn’t go away.
Management for population will likely require lethal removal of some sort at some point in time (and don’t pull out the example of WGL wolves, because we all know there has been a lot of 3S and a couple hundred wolves a year are legally removed there for decades, but nobody talks about it much).
Hope I didn’t come up short of your expectations, MAD. 😉
Now, you are a smart guy/gal, an academic, if I recall correctly. Tell us how you would manage populations of particular species of wild animals determined to be excess to what society has expressed through duly elected governments and their agency representatives, while observing developing “animal rights” concepts. Be specific, so we can all understand what YOU would do.
Awaiting your learned reply.
Never have I suggested to just leave the animals (wild or domesticated) alone without some method of management. Due to our ever expanding population, lifestyles and encroachment on animal habitat there must be some rational form of management. The issues I have, as both a lawyer and conservationist, is that there is vastly disparate management of certain animals which is rife with politics, half-truths and outright insanity.
And, I’m not totally sold on recognizing animal “rights” per sé, or granting legal standing to species or the environment. If you are interested, I would suggest David Cassuto from Pace Law School. Cassuto is at the forefront, nationally and internationally, and has published many peer-reviewed articles on these topics. Mr Karp seems to me to be a regionally operating attorney, but not really active in the scholarly examination of these issues. I’m good on my CLEs too, thanks; maybe for next year’s cycle.
I do, however, vehemently protest the manner in which current policy and practices single out “problem” species, usually at the request of some politically-connected special interest group. I’m not going to go into the #s of how little “damage” certain wild species actually cause relative to the losses sustained by poor animal husbandry practices, weather, and a general laissez-faire attitude taken by livestock producers. These have all been discussed here by those more learned than I.
Our “duly elected govts and agency representatives” consistently act arbitrarily and capriciously, and commonly disregard scientific evidence and recommendations as evidenced by the plethora of lawsuits. So yes, I believe that there must be better ways to manage both domesticated and wild animals. I’m not a fan of using immuno-contraceptives like PZP on animals either. I was involved in a study using them with the National Park Service and HSUS at one of the Park Sevice’s units. The drug actually causes more problems than it solves. There’s a few papers out there on that too, if you’re interested. Plus, I don’t think it’s ethical to chemically alter an animal’s reproductive cycle because someone has determined there’s an “excess” of animals. It’s a typical lazy human-type response to a complex problem.
I’ve never claimed to be an academic, I do not possess the requisite wisdom. I have mentioned that I teach at one of the colleges in the Montana University system. But that doesn’t automatically qualify me as an academic. And anyway, academics are often overrated. Take Dave Mech, for example. I’ve met him a few times at conferences, spoken with him, and totally respect the guy for his work and contributions to canid research, and even to this day he’s still publishing. And I always read his materials that he publishes. But when it comes to opinions on wolves, I give more respect and deference to someone like Ron Schultz from the Wisconsin DNR, whom I have worked with in WI with wolves. The amount of time he has spent “on the ground” with wolves and the sheer volume of personal and professional interactions with these animals and his knowledge of them is unparalleled. But, he’s only got a Bachelors, doesn’t publish and doesn’t get the respect he deserves. But he’s done all the wolf research in WI for the last 35 years. Unfortunately, those revered duly elected government and agency representatives that you mention rarely listen to him and his suggestions and do whatever the want, even if it’s contrary to science.
I am in no way disparaging Dave Mech or his works. The guy is an icon, and to use an oft-quoted phrase, he’s forgotten more about wolves than I will ever hope to know.
My issue is that some folks act as if every word uttered or published by him is the gospel truth and he’s infallible. He’s a person like all of the rest of us, not some scientific demi-god. There are a lot of other folks with as much or more experience-knowledge as him and they are ignored because of his notoriety.
Thanks for the clarification on some of your views. I don’t know a whole lot about Karp, but he seems pretty well respected as a practitioner in the trenches in this area of law, and since he is advancing the ball I expect he is tuned in to the heavy breathers. I have seen some quotes from Cassuto’s materials, though have not read his book or publications (must be purchased). I was interested enough in his views to look a little deeper and found a debate on certain aspects of animal law sponsored by the American Association of Laws Schools and Animal Legal Defense Fund (Part 2).
His public speaking skills need considerable attention (at least in this setting), which is odd for a guy who has worked for a high end law firm like Pillsbury Winthrop, and is now at an associate professor at an A list environmental law school.
Anyway, judge for yourself (Part 1 of this is a good introduction to the topic of animal law, though by design the content stays away from wild animals.):
Regarding Mech, I am pretty much in agreement with you, and think other voices should be heard.
In no way does my disagreement imply that IS know everything, it simply means, I disagree with what they have presented, based on my experience.
Cassuto is a actually good guy, but a bit of a nerd, not the best speaker or orator, but he does have his PhD, so he’s a sharp character. I had a few disagreements with him when I worked with him at Pace LS. (I only lasted 2 yrs there). He’s a vegan, I’m not. I respect vegans & vegetarians, but don’t like when they get on their soapbox, and get the holier than thou attitude. But he did really hook me up when I needed an animal attorney because my dog didn’t appreciate some punk antagonizing him and my wife while they were out on a walk (and doggie took a bite out of said punk). NY is a liberal cesspool, but they do have good pizza & thai food.
From the thief, liar and corrupt wildlife killer Ryan Benson of Big Game Forever.
a reminder to send your comments in against the delisting. Its organizations like Big Game Forever and their fear mongering, crazed, predator hating staff that have caused so much irrational fear and hatred against wolves. Benson and Peay corrupt to the core.
Last week, opponents of sound wolf management held a national wolf rally in Washington, D.C. to build support around their radical idea that wolves should be re-listed as an endangered species. One rally speaker even went to far as to tell the lightly gathered crowd that wolves pose no threat to wildlife. The speaker also asserted that unmanaged wolves have had little negative impact on big game populations in the the Northern Rockies and Western Great Lakes.
Anyone that has spent time in the back country understands the serious negative consequences unmanaged wolves have had on other wildlife populations. Tags are being drastically cut in many areas, some hunting units are even closing due to inability of states to regulate wolf predation on elk, moose, deer.
It is time that dedicated outdoorsman stand up. Your voice is vital to help ensure that our way of life and outdoor heritage is protected and preserved for future generations. Please take 60 seconds and send this fully editable letter to both your U.S. Senators and member of Congress today! Simply click here: http://capwiz.com/biggameforever/issues/alert/?alertid=62830341&PROCESS=Take+Action
If you’re not a member of Big Game Forever now is your chance to do so. It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3! Simply visit http://biggameforever.org/how-you-can-help.php and sign up today and join with thousands of other outdoorsman who share your passion to support wildlife conservation.
Thank you for defending our outdoor heritage,
President, Big Game Forever
P.S. Check us out on Facebook today….you’ll be glad you did
Anyone that has spent time in the back country understands the serious negative consequences unmanaged hunting has had on other wildlife populations.
Just a little editing was needed.
Ida hunting has been managed for the last 100 years in the back country and is very well managed today. It may not be managed the way you like it but it is managed.
Are you capable of accessing far into the Montana, Wyoming or Idaho back country for an extended period of time? I an not able to backpack 50 to 70 miles in a weeks time. I can ride but very few people have horses, mules, tack and the know how to DIY. Maybe you should get out west and do a 10 day back pack trip then explain how things are not managed. Something tells me that vast wilderness areas of the west are something you read about.
Wildlife management to a great degree is managing people not animals…hunters and fisherman get managed so they dont deplete the populations excessively..I purchase licenses but I know what goes on. I would prefer a shift towards the whole well being of an ecosystem and not the sportsmen’s wants all the time.
It is common for insecure men to feel the need to control all they touch and see. These are the same goofs who hunt wolves. They are boys with toys, nothing more. Also, most hunters have a desire to share nature with their peers, but haven’t figured out you don’t need to blow an animal’s brains out to share such an experience.
I spend considerable time in the back country there (as well as the front country, as I still love car camping with friends). I’ll be in the Absaroka-Beartooth solo hiking for ten days at the end of this month. These people go into the wilderness asking what it can do for them, what they can take from it. When they don’t get everything they want, they cry like spoiled children on Christmas.
Chicago Mike, the learned wilderness traveler.
Mikey, you might just give some thought to the fact that weather in that country can change quickly in late Sept./early Oct. Temperature change of 60+/- degrees in less than 12 hours, and a clear blue sky can instantly become a heavy fall storm, with chilling wind that drops a foot of snow at 9,000 feet. Just for comparison of how hinky it can get, think of the heavy rain storms in Northern CO, earlier this week.
Are you sure you are properly managing wilderness risk by solo hiking in the remote backcountry this time of year? Surely, you don’t want to be the object of an expensive search on your behalf and the taxpayer cost for all that. Sleep with one eye open and your boots on Mikey (extra batteries for your headlamp, too), just in case you have to make forced night march, all by your lonesome, ahead of, or during, a bad freak storm. Not saying it will happen, but it does.
Then there might be a grizzly, but we know you are an old hand at managing that risk too, right?
I’ve been stormed out of the Sawtooths in the first week of September and it wasn’t pretty. It rained for two days but we were toughing it out when it suddenly turned to thick wet snow. We packed up and headed down but were soaked to the bone within a mile of off trail bushwacking. Two of our five man party were hypothermic by the time we covered the ten or tweleve miles back to the vehicle and we nearly lost a friend on a polished, snow covered slab of granite with cliffs at the bottom, thank god for tough little pines that grow in the smallest fractures. The lesson for us was stay on trail when the weather is bad and don’t be afraid to adjust your plans according to the weather. When your surrounded by high peaks you can’t see the weather coming until it’s nearly on you and temperatures can swing wildly this time of year.
Stop warning him guys, let him take his trip!
At the end year Montana will have another Darwin Award. Will Mike be the winner?
$3 says”It is common for insecure men to feel the need to control all they touch and see.”
so that explains your incessant need to attempt control of this blog.
Much has been clarified, thanks’.
Mike – enjoy! Wish I had the time to get back to that area of the country.
Mike, don’t listen to all the naysayers. On the contrary, this is the best time of the year to be in the wilderness. Of course, one always has to be alert for weather or bears. Myself, I’m heading out tomorrow for a five day trip into Big Prairie in the “Bob.” Solo, even! Another piece of advice, don’t be making any “night marches” during a freak early season storm. Stay in camp and let it pass, then move on in daylight hours! Also, be prudent in decision making, but too often people let their fears and “what ifs” dictate their lives to the point that they miss out on many adventures.f
My advices to Chicago Mike were based on three distinct pieces of information he, himself, provided – where he was apparently going during this uncertain weather time of year, for how long (a 10 day back-country outing usually means a couple of days to get out if you begin to run into bad weather), and the fact he was going solo (which means he’s on his own if something happens). Actually four factors, when one considers the “Mike – I go out West every year for a few weeks- experience factor,”
This is indeed a great time of year to be out. I just did five days with my wife in the Enchantments (Alpine Lakes Wilderness on the north side of Mount Stuart Range in WA). As we were heading up the main trail we ran into three guys and a gal that had just attempted Aasgard Pass from the Colchuck Lake side (our destination). Indeed, they started up this high exposure pass, ran into incredible winds and heavy snow. Late in the afternoon they concluded it was not safe to continue down into the Snow Lakes side, and headed back down from whence they started – forced march, you guessed it, in the dark. They spent a very wet and miserable night in the timber, wind blowing and snow turned to rain at the 5,000 ft level. It never got above freezing above 5,900 ft. Had they stayed on the north side, they would have been stranded for at least two days, and had they crested the pass and continued down the other side, they might have injured one or more in their party (they had ice axes for whatever good that would do on icy granite with just and couple inches of snow and a half-inch of ice, and other alpine gear from what I could see), even if the weather didn’t get them. Of course, staying put is always one of the best options, if it is a reasonable one for the conditions encountered.
The problem is knowing when to commit and when to retreat. Based on so much Chicago Mike says here (if any of it is true), it would be no surprise someone would find him head down in snow bank come Spring, or in some grizzly cache missing an arm and other parts of his torso. Some people don’t manage risk very well, while others do it just fine.
Us? Well, we just decided to stay low below Colchuck and take lots of great close-up photos of mushrooms and toadstools. I have never seen so many different kinds out all at once. Had a fantastic time, and just got back a few hours ago. Now it’s time to find a good mycology key to figure out what fungi species we saw.
that is why he is known as $3
Wolf Grizzly bear “Showdown”
Sure hope it wasn’t a collared YNPP
Columbia river is getting perhaps twice as many chinook this year than previous (modern) record of 1987. About 64000 chinook passed Bonneville Dam on Sep 9, and there have been several other days above 50K recently. They are loosening the regs this year in the lower river as a result.
Look for me below White Bluffs. I’ll be on the Hanford Reach in about a week, trying to kill “upriver brights”. Around 700K expected, so even amateurs will do well. We are as good as most of the pros.
Great to see many salmon returns are coming in strong all over the coast in this record salmon year for North America. There may be a few of our Alaska trollers who will be disappointed that their chinook catch was limited by a coast-wide forecast that appears very likely to turn out low (judging from the Columbia fall counts), but they’ve beem enjoying an all-time record coho daily catch rate over the longest uninterupted troll coho season since maybe a couple of decades before statehood (that is those who can physically keep up with it . . . . from June 1 to September 30).
Good luck fishing — make the most of it!
comments are better than the story.
there is a vast majority of people that want to change the current world dynamics.
problem I guess, is fortitude.
Jeff E – just finished reading Coming Into The Country” /McPhee/1977
The book left me wondering about the children that were born and/or raised in this kind of enviornment/wilderness.
Perhaps Seak has some thoughts?
The kids I’ve known who were raised in a very remote setting with little social interaction have generally turned out fine. Their parents had to have it pretty well together to live out there, and passed their knowledge and skills on, as well as home schooling. The problems I’ve seen have been more in the villages — when I returned in the mid-1970s to the interior village where I spent a couple of years in the early 60s, I was amazed at how many of the kids from my 1st and 2nd grade classes were already dead. After two years there, my mother (who was a grade school teacher) had decided it wasn’t a great place to raise a kid. During a summer visit to McKinley Park (which in those days before the Parks Highway was quite a driving expedition to get to), she over heard someone mention a teaching opening in Yellowstone Park. I’m glad she did.
I read “Coming into the Country” so long ago that I only remember bits. I remember McPhee wrote quite a lot about the Gelvins who were a very resourceful placer mining family somewhere up around Circle. As it turned out, a college friend at UAF and I managed to scrape together $3,800 to buy a 1946 Aeronca Champ airplane with big tires for landing on gravel bars — no electrical system, no radio, fling the prop to start it. When I left Fairbanks, we decided to sell it and Stan Gelvin showed up with a friend who was a perenial student pilot who bought it and flew off with it. Shortly thereafter, on a hot summer day he ran out of room in a timbered canyon up by Circle — he was able to walk out, but there it sits, canvas and kindling . . .
More evidence of human higher thought and emotion (not):
I didn’t even know this still existed. Disgusting.
Ida – for some reason 🙂 Jeff Foxworthy came to mind when I read this article…
“You might be a redneck if….bear baying, where you’re happy as a PIS, cuz you and your dogs share the same IQ!”
very interesting story about Tibetan monks helping to promote conservation and prevent hunting/poaching of snow leopards
The HSUS has been using a similar approach to garner support for animal rights by embracing conservative christians who endorse non violence and shun killing of all life.
Thank goodness! It’s going to take something other than human self-interest and the almighty $ to ensure that our precious wildlife doesn’t go extinct in the future – this is a war zone also.
Very good article. Basically shows that hunting is on the decline and wildlife watching in on the rise.
“Wildlife watchers and photographers are a growing segment of the population that outnumbers sportsmen 5-to-1 nationwide. In 2011, wildlife watchers spent more than $400 million on viewing equipment and travel in Montana.”
Can someone explain what wildlife viewing equipment is, I did a search and all I found was hunting equipment found in any pack during hunting season.
Also does anyone have a link or study that shows the percentage of hunters that do or don’t watch wildlife. As a hunter I watch wildlife all year, I hunt when the season is open, while still watching wildlife. I question why non consumptive users can’t do the same without the hunting part.
Watching wildlife to photograph it and watching it simply to get it in your range so you can blow it away are not the same thing. Wildlife watchers and hunters are not the same thing. One takes pictures of wildlife while it’s alive and than leaves it be and the other one, well, you know what they do. Clearly most know understand there is a clear difference between the two.
It’s clear you’ve never seen a hunters photo album. Take mine for example more photos of live animals than dead one’s. Maybe the other hunters will give you a look into their album. There are by far many more animals in the Montana that one can only watch than there are animals one can hunt. There is by far more days one can watch most animals than there are days one can hunt that animal. The only thing that’s clear is you and maybe others don’t understand.
RB, read the article. Hunting is becoming a thing of the past. Most people who hunt are older and white and male. Most young people today don’t hunt. Tom Vilsack said it best, “Rural America becoming less relevant”.
“Rural America becoming less relevant”.
Now don’t say that! There’s no indication that urban folks are any less clueless or appreciative of our wildlife and wildlands.
I do agree that this archaic mindset of using it all up for our own needs cannot keep pace with modern times – population growth and development, climate change. We’re going to lose it.
“There is by far more days one can watch most animals than there are days one can hunt that animal”
I suppose that depends on what animal you’re talking about RB. Some of the best times to get out and enjoy viewing wildlife is in the fall. But most of us know that you’d be an idiot to hike around during hunting season. That’s a good 3 months and covers atleast 30 million acres of just public lands and there always seems to be a bird season going on. Then toss in a season on wolves that now runs into March.
Course lets not forget trapping. Nothing prettier than following a creek or stream in the winter if you’re out snowshoeing or crosscountry skiing but with thousands of traplines out there, you’d be nuts to do that too. (A disgusting form of hunting that runs well into spring)
Then we’ve got mountain lion season that starts in the fall and runs into spring (you can harass them in the spring with hounds) Bear season both in the fall and in the spring.
And least we forget, its open season all year round on critters like coyotes & badgers. Oh and I’ve met people who come from out of state, just to blow away gophers and ground squirrels in the summer months.
“Some of the best times to get out and enjoy viewing wildlife is in the fall. But most of us know that you’d be an idiot to hike around during hunting season.”
How is it that wildlife watching is sustaining a steep growth curve if people avoid it due to safety concerns?
I would assert that there is little fear of safety with regard to the four legged critters, but a bit from the two legged critters launching projectiles and setting the ubiquitous traps and)(depending on state) snares …
That said, has WI come up with their age cohort breakdown from last years wolf hunt?
“That said, has WI come up with their age cohort breakdown from last years wolf hunt?”
I posted what I had a while back, I haven’t seen it anywhere I can link to. YOY 50%, yearlings 25%, two-year-olds 17%, and then 2-4% for the rest of the cohorts in the sample.
I’m curious; do you know how the harvest cohort compares to their prevalence in the population? So are harvest rates for each cohort what we would expect if hunters were randomly removing wolves? Apologies if you’ve answered this one in the past.
To reinforce what ma’iingan wrote, and to partially answer your question…
Says nothing specific about numbers, general in terms of age pyramid. Yet, if fewer wolves are compose the older cohort, would not the harvest % represent a larger portion of that “older” cohort?
No complex math, just playing with some numbers, but considering the population pyramid is consistent, I get close to 50% of each age cohort removed due to hunting and trapping. I’m sure, with the computer models/equations available to you, you can derive better cohort approximations.
“I get close to 50% of each age cohort removed due to hunting and trapping.”
That was my interest. It suggests that removal is not biased toward any age cohort.
“I’m curious; do you know how the harvest cohort compares to their prevalence in the population?”
YOY percentages in wolf populations have been documented from 24% to 46% over a number of studies. Some of the lower percentages are suspect because pups are not available during summer trapping, and may thus be under-represented in samples.
By the time we radio-collar in late summer/early full the pups are traveling with the pack – if we don’t want to catch pups we have to take great care in setting our pan tensions. Coyote trappers catch them frequently during the same time frame.
Point being, they are young and dumb and thus are probably over-represented in the harvest.
Keep in mind that WGL wolf pups have a natural mortality rate of up to 70% in some years – meaning the 50-odd YOY taken by Wisconsin hunters and trappers were mostly compensatory.
“Some of the best times to get out and enjoy viewing wildlife is in the fall. But most of us know that you’d be an idiot to hike around during hunting season.”
Sound a lot like a bus stop fear there Nancy. Driving the highway is more dangerous than being in the woods of Montana during hunting. Your great at searches why not a look at the risk of daily life.
Also trapping for fur bearers usually ends before March in Montana because the fur is breaking down.
If you want to be one of those people hiding and telling everyone it’s too dangerous to be out that’s fine, it’s a common ploy used by many.
Try these numbers from 1991.
Got a great hike in last week RB. But why push my luck?
“That’s a good 3 months and covers atleast 30 million acres of just public lands and there always seems to be a bird season going on.”
Amazing. At least 30 million acres, the majority having hunter densities of <1 per square mile, and you can't find a place to hike safely.
“In that time, he’s seen a lot of dangerous behavior and a lot of close calls. He’s written tickets, issued citations and given scores of lectures.
We have tried all different kinds of ideas to educate people,” he said, “but none of them were idiot-proof or bulletproof … it was just a matter of time until somebody was accidentally shot.”
Come on MA, nothing wrong with NOT wanting to be part of the statistics 🙂
And I would think “hunter density” depends on where the prey is congregating, no?
“Come on MA, nothing wrong with NOT wanting to be part of the statistics :)”
And what “statistics” would those be? How many hikers are shot by hunters in Montana, annually?
I remember that case very well and I can tell you, there was a whole lot of things that were done wrong in that particular case. Also, I have not heard of another hiker being shot since that last unfortunate incident.
The one time I ran into this situation was when I was deer hunting in what used to be one of my favorite areas, Kinney Creek.
I came off the mountain about 1:00 pm to get some lunch and ran in to a couple out on a hike.
Not only did they not have the slightest bit of high visibility clothing on, in the middle of deer season, both were dressed in earth tone browns and greens, including the woman who had straw colored hair.
So I packed up and left.
If there are people that completely ignorant; I won’t risk myself because of it.
I have no idea if that couple thought the thing to do was stay on the road, or go busting thru the brush for what ever reason.
That was also an area that had the majority of the year when no other hunt seasons were active so the lack of access is a non- starter.
If it was a case of ignorant stupidity on there part.. or a case of intentional stupidity on there part, I will never know.
I’m both so maybe you could explain the “clear difference” to those of us who have more varied interests.
I think the comment was made in the notion that people who dont ‘take’ from the wild lands dont count. Wildlife watching might use anything except hunting gear; optics, clothing, camping gear, etc.
This debate has waged here many times….
I’d be willing to pay a fee anytime but do not want to fund agencies that don’t listen to non consumptive users
Louise, you are absolutely right! Fish & game agencies pay zero attention to wildlife advocates that are not consumptive users. They toot a loud horn that wildlife watchers should contribute. But, they really don’t want this as they would then have to give them a say in management. Hunters have always enjoyed the game of, “We pay for all this, so we get the say in how things go, the rest of you be damned!”
“Louise, you are absolutely right! Fish & game agencies pay zero attention to wildlife advocates that are not consumptive users.”
Wow, what a whiner, there’s several wildlife viewing areas in the region set up by fish and game agencies. These areas are just for wildlife watching. There’s million of acres where there is no hunting. Maybe we should count the number of species hunted and compare that to the number not hunted. Then there’s the belief your a non consumptive user, you may consume less but no one is non consumptive.
Where to begin….we aren’t talking about all the species that have no hunting value, but rather larger mammals, for example. And anyone can see that the commissions in Idaho and Montana have and continue to ignore non-hunters. The wolf is a prime example.
Perhaps there are areas where there isn’t hunting….a few national parks & private property. But, most public land is open to hunting, but again, that’s not what we are talking about here. We’re talking about how decisions affecting hunting of game animals are made, not acres of hunting land or a few wildlife viewing areas.
Your comment regarding non-consumptive vs. consumptive users is simply a smokescreen. Sure, we all consume some, but that by no stretch means we are all the same! Some consume far more than others. Me thinks you are the “whiner.”
Sorry but if there are enough animals for a hunting season there are enough animals for watching. Problem is your not satisfied with the fact you have to share. Hunting and trapping are excluded from many areas but show me a area where wildlife watchers are excluded.
The difference is that watchers don’t kill the animals and remove them from the ecosystem, nor make money off them like trappers do. You’re comparing apples and oranges.
It is the fact that G & F get their money from hunters so hunters get the priority of management.
That is one flaw in the ‘system’. Watch on youtube…Dialogue Idaho Wildlife Summit…and see Steve Alder’s reactions to any suggestion of non-consumptive participation in IDGF management. He is less extreme than some others but the reaction is undeniable.
These fish and game agencies are finally learning there are many more people out there besides hunters and trappers. The people who love wildlife most aren’t trappers and hunters, it’s the wildlife photographers and wildlife viewers who don’t kill wildlife. These fish and game agencies know that hunting is a dying sport and young people just aren’t interested in shooting wild animals for sport/fun. Hunting is much like the republican party, fading off into oblivion as time passes by.
I want the general fund of my state (MI) to support my state’s wildlife agency more. Citizens could make that happen, but as with education, lately they don’t have much stomach to contribute. Then there might be less worry about how many deer we can shoot, or how many alewife (alien) there are to feed chinook (alien). The tourism industry can weigh on the minds of managers here already – it’s not like they only listen to hunters and anglers, though allot of tourism that wildlife managers can affect are folks who will hunt or fish as part of their activities. Then there’s the farmers to worry about too.
MI state parks are funded through access fees on cars for users (around $11/car/year). I want those fees assessed on EVERY car, user or not (and it could be $4/year). Out-of-state people would pay nothing, they would be our guests (you’re welcome). We would never check another vehicle for a tag again, ever. At $8/car/year we could perform miracles. Yes, it’s a tax. I would also like the state to pay the feds so that there are no fees for access on federal land here, and so no checking for tags or such.
The fate of Yellowstone grizzly bears tied to moths.
First it’s white bark pine,cutthroat and elk calves. Where does the lunacy end. What about the expanding grizzlies that don’t have what park has?
Bears are omnivores and they adapt.
What’s your point. It’s been we’ll documented for thirty years or more that some Yellowstone grizzlies went through a period of hyperphagia with army cut worm moths.
Immer the point is that its not the end for grizzly bears and they will find other food sources.
MADD I guess I’ll be the armchair idiot that lives in the Rockies and sees more wildlife on a daily basis but I don’t have a degree.
my point is that these issues are more complex than “there’s plenty of bears, get rid of some”, or “there’s no bears, we have to stop hunting seasons.”
For example, since 2008 according to MT FWP, the state population of elk has risen from an estimated 136,000 to 148,000. But we still hear people screaming “the wolves are decimating the herds” and “I used to see hundreds of elk, now I only see wolf tracks and bones near Lolo.”
I live in a region of MT where there are very few elk to begin with, so does that mean there’s none in the whole state or the others designated regions or units?
first of all, using the term “adapt” is biologically incorrect. Adaptation in a Darwinian sense takes thousands of years and manifests itself thru physiological/morphological changes in the organism. What you are talking about is called plasticity (or more correctly phenological plasticity). it’s the ability of an animal to alter its behavior relevant to its environment or environmental changes.
now, when speaking about bears there’s no question that they’re omnivorous and will eat anything to increase caloric intake. but the question is really, do they have enough inherent plasticity to survive the rapid change in their environment and food sources? I don’t know and there’s no consensus either with the physiologists & folks who study bears that are the real experts (and not the armchair idiots with their anecdotal crap that proves nothing).
The IGBC just put out an essay that I should make into a post. It more or less agrees with you.
The bears can eat all kinds of thing and do well. I think it said over 200 natural foods for the grizzly were found in the Greater Yellowstone.
What was not said, however, was the density of the foods per square mile. The most abundant food sources that are substitutes put the bears in physical proximity to people.
An ideal food for the bears from a human standpoint is one that occurs above timberline in wilderness mountains, e.g., the moths. I don’t see how anyone would want to diminish the importance of the moths because of their secure location.
Otherwise, the bears would do great. Let them roam Gardiner at will and hang out at the supermarket. I mean, who says there isn’t plenty of food around the area?
If you could see a map of the former range of the American Grizzly before Columbus landed, and population numbers within that range ,you would notice tha the interior alpine and subalpine mountains were not their preferred habitat at all. From Hudson Bay all the way to the Pacific, and south to the mountains of central Mexico, most of the grizzlies were in the Plains or hill country , not the high country, where all the other megafauna lived.
Yes, they can ” adapt” and have done so to a large extent since 1800 in the Northern Rockies. But it is internal displacement, a diaspora, not of their choosing. They would rather be working the riverbanks of the Missouri and the Plattes than being shoved back into the Upper Yellowstone and Thorofare and high Absarokas.
There’s a reason why there are only ~600 bears living on an island called greater Yellowstone instead of 100,000 bears setting the whole of the midsection of North America. That reason is Man.
Back to state and federal agencies ignoring citizen’s input and non consumptive users…..
Don’t let the government remove Endangered Species Act
By Amaroq Weiss
Special to The Seattle Times
AS Washington state lawmakers and wildlife managers fine-tune the state’s wolf conservation and management plan, they need only look to the nation’s capital for some tips on what not to do.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering dropping Endangered Species Act protections for wolves across most of the Lower 48 states even though wolves have recovered to only a fraction of their past range and numbers. Wolves face aggressive hunting and trapping in all of the states where protections have already been removed.
The anti-wolf policies in our nation’s capital and many western states stand in sharp contrast to what most voters and top wolf scientists are calling for.
A 2011 Colorado State University report showed that 3 in 4 Washington residents wanted wolves protected. Across the nation, almost 2 out of 3 people surveyed opposed federal plans to drop protections for wolves, according to a report by Public Policy Polling this summer.
The nation’s leading wolf researchers concur that wolves need continued protection to sustain the recovery of a genetically robust population.
Yet there’s mounting evidence that bureaucrats in the nation’s capital have been actively working to muzzle some of those scientists. Earlier this month the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service excluded three wolf researchers from participating in the scientific peer-review of the proposal to drop federal protections for wolves in the continental U.S.
The scientists were excluded because they signed a letter calling out the service for mischaracterizing the scientists’ own research to justify dropping federal wolf protections. After public outcry, the agency backtracked.
Wildlife managers in Washington have lots of evidence about what Washingtonians want and what scientists think.
Over a five-year period, Washington residents funded and participated in a broad collaborative effort to develop the Washington’s Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, which was enacted in 2011. The compromise plan underwent careful review by 43 scientists and more than 65,000 members of the public commented.
It is now up to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, with oversight by Gov. Jay Inslee, to ensure that Washington’s wolf plan is faithfully implemented with the best interest of wolves in mind.
Last year the department authorized killing the entire Wedge Pack in response to livestock depredations in Eastern Washington. These wolves were killed though the rancher who lost cattle was using risky husbandry practices that involved spreading a small breed of cattle over a large area of public lands with known wolf activity.
The state Fish & Wildlife should not be in the business of killing wolves to benefit ranchers who do not use proven methods to protect their cattle.
The state department also recently enacted an emergency rule that allows permitless killing of wolves caught in the act of attacking livestock. Like the authorization to kill the Wedge Pack wolves, such a rule has the potential to provide incentives to those ranchers with long-standing anti-wolf biases to do even less to avoid conflicts with wolves in order to see them killed.
Whether Washington’s wolves, and those across most of the continental U.S., will once again be pushed to the brink of extinction, is yet to be seen.
What’s clear is this: Politicians and bureaucrats considering critical wolf-management decisions are more than willing to ignore the facts and broad public opinion whenever the voters tolerate it.
And when it comes to the future of our wolves, there’s never been a better time than right now for Washingtonians to speak up.
Public-comment periods are under way on both the federal plan to delist wolves and on new Washington state proposals on wolf management.
Comments on the federal delisting proposal must be submitted by Oct. 28, at http://seati.ms/opwolfcomment . Comments on Washington’s proposals must be submitted by Sept. 20 at Wildthing@dfw.wa.gov
Amaroq Weiss, a biologist and former attorney, is West Coast wolf organizer for the Center for Biological Diversity. Email: email@example.com
Sorry if this has been posted.
More than 100 deer found dead, west of Missoula:
Of the 117 wolves killed by hunters and trappers in Wisconsin last year, 50% were young-of-the-year, or animals born in 2012.
Isn’t this bad for the continued health of the species? Also, how many is the ‘handful’ that were taken last year?
A certain number of young of the year would not have made it through the Winter, so a certain portion of the “take” is compensatory. This might hold true for each age cohort, though somewhat elevated. Time will yet tell the whole story, as so many variables will cast their spell on wolf hunting seasons.
But why add to it? More theoretical mumbo-jumbo.
It *COULD* potentially be problematic if the harvest greatly skewed the age structure of the population (thus, my question earlier to Ma’). The state that 50% were young-of-the-year is not really meaningful unless you know their representation in the population. So, if 50% of the population is young-of-the-year, then the harvest isn’t biased against young wolves (they are being taken in proportion to the representation in the population).
And Immer is right about the fact that some (I don’t think we know how much) of the mortality is compensatory–i.e., some of those wolves would have died anyway of other causes.
I don’t really get this compensatory vs. additive stuff.
Okay, here’s a very quick lesson. Let’s say we didn’t have any hunting season on wolves. Winter is tough and some wolves will die. Now we initiate a hunting season; some of the wolves killed in that hunting season would have died by other means. The deaths of animals that would have died anyway (i.e., by means other than hunting) are refereed to as “compensatory” mortality; those animals that are killed that would not have otherwise died by other means create additional mortality–that is,”additive” mortality.
I know that much. But it all sounds good – hunters probably kill additional too. We don’t know exactly how many would have died anyway, just a theory. I think some studies have shown this.
Fifty per cent were pups!
Remember this discussion we had awhile back? Not sure what the answer is, other than that we have too many people to feed. What a disgusting mess.
Answer: If you don’t like the way chickens are being raised, buy cage free eggs/chicken (that’s what I buy, at about 4 times the cost). If you don’t like where they’re being raised (or the fact that they’re shipped around), buy local. Or you could raise your own chickens, and increasingly popular trend in the US. It isn’t really much work, except then you have to confront the killing aspect head on. Or you could just become a vegetarian. Problem solved.
“It isn’t really much work, except then you have to confront the killing aspect head on”
Or you could just raise them for the eggs JB, a great source of protein. I have a couple of 8 yr. old chickens that are still laying eggs 🙂
•Egg, large – 6 grams protein
•Chicken breast, 3.5 oz – 30 grams protein
•Chicken thigh – 10 grams (for average size)
•Drumstick – 11 grams
•Wing – 6 grams
•Chicken meat, cooked, 4 oz – 35 grams
The problem isn’t solved when billions of people eat chicken, the majority of whom don’t and never will raise their own, or aren’t able to buy local, can’t afford to, or don’t give a crap one way or the other. I think that was the point of the article? That’s the reality that we don’t seem to want to face, regardless of whether we eat beef, chicken, pork.
Ida: The “reality” is that the best way to change things is to change your own lifestyle rather than preach about how others should change theirs’. 😉
My lifestyle is fine, the smallest footprint I can possibly make, which is more than we can say for many others, I am sure. I’m only one of 7 billion plus though, which is the problem..
A number of local municipalities in Colorado have voted to allow a small number of chickens or ducks in city dwellers yards for personal consumption. That would be one sure way to guaranty humane treatment of what you eat.
Sorry to hear of your circumstances coback, and good to see you posting.
I think it is a matter of all the industrial waste killing the planet, and not the separate issue of humane or inhumane treatment/raising of chickens.
Thanks Ida. I have been effected to a lesser extent than many. My beloved mountains have a face lift for sure.
There are lots of forces at work in killing the planet. I like chicken ( hee hee) but I think there is a lot to be desire from industry in general.
“I think it is a matter of all the industrial waste killing the planet, and not the separate issue of humane or inhumane treatment…”
I don’t think you’ve really thought this through. Industrial production is focused on efficiency–smaller cages = less space = less are impacted; likewise, faster growth (achieved via hormones) means less feed spent overall on production, and less energy used to produce that protein. So, at least to some extent, humane (recognizing that’s an ambiguous term) treatment of animals, potentially comes at a cost to the environment.
Now people who use their backyard to grow chickens (or eggs; thanks, Nancy) can control how those animals are raised and utilize space that would not otherwise be utilized for agricultural purposes.
Reliable analyses can help wildlife managers make good decisions, which are particularly critical for controversial decisions such as wolf (Canis lupus) harvest. Creel and Rotella (2010) recently predicted substantial population declines in Montana wolf populations due to harvest, in contrast to predictions made by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (MFWP). We replicated their analyses considering only those years in which field monitoring was consistent, and we considered the effect of annual variation in recruitment on wolf population growth. Rather than assuming constant rates, we used model selection methods to evaluate and incorporate models of factors driving recruitment and human-caused mortality rates in wolf populations in the Northern Rocky Mountains. Using data from 27 area-years of intensive wolf monitoring, we show that variation in both recruitment and human-caused mortality affect annual wolf population growth rates and that human-caused mortality rates have increased with the sizes of wolf populations. We document that recruitment rates have decreased over time, and we speculate that rates have decreased with increasing population sizes and/or that the ability of current field resources to document recruitment rates has recently become less successful as the number of wolves in the region has increased. Estimates of positive wolf population growth in Montana from our top models are consistent with field observations and estimates previously made by MFWP for 2008–2010, whereas the predictions for declining wolf populations of Creel and Rotella (2010) are not. Familiarity with limitations of raw data, obtained first-hand or through consultation with scientists who collected the data, helps generate more reliable inferences and conclusions in analyses of publicly available datasets. Additionally, development of efficient monitoring methods for wolves is a pressing need, so that analyses such as ours will be possible in future years when fewer resources will be available for monitoring. © 2011 The Wildlife Society.
You are sidestepping the sheer numbers in a very unusually unscientific manner. Again, those who at least for now are part of the trend of raising their own backyard chickens is a very small number. However, I have several who live near me who produce eggs and meat.
I’m not ‘sidestepping’ anything. If you are concerned with the extent of environmental impact then you might want to consider supporting efficiency (industrial protection) as it means less impact per calorie produced. If you are concerned with humane treatment, then you’re going to get less efficiency (i.e., energy spent for calories returned). What I’m saying is that there is a tradeoff between ‘humaneness’ and efficiency. (Of course, you’ll disagree.)
I think it is great to think positively, but we should be careful that we fail to take account for realities.
I enjoy my conversations with you, but rarely do I approach them with the idea they are going to be positive!
“It isn’t really much work, except then you have to confront the killing aspect head on.”
Or “head off,” as the case may be.
Consumers should know that cage-free doesn’t mean cruelty-free. Chickens are still routinely debeaked; they are still crammed into industrial “farm” warehouses; male chicks of laying hens are still thrown in the dumpster or the shredder alive; laying hens, whether caged or cage-free, are physically spent at 2 years or less and slaughtered. “Free range” is more a marketing term than a regulatory status–chickens only have to have access to the outdoors *available*–if they can’t make it through the crush to the door, they’re still “free range.” And the range can be a small patch of dirt. To learn more, just google ‘cage-free myth.’
Hi all. I am chiming in from the ocean front-Front Range of Colorado.
Today, finally, someone stated the obvious on the news. The flooding was magnified by the circumstances that exist in fire riddled and dead areas. May I just say “DUH”!?!
While I whole heartedly support a viable and sustainable logging plan in Colorado, the horrendous state of flooding in places like Jamestown, CO will become increasingly common. Why? Because the areas where the rains came down have not been adequately reseeded or replanted. What we are seeing is succession in real time. We have had drought, then fire, and little effort to reforest! All of the emphasis is being put on logging, and logging contracts specifically. What can the dead trees do for commerce? Well- right now those dead trees are doing a lot for the flood restoration industry and jack crap for the logging industry. I saw a lot of those logs through remains of bridges, roads and houses lately.
Now please excuse my frustration here, but did it escape people to learn from the flooding in the Hayman area? Or even in the greater Colorado Springs area? Manitou Springs even?
Interesting? Maybe not, but definitely in need of remedy.
I guess we can now expect wildlife in the back yards in urban areas. I did see a very pissed off bull moose near I-25 on my way home from my evacuated job last Friday. Maybe he floated through Fort Collins? Too bad he didn’t float on up to the NFS or the CSPS offices and remind them that we need to do more than make forest camp grounds sightly—we need to be actual stewards!
Montana wildlife managers and some scientists who study wolves have criticized Creel and Rotella’s research. Bob Ream, who chairs Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission, said in the comments at PLoS-ONE that their math was “flawed” because births, immigrant wolves, and the formation of new packs were neglected when calculating population changes from year to year. Creel counters that the researchers used population counts provided by the Fish and Wildlife Service, which capture those factors.
Interesting that there’s such a difference of opinion.
an article from 2010 before wolves were hunted
so radically. I would be interested in hearing Dr Reams opinion now. He was a level headed and good scientist that probably did not predict how out of hand things would get.
There’s a series in our paper about ocean acidification. It’s a serious problem that is already evident in the North Pacific, but scientists are just at the beginning stages of learning which species (and where) will be more or less affected, and the ultimate effect on humans.
but scientists are just at the beginning stages of learning which species (and where) will be more or less affected, and the ultimate effect on humans
really, because 20 yrs I took a great course with a marine biologist that worked out of Woods Hole, and they had been studying acidification for years and had documented its effects on numerous species.
Just another example of people ignoring the signs until its practically too late to do anything about it
Maybe there’s a disconnect between here and the Atlantic. I was surprised when I toured the big NOAA fisheries research facility here a year or two ago that ocean acidification was just hitting their radar then, with very little in the way of research or monitoring yet. Have been concerned about the widespread failure of our local steamer (little neck) clam beds but they could offer no insight. I’ve seen research from Woods Hole — most recently with squid, which apparently nobody had looked at before for effects. Sounds like it will be great for those eastern aquatic cockroaches — what do they call them, blue crab? Maybe they’ll start growing large enough replace Alaska king crab on dinners’ plates.
I believe it’s been known for some time now that acidification of ocean waters plays havoc with coral.
SB, I enjoy your posts too – I don’t mean to be negative, but the wildlife situations do get discouraging at times. 🙂
Pleas see message below from Adam with Wisconsin Wolf Front. You may recall SB 93 was introduced by Senator Risser which will ban the use of dogs to hunt wolves and has been in committee since May.
WE ARE SEEKING ANY ADDITIONAL VOLUNTEERS WHO WOULD LIKE TO MEET US IN MADISON AND CARPOOL TO ELKHORN FOR AT LEAST TWO SATURDAYS THIS OCT. TO PROTEST AGAINST STATE SEN. KEDZIE IN HIS HOME DISTRICT. HE CONTINUES TO SIT ON THE BILL IN COMMITTEE, THAT WOULD REMOVE DOGS FROM THE WOLF HUNT. GIVE SB 93 ITS DAY ON THE SENATE FLOOR FOR DEBATE SEN. KEDZIE! EMAIL US IF YOUR INTERESTED IN HELPING: firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTACT SEN. KEDZIE AND LET HIM KNOW THAT THE PEOPLE OF THIS STATE DO NOT WANT DOGS USED AGAINST WOLVES IN THE WOLF HUNT! FURTHER THAT HE NEEDS TO PUT SB 93 THROUGH HIS COMMITTEE AND LET IT BE DEBATED ON THE FLOOR OF THE STATE SENATE. BE POLITE, BUT CONTACT HIM AS HE IS SITTING ON THE BILL IN AN ATTEMPT TO KILL IT.
Senator Neal Kedzie
11th Senate District
Room 313 South
P.O. Box 7882
Madison, WI 53707-7882
N7661 Highway 12
Elkhorn, WI 53121
oops post from Nancy Warren of Wolfwatcher
anyone in WI that can help they need it!
the wolves look happy
During the previous four years, my wife and I have done some pretty extensive backpacking through the Bob Marshall Wilderness. In that time, we have seen wolves, heard them howling many times, and encountered multitudes of wolf tracks.
This year has been different, though. After a number of trips spread over 21 days and about 300 miles of hiking, we have noticed a striking change. We have not heard a single howl, seen any wolves, and have observed only a few tracks.
In the Danaher Basin and along the South Fork, things were eerily quiet. I just returned from a five-day trip into Big Prairie from the Swan Valley last week. In over sixty miles of hiking, I observed tracks from six separate bears and saw one, but only one set of wolf tracks.
As you recall, in May 2012, an elk carcass was discovered at Cayuse Meadows just south of the Big Prairie Ranger Station. Four wolves and a number of birds of prey were strewn about, all victims of illegal poisening. Considering that this occurred near a ranger station right off the main stock trail makes me wonder. How much more of this poisening has occurred where it would not be seen by people traveling through? I would generally expect this to occur away from the trails. It is certainly possible it is widespread, and also possible that there has been a large wolf mortality in the “Bob.”
I know this is an unscientific analysis, only from my observations on the ground. But, possibly better than some theoretical model punched out on a computer. I fear that perhaps Montana FWP is underestimating this illegal activity, and as a result, their population models are inaccurate.
So do I. I fear that a lot of their estimates are inaccurate as well.
MN DNR estimates have run as high as 400 illegal kills per year. Out West, you have a number of antis advocating the use of poison. I could put some of the names here. But I’m sure most that have done any digging, know who they are. If only one of these deviates could get caught in the act.
Some home work for you look at a wolf pack map for Montana, notice how many named packs live in the Bob. Very few wolves from the Bob are counted in Montana’s know wolf numbers because of access. This is September 22 wolf season for rifles has been open since September 15. How many elk did you hear bugle, considering Montana’s elk population is so robust according to the pro wolfers.
I’m just relating a change seen in the wilderness. A map of packs means nothing if the packs don’t exist. And, FWP has no clue how many individuals are in those packs even if they do exist.
I only heard one elk bugle, but then again, the elk rifle season in the Bob has been open since September 15th, so I suppose they have been quieted by outfitters and their clients
I can say that during a trip into the Bob’s Sun River Game Preserve last October, elk were all over the place. Bugling all around our camp near Indian Point. We even chased a large bull right out of our camp with his cows. Saw herds hiking out, and constant bugling. Of course, this in a game preserve with no hunting allowed. Could be a connection there??
Maybe a lesson time for you: a little time off the ranch and out into the wilderness. Observe for yourself rather than look at pack maps!
Considering you don’t know where I live, I wouldn’t expect you to know how much time I spend in the wilderness.
So we have 1000 times more elk in Montana than wolves and you heard one bugle.
A hint for you since we started hunting wolves they don’t travel trails or roads much any more.
Sun River Game range, glad you found it, no hunting just a small part of Montana set aside by the same people you spend so much time bitching about.
You obviously didn’t read my comments. I wrote how many elk we’d seen in the preserve, not just one. If wolves can stay off trails and roads, quit howling, and just “disappear,” perhaps the 1000 elk do the same since they’ve been hunted for years.
No, the Sun River Game Preserve was not set aside by the “same people you spend so much time bitching about.” It was created in 1913, hardly today’s Montana FWP.
And, I doubt you spend much time in the wilderness, otherwise you wouldn’t be posting so often on this site. I feel comfortable with my estimate. Sure, I know you live in Montana somewhere. If wrong, you could let me know where you actually live.
I seem to have touched a nerve with your wilderness time? You touched one with me with your condescending attitude.
Reread you second paragraph of your 5:48 statement, I only heard one elk bugle…”
The wolf pack map was for your benefit not mine.
As for a nerve being struck maybe some other time.
As for the condescending attitude, You started that I was only too happy to pick up the flag for fish wildlife and parks and wave it around.
True about “one elk bugle,” but reread the next paragraph also. I’ve seen The pack maps, and also the ones for the Frank Church and Selway-Bitterroot in Idaho, but they are only maps. There really aren’t many wardens out there in the wilderness. We’ve been over this before, but those maps are mostly guesswork today.
My original point was that possibly with the known poisoning, there could be much more of the same going on and that wolf mortality could be heavy and sudden.
You’re more than happy to draw the conclusion that not seeing elk means they are all gone, but won’t consider the same for wolves. Granted, wolves are probably smarter than elk, but elk are wary enough.
“My original point was that possibly with the known poisoning, there could be much more of the same going on and that wolf mortality could be heavy and sudden.”
Yes your original point of which you maybe right, then you went on to claim the population models are wrong. I tried to tell you packs in the Bob don’t count very much in Montana’s known wolf count. So even if the Bob was wolf free it wouldn’t have a large effect Montana’s count.
It’s a common ploy here draw a conclusion and then place doubt for all to read.
I didn’t say all the elk are gone, my point was only that you heard one elk of 100’s and you only question why you didn’t hear any wolves. I questioned your logic and you took offense what could I a rancher know.
You generously conceded I could be right about poisoning in the Bob. And, that was what I meant about the models. If poisoning was widespread and the models didn’t take this into account, they would be wrong. I don’t believe I ever said the models were wrong by themselves.
In theory only, if this happening deep in the Bob, it could be happening just as easily in areas with easier access.
I found it odd that as little as a year ago, wolf howls and sign were commonplace, but now virtually non-existent. There aren’t that many hunters that far in to spook wolves that quickly, it seems to me. But, I’ll concede it’s possible.
Bob, please don’t use the poor old rancher bit. What do I know, I’m just an outdoorsman with no formal training either. But, whether a rancher or whatever, it doesn’t mean we can’t observe things and learn.
It doesn’t matter whether it is you or I that is out in the wilderness, what we observe is worth something, in my opinion.
In all seriousness, please clue me in why wolf “packs in the Bob don’t count very much in Montana’s known wolf count.” And if not, why? I had thought the models were able to figure population numbers even with little real known data.
By the way, as far as you waving FWP’s flag, my motto is, “Always question authority.”
Let me try a different angle. Two questions. First why do you think the accuracy of computer models is important?
Montana makes it’s management decisions based on known wolves. That includes the name of a pack it’s range. The known number of adults and pups if any the colors of those members.
In the almost 20 years I’ve been following the wolf issue in Montana, seems only two types of people talk about computer models for wolf populations. Those trying to mislead people and those who have been mislead how Montana counts wolves. So second question, which group do you find your self in?
Now to answer your question, as I said above wolf packs in the Bob don’t figure highly because of access. Biologist have a hard time finding and counting those packs that live in the Bob, therefore we only know about a portion of the wolves who live there.
Idhiker take into consideration if you were on the menu (elk) would you make a sound and advertise your presence weather it’s a hunter or predator. I was in the back country yesterday, no roads or no trails. Elk yes and wolves but the elk are not bugling.
Sure, it is entirely possible that wolves stop howling during hunting season, just like elk sometimes do.
But, except for my trip last week, the others were during the summer starting in June. So, the wolves were far from a hunting season. Unless you are implying that wolves don’t howl anymore all year long due to fall hunting.
Robert R – got a big, beautiful bull elk bugling on the meadow across from me for the past couple of weeks (I’ve seen him 🙂
He’s been announcing his presence for a couple of weeks now, gathering girls and letting other girls know his where abouts 🙂
But…. I’m giving him a snowball’s chance in hell of making it thru an entire hunting season since that area (ranches) are tied up by one outfitter bent on satisfying his clients a “trophy” head if they book him and his little hunting lodge.
Was my concern in the past and still is, less bugling because all the big guys (elk) are continuely hunted out sadly for their heads and there may be less and less examples for the next generation?
“While the potential evolutionary impacts of trophy hunting are worthy of consideration, there is currently, what for it….not enough evidence to determine when they should be seen as a significant concern for conservation.” Some of the articles on this topic contain so many silly quotes from “researchers” that one has to wonder if there is really that much ignorance in the sciences these days. Perhaps some researchers have trouble seeing the forest of facts through the trees of their own biases”
Words from an organization only concerned about who can kill and log in “the biggest” of wildlife among their members…… and the hell with genetics and diversity.
“…would you make a sound and advertise your presence weather it’s a hunter or predator.”
I suppose (if I were an elk) that would depend upon how much I wanted to reproduce. I suppose it could mean that the bigger, ‘bad ass’ elk will probably be more likely to bugle, while the smaller guys stay silent?
Maybe the elk were not bugling when you were in the Bob, the rut should just be beginning around September 15. It has been warm and it can take some colder weather to get the rut going.
Doesnt anyone here look for droppings and tracks!?
You are probably right. It is definitely colder now. I’ll be going back in next Thursday and we’ll see what’s going on.
An example: I fishing guided between 1987 and 1992. Floating a certain section of a river one might catch and release 50 fish that day, two days later fishing that same section of that river catching one or two whitefish was all to be had.
The same will happen with wolves howling and elk bugling. Some days they are on and some days they are off.
If there was a common denominator it was the biggest sons-of-bitches that had a 50 fish day and the two whitefish day was reserved for the nicest people who saved hard to enjoy one day on the river with a guide — life is unfair.
I’ll agree with that. The only thing is, I’ve experienced the same thing in the Bob Marshall during various times throughout this past summer. Fairly extensive trips in June, July, and August. It’s just such a contrast from the previous few seasons. But, we’ll see, maybe the trip this week will be different??
and now for the equinox…
Awesome website, thank you!
Check out this one
More drilling in UT pristine areas
Back from our annual vacation. Took us to rough and rural northern Spain for some hiking. Rugged Mountains rich of wildlife. Had sightings of the pretty iberian wolf almost every day! Believe it or not: The locals there are proud of their wolves and bears! Bars and restaurant advertise as “wolf friendly”!! They accepted that wolves and bears mean tourist money! Further, sheep and cattle herds are always protected by dogs (the impressive Mastif) and herders. Human/wolf or bear conflicts are unheared of and nobody carries weapons! I admit, I was impressed, by land and people. Will be back there soon. “Europe sucks” I learnt on this blog recently. Makes me smile….
🙂 🙂 🙂
Nice to hear! 🙂
Iberian wolf can get up to 80 pounds, why didn’t we introduce them instead of those 200 pound Canadian wolves. 🙂
Mean while those lovable French sheep herders must be dealing with a different wolf. It’s so easy to make a statement about one regions wolf management yet just a kilometers away a different region has different results.
The Iberian European Forest)wolf is a little smaller than the grey wolf however the largest wolf Theodore Roosevelt is reported to have killed in Montana weighed 110 pounds. Given that hunters tend to exaggerate it could have been smaller. The wolves in Yellowstone reintroduced from those mythical 200 pound Canadian Wolves generally weigh 80-100 pounds. The Mollies who eat a lot of Bison are a bit larger more like TR’s wolf. So we do not have any 200 pound wolves roaming the Northern Rocky’s. Our wolves are the same ones that historically belong here. Also the Fascist ruler Franco tried to exterminate the Iberian wolf, he’d fit right in among of wolf haters in this country.
“…yet just a kilometers away a different region has different results.”
Which *should* elicit the questions: why? What is it that is different about the Spanish situation? Is there anything we can learn? (As opposed to…well you know).
What we can learn is the Iberian wolf is more like our coyote than our wolf.
Currently Montana hunters are harvesting wolves up to 120 pounds that’s using a scale. No exaggerations just science.
The Colville Tribe in Washington state recently net gunned a wolf over 130 #
Oh no, the Iberian Wolf is a “full wolf” and not something like a Coyote or even Coywolf :-))
In general the European wolves are smaller and slimmer than yours. Isnt´there everything a little bigger in America? :-))
What makes the Iberian Wolf unique is its distinctive pattern of frontlegs and paws.
I mean “on” of course, not “of”
Does that include stomach contents, RB?
They are killing wolves, not harvesting them wolves because they hate wildlife RB.
The Iberian wolf runs 70-80 lbs; even the larger, eastern coyote (coywolf) tops out at 40lbs, while most western coyotes are between 20 and 30 lbs. Carnivore ecologists have documented a weight threshold (~20 kg, or 40lbs) under which a species can persist off of prey smaller than itself, and over which they most kill and consume animals that are larger. For this reason alone, the Iberian wolf is more like our gray wolves than our coyotes.
Up to 120 pounds, still sounds like TR’s wolf at a 110 pounds was in line with this years hunt. I suspect diet is the key. ‘d love to see the distribution and know what their diet was.
Yes, the wolves that have returned to France are indeed different, they came from the Italian population via Switzerland and have nothing to do with the Iberian wolf.
Not Kilometers away but totally different countries with a totally different attitude.
France here – Spain there. As different as Maine versus Idaho! And yes, everybody could benefit from a litte benchmark in that Area of Spain. They simply do not hate wolves. Yes, they even allow a limited hunting. But they are little bit calmer with everythin. It is still “hunting” and not Fetishism or a billion-dollar industry. That´s the subtle but importand difference!
For Elk who thinks all my info I get from books, true, I’m not there every year, but I’ve heard the elk bugling around Labor Day on a trip to Yellowstone/Tetons, seen them resting in the grass. Beautiful, and to see a large family herd of them crossing near Mammoth. Preparing for trips and to expect the unexpected is really only common sense.
An article in today’s Jackson Hole news and Guide describes Wyoming as a ” Grizzly bear graveyard” from all the various human caused mortalities there.
I thought these were works of art. Some creative people out there! From the Wolves and Writing bloghttp://wolvesandwriting.com/:
Golden eagle takes a deer. They take a lot of new caribou calves, but a wildlife graduate student once told me he watched one kill a yearling caribou on the North Slope, taking considerable time in doing so.
I just saw that on a different web site that cited a different link with more pictures…
Google / YouTube search for “Hunting with Eagles ” in Mongolia and Kazakhstan. You will be amazed. Trained golden eagles of huge size that can indeed bring down large animals, in addition to a wide array of smaller prey. To see a Kazakhs teppe hunter on his stout proud longhaired horse in his furs and mukluks carrying a monster eagle, then setting it on a wolf in low warm winter crosslight in the snow, is a sight not to be understated, whatever you think of hunting and predators.
Finally, an article about industrial windfarms that really succinctly states the problem with wind farm-created bird and bat mortality:
Wind Energy Gets Away With Murder
That quote will give you some hope (David Archer “The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing The Next 100, 000 Years Of Earth’s Climate” (2010), pb, page 168 – 169 from Epilogue. Carbon Economics and Ethics) :
‘I have two personal favorite big ideas for generating lots of energy. One is to build solar cells on the moon, an idea advocated by David Chriswell at the University of Houston. There is no wind on the moon to cover solar cells with dust, no rain, no birds. No atmosphere and clouds would reflect the incoming sunlight away. The power could be beamed back to Earth as microwaves, a large beam that apparently wouldn’t fry birds as they flew through. The energy from the beam would be received by an antenna on Earth maybe 10 kilometers on a side. Solar cells on the moon could be constructed from material refined from the lunar regolith, so the mass of the cells wouldn’t have to be lifted up into space from the Earth’s surface. It would take decades, technological developments (especially in robotics), and hundreds of astronaut tours of duty to construct this power source, but once construction got started, it could continue until it reached the required tens of terawatts of power.
My other favorite idea is high-altitude windmills, flying like kites in the jet steram. Electrical power can be transmitted through wires in the tether. For a nice artistic rendering of what this might look like, see windskypower.com. The power density (watts of energy per square meter of propeller area) is much higher at 30,000 feet elevation than it is down at the ground. High-altitude windmill power could also potentially scale up to generate the tens of terawatts of power we’re looking for.’
More Men Behaving Badly (With Guns)
That man legally shot an elephant. He hunted with a PH (professional hunter) and paid a trophy fee upon the kill. He did not behave badly; shooting that elephant was legal. Whether you like it or not he was within his rights.
Hunting elephants is not illegal.
Another Great White Hunter on his spendy guided safari…shoots an elephant, calls the frightened, suffering animal “cheeky,” then brags about killing the animal “right in his bedroom.” Pathetic, disgusting. Of course, let’s hasten to add that he did nothing illegal, that he was perfectly within his right to blow that animal away for trophy to enhance his manhood.
Ida, check out these, as well:
I just don’t get it. It just looks uninteresting to go blast some animal through the bushes at close range with a high-powered weapon that you won’t yourself utilize the meat from. Is the rush supposed to be if the elephant charges you? Obviously not many hunters get killed in that kind of scenario or else I would have heard about it.
It’s really not sport. The interesting part is the actual trip to Africa. When you just look specifically at blasting the elephant in that manner, I just don’t understand what about that event could get someone’s rocks off?
As long as the governments in these African countries continue to rake in the big bucks from these hunts, you will find hunters that will take advantage of it.
As far as where the meat goes, many of these countries to not allow the natives to hunt these animals, whether we like it or not, the meat can be a very large boost to the local native residents.
I’m not interested in the money, feeding the natives, or the legality. The hunters aren’t flying 12,000 miles to feed natives. Those talking points have played out many times before in previous discussion and I know more or less where I stand.
What fascinates me is what kind of person gets their rocks off on shooting an elephant in the head at point blank range, flanked by a guide, with a high-powered rifle? I can understand the overall adventure aspect of what it must have been like 110 years ago visiting Africa and going on a hunting safari, but what about 2013? It seems to me like a completely impotent way of mimicking something that was probably exciting 110 years ago. I almost look at the “hunter” and pity him. He flew 12,000 miles and spent tens of thousands of dollars for that? What a hollow, meaningless accomplishment……..
Well if you don’t care or are not interested in the reasons behind these hunts being very popular, then you have no business or reason to talk about them.
I would not go to Africa and hunt elephants, but I know quite a few that have, but I don’t hunt bears or wolves and I know quite a few that do that also.
Just remember because you know where you stand, how nothing to do with where someone else stands. This type of attitude is why there is and will continue to be such a large divide in these issues.
Just remember as long as it is a legal activity, there is always going to be someone with the time and money to pursue it.
The governments in these countries send out emails and brochures inviting hunters to come to their countries and hunt elephants, rhinos and other big game, I get them all of the time, they are working very hard through their tourism dept’s to actively recruit hunters from Europe and America, it is big money for those countries.
To add, it may be a hollow meaningless accomplishment to you, and I understand your reason behind that statement, but it is obvious by the numbers that go every single year, it is not hollow and meaningless to those who participate in it, or it would not be happening.
“Well if you don’t care or are not interested in the reasons behind these hunts being very popular, then you have no business or reason to talk about them.”
What the heck does that mean? So you would require someone to be ‘interested’ in hunters motivations in order to have an opinion on them? What happened to freedom of speech? Moreover, I’m pretty sure that DLB’s comments expressed considerable interest in the motivations of the ‘hunter’ in question.
“Just remember because you know where you stand, how nothing to do with where someone else stands. This type of attitude is why there is and will continue to be such a large divide in these issues.”
What you’re saying is ‘to each his own’ where wildlife is concerned. If this were the rule, and no one was allowed to have an opinion about how others behave, then we would have no wildlife laws. After all, whether you choose to shoot chickadees with a bazooka is really a bazooka is a personal choice; and your right to do so is guaranteed by our Constitution and our prescient Framers, who were critically concerned with the right of individuals to blast non-humans with whatever weapon they choose.
Bullshit JB, knock it off, you are becoming something this last few months.
If you are not motivated in the reason a legal activity is pursued, then your opinion is not valid, it is simply white noise.
Having knowledge about the motivations of the individuals involved in hunting elephants is certainly relevant information, but having an opinion about the appropriateness of the behavior does not require such knowledge. (Actually, it doesn’t require any knowledge).
Let’s apply your logic to the current argument: You would have us require knowledge about individuals’ motivations for engaging in a legal activity in order for the opinion to be “valid”. What specific knowledge do you have of DLB’s motivations for commenting (a legal activity)? What, you mean you don’t know what his motivations are? Sorry, bub, your opinion has been invalidated.
This is the rule you would have us live by, SB.
Arguments should be judged based upon their merit, not based upon the knowledge of the individual making the argument.
As I read back through DLB’s original comment, he seems to be asking what would motivate someone to want to hunt elephants in this manner; then he questions whether such behavior is ethical (fair chase) hunting. You then jumped on him and told him is opinion isn’t valid because he doesn’t understand the motivations of those engaging in a legal activity. And when I pointed out the absurdity of this requirement, you accused me of becoming ‘something’ these last few months? Really?
I disagree with you, SB. The ‘rule’ that you would have us live by isn’t required of anyone else (hey, right-to-lifers, you’re not entitled to have an opinion about abortion [a legal activity] because you don’t know the internal workings of these women’s minds); it isn’t enforceable; and it has no bearing on the validity of their arguments.
Now, if you disagree, poke holes in my logic rather than just calling “bullshit” and going into a tirade.
I’m not interested in discussing the financial or legal aspects of the hunts because I fully understand those issues.
++Just remember because you know where you stand, how nothing to do with where someone else stands.++
That is a completely inane statement. Is the point to inform me that there are people out there who disagree with me on issues? Thanks…..
I grew up in a hunting town, I’ve know many people who are/were avid hunters, and several who have gone to Africa to hunt. However, I’ve never been around someone who has hunted a elephant or expressed an interest in doing so.
That fact that you know so many people who have gone to Africa to hunt elephants for sport makes it even more important that you weigh in on my question which in three response posts you managed to avoid: What is the motivation behind shooting an elephant in the head at point blank range, flanked by a guide, with a high-powered rifle?
I don’t know their motivation, that is a question you can ask 20 people and get 20 different answers.
I have a friend in Bozeman that has shot over 300 elephants and I think that number is low.
He was an old Rhodesian Parks game ranger in Hwange National Park. Part of the job was culling elephants.
Hunting elephants is a lot more than sitting behind a tree and shooting it broadside in the head. It can take days to find and elephant and get that close. The more dangerous the animal the closer the hunter wants to be.
Well to do elephant hunters use a double rifle with an accurate range of less than 150 hundreds yard. Double rifles start at $12,000 and go to over $100,000.
Two words DLB – Boone & Crockett – for the boys with toys (guns) who can’t wait to get “their rocks off” at every chance, when it comes to hunting season.
Boone and Crockett is only for North American game. The SCI and Roland & Ward record Africa animals.
Elk – yeah, same “cozy” club of members, whether national or international, who are bent on blowing away the biggest and the best of what is wildlife, regardless of how important that life might be to that species?
Leather back turtles hatching and heading to sea. Lucky video for someone.
Wow – very sweet. I hope that having people nearby will work in their favor for once and help them on their way to sea safely, if predators won’t approach.
On my last trip to Mexico I was having a late dinner at a simple seaside cafe in Nexpa on the Michoacan coast at the mouth of the Rio Nexpa up the coast from Lazaro Cardenas. We were sitting a few yards above the tideline when all of a sudden there were lots of little things squirming in the beach sand. It was baby sea turtles, many dozens of them. Many of them had gotten turned around and were heading inland, instead of out to sea.
So I quickly got everyone nearby to start scouring the beach and pick up any baby turtles and take them to the surf and release them. We probably rescued 50 or more.
I did this because about 15 years earlier in this same beach village , I spent a night out with turtle poachers in the late winter-early spring. It was 3.5 miles from Nexpa down a straight open beach to the little town of Ocampo. There was a turtle poacher staked out every 50 feet the whole way . They each had a ” territory” , a kill box, waiting for a big female turtle to come ashore an build her nest. Several did that night alone.
I was utterly disgusted. I found out the hard way — first hand — that Sea Turtle poaching is a huge thing along the entire Mexican Riviera from Puerto Vallarta , Jalisco to Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca… 1500 miles of kill boxes. First saw it in 1980 in Pto. Escondido when it was still a little fishing village and not a big jet set resort.
I have photos of all this. I suppose I should publish them, even though some were taken 35 years ago.
Wolf/Hunter encounter ends up with female un-collared wolf dead. There are few details at this point.
“USFWS Looking Into Wolf Incident In Western Okanogan County”
This occurred at Hart’s Pass which is in the vicinity of the Methow Valley.
Hope that hunter is fined and jailed.
Golden eagle kills deer: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/09/24/225809021/golden-eagle-attacks-deer-a-photo-of-an-epic-confrontation
(I’m finding it hard not to make sarcastic comments).
JB why would you be sarcastic about an eagle killing a deer or is there something else to enlighten us about you don’t believe is right true.
It seems as if JB is being sarcastic about quite a few things these days.
Study: Everyone hates environmentalists and feminists
A lot of people don’t like hunters for the same reason. People at the extreme of any issue are the most vocal and often rub the vast majority the wrong way.
I don’t know – I think it’s that the comfortable don’t like their little worlds to be disturbed, and so blame the messengers.
Strange because with all of the freedoms and protections for wildlife and the environment we take for granted today (and are fast eroding!) were brought about by irritating messages to the conscience by activists.
If activists are too accommodating, they get ignored.
BTW, who cares how much wolves weigh?
I’ll admit I’ve never been fond of the hardcore feminists that I’ve met. I don’t know exactly where it comes from? I have no problem working for women, and I consider my relationship with my wife to be on equal terms.
The stereotype of the male environmentalist in rural areas appears to be someone who is completely out of touch and effeminate. It’s interesting that you can talk about specific conservation goals with some dudes who would identify as rural and somewhat conservative and they will agree with you for the most part, but when you tie it into a greater environmental agenda, a high percentage will profess their dislike for what they perceive to be the environmental movement.
I don’t consider myself a hardcore feminist, I think that women should be treated as equals as you mention, in the workplace – but ‘elsewhere’, I’m glad and celebrate the difference, and I don’t hate men and am glad to be female. Ahem. I get dismayed with the PC’ness that seems to want to make every human unisex. Hope I wasn’t too blunt with this comment!
Hell of a reward:
More dishonest, cheating anti-predator folks. . . RM
“Jerod Broadfoot of the Oregon Outdoor Council and His Wife Charged with Wildlife Violations”
For Immediate Release
September 20, 2013
David Allen and Jerod Broadfoot
Pendleton, OR—The Umatilla District Attorney’s Office has issued case numbers (13-272 and 13-223) and assigned an attorney to prosecute Jerod Broadfoot and his wife Jennifer Ross Broadfoot on misdemeanor charges stemming from the illegal taking of deer in Umatilla County. The charges were the result of an investigation launched by the Oregon State Police-Fish and Wildlife (OSP) after they received a video of Mr. Broadfoot from a former business partner allegedly killing three deer in a 24-period in the fall of 2010 as well as from evidence collected during a July visit to the couple’s home in Pendleton.
Mr. Broadfoot (pictured above with Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s David Allen) has been a prominent voice in the hunting community for a decade representing groups such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and Safari Club International on campaigns often arguing for the control of predators such as wolves and cougars. Mr. Broadfoot has been known for making strong statements in regards to predators, poaching and what we characterized as the anti-hunting movement.
Mr. Broadfoot and the Oregon Outdoor Council became a more visible earlier this year when ethical and legal questions were raised about the operations of both the Oregon Outdoor Council and Oregon Outdoor Council Foundation. The Oregon Department of Justice is investigating these allegations which include personal use of non-profit funds.
“I raised many questions about Mr. Broadfoot’s actions as an officer at OOC—including his lobbying legislators to pressure OSP to drop a bear poaching investigation against his father-in-law—during my tenure on OOC’s board “ said Steven Chapman former OOC treasurer and co-founder. “I was asked to leave the board for objecting to these ethical and legal lapses. These charges and investigations as well as those to come in the future give absolute credence to my concerns and serve as a vindication.”
Mr. Broadfoot is a state employee working in the Building Codes Division as the Eastern Regional Coordinator as well as the owner of Broadfoot Media and an AdvoCare distributor. State employees are held to higher legal standards than other citizens.
“If anything good comes out of this whole messy episode I think that it will be that a very divisive and disruptive voice will be removed from the natural resource debates,” said Bob Ferris Executive Director of Cascadia Wildlands.” Hopefully freed from the name calling and vitriol launched by this group, members of the broader conservation community which includes hunters and anglers but also environmental interests can work together once again to tackle those issues that materially impact the natural resources we all love and enjoy.”
“The question is, why has it taken so long, and why has so little been done? Hilary Clinton recently announced a new global effort to save elephants from poaching; she unveiled an $80 million program to put a stop to ivory trafficking. Another good sign, yet the signals are mixed to say the least, as the US, amongst other countries, still allows its citizens to shoot elephants for fun and to take the ivory back into the US as ‘trophies’. So it is OK to shoot elephants for fun, but not otherwise?”
I think the focus on ivory poaching is the following:
++Increasing consumer demand for ivory, particularly in Asia, is causing the price of ivory to skyrocket and is driving elephant poaching. Today’s ivory traffickers are primarily well-organized syndicates that operate as transnational criminal networks and often participate in other illegal activities, including trafficking in narcotics and weapons, and with links to terrorist networks…++
Wouldn’t want to speculate on the number of elephants taken by dastardly trophy hunters pursuant to laws in the jurisdictions where it is allowed (Zimbabwe, formerly Rhodesia, and for years under the leadership of Mugabe doesn’t seem real stable for its people, let alone wildlife), but it is likely very small compared to this poaching. But, it would be a good idea for the new government to look at what the different revenue streams for their citizens might be in the way of services. You can only shoot an elephant dead once (or poison it once in the case of poachers), but how many times can it be photographed by how many eco-tourists.
Seems a first priority would be to shut down these poachers as quickly as possible. Just how much residual poacher poison is out there waiting to kill more elephants indiscriminately (and there is no selection for the desired ivory)? Maybe they will make elephant poaching a capital crime if it is the only thing that will deter these slime balls.
Maybe a bounty on elephant poachers is in order (just kidding, well sort of).
wolf attack in MN attributed to severe deformities in wolf
I suppose there are some out there who will look at this with different perspectives.
Some will call it a conspiracy, or a lie to cover wolf lovers backsides.
And then there are those who will look at this as a rational explanation for an anomaly.
“and then there are those that will look at this as a rational explanation for an anomaly…”
predictable though that despite only 1 actual confirmed and one additional suspected and debated wolf related fatality that this event will be used to substantiate claims by people that wolves are dangerous.
I felt so terrible reading about the difficulties that wolf must have had in procuring food.
to be more specific about wolf related fatalities before everyone gets in snit
I should have stated in north america….in last 100 years
where is the good news? Some days its very depressing. Counting species in the hundreds and thousands with billions of ignorant, hateful, destructive people doing things like this. Not only the elephants but how many other animals drank that water? very sad indeed. swift, certain and severe….WM probably remembers that
the premise that the punishment is only effective when its….this kind of activity can not be tolerated
A real world dynamic example of how fragmenting a habitat accelerates the extinction of mammalian species , among others.
A big new reservoir behind a dam in central Thailand turned 150 contiguous hilltops in the jungle into islands. The rate at which species died off was alarming to ecologists, One ‘island’ went from 7 abundant diverse mammal species down to one, the Malay Rat , in just a few years.
i think there are some lessons here…
Jessica Lange MN native speaks out against wolf hunts
Couldn’t let this link end without mentioning the photo and your comment about the photo. Nice job of cherry picking a photo site, let me know if I’m right or wrong. It’s the photo up stream of a earthen dam, a area where grass seldom grows.
So must say it is a bit unethical to shoot a mud flat claiming all the grass is gone.
Again I see you didn’t respond to my comment about your photo and moved on to a much nicer photo. Must be a tough way to be part of a organization like WWP, photo’s of grass missing in a area where grass don’t grow.
It looks to me that the photo Ralph posted is in a riparian area. Note the willows that are severely hedged and gaunt. It appears that the damage here is considerable when you consider that it should be filled with willows rather than bare ground.
For anyone interested in climate change, incredible glacial photography and video, I would recommend this film by James Balog, a National Geographic photographer (There are also some of his still shots and a brief explanation of his project in the October 2013 issue of National Geographic). The film was a Sundance favorite in 2012. Visually stimulating and incredibly scary from a climate change perspective. The graphics on geologic time and temperature rise with C02 production are very compelling. We should be asking why a photographer is doing this kind of revealing work and telling the story, instead of scientists in the field. There are brief commentaries on accelerated species extinction and massive human relocations as sea levels rise just 1-2 feet in the coming decades.
“Chasing Ice” – a link to the website and trailer. http://www.chasingice.com/ This 2013 release is probably available at your local video store. There is also good information in the Extras section (including a Q&A, technical challenges of doing this kind of time lapse photography in hostile climates, and how the film was finally released after several edits).
Howling for Wolves event
David MacKay – a professor in the Department of Physics at Cambridge University and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, UK – provides free download of his very helpful book “Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air”
“David MacKay’s book on sustainable energy is a complete resource for assessing the many options for choosing between different energy options and for using energy more efficiently. Teachers, students, and any intelligent citizen will find here all the tools needed to think intelligently about sustainability. Solar, wind, wave, tidal, and most other proposed technologies are assessed carefully with numbers making it possible to compare them quantitatively. Whether you are interested in advocating a sensible energy policy in or in reducing personal energy waste, this is the place to start. The book’s conclusions are based on fundamental physical principles, which are clearly explained in a set of technical chapters toward the end of the book. So “Sustainable energy” is also a great place to see how fundamental science can be used to inform critical decisions about energy over the next decades. While the focus is on the UK, the book’s methods can easily be adapted to the situation of other countries. One of the book’s great strengths is its extensive set of links to hundreds of other sources. This is the most important book about applying science to important public problems that I have read this year.” – review by Jerry Gollub, Professor of Physics, Haverford College and University of Pennsylvania
Member of the US National Academy of Sciences
“Of the many works I have read on the subject, this is the most cogent and compelling.
A brilliant masterpiece, a perfect combination of form and content. You might be content with that, if the issues it illuminates were not so weighty. Indeed the book has an implicit poignancy, an air of imminent tragedy: Given the time scale and magnitude of the challenges, the challenge of an appropriate response is intimidating. The crisis still has an air of unreality – nothing visible has happened yet – and yet is as inevitable as the First or Second World Wars can be seen to be in retrospect.
The main service is to rank the energy options on a uniform and intuitively clear scale with credible precision. The DESERTEC project (for harvesting sunlight in the Sahara) in particular lends itself to the kind of effort that governments are capable of making – especially if they grasp the scale of the issues. It will require a national effort similar to that of the World Wars to come to grip with – but is something tangible that can be done, and can serve as a rallying focal point. It is the sort of thing that nation-states do well. It is similar in scale to the unrolling of the automobile economy and the electrical grid. And if it comes a little short, if we have to cut our suit to fit the cloth, that is still within our capacity to adapt.” – Avner Offer
Chichele Professor of Economic History, All Souls College, Oxford
WM great comments on the climate change doc, and they are well stated. It looks like a great film and thank you for posting.
Playing devil’s advocate re your comment “We should be asking why a photographer is doing this kind of revealing work and telling the story, instead of scientists in the field.” That is exactly my point when it comes to wolves…..
you have argued in the past that when scientists advocate they discredit themselves and that advocacy, enlightenment or other forms of expose fall outside the realm of science. how is this different?
as you know, film and media coverage have really been the avenue, throughout history, that help foment and document change. I think it will take the right person/film maker, reporter to turn around the tragic consequences of wolf delisting thus far. This and a strong grass roots movement may be the only hope.
I’ve had a terrible sadness these past few years seeing our elected officials and federal and state agencies wink and nod and promote accommodation policies behind closed doors despite substantial public opposition and scientific evidence against the policies.
So I agree with you where are the scientists, now as the wolf massacres continue unabated. Thankfully, there are some excellent scientists, like Jon Way, Adrien Treves, and others who are willing to advocate as well as make significant contributions to their fields. For those that are speaking up thank you!
and not to forget goodall, fossey, sylvia earle, lester brown, rachel carson
from a Stanford publication
Scientists must leave the ivory tower and become advocates, or civilization is endangered, says Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich
Scientists, especially ecologists, have to be more active in explaining the meaning of their research results to the public if human behavior is going to change in time to prevent a planetary catastrophe, says biologist Paul Ehrlich.
BY LOUIS BERGERON
Paul Ehrlich summed it up this way: “You often hear people say scientists should not be advocates. I think that is bull.”
Ehrlich, the Bing Professor of Population Studies at Stanford, will be elaborating on that theme and several others when he speaks Thursday at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Austin, Texas.
‘The idea that ecologists shouldn’t be advocates, that they shouldn’t be telling the public that what ecologists study is basically disappearing, is just nuts,’ said Paul Ehrlich, Stanford professor of population studies.
In an interview a few days before the meeting began, he talked about the urgent need for scientists to take their research results and use them to inform the public about the threat of global environmental collapse. No longer can researchers consider publishing their results in a journal, no matter how prestigious, the end of their obligations.
“With society moving toward a collapse, the idea that scientists, especially ecologists, should just do their work, present their data and not do any interpretation leads to the kind of imbecility we have in Washington today, where you have an entire Congress that is utterly clueless about how the natural world works,” Ehrlich said.
He said that scientists, before they embark on a research project, should ask themselves, “How, if my research yields all the results I’d hoped for, will it make any difference to the world?”
The once-dominant paradigm of “curiosity-driven” research being the “purest” way to do research is outmoded. “How you judge a good scientist, in part, is by what they choose to be curious about,” he said.
It is also critical, he said, that the work ecologists do be of the highest quality and of general scientific interest. Ehrlich said he would love to see prominent peer-reviewed journals such as Science, Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences flooded with top-notch ecology research with clear connections to the human condition.
Calling ecology the most important science today, in light of the environmental crises that are looming ever larger on a horizon that is coming ever closer, Ehrlich said that ecologists have a singular responsibility to get their work into the public eye.
“The idea that ecologists in particular shouldn’t be advocates, that they shouldn’t be telling the public that what ecologists study is basically disappearing, is just nuts,” he said.
For the first time in human history, a complex global society is at risk of environmental collapse. Human behavior is not changing fast enough to avert the crunch that will come when the world’s growing population and its need for resources overwhelms the capacity of the planet to provide, Ehrlich said.
In an effort to head off such a catastrophe, he has joined with hundreds of other ecologists, social scientists and scholars in the humanities to start the Millennium Alliance for Humanity and the Biosphere.
The goal of the project, called MAHB for short, is not just analyzing human behavior as the world sits poised on the edge of ecological catastrophe, but starting a global dialogue that will eventually involve decision makers and the general public in altering society’s response to its global predicament.
“We are trying to recruit the social sciences and the humanities into an attempt to make academia relevant in the world and help change the course of society,” Ehrlich said. “If you are tired of living in a world where leaders think debt ceilings are more important than climate disruption and the degrading of ecosystem services, then do something about it: Join the MAHB and get active.”
Everyone, I have been wondering about Mike for the last week. He was planning on a 10 day solo backpack trip in the Beartooth/Absaroka wilderness towards the end of September and early October. There is several feet of snow in those mountains and it has been raining very hard in the Bozeman for the last several days which means that it is snowing at higher elevations. Lets kept “Old Three Dollar” in are thoughts. I think that the conditions are very challenging in those mountains now.
That’s really good of you. One of the amazing things about this forum. Folks can sound irrational, and the very least, at odds, but along comes a comment such as yours, and what is truly humanity comes forth.
Have to hope Mike has some common sense and changed his plans based on the weather, the forecast was winter storm advisory and just crummy weather the last three weeks. If not, hope he left word with someone as to his plans.
Solo trip, late September, high elevation makes one wonder?
FYI: Just heard the word from a few different sources that FWS is re-starting the peer review process for the nation-wide wolf delisting proposal. The excluded peer reviewers are now back in the pool.
LOL – the only thing that our present government seems to accomplish or work on.
As the article said by dropping the grey wolf FWS could spend more time on species that need more help. So as long as FWS feels they have met all the conditions of the ESA delisting will continue. Just a matter of how many people want to stand in the way of helping other species compared to the wolf. The choice is yours.
No, I think it said they would spend more time on the Mexican wolf.
It really is more about the special interests that obstruct wolf recovery by promoting hatred of wolves and other predators and by bullying the USFWS. The document used to justify a national delisting was rubbish. People defending wolves are not standing in the way of helping other species, they are trying to prevent good ol boy politics from taking us back into the dark ages and more then we already are. The state of wolf “management” in states where they are delisted should give anyone the creeps, it certainly is a god indicator of what will happen if the rest of the states wolves are not protected federally.
The states are playing by the rules given to them by USFWS.
Accept the recent PEER review shows that the states themselves were in on the rule setting process. The FWS’s use of structured decision making was a good idea, accept SDM is meant to help us make decisions when there is conflict and uncertainty. By inviting only state representatives to participate, they all but guaranteed the result they got. Moreover, there’s that whole inconvenient phrase about listing status determinations being determined by the best available science…
Declared as non esentual in the rockies, really leaves a lot room.
Save bears: We’re not talking about the northern Rockies (where wolves have already been delisted); we’re talking about the FWS’s proposal to delist wolves everywhere else. These wolves have not been declared a “non-essential experimental” population.
That classification does actually have bearing on what is going on nation wide, Whwether you, I or anyone wants to admit it.
Sorry, I am on my tablet.
SB: I’m not sure what you’re getting at? Wolves in the NRMs are not listed–there is no classification. Wolves in the rest of the country are classified as endangered. From a policy perspective, the experimental non-essential classification of NRM wolves has no bearing on wolves in the conterminous US at this point.
It has in the discussion than you even, this based on several conversations with managers at USFWS. You wait and watch!
Okay, so what you’re really saying is that in the minds of some FWS personnel whom you’ve had discussions with, the former status of wolves in the NRMs is relevant to the listing status of wolves everywhere else. That may or may not be true–I have no way of knowing the minds of some unnamed individuals. However, I keyword searched the 2013 proposed rule and the only place that ‘experimental non-essential’ is mentioned is in reference to the Mexican wolf population. So, to be clear, in the actual legal document pertaining to the removal of wolves in the US from ESA protections, the former legal status of wolves in the NRMs is not mentioned as a relevant factor -nor even mentioned at all.
After all this and some the conversation I have been having with people I know and used to work with some very fuzzy things re starting to become clear. I have already filed FOIA reqests on several items that have not been published on the net, but are public records, that were generated in behind closed door planning sessions
If you have some information that indicates that wolves’ former status in the NRMs has been important in the FWS’s attempt to delist wolves outside of the NRMs, then why not say so? Why make cryptic, challenging comments that have no substance? I’m afraid that your ‘I-know-some-stuff-that-you-don’t-know-but-I’m-not-going-to-share’ game has become tiresome. I’m calling. Show your cards or fold.
I have no desire to make statements that could be libelous, inflammatory as well as discusses perhaps illegal actions. Until such time as I have the documents from my requests.
I would make a suggestion JB, if you find me tiresome, then do your self a favor, stay on your high horse and don’t read what I post!
I would think that such a learned scholar would have the common sense to stop interacting with something or someone that you find tiresome.
If you had been through what I have with my career in Wildlife you would want hard documentation to back up the accusations, that I have not even started to make yet. Once I have the papers I have requested, if true, you can be assured they will be published.
In the meantime, again, do your self a favor and stop reading my posts.
You can Call all you want, but until such time as I have the papers in hand, you will get a more productive conversation by calling your Mother.
And that would be the end of our conversation. Per usual, you’re full of innuendo and bluster, and short on facts, figures, and anything resembling a reasoned argument.
“…you would want hard documentation to back up the accusations, that I have not even started to make yet.”
Save Bears: Your posts are full of innuendo about what sort of accusations you’ll be making, despite the fact that (a) you admit you have no evidence beyond hearsay and (b) you now claim that you haven’t made any accusations yet. So if you have no evidence and aren’t willing to make any accusations, tell me, how much weight should I assign to the following statements?
“That classification does actually have bearing on what is going on nation wide, Whether you, I or anyone wants to admit it.”
“It has in the discussion than you even, this based on several conversations with managers at USFWS. You wait and watch!”
You do realize, we are on the same side when it concerns this issue, right? I have not tried to argue with you at all, I have made a suggestion based on information that I received from agency personal, that I am now trying to legally get hard proof for.
You want to believe in the integrity of the process and I am very skeptical about the process with what I have seen in the past.
“Just a matter of how many people want to stand in the way of helping other species compared to the wolf. The choice is yours.”
RB: You’ve set up a false dichotomy. The desire to recover wolf populations does not prevent one from desiring assistance for other species, nor pushing our government to work on recovery efforts for these species. And yes, funding is limited, but lately it’s been almost impossible to get the FWS to list species or develop recovery plans without multiple law suits.
Regardless, giving up on wolf recovery sets the stage for other species as well; that is, what happens with wolves will, to some extent, determine what it means to be ‘recovered’. With both wolves (and the recent attempts with grizzly bears), the FWS is setting a very low bar for itself. Most of the folks I know on the policy side are more concerned with the height of the bar than with wolves themselves.
There lies the problem you and others desire, as my old man often said there is a big difference between your wants and your needs. There are limits to resources and the wolf is using resources other species need. Continued lawsuits are using resources that could be better used else where and listing a species only leads to more law suits. Looking at the big picture how much more does the grey wolf need.
I understand your point. I knew long ago wolves would be managed, not just in the West, but here in MN. Managed is hunting(unfortunately trapping, my opinion and you and I have discussed this)depredation removal, etc. I don’t think they’d need a whole lot of protection if people just left wolves alone the the rest of the time.
One of the big problems is the illegal take. Chicken or egg. Would the illegal take be any lower if hunting had been allowed earlier? In conversation with a forester friend he seems to think, and I agree with him, that if there is a drop in illegally killed wolves, it’s only because of fewer opportunities due to the legal take.
“…as my old man often said there is a big difference between your wants and your needs.”
Bob: Huh? I don’t see where my needs are relevant? I don’t ‘need’ there to be wolves anywhere (anymore than a ‘need’ there to be cattle anywhere). The question is: what do we as a society WANT our laws to do? What should recovery mean. Is occupying ~10% of it’s historic habitat within the conterminous US sufficient for recovery? (With the griz it will be even less) Or do our laws require more. Since Congress wasn’t explicit, the courts will ultimately determine the meaning (or at least they will be the arbiters of that determination); unless, of course, someone gets the law changed.
“There are limits to resources and the wolf is using resources other species need.”
Really? Which resources are wolves consuming that people need? The last time I checked, the US had by far the highest obesity rate in the world, and it is highest among the poor–so I don’t think there are a lot of people that can legitimately claim to “need” the relatively small proportion of ungulate biomass that wolves consume.
“There are limits to resources and the wolf is using resources other species need.”
We’re we not talking about FWS, every day they have to deal with the wolf being listed resources are used that could be used on other animals. Every man hour and dollar spent dealing with the wolf could be used on other animals. The longer you desire more for the wolf the less there is available for other animals. FWS has limited resources yet you believe FWS should meet all your wants which as you said are greater than your needs. All those lawsuits use resources that could be used else where. FWS believes the resources used on the wolf would be better used on other species, but people like you are standing in the way.
Thanks for the clarification.
Again, it is not what I want, but our society wants that is relevant. Right now, polls suggest that people want wolves to continue to be listed, and there is good reason to believe that doing so could lead to more extensive recovery (i.e., the occupation of more previously occupied range). It seems people want recovery to mean more than a token population; I tend to agree with this sentiment. Apparently you don’t?
FWS certainly has limited resources, but it isn’t a zero sum game as you suggest. Wolves extensive habitat requirements and wide dispersal means that measures put in place to protect wolves also potentially positively impact many other species–some of which will be imperiled (whether they are classified as such or not).
I agree that the resources used for lawsuits could be better spent on conservation. Of course, they could have been spent elsewhere if folks weren’t so keen to push for wolves’ delisting.
As I’ve said before I think each state should have some wolves, a token population of 5-600 would be perfect, then how Montana manages it’s wolves would not be so important to those who live outside of Montana.
I’m simple trying to make the point that the conditions to delist the grey wolf under the ESA has been met. While you and others think that bar for delisting should be higher, I think your hurting other species. Your causing the bar to be raised as to when other species can be listed not as to when they can be delisted. Your using dollars and man power that could be protecting other species to be wasted/used on the wolf. You believe continued protection for the wolf will help other species, I believe your hurting those other species. Mostly because you’ve shown that once a species is listed it’s almost impossible to delist. Again there is a big difference between how much protection the wolf needs and how much you and others want. There is a big difference between how much protection the wolf needs and how much other species need, I’m talking potential population growth. While you fight for more wolves there are less of these other species. The more you and others fight for continued protection for the wolf the harder it will be to protect the next species in need. You and others don’t seem to understand it takes a village to save a species, and your alienating many of the people who live in the village. If that makes any sense to you. Agreements were make and your breaking that agreement with people who still make deals with a hand shake. Any way enjoy your weekend and my two cents.
Thank you for your responses JB
especially for debating the absurdity of wolves consuming resources that people need!
“I’m simple trying to make the point that the conditions to delist the grey wolf under the ESA has been met. While you and others think that bar for delisting should be higher, I think your hurting other species.”
Bob: Your characterizations of my opinions simply are inaccurate, so let me be clear about where I stand: First, I fully supported delisting of wolves in the Great Lakes because the states have policy that is adequate to ensure their continued persistence; I opposed (tacitly, not formally, I might add) delisting of wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains because the states in the region expressed the political intent to reduce wolves to near their minimums, which threatens recovery and the population in general. Regardless, I do not and have never supported the RE-listing of wolves in the NRMs. I’d rather see states act responsibly. (I would support higher population minimums; 150/15BPs per state is downright reckless).
What I absolutely oppose is the wholescale delisting of wolves everywhere else (i.e., the 2013 proposed rule). This rule is a perverse distortion of the ESA that would threaten many recovery efforts in the future.
Think real hard about this statement you posted:
“This rule is a perverse distortion of the ESA that would threaten many recovery efforts in the future.”
When you are done with thinking about it, perhaps, you will have an AH HA! moment.
Well, at least there was some good news today:
NRA-Sponsored Safari Hunting Show Gets the Axe
Ha ha, this is the guy “who did nothing illegal” in killing the elephant but apparently his mouth got him in enough trouble to cancel his show:
“In an appearance on an NRA show captured by Media Matters last week, Makris said that those who were offended by the killing of elephants, but not by ducks or rabbits, were practicing “animal racism.” “Hitler would have said the same thing,” Makris said of his critics.”
Personally, I’m offended by the killing of elephants AND ducks and rabbits. Thanks, Ida.
Have you read Ralph’s statement about hunting and his blog? Based on what he has written, this is not an anti-hunting blog, but the anti hunting crowed sure are very vocal on here.
You’re welcome, Kathleen. He’s assuming a lot – I’m offended by the killing of any living thing also.
Not legitimate hunting, SB. This man’s sense of entitlement and contributing to the further decrease of a species in trouble isn’t legitimate hunting.
Around and around we go Ida!
🙂 It’s never ending, I know. Sigh.
Coyotes have been, and are, killed by the millions. They are the victims of horrific traps and snares, have been subjected to cruel poisonings, chased down and shot by sharpshooters in planes, their dens have been blown up or set fire to with the pups inside. Most ranchers view the killing as a necessity, but conservationists point out that this widespread killing does more damage than good for coyotes — as it does for non-target species that are killed by the traps and poisons meant for coyotes, and even for the ranchers themselves. And indeed, there are more coyotes spread over more of North America than ever.
Are we ever going to stop this idiocy? It really is discouraging.
How To Coexist With Coyotes
I agree that the resources used for lawsuits could be better spent on conservation. Of course, they could have been spent elsewhere if folks weren’t so keen to push for wolves’ delisting.
Good post, JB and I wanted to say something similar to the above.
You and others don’t seem to understand it takes a village to save a species, and your alienating many of the people who live in the village.
RB, you don’t seem to realize that wildlife conservationists can claim this statement also. If you save the top predator, you will save the habitat and other species. Do you think anyone really will try their best to save the sage grouse, wolverine, grizzly bear, fisher? They are trying to dismantle protections even as we speak. I will never give up on the wolf.
deer hunter shoots lone female collared wolf in federally protected area of washington wilderness, claims self defense
I wonder if the cowards will now take advantage of the gov’t shutdown to poach. These are the things that can’t be accounted for in the scientific models.
It will be up to federal investigators to determine if criminal charges related to killing an endangered species are warranted, said Christensen.
If they want people to accept the new ‘management’, they really have to come down harder on abusers. A wagging finger and a stern ‘now don’t do that again!” isn’t working.
From a post by Nancy Warren of wolfwatcher
Disease confirmed in Wisconsin cattle
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Animal
health officials are urging Wisconsin
cattle farmers to take preventive
measures against a disease recently
confirmed in cattle in the state.
The Wisconsin Department of
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Protection says two cases of epizootic
hemorrhagic disease, or
EHD, were confirmed in state cattle.
EHD is commonly transmitted by
biting midges and black flies. The
disease primarily affects deer but
also can infect cattle.
State Veterinarian Paul McGraw
says until there’s a hard freeze that
kills the midges and flies, EHD will
remain a threat to cattle. McGraw
recommends farmers use insect
control to eliminate midges and
EHD in cattle is rare, but can
happen when conditions support
insect growth. Signs include fever,
ulcers in the mouth and gums, and
lameness or stiffness when walking
Yes, that’s an excellent essay. I’ve read it before.
adolescent boys and guns not a good mix for wildlife or people…I’m seeing more and more of these accidents or in this case intentional shooting