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Petition | 2-Day Holiday Idaho Killing “Derby” Targets Wolves & Coyotes, Federal Agencies Ignore Laws re: Killing Contests on Federal Lands |

For Immediate Release: December 23, 2013

Conservationists Sue to Stop Wolf and Coyote Killing Contest on Public Lands

Groups Challenge Federal Agency’s Failure to Regulate Highly Controversial Contest

Pocatello, ID – Today a coalition of conservation organizations sued the U.S. Forest Service for failure to require permits and environmental impacts analysis for the advertised “Coyote and Wolf Derby” in Salmon, Idaho, December 28 and 29. The lawsuit seeks an order requiring the agency inform the killing contest sponsors and participants that shooting wolves and coyotes on public lands as part of the contest is illegal without the required environmental analyses and permits.

“Killing contests that perpetuate false stereotypes about key species like wolves and coyotes that play essential roles in healthy ecosystems have no place on public lands.” Said Bethany Cotton, wildlife program director at WildEarth Guardians. “The Forest Service is abdicating its responsibilities as steward of our public lands. We are asking the agency to comply with the law: require a permit application and do the necessary environmental analysis, including providing a public comment process, to ensure our public lands and wildlife are protected.”

The killing contest is charging an entry fee, advertising prizes for the largest wolf and the most coyote carcasses, among other award categories, and specifically offering opportunities for children as young as 10 to kill for prizes. Commercial activities like the killing contest are prohibited on public lands without a special use permit. An application for a special use permit triggers application of the National Environmental Policy Act. Highly controversial activities are exempted from fast track permitting. In contrast to the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) informed the killing contest sponsors that a special use permit is required. To date, BLM has not received an application. Hunting on BLM administered public lands as part of the killing contest is therefore illegal.

“Predator killing contests have no place in the 21st Century,” said Camilla Fox, founder and executive director of Project Coyote. “Killing coyotes and wolves for fun and prizes is ethically repugnant, morally bankrupt, and ecologically indefensible. Such contests demean the immense ecological and economic value of predators, perpetuating a culture of violence and sending a message to children that life has little value.”

Lynne Stone, director of the Boulder-White Clouds Council, who has lived and worked in central Idaho for over three decades, said, “killing contests like this have no place in a civilized society and are an embarrassment to our state. Shame on the agencies for allowing these events on our public lands. It’s no wonder so many people view Idaho as like something out of Deliverance.”

Since 2011 when Congress stripped Endangered Species Act protections from gray wolves in Idaho, the state has allowed nearly half of Idaho’s wolf population to be hunted and trapped each year. Since 2011, nearly 1,000 wolves have died at the hands of hunters and trappers. Science shows that wolves play a key role as apex carnivores, providing ecological benefits that cascade through an ecosystem. Wolves bring elk and deer populations into balance, allowing riparian vegetation to regrow, in turn creating habitat for songbirds and beavers and shade for fish.

“That the US Forest Service allows a commercial event that glorifies the killing of wildlife for killing’s sake without a special use permit on public lands is unconscionable.” Said Ken Cole, NEPA coordinator for the Western Watersheds Project.

Coyotes, like wolves, serve a valuable ecological function by helping to control rodent populations and to maintain ecological integrity and species diversity. Unlike wolves, coyotes quickly rebound when they are killed indiscriminately. Coyotes have no protection under Idaho state law.

“Such killing contests reveal a larger flaw in our nation’s wildlife management strategies where predators continue to be treated as vermin, including by those very state agencies responsible for their management,” explains DJ Schubert, wildlife biologist at the Animal Welfare Institute. “The scientific reality is that predators are immensely important members of any healthy ecosystem and their ecological role should be celebrated, not condemned.”

The organizations are represented by WildEarth Guardians Senior Attorney Sarah McMillan and the Law Office of Dana Johnson.

WildEarth Guardians envisions a world where wildlife and wild places are respected and valued and our world is sustainable for all beings. We work to protect and restore wildlife, wild places, and wild rivers in the American West. Visit to learn more.

Project Coyote ( is a national non-profit organization promoting compassionate conservation and coexistence between people and wildlife through education, science, and advocacy. Join our community on Facebook and Twitter.

Boulder-White Clouds Council has worked for over two decades to protect and defend wild lands and wildlife in Idaho’s upper Salmon River Country. Our website has extensive information and rare photos of Idaho’s gray wolves:

Animal Welfare Institute is a national non-profit charitable organization founded in 1951 and dedicated to reducing animal suffering caused by people. AWI engages policymakers, scientists, industry, and the public to achieve better treatment of animals everywhere—in the laboratory, on the farm, in commerce, at home, and in the wild. For more information, visit

Western Watersheds Project is a regional non-profit conservation group that works to influence and improve public lands and wildlife management throughout the West with a primary focus on the negative impacts of livestock grazing on 250,000,000 acres of western public lands.

Update 12/23/2013 11:15am MST:  Here is a copy of the brief that was filed today. 

FILED Complaint (WD) copyacrobat pdf

About The Author

Ken Cole

Ken Cole is a 5th generation Idahoan, an avid fly fisherman, wildlife enthusiast, and photographer. He is the interim Idaho Director for Western Watersheds Project. We do not accept unsolicited “guest” authors or advertising.

177 Responses to Conservationists Sue to Stop Wolf and Coyote Killing Contest on Public Lands (Updated with brief)

  1. Ida Lupines says:

    Good. It’s high time somebody stood up to these yahoos. It’s abusing the delisting process and so-called state ‘management’ of a recently delisted species. Of course anyone knew they would.

  2. Joseph C. Allen says:

    Bravo-sue the pants off them. And then boycott those businesses that support this and other anti-wildlife activities.

  3. WM says:


    Do you have a link for the complaint that was filed?

    While I deplore these kinds of contests, it seems a bit radical to use NEPA as a basis to stop them. Sometimes these things have unintended consequences, if you get my drift.

    • Ken Cole says:

      I haven’t seen it yet.

    • Louise Kane says:

      why is it radical WM
      its radical to allow commercialized killing of wildlife on public lands. I’ve had to jump through hoops to get permits to conduct photography shoots on public lands, at various times but killing contests should be permitted and exempted from legal reviews that are designed to protect resources from exploitation and dangerous activities that may not comply with federal or state regs? thats not radical

    • Chris Harbin says:

      God forbid we use the NEPA process to stop a killing derby. That’s what it is for – to allow a determination of what’s good and/or bad about a project on public lands. Just because this project, the killing derby, is so blatantly horrible that does not mean we should exclude its’ use.

    • The copy of the complaint is attached to this article as a pdf file. With over 60 contests happening all over the USA, something needs to be done. The contests are a risk to public safety, disrupt quietude, endanger many different species, and are unregulated. Many states, including my state of New Mexico, have no limits on the numbers of coyotes (bobcats and foxes too) that may be killed. No hunting in-state license is required here in NM to kill coyotes. Think about it: do you want unlicensed killers trying to win a prize running around our public lands anytime anywhere without warning using any weapon including long range rifles, traps, and decoys, and dogs? These contests may also lead to vandalism, poaching and the killing of non-target animals. We wish no lawsuits were needed to get these contests stopped but the killers have no intention of stopping or canceling these contests. Therefore, we need to rule of law.

    • Guy Dicharry says:

      The application process for special uses permits (USFS) and special recreation permits (BLM)incorporates the procedures set out in NEPA, a procedural statutory scheme. NEPA defines the procedure, not the substance of environmental protection. When an agency ignores its own regulations — as the Forest Service has done in many Western states regarding commercial killing contests — it violates the procedures set out in NEPA.

      • WM says:

        Guy Dicharry,

        Exactly what activity triggers the special use permit (including NEPA) process for this event? Each hunter acts on his/her own pursuant to whatever license/tag is applicable,and each has a permissive right to occupy federal land as an individual. Unless there is an actual occupation of FS/BLM land by the sponsor, for example a common gathering place on federal land which includes a large number of participants (>75, I think I read somewhere), it would seem there is no special use to review.

        That is what has me perplexed. Please explain, if you know, what the “special use” is, and what triggers a NEPA review?

        Also, identify what part of this event is “commercial.” Nobody is selling anything. Do the sponsors need a state business license?

        • Guy Dicharry says:

          According to the CFR applicable to Forest Service, all uses except those enumerated are special uses.

          36 CFR ‘ 251.50 Scope.
          (a) All uses of National Forest System lands, improvements, and resources, except those authorized by the regulations governing sharing use of roads (‘212.9); grazing and livestock use (part 222); the sale and disposal of timber and special forest products, such as greens, mushrooms, and medicinal plants (part 223); and minerals (part 228) are designated Aspecial uses.@

          36 CFR §251.51.
          A “commercial use or activity” is any use or activity on National Forest System lands (a) where an entry or participation fee is charged, or (b) where the primary purpose is the sale of a good or service, and in either case, regardless of whether the use or activity is intended to produce a profit.

          The contest promoters are conducting a commercial event in which they will count animals killed on FS lands for the purpose of determining contest winners in their various categories. The key element of the contest is the killing of animals by contestants. There is simply no support in the regs or in case law for the notion that “occupation” or “gathering” on USFS lands is a necessary condition. Those conditions have been raised by USFS. That has led to contest promoters receiving preferential treatment as compared to other commercial users.

          For example, an individual who traveled onto Forest Service land without a permit as part of a work activity or service was found guilty of violating the permit requirement at issue. United States v. Peterson, 897 F.Supp. 499, 501 (D. Colo. 1995). The case turned on the presence of the individual carrying out activity on Forest Service land that was related to other activity that required a permit. The court made no mention of “gathering” or “organizing” on Forest Service lands. Mere presence on Forest Service land while conducting an activity related to a commercial use for which a permit was required was sufficient for the imposition criminal liability due to the lack of a permit.

          NEPA simply defines the procedure to be followed, it is not a substantive act in the sense of defining specific measures or outcomes. USFS has refused to follow the plain language of its own procedures: application by the contest promoter, environmental assessment, possible EIS, opportunity for public comment, proof of liability insurance to indemnify the US, and a showing by the promoter that the contest is in the “public interest”.

          In short, apply the same process to contest promoters that is applied to outfitters, school hiking groups, jeep tour operators, commercial tax-exempt groups who go on trail rides, etc.

          Merry Christmas.

        • MJ says:

          The event is a huge source of tourist revenue for the town and event sponsors, and will bring in business for Shane McAfee, directly and indirectly. Indirectly it also is promoting blatant anti-wildife misinformation with the intent to devalue the wolf and coyote as a publicity campaign. This promotes wildlife slaughter for the expansion of businesses including trophy hunting and the livestock industry, all financial motivations, not conservation motivations.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Yes, all of the people involved in these killing spectacles are outfitters, are they not? The American public was promised scientific management of a species that has supposedly had recovered enough to delist, not killing contests. An outfitter’s opinion carries no weight at all, because they make their living doing this. Thanks a lot, Federal Gov’t!

          • WM says:

            In all candor, I don’t really know who/what Idaho for Wildlife is. So, I looked them up on the ID Secretary of State website. It says they are a non-profit based out of Lewiston. It has a small Board of Directors, including a couple of which I recognize. Shane McAfee is not one of them, nor is there anyone from Salmon, that I could tell. What is the McAfee connection?

            And, who/what is the actual organizer of this event, and how are they funding its promotion. Seems these are key questions that go to whether this special use permit is required, and who would be the applicant.

            Guess Ken might already know some of this from the BLM permit.



            I hope the theory you describe is successful for the reasons you state (I had not read the regs.).

            Still unsure whether counting/measuring the harvest of individual hunters who may or may not have hunted on federal land, constitutes “commercial use or activity” on federal land by the activity organizer. This is especially so if the organizer ( aka sponsoring entity) is not traveling onto federal land for any purpose related to the event (important I think for the citation you give), and only the individual hunters are. Now if the sponsoring entity itself is directly engaged and present in the activity on federal land, that would seem to demonstrate a need for the permit.

            The Peterson case you cite, is a Colorado District Court Magistrate decision, and involves a defendant (representing himself by the way) who was actually engaged in “commercial use or activity” on federal land, with physical presence of his horses.

            So, I’m not too excited so far, even after US v. Brown, 200 F.3d 710 (10th Cir. 1999), a snowmobile rental case, citing Peterson.

            Are independent hunters like some guy’s horses or snowmobiles used for commercial activity in a business? The “use or activity on National Forest System lands is the hunting by individuals only. They are not subject to a special use permit.

            It could be argued by the FS that an entry or participation fee charged in this instance, does not have anything to do with the use of the federal land, but rather the opportunity of individual hunters to participate in the award of prizes by a third party (the sponsor organization). Maybe the event sponsor also sets forth the relationship in the paperwork between the hunter and the organization in a waiver/indemnity/hold harmless provision (if they are sophisticated enough to think they need one).

            So, what happens if some 10 year old participant shoots another hunter, or somebody else, or a dog (thinking it was a coyote/wolf)? Does the organizer/sponsor entity, and any participating sponsors get dragged into a liability claim. The need for a special use permit or other local government approval for this event presents some interesting issues the more it is dissected. In any event, I hope it is not held, for so many reasons already stated here.

            Maybe a Federal Judge will have an answer for us in the next couple days.

            Merry Christmas

            • Ken Cole says:

              It is my understanding that the BLM informend them that they needed a permit but they never applied for one. They haven’t applied for a US Forest Service permit either.

            • MJ says:

              WM with due respect there is so much unrelated rhetoric involved in an argument that is yet to be made that this borders on a filibuster. Snowmobiles relate to humane treatment of wildlife and the rights of all citizens, not just special interest groups, to preserve our natural resources.. how?!?!??

              Joyeux Noel

  4. Richard G. says:

    What could backfire on this issue ?

  5. cindy says:

    Thank you so much for taking action on this issue. It is horrific and must by stopped! The article was very professional and beautifully written. We need to protect our wildlife from this senseless killing for sport.

  6. Michael Guest says:

    This is not a contest, and it must get shut down. Protect the wolves and other wildlife.

  7. Ralph Maughan says:

    Todd Wilkinson has a good column in the Jackson Hole News and Guide about the hypocrite who is staging this thing.

    The actions of this man can be seen time after time with others — they claim wolves and/or other carnivores have killed the elk, etc., and then they have a web page to attract hunting customers by telling them how great the hunting is.

  8. Louise Kane says:

    Ken, this is the letter I wrote to IDFG, the USGWS rep, BLM and several other agencies on Dec 17th. The BLM needs to make a consistent stand on use of public lands for these activities. It is incumbent on state and federal agencies to protect wildlife and their habitats from these organized mob killing / mob mentality activities. This is not hunting in any traditional sense. Its way past time to take a stand. Thanks Ken

    December 17, 2013

    Dear Mr. Moore,

    I am writing to express my anger at reading details of an event that is described as the first annual wolf and coyote derby that is being held in Idaho and sponsored by Idaho for Wildlife. Your state has one of the most egregious state “management” plans already, making a mockery of wolf recovery. To allow a wolf derby is unconscionable, and questionably legal.

    In some western states, including NM and California, these predator killing contests are being challenged, as outraged citizens react to the violence and wanton waste. In NM and California, the states have issued statements to contest holders that killing contests are impermissible events on some state and federal lands. In reading about the legal actions that can be taken to stop these alarming events, I have learned that in some instances killing contests are impermissible commercial activities that either require permits, or are not permissible. I am in the process of researching this further.

    I am writing to formally ask your office to supply the following: I would like information on whether any permits have been issued for this contest to be held on state and federal lands, including any BLM and federal lands. And if so, please supply any documents as required by under NEPA review such as an EIS that may be required for permitting commercial killing of wildlife on federal lands. Along with the information requested above, please provide your plans to monitor the #, age and sex of animals killed and how that information will be used in Idaho’s determination of wolf populations.

    As for the USFWS recipients, it is my understanding that the USFWS is required to monitor wolf populations for five years post delisting. I would like you to explain how your agency can accurately monitor wolf populations if the states allow killing derbies on state or federal lands? And please explain how IDFG is providing information to your agency? How is it possible to monitor wolf populations in a region where such hostile attitudes and actions are the predominate environment for wolves?

    Idaho’s year round hunting of wolves and anti-wolf polices seem more slanted toward eradication than management.
    This contest is a disgrace, as are all wildlife killing contests. This is just one reason that western states should not “manage” wolves.

    I have contacted a number of other NGO organizations and agencies for assistance in determining if this contest is legal and what actions might be taken to prevent/challenge it.

    Thank you
    Louise Kane
    Eastham, MA 02642

    Link to contest

    The beginning of bad press and outrage over this event

  9. WM says:

    Here are my concerns. Again, just to be clear, these are independent of my intense dislike for these types of events. Just to be clear, I would like them stopped altogether. How to do that?

    Independent of the hunting ethics issue, the question presented is whether the sponsors (and even participants) are somehow in violation of federal law (or even ID law)?

    Does a small time window – two day- event which involves removal of a nominal number of wildlife from federal FS/BLM lands as well as private and state owned land, for the legal hunting of coyotes (predator which ID allows to be killed on sight) and wolves (controlled quota for game management units) constitute a “significant federal action” triggering NEPA? If this requires a NEPA process requirement, what about every fishing contest held on any NF or BLM land (or extending the argument, for example Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs across the entire West)?

    It also appears the BLM has said yes, these guys need a permit for their event (don’t know what the basis is, or if they stated the reasons in writing) and it hasn’t issued one, and, apparently, the FS has said no the sponsors don’t need one. So, this would give the defendants (the sponsoring organization) a chance to challenge the BLM decision (I am not sure they could stop individuals from hunting on BLM land and entering the contest with whatever they take, by the way). That makes it a risk the BLM could be overturned, or, alternatively, the FS could be called upon to follow BLM’s lead, assuming some consistency is required.

    What constitutes “commercial activity” necessitating a federal permit, especially, if this event ONLY involves harvesting unprotected wild animals to which the state claims oversight and management? Wild animals that move on and off federal land are not the same thing as, for example, trees, mushrooms, salal or other forest resources on or beneath the ground, which are sold commercially for profit.

    It seems that each hunter (and bear in mind the activity giving rise to potential award of a prize is an individual effort of the hunter) has a license, or otherwise has a right under state law, to be there and to do what they intend to do, which is harvest the state regulated wildlife?

    What, for example, would be a requirement if any event, wherever located, gave a prize for the “biggest” harvested animal of whatever type. How would this be compared, for example, at a state/private fair where entrants are required to pay $$$ to compete for the largest pumpkin grown, and receive a prize.

    Last, why did the plaintiff group wait until five days before the event to seek judicial redress to stop something they knew was scheduled for months. Seeking an injunction at this late date seems a bit like closing the barn door after the horse has left. Sometimes federal judges don’t like this last minute stuff – if what plaintiffs seek is an injunction to stop this event.

    In short, and not actually knowing what is included in the complaint in the way of legal theories to stop the event, I think this suit could be interpreted as a fool’s errand by some, that has the potential to do more harm than good in the long run (other than serve as a platform for the plaintiff’s PR campaign, which might have both positive and negative impacts).

    Almost makes one wonder if there could be a floor amendment in the Senate for excluding “contests” from NEPA review under the proposed amendments to FLPMA, under the “Grazing Improvement Act.” There is an argument that it sort of comes under the same umbrella of stuff that shouldn’t trigger a NEPA review. If the state – manager of all wildlife not covered by specific protection under federal statute- does not mind, what is the federal basis for doing so?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      How would this be compared, for example, at a state/private fair where entrants are required to pay $$$ to compete for the largest pumpkin grown, and receive a prize.

      I think the biggest hurdle that our country needs to overcome regarding our precious wildlife is that ‘harvest’ mindset. A living, sentient being is not a pumpkin! Good God. It’s getting to be embarrassing to be an American these days.

      • MJ says:

        This is a critical point that is lost in the legalities as they stand, and the cause of the visceral response of many but it has no “legal basis”. These are sentient beings, not pumpkins. Humans who watch them killed this way are secondary victims of this slaughter. The hunter has a legal right to annihilate living beings without recourse as laws are expanded to the whim of recreational hunters with the support of ranchers/others. If the animals have no legal “rights” where is the ability to assert the legal rights of the majority to public lands and natural resources of this country. Where is our right to assert safety and sanity for the wildlife that belongs to all of us, not to the special interests? We have been bullied out of remembering traditional values or sense.

        • WM says:

          ++We have been bullied out of remembering traditional values or sense.++

          No you haven’t. You are pushing a paradigm shift in wildlife policy that is a/the direct result of fewer people involved in agriculture/raising livestock, and a reduced percentage of the population (not absolute numbers), which engages in hunting.

          And, as we have been over before, Ida, if you want to change the language, and eliminate the use of the word “harvest” it will be tough sell, since it applies not only to agriculture, and wildlife principles, but to the medical field, and much more general application.

          And,for your “lost in the legalities” argument, it would appear the need for a “special use permit” in this instance is a twisting of the purpose of the underlying federal statutes which would seem to make one required. I am always worried about that, because it produces, sometimes, unwanted reactions by those who can change those very same laws. We have seen it happen, with the NRM wolf rider, codifying the previous FWS rule, and we may well see an “improvement” (actually a gutting) of FLPMA, the organic act for the BLM.

          Also, I always love the sentient being argument, it makes so much sense in a predator/prey world, where life in the wild can be snuffed in the quest for food or social order even within the animal kingdom.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Also, I always love the sentient being argument, it makes so much sense in a predator/prey world, where life in the wild can be snuffed in the quest for food or social order even within the animal kingdom.


            But human beings hold themselves separate from the rest of the animal kingdom and nature, supposedly because we can recognize suffering and show compassion, and can reason, not only react instinctively. But modern science shows that animals do have these qualities too.

            So which is it – are we the same as animals in the wild, or are we different? It seems whichever side is convenient at the moment to further our own selfish interests is the side we choose. We also have the ability to lie and deceive.

          • MJ says:

            “the use of the word “harvest” it will be tough sell, since it applies not only to agriculture, and wildlife principles, but to the medical field, and much more general application”
            – in Medicine we absolutely would not use the word harvest to the family member of a recently deceased donor with that level of insensitivity. We would be reamed in a New York minute, rightfully so. And we don’t kill our patients to get their organs.

            The lost in the legalities argument is not only valid it is central to this issue. The purpose of law is to perpetuate justice (and protection of society, the individual, the fabric of society, social order, punish crime), and they are subject to change if they do not. It is not OUR purpose to argue the semantics of tangents while we lose site of the original point we are addressing.

            Our original points are: 1. humane treatment of wildlife and 2. the rights of all citizens to our natural resources vs the hijacking of those rights.

          • MJ says:

            “Also, I always love the sentient being argument, it makes so much sense in a predator/prey world, where life in the wild can be snuffed in the quest for food or social order even within the animal kingdom.”

            Animals in the wild kill only for sustenance. This killing derby is as far from sustenance hunting as it gets. It is pure rhetoric when every extreme form of animal killing gets to hide behind sustenance hunting.

            From Ted Chu, an Idaho Fish and Game supervisor:

            “I have hunted all of my adult life. Hunting is not a contest and it should never be a competitive activity about who can kill the most or the biggest animals. The supporters of these sorts of activities would no doubt claim to be great defenders of hunting, yet they go out of their way to publicly present the worst possible image of hunting. If we hunters don’t clean up our own act, someone else will do it for us and we won’t like the results, but when that time comes, and it surely will, these ‘hunters’ will have only themselves to blame.”

            • Donald J. Jackson says:


              There are many instances that animals in the wild kill, but not just for sustenance, they kill for territory, much as humans do in war, they kill for breeding rights, they will kill their own offspring in cases of inferiority. Wild animals will kill for a lot of different reason, eating is only one of them.

              • MJ says:

                “There are many instances that animals in the wild kill”

                Yes, correct and I misstated.. my point is that animals are sentient beings and their value is not negated by the prey/predator ecosystem. They do not kill for all the reasons that humans do, with our spitefulness, they do not commit genocide or accomplish extinction of another species. The implication that because an animal is a predator that they are therefore a fair target for extreme abuse by humans is at the crux of this. Humans who abuse animals also abuse people, but even if they did not it needs to be stopped. They are voiceless in our world and this is wrong.

    • Louise Kane says:

      WM thanks and I understand some of your points and also that you are not a proponent of these activities. A big issue to me is that the collective and cumulative effect of these contests, aside from their inhumane, ecologically destructive and entirely indefensible aspects, is that if the state and federal agencies need to comply with laws the are doing so inconsistently and in a biased way. The BLM in some instances has indeed determined that these activities are commercial in nature and required permits and then in others seem to waive them. You may be right, there may be some behind closed doors attempts to exclude contests but there seems to be no consistency in the agencies’ interpretation. You wrote one statement that I entirely disagree with, ”
      Does a small time window – two day- event which involves removal of a nominal number of wildlife from federal FS/BLM lands as well as private and state owned land, for the legal hunting of coyotes (predator which ID allows to be killed on sight) and wolves (controlled quota for game management units) constitute a “significant federal action” triggering NEPA? ”

      These contests are proliferating and spreading. The number of coyotes taken is not nominal and we have no idea the impact of these contests. But nominal is a deceptive word. There are thousands of coyotes killed year round

    • Wyo Native says:


      If the courts were to rule that a Special Use Permit is required, all the event organizer would need to do is either drop the registration fee, or reimburse the participants with left over monies that were not used to hold the event. Special Use Permits are only required for “Commercial” activities, and it is very easy to make this activity qualify as a “Non-Commercial”.

      Also, Fishing Derby’s that are held on Forest Service lands and meet guidelines as a “Commercial” activity do require a Special Use Permit. Google “Burbot Bash” for Flaming Gorge National Rec Area on the Ashley National Forest, and you will find plenty of articles describing the Special Use Permit for this activity.

      On a side not however, I would be curious why the Plaintiffs in this case are not also suing to stop Big Buck and Bull contests throughout the west, which are very similar IMHO? Many of these contests require entry fees in order to participate, offer cash or other prizes, and a majority of the animals that are entered into the contest were killed on Public Lands.

      • WM says:

        Wyo Native,

        I looked up the “Burbot Bash,” as you suggested.

        It appears, if there is a difference for requiring a special use permit, it could be that the sponsors for that fish derby obtained some of the target fish, and tagged them, returning them to where they might be caught. They also procured insurance policies (from commercial markets) to insure against those particular fish being caught. There is a more “active” role the sponsoring agencies played there, which suggests a business/commercial activity. It also involves multiple entities, including Chambers of Commerce. It probably also had to do with where the money went. In the present coyote/wolf event, what is being done with entrance fees, other than advertise the event and give out prizes? Is the organization hiring or paying employees from proceeds, and will they retain any excess funds from the event? Answers to these questions, might also come closer to identifying it as a “commercial activity” or not.

        The subject case appears to be much simpler. Pay an entrance fee and be eligible for a prize based on what you submit.

        I certainly don’t know whether other NF’s or BLM offices have intermittently or systematically required special use permits for these simple events, but if many did, the plaintiff’s case is much stronger. They still may not be required by the law.

    • Ken Cole says:

      Essentially, the reason for not filing earlier was because we wanted to give the US Forest Service and BLM time to respond to letters we sent to them reminding them of their obligations to properly conduct the process required for issuing a special use permit. They did respond and we had to draw up the litigation over the course of just a few days. We had hoped to file on Friday but it took longer for our attorneys to get it done and filed.

      We only found out about the event a week-and-a-half ago so time was short.

  10. Stop killing the wolves

  11. snaildarter says:

    Now can we also sue to stop Prairie dog shooting on public lands.

  12. Eric Mills says:

    Wildlife killing contests (what an obscene phrase) of ALL kinds should be banned nationwide, be it of wolves, coyotes, prairie dogs, crows, whatever. They are unsporting, unethical and ecologically unsound, and often only exacerbate the problem. They serve only to give all hunting a black eye.

    And it’s not just Idaho. These massacres take place in California, New Mexico, New York and elsewhere.

    EVERY state should be introducing legislation to ban this nonsense. Now’s the time. Most state legislatures reconvene in January. Contact your state reps NOW.

    • Donald J. Jackson says:


      Should that apply to fishing contests as well?

      • Kathleen says:

        Yes, fish are sentient.

        “Catch-and-release programs surely need to be curtailed because even if fish survive their encounter with a hook they do suffer and die from the stress of being caught, fighting to get the hook out of their mouth or other body areas, and the wounds they endure (for a study on catch and release methods and mortality in fish see…

        • Donald J. Jackson says:

          Why am I not surprised? Geeze. I don’t catch and release, I eat them.

          • Barb Rupers says:

            I only have fished to eat; if it is catch and release I don’t catch.

            The best fishing I ever had was in the Flathead river system in Montana; lower Middle Fork in Glacier National Park where we hiked into the canyon below West Glacier and the South Fork in the Bob; beautiful cutthroat.

      • Louise Kane says:

        certainly to shark tournaments and other big fish tournaments are designed to kill en masse for sport

        • Donald J. Jackson says:

          When I lived in Hawaii, all the large tournament fish that were caught, ended up in the local restaurants that evening and the local fish markets the next morning for consumption.

          • Donald J. Jackson says:

            What about the large Lake Trout tournaments that are held on the Flathead to try and eradicate the non-native species that have contributed to the decline of Bull trout and Cutthroat trout?

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Well that would be the right thing to do. Also for controlling invasives that we have introduced. But if the fishing contests were unusually cruel as they are with the predator killing contests, then I would say that would be wrong. Who is using reason and science here? Noone. There’s already a management program in place. Every year, these wolf-hating states are inching closer to eradication. Just look at Ken’s tally for this year – one thousand and nine!

            • Donald J. Jackson says:

              Is it any less or more cruel to be hooked in the mouth and left to suffocate on the bank of a river or the deck of a boat than a quick bullet? You guys are not looking at the whole picture when it comes to killing. Of course many fish are clubbed to death or shot.

            • Immer Treue says:

              That’s what I said.

              • Donald J. Jackson says:

                Well then you didn’t make yourself very clear, because I misunderstood what you said!

              • Immer Treue says:


                I don’t fillet a fish if it’s alive/conscious. So I will club them to at least knock them out. Don’t want a fish to start flopping around when one is handling a fillet knife either.

                Is that clearer. Relax. Every time someone has a follow-up post to one of yours doesn’t mean its negative.

              • Donald J. Jackson says:


                My ghost are a lot worse than yours, I have fillet humans when they were still kicking, I have very little opportunity to relax.

                Merry Christmas.

              • Immer Treue says:


                We all have ghosts of one type or another. Choice to relax is up to the individual. Despite the ghosts, sure helps to enjoy Mother Nature when calm and relaxed state.

                And a Merry Christmas to you, from the North

    • Eric Mills-
      I totally agree with your comments. I have purchased an Idaho hunting licens every year for the past 60 years and I am disgusted with the slob hunters who participate in these killing contests.Bliss, Idaho has a Rock Chuck (Marmot) killing contest each summer.
      In the 1960s, it was common to have rabbbit drives in Idaho where thousands of jack rabbits were driven into snow fence corrals and beat to death with clubs. One of the drives was filmed for national television and the public outcry was so loud, that there has never been another rabbit drive here since.
      I hope that the local TV stations send out film crews to Salmon and let the public see the dead wolves and coyotes and see how that sets with the nation wide owners of our public lands.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Yes, I remember hearing about those rabbit drives, and it’s done for snakes too. It’s so primitive. There was a program about the Dust Bowl that mentions them, and it was a ‘family event’ also. Horrors!

      • Immer Treue says:

        “I hope that the local TV stations send out film crews to Salmon and let the public see the dead wolves and coyotes and see how that sets with the nation wide owners of our public lands.”

        Waist deep in the big muddy and the fool says to push on.

    • MJ says:

      “EVERY state should be introducing legislation to ban this nonsense. Now’s the time. Most state legislatures reconvene in January. Contact your state reps NOW.”

      Exactly, it starts with who we are electing.

  13. Ida Lupine says:

    Everyone keeps saying how difficult it is to hunt wolves, but yet even with increases numbers allowed to be taken, the seasons are ending much quicker than expected. Wisconsin has been an absolute disgrace, and in only two weeks 15 wolves have been killed with dogs. The amount of wolves permitted to be killed is up by 134 from last year in WI. The DNR is turning a blind eye and not even requiring seeing the pelts until January! So who knows what is going on out there.

    <a href=";

    • Ida-
      IDFG has a paid killer out hunting and trapping wolves in the Big Creek drainage in the Frank Church Wilderness at this moment. Two wolf packs are targeted for complete destruction. These are wolves that never kill domestic livestock and are being killed because the IDFG says” Elk numbers are below our objectives for the area”. What they really mean is that the commercial outfitters are complaining about the wolves.
      This action seems to go against the whole concept of wilderness.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Yes, it bothers me that that beautiful area is being sullied by this. It isn’t necessary at all.

      • IDhiker says:


        Why am I not surprised.

        • Donald J. Jackson says:

          I will at a later date, I am tied up on a brief that I am preparing for the next couple of days.

      • IDhiker says:

        Larry, I agree with you. Both these outfitters are based out of Cabin Creek. They fly their hunters there and then pack them to their camps. One heads south up over Rush Creek Point and the other bases out of Mile Hi. They have also have transfer camps by the airstrip and just across Big Creek. When in there working, I have spoken with their guides often. They always complain about the wolves.

    • shanti says:

      aerial hunting tracks pawprints- 2 day slaughter planned for Alaska…
      Traps kill more wolves than hunting

    • shanti says:

      I read between 1500 and 1800 killed so far this year

  14. jon says:

    Does Idaho fish and game have the power to stop this killing contests? Somehow I doubt it. Before, Idaho fish and game came out against killing contests, but now they seem to be for them even though they haven’t admitted that publicly. No question that these killing contests give hunting a very bad name, but I doubt the hunters who hate predators and participate in these contests really care. All you can really do is continue to educate the public about what is going on in Idaho. Most normal people would oppose killing contests that involve money and prizes. Someone who thinks killing as many animals as possible for prizes and money is ok definitely suffers from some kind of sickness.

    • IDhiker says:


      Don’t expect anything from IDFG. I fought with them for years about allowing trappers to place snares and traps right in the treads of USFS trails and across pack bridges. They wouldn’t do a thing until finally they got a lot more complaints. Now, as I recall, these devices have Tom be five feet off the trail. What progress! IDFG is still in the Stone Age.

    • Dedge says:

      Undoubtedly anyone who derives pleasure from killing as much as this particular group would indicate seems to be in need of psychological evaluation. I am pleased that it has finally received the wide attention of media outlets so that perhaps an injunction will prevent it from going forward if proper permits and compliance have not been met. Whatever it takes to stop, or delay it so it can be exposed for the wanton slaughter and carnage that it is.

      • WM says:

        Notwithstanding my disdain for these kinds of events, it is likely that NOT many coyotes/wolves will actually be taken in a two day gathering of these yokels. Just what is the likely number?

        The Salmon wolf management Zone has a quota of 45 wolves to be removed in accordance with IDFG hunting regulations. Their harvest report indicates a whopping total of 4 taken so far in the 2013-14 hunting season. So, how many wolves will be taken by the folks showing up for this formal event, if it goes forward (or doesn’t but the folks exercise their right to hunt on federal/private lands anyway)? A dozen? And, of course, those would be part of the quota above. As for coyotes, how many maybe a couple dozen or 4 dozen? If one segment of researchers is correct, that will result in even more coyotes the next year as they adjust? But then, if the wolves which are there are doing their job in suppressing coyote populations (according to some research, though questioned by other researchers, including Dr. Mech and the Yellowstone studies of coyote population before and after wolves), there shouldn’t be that many coyotes for participants to shoot, in the first place.

        “Wanton slaughter and carnage,” as a descriptor is a bit over the top, some might think, but is sure does whip up the emotions in others.

        A stupid event? Yes. One with much impact? If it goes forward I guess we will know more. It does bother me that somebody would want to shell out $20 to participate, though maybe it is just an excuse to gather and bitch about their critics. I bet there will be more wolves/coyotes metaphorically shot around campfires, and in motel rooms, between beers and tugs on a bottle of spirits, than in actuality, especially if it is cold outside.

  15. jon says:

    I don’t think you can ever stop these killing contests. The legislature in Idaho is conservative and conservatives are the ones that generally like or support these killing contests. I know there is a huge public backlash against this coyote and wolf derby in Idaho.

  16. CodyCoyote says:

    Telling a Western Wahoo he can’t do something and will be sued if he does only makes him want to do twice as much of it…

  17. Jon Way says:

    It is obvious that a national carnivore conservation act is going to require that… While Donald Jackson makes a good point, the major difference between fish and deer contests is that these are common animals that are EATEN by people, whereas carnivores naturally live at low densities, have important ecological roles, are some of the most intelligent wild animals on earth, and are not legitimately used in this day and age. While I don’t like any contests of any kind, it is clear that predator contests draw the line for most people. I would say, however, if states had a 1 bag limit per year per hunter of coyotes and wolves and treated them like valued wildlife, there might be a more respectful and enlightened way for multiple parties to come together on contests within the realm of overall carnivore mgmt…

  18. Gary Humbard says:

    I worked for the BLM for 37 years and I can tell you that the agency made decisions based on laws and policies and not on emotions, personal opionins etc. We are a country of laws and if changes need to be made they must be made through the legal system. Lawsuits that were backed up with accurate data dramatically changed how the Forest Service and BLM manage forests in the Pacific NW. That is what it will take to make changes to these type of activities.

    • WM says:

      Gary H.,

      I’m not looking for a scuffle, but there are enough court decisions going against BLM (especially under FLMPA) suggesting that your statement might not be true. Then, there are a bunch of pending matters, which I think will result in even more decisions against BLM. Otherwise, why would there be a push to pass this “Grazing Improvement Act.” BLM does not, IMHO, have the political will (maybe it is self-preservation for the agency and USFS, too) or the budget to enforce the laws that are supposed to guide BLM’s work – throughout the West.

      • Gary Humbard says:


        I did not mean that the BLM always complied with laws. The BLM lost more court battles than they won. What I meant was that the BLM relied on government attorneys who interpreted the laws. The BLM is subject to politics, although I witnessed more decisions based on science during the past 15 to 20 years than ever before. The reason for that is in a word “lawsuits”.

      • shanti says:

        spoke with sponsors this afternoon- they threatened me with arrest and said derby will definitely happen

  19. Eric Mills says:

    An appropriate poem from former U.S. Poet Laureate William Stafford:


    Animals full of light
    walk through the forest
    toward someone aiming a gun
    loaded with darkness.

    That’s the world: God
    holding still
    letting it happen again,
    and again and again.

    • Donald J. Jackson says:

      Hate to tell you Eric,

      This is not a God issue and it is not a poets issue, it is a real issue and honestly, it is probably one that is never going to be solved.

      • IDhiker says:

        True, God has nothing to do with this, and true, it probably will never be solved. At least not for any foreseeable future. Perhaps, though, it may be moderated.

  20. snaildarter says:

    I propose the following legislation.
    no cows or domestic sheep or goats on public lands ever again.
    All hunting must be sustainably based for eco-system health not to favor a favoite prey species.
    No trapping on public lands.
    No mining on public lands.
    Allow hunting and fishing contest for invasive species only
    Now how hard was that. Perfectly reasonable

    • Zig Pope says:

      Well said and perfectly reasonable!

    • shanti says:

      the “rationale” for killing for this derby is a tapeworm.. Yes, a tapeworm that can be treated with Praziquantel. This is a blood thirsty event to raise funds for the town and sponsors. It is also symbolic of slaughter of all that is wild and free in the United States of Fascism

      • WM says:

        Equally important “rationale” is economic benefit for a small community in the off “tourist” season; reducing predator numbers (in the belief that it improves a commercially important prey species population survival – a wolf eats between 7-23 ungulates/year from November-April, the research period over which the number can be confirmed, but more when the diet from May thru October is added in, and they are not all the weak,old or sick); an opportunity for like-minded folks/families to gather during the holidays, and most of all IMHO, an opportunity to do with an “in your face” event that pisses off wolf advocates and people in the middle.

        It’s not just some tape worm scare rationale, shanti, though it does add a little drama queen flare. By the way, how you gonna feed any wild animals an antibiotic, as you suggest, to stop the alleged spread of the nasty little buggers?

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Did they run this by F&W as scientific management, or did they just pull it out of their collective whatevers at the last minute? That’s what I’d like to know. I know they are scrambling about where to have it, because in gov’t infinite wisdom, the BLM requires a permit, and the Forest Service does not! On private land, the minute money changes hands the landowner is subject to liability. The tapeworm is a nonissue, like one article I read said, they’d have to eat *expletetive* in order to be exposed to it.

          It’s laughable to think of these people quaking in fear because of environmentalists. I know that if I went there to protest, they would have no problem shooting, shoveling, and shutting me up as well.

  21. shanti says:

    This has NOT been stopped. I just called one of the sponsors who was very irate with me at 3:50pm PT. The derby is still scheduled..

    • shanti says:

      boots on the ground- who is ready to join me?

      • WM says:


        And, exactly what would you propose to do with….”boots on the ground”…?

        • shanti says:

          if you are plant i won’t tell you, but i promise you there have been plenty of wolf hunt and derby saboteurs before me. If you get a hold of me privately and prove your intention. We can do some jeopardizing.

      • Donald J. Jackson says:

        I will join you , but I don’t think you will be happy with the outcome, because more are unhappy with killing, myself, it does not bother me…

  22. Ida Lupines says:

    Per Ken’s most recent numbers, one thousand and twenty-nine wolves have been killed this year alone. That sounds excessive to me, and not based on any science except ballistics.

    I do think a film crew should go out there. Or a protest. Are we to be held hostage by these people by keeping silent and fear of what they might do? I’m pretty certain they will do these horrible things anyway. The Wisconsin site would shame even the Duck Dynasty crew.

    • shanti says:

      I have contacted a film crew – I am awaiting producer’s reply

    • shanti says:

      traps and ariel hunting. That number is lower than what i have read

    • jon says:

      Idaho (for) killing wildlife does not want any media there. They said this. Wonder why? We all know why. It’s because they know what they are doing is causing a big backlash. Having contests that give you prizes and money for killing the most and the biggest animals is disgusting to many normal people. I know a lot of people are speaking up about the wolves and they should, but what doesn’t seem to get a lot of people talking are the coyotes that are being killed. Many more coyotes will be killed in these contests than wolves and I wish people would speak up about the coyotes as much as the wolves. Coyotes get no respect.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        You are right, the coyotes need protection too. It’s just that it coincides with the sick joke that is considered predator management and species recovery by our Federal government. Since when has that ever stopped the media, that they weren’t wanted? If they don’t show up, it means that they don’t care.

        • Donald J. Jackson says:


          Unfortunately, that is exactly what it means, they don’t care and guess what, the majority of America don’t care.

        • jon says:

          Hunting has really turned into a bloodsport for people who just love killing wildlife. it used to be about food, but now I think it is more about just killing wild animals for fun. These hunters who hate predators and want to kill all predators are the hunters who represent hunting today. I’ve seen hunters brag about shooting coyote pups, wiping out dens, and gut shoot predators and laughing about it. These hunters are psychopaths plain and simple and for themselves to say they love wildlife is an absolute joke. Where are the hunters speaking out AGAINST these killing contests? You don’t see them. Idaho has turned into a state full of bloodthirsty rednecks, but it is good to know that the tide is changing. You have many many Americans all around the country and in Idaho that are speaking out against these killing contests and for predators in general.

          • Immer Treue says:


            They are, just not in large enough numbers. As I posted below:

            Agreeing with Schoen’s position, Ted Chu, an Idaho Fish and Game supervisor, wrote on his Facebook page:

            “I have hunted all of my adult life. Hunting is not a contest and it should never be a competitive activity about who can kill the most or the biggest animals. The supporters of these sorts of activities would no doubt claim to be great defenders of hunting, yet they go out of their way to publicly present the worst possible image of hunting. If we hunters don’t clean up our own act, someone else will do it for us and we won’t like the results, but when that time comes, and it surely will, these ‘hunters’ will have only themselves to blame.”

          • rork says:

            “These hunters are psychopaths plain and simple” – if jon, then overstatement. Some of them seem simply misinformed – they hate predators cause of the perceived bad effects.
            Here, I’m hunter speaking out against this particular contest. It’ll bring such bad press on itself that there’s little need to say it’s dumb.

            • MJ says:

              Agree that some hunters are misinformed by campaigns from hunting orgs (RMEF and SCI put out a lot of misinformation) or their buddies..

              BUT.. there is an element that probably is sociopathic and seems to be growing or getting louder. These kinds of contests normalize treating animals badly for adults and kids. That’s a serious problem, and it is NOT a right to treat animals like that.

  23. Carter Niemeyer says:

    I know that IDFG does not condone this contest at all – the message with their representatives is loud and clear. The governor and his appointed fish and game commissioners with the help of the Idaho legislature drive the wildlife “management” program in Idaho and that is from whom the IDFG take their walking orders. Go to an IDFG commission and meeting and watch the body language as the commissioners run their mouths.

    • shanti says:

      they are claiming the derby is for cystic echinococcosis which is a SIMPLE TAPEWORM. And by that rationale they will then start slaughtering domestic house pets who also harbor tape worms. I have all the sponsors.

  24. nicole says:

    Awesome article. Its these little grassroots orgs that get stuff done.

  25. Immer Treue says:

    Two comments from individuals who know better.

    Regarding the Idaho “Coyote and Wolf Derby,” Blaine County, Idaho, Commissioner Larry Shoen said, “Shooting contests conducted in the name of killing animals for fun, money and prizes is just not consistent with the values of most people in the modern world,” as reported in the Jackson Hole News & Guide.

    Agreeing with Schoen’s position, Ted Chu, an Idaho Fish and Game supervisor, wrote on his Facebook page:

    “I have hunted all of my adult life. Hunting is not a contest and it should never be a competitive activity about who can kill the most or the biggest animals. The supporters of these sorts of activities would no doubt claim to be great defenders of hunting, yet they go out of their way to publicly present the worst possible image of hunting. If we hunters don’t clean up our own act, someone else will do it for us and we won’t like the results, but when that time comes, and it surely will, these ‘hunters’ will have only themselves to blame.”

  26. Gigi says:

    I’m more than speechless when I hear about such barbaric towards beautiful living animals and the mean mentality of humans. I pray that one day our world goes back to a better place where animals are respected.

  27. CodyCoyote says:

    FWIW—this Idaho killing derby has gone national in the news. Too bad it comes over a long holiday when reporters are less inclined to cover it than they normally might be.

    To which : There is definitely an overall deficit of informed wildlife issue reportage in the American West in the mainstream media adjacent to the Continental Divide. The bulk of reporters handling wildlife and conservation topics are frankly not up to speed or altitude on the germane issues. A kill derby such as this should not be a journalistic litmus test… it should be reported for what it is, plainly . IMO that would almost certainly result in negative press. I see no story angle that can possibly put a positive glow on this. No premeditation or editorial slant necessary. It is what it is.

    Except that money is , in fact, changing hands. I agree with some here that when you have a publically staged event conducted primarily on public lands that involves entry fees and cash prizes, then oversight by the agency is requisite. There simply has not been enough of that, given the time frame. Doesn’t matter that the targets are considered nuisance animals or varmints. The right thing to do would be to postpone the for 60 days for a little look-see review by the agencies. And yes, it should require a permit. Follow the money.

  28. Scott MacButch says:

    Maybe it was already noted, but this “Kill Babby Kill” contest was created by Shane McAfee owner of Castle Creek Outfitters, Salmon, ID.

  29. alf says:

    It’s because of things like this that I’m embarrassed to admit that I live in idiot-ho, and feel that I have to apologize for living here

  30. jon says:

    A new video from rockhead. You can feel the predator hate in that room even if you aren’t there and are watching the video online. These people are not conservationists.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I can’t even waste my valuable time reading this crap. Yes, the public has had enough, they got that right.

    • Zoe Berger says:

      I just watched the video from the meeting where the suggestion “let’s kill ALL the wolves” resulted in a huge applause from the attendees. It’s like watching science fiction to me. All this talk about the legal aspects of why this competition may or may not be able to be stopped I’m aware is important but the main reason it should be stopped is because it is murder and animal abuse. To have the privilege of living in such a beautiful environment and then turn around and kill (or maim in the context of traps) fellow inhabitants cannot ever make any sense. They are like a bunch of gang members. And for what purpose? It is very painful to observe from my admitted distance.

      • Donald J. Jackson says:

        There is no definition of murder in US law concerning an animal, Murder is either a willful or negligent act committed between two humans.

        As far as animal abuse, time and time again, the courts have upheld the act of hunting is not abuse as long as the method of take is within the law of the jurisdiction and approved method of the governing agency.

        With those two statements, I will also state, I don’t approve of predator contests, never have participated or even considered participating in, but if things are going to change, it has to be done with reasonable arguments and calling it murder and animal abuse, is not a reasonable argument in this case.

        • Zoe Berger says:

          Thank you Donald. I appreciate your straight thinking. Personally I cannot see it as anything but murder and I do realize I am in the minority here. However, I truly do not understand how trapping is not considered animal abuse. Pain and suffering is absolutely guaranteed. I do realize most people will think this is unreasonable thinking on my part and it is certainly nothing any Court would uphold. At least not in the current climate. Thanks again for your words of wisdom. (I am not being sarcastic!)

          • IDhiker says:


            Trapping is animal abuse. That’s why here in Montana it is specifically exempted from consideration in the animal cruelty statute. Exempting trapping does does not change it’s cruel and abusive nature, it simply makes it legal.

    • Immer Treue says:

      You mean the “Queen” little rock riding hood. Got his panties in a bunch and won’t go in the woods without his hand cannon.

  31. Mark L says:

    Zoe, several hundred years ago (or less in some places), the solution of “lets’s kill all the (whatevers)” was used on some humans here in the US, too. Some people applauded then also. It says a lot about the killers and little about what was killed (or ‘murdered’). I see the same hate, just a different target.

    • Zoe Berger says:

      Mark thank you for understanding. It truly is comparable and as awful.

    • Donald J. Jackson says:

      Illogical arguments will never win Mark L. We will evolve, but not with your reasoning, this needs to be addressed a completely different way.

      • IDhiker says:

        Such as??

        • Donald J. Jackson says:

          I have no desired to correspond with ID.

          • IDhiker says:

            Could this be, Donald, that you criticize others but have no answer yourself?

            • Donald J. Jackson says:


              I posted last evening that I would post my thoughts in a couple of days, currently I am working on an important brief that I need to complete. I don’t know what happen to my comment and your original comment of “I am not surprised” disappeared as well.

              I have no problem being criticized, or criticizing those I disagree with. I have plenty of ideas, many of which I have posted in the past, because your or others don’t like or agree with them, has no bearing on if they are valid or not.

              • Zoe Berger says:

                There are so many reasons and so many different-thinking people who feel this blood fest should be stopped. Legal, intellectual, scientific, animal rights etc. Then there are those on the other side who are just as intransigent. If by some miracle this event is stopped, the mentality behind wanting it in the first place is not going to stop. I really think what is needed is education. It may seem insurmountable (as it seems to be a national if not an international mindset) but exposing these people to a different way of thinking about their actions (preferably on an individual basis since that group mentality is so powerful) and providing reasons in all the categories as to why it is not in anyone’s best interest… I wonder Donald if you feel the suit has any chance/grounds? I hope you finished your brief.

              • Donald J. Jackson says:


                Education is one of the key factors in changing things and it does not happen overnight.

                I don’t honestly know if this lawsuit will stop this event from taking place, when it comes to wolves and hunting, there is really no set and fast rules when litigation is involved, it always seems to end up being some Judge legislating from the bench when it is all said and done.

                • Zoe Berger says:

                  Yes, as important as the legal system is, there is always that arbitrary/subjective aspect that often makes it seem rather questionable. I repeat, “ugh”.

              • IDhiker says:


                I am interested in knowing what your ideas are and look forward to reading them when you are done with your brief. True, my opinion neither validates or invalidates your ideas, nor does yours. Perhaps it is time we all be a little less testy in our comments.

              • IDhiker says:

                I also think that education could be the key, but there is so much cultural influence going on here that is really hard to break through. It is much easier to agree than disagree with people you encounter on a daily basis.

  32. Ida Lupines says:

    Thank you, CNN:

  33. Zoe Berger says:

    Thanks for posting Ida. I hope they do report this on air. It’s true – Blackfish had an impact.

  34. Carter Niemeyer wrote:
    December 23, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    The governor and his appointed fish and game commissioners with the help of the Idaho legislature drive the wildlife “management” program in Idaho and that is from whom the IDFG take their walking orders.

    First of all Carter, THANK YOU for your tireless reporting effort re: Wildlife Services and the all of the post-delisting atrocities — fundamentally, the downstream effects of the federal recovery coordinator’s “rubber-stamping” (ref. “Wolfer”)the “adaptive management” centered wolf management plans.

    “Adaptive management” meaning the classic “Trojan Horse” which gives, e.g., IFG’s Commissioners and top officials all the excuse they could possibly dream up to “kill as many wolves as fast as possible down to the minimum to appease ranchers and hunters” (pers. con. with IFG Deputy Director held mid-March 2013.

    Hence, IFG’s sanctioning per regulation(July 16, 2012) the trapping and skinning of wolves (descendants of the wolves which Secretary Babbitt lauded not too long ago*)to entice more wolves to their horrific and untimely demise.

    The derby is yet one more step along the devolution from the conservation zenith* of the 20th Century to the nadir (so far) of the 21st Century.

    *The reintroduction of the wolf after decades of extinction is an extraordinary statement for the American people. It reconnects our historical linkage with the wilderness that is so central to our national character. It admits to past errors and asserts our willingness to correct them.

  35. Zoe Berger says:

    How do ranchers and hunters end up with so much power? Or the politicians they voted in? It sounds like they are not the majority but I haven’t visited “their” sites.

    There are so many polarizing issues in this country. Surely when it comes to the behavior of people acting, as someone pointed out, like they are right out of Deliverance, there can be legitimate action taken to prevent them from doing what they want just because they want to, despite so much opposition. ugh

  36. snaildarter says:

    I think the public does care, if you can have a million pro-wolf comments about reintroduction in the Pacific NW the public just needs to be mobilized

    And I purchased potatoes from Mass. instead if ID. As much asd I love Idaho I’m boycotting products and letting the governor’s office know.

  37. Jane Clugston says:

    I am ready to go there and stand in the way. This is such a hideous contest on so many levels.No wonder we have so many shootings in schools and other public places by mentally ill sociopaths when we have such breeding grounds and training centers like this.

    • Donald J. Jackson says:


      The only thing you would accomplish is going to jail and then the contest would go on, while you eat pbj sandwiches, it is against the law to interfere with a lawful hunt.

      • Grace says:

        But it’s NOT a lawful hunt. It’s ILLEGAL. The BLM has already notified them that it is ILLEGAL to kill these animals without a special permit. That’s s federal offense which they will do prison time for. They have no more protection than the wolves and coyotes when they are breaking the LAW.

  38. I’m new to Twitter. Can one paste a graphic article about the derby? Has anyone?

  39. Eric Mills says:

    This just in from Carol Gage, California –

    “The proposed wolf/coyote extermination ‘derby’ currently being organized by hunters’ ‘rights’ groups in Idaho is an affront to reason and right-thinking on every level. The proposal represents nothing more than the basest bloodlust and should be stopped in its tracks. If court challenges fail and this travesty is allowed to proceed, than I predict that this will be BOTH an environmental disaster and a tourism debacle for Idaho. The bad PR that such a ‘hunt’ will generate will make Idaho radioactive to a whole segment of the traveling public who will retaliate by taking their tourist/visitor dollars elsewhere. Funny how that works.”

  40. All wolf advocates:

    Just FYI: Took a picture of Lynn’s photo above (I’m assuming that she doesn’t mind) and updated it on Twitter under my handle Wolf253 with a tweet demanding immediate ESA protection as a result of scheduled derby.

    If we all do this I would think that the national media would pick this up as a “trend”?!

    • Zoe Berger says:

      Valerie what photo above are you referring to? It’s a bit jumpy following things here… I’m in the middle of trying to sign up for twitter. Thanks.

    • Donald J. Jackson says:


      You can demand all you want, as it now stands, the only way they can be put back on the ESA is if they fall below the recovery thresholds and that would take a review from USFWS, or Congress could reverse themselves and re-instate protections, which is not going to happen.

  41. Zoe,

    The one that appears when you sign the Change Org petition above. I used my digital camera. Dragged the pic into my Desktop file and uploaded with my tweet. I will keep tweeting on a daily basis about the events and seminal players leading to the destruction of a conservation zenith!

    What I want to know is how to get CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS’s attention? Go to their Twitter sites I believe.

    • Zoe Berger says:

      Ida (here, yesterday) posted a link to CNN ireport. I looked on their site today and couldn’t find it but the link worked: Yes, I can’t believe they all aren’t talking about it…

      • Donald J. Jackson says:


        It is an ireport, and not a CNN news story, the ireports are reports from the field by non-trained people in the field, in the 10 years since they instituted the ireports, there has been less than 10 of them that actually made front page news and garnered national attention on the CNN channel. In looking at it again today, there has only been 41 comments on it, the normal news stories CNN does, have over a 1000 comments in the first 12 hours.

      • WM says:

        I think those advocating here would first want to know where and when that image was taken, and by whom the many stacked coyotes in this trailer were killed, and how. Might even be important to know how long a period it took to get that many.

        Or are some just looking for the “shock” effect, without knowing the facts?

        Looks like there are two bold disclaimers, too:

        ++Not vetted by CNN++
        ++Not vetted for CNN++

        Of course, there are links to other stories, here too. My favorite is “marijuana makes me a better person.” Maybe that one is even true.

        What do you suppose that does or does not do for credibility?

        • Donald J. Jackson says:

          I would like to have some background on that picture.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Oh please WM. Are you going to ask the antis about who what and where that alleged threats were made against them (ludicrous). Or are you just going to take them at their word? Here, we’ve at least got the bumper stickers, the (un)welcome signs in store windows, etc. to prove it.

          If they don’t want outsiders and their tourists dollars, or wolves, fine – but leave other states out of it.

          • Donald J. Jackson says:


            Come on, what makes those threats against the anti’s any more credible than those against the pro’s, as far as the pictures, in this day and age, it is far to easy to manipulate images for many of us to have much faith in them.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              Well, at least it shows its not all one-sided – the photos are backed up by the comments, and on the wolf-hating sites. They are proud of it.

              • Donald J. Jackson says:

                With the small amount of image manipulation I have, and some of the images of war that I have, I could really do some stuff that would outrage people!

              • Ida Lupine says:

                I don’t know how to do any of that and don’t want to know. I’m happy not being overly tech. I have a basic computer and an outdated cellphone that I never use, only in an emergency. 🙂

  42. Ida Lupine says:

    An update, with a new photo and comments:

    • Donald J. Jackson says:


      Many of those comments are the same ones that appeared yesterday. You must really be doing some digging to find these ireports.

      • Zoe Berger says:

        Donald I keep addressing you as you seem to be very steady in your thinking and you also seem to be sympathetic to the horror most of us here feel. Perhaps I am wrong? However I ask you, can you suggest something substantial and effective that we can do?

        • Donald J. Jackson says:


          There are some on this blog that will very strongly disagree with you about me.

          As a wildlife biologist, I am all for scientific wildlife management, as a retired Military officer, I am all to familiar with the politics that come up with highly charged issues.

          Concerning this particular event, I don’t believe there is much that can be done, but as I said earlier the courts are always a toss up these days, it could go either way and I don’t think it has anything to do with law.

          Substantial and effective? A strong and continued educational program that covers generations is going to be one of the only effective courses that will produce long term lasting results, we are creatures that expect instant results, but when fighting against hundreds of years of habit and tradition and ignorance, it is going to take a good amount of time to change.

          As with many things in our country, it is going to take a good amount of time to change.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            From what I’ve been able to observe, Donald is a very principled man, which I have the utmost respect for – even though I disagree with him sometimes. It is rare these days.

            Wolf-hating and misunderstanding has been going on for a thousand years or more – so education, I really don’t know if that is the answer. The wolves will be extirpated again from the West again before that happens. Not too much learning going on about predators.

            But I really don’t blame the people out there or hunters – it’s the fault of the Obama administration. Anyone could see that this would be the result, and it was, I believe, for them a tradeoff that they wanted to make for votes. And they got the bobblehead yes Democrats backing it up. And underhanded and sneaky way it was achieved by Jon Tester.

          • Zoe Berger says:

            Like I said, “steady”. Thanks Donald – although I was hoping for something more immediate.

            • Donald J. Jackson says:


              It is very difficult to come up with “immediate” when the issue is many generations old. There are very few that have reach adult age you are really going to educate, which is why it will take generations of education to change things. Once we reach a certain age, most adults rarely change what they believe.

  43. Rtobasco says:

    Been awhile since I amused myself with a visit to this site. I’m a hunter who has reluctantly accepted the presence of wolves in the lower 48. I carry a wolf tag during hunting season and if I ever see one, I’ll most assuredly toss some lead his way. I won’t poach one, as the risk/reward doesn’t suit me.
    IMHO this derby will have relatively little impact, if any, on predator populations in the Salmon area. They’ll probably kill a few coyotes and I would be surprised if they killed more than a wolf or two (if any).
    What these morons (sponsors of this event) have succeeded in doing is riling quite a few of you folks up to the point where some of you seem to be frothing as much as a rabid skunk. The types that are attracted to something like this represent a small minority of hunters. They have big mouths that like to be heard, much like many of the contributors on this site.
    Most of the arguments presented here appear to be founded on irrational emotion, much like the arguments presented by the anti-wolf faction that you readily loathe.
    Rest easy, wolves are here to stay. Unfortunately so are the radicals who populate either side of this issue. Too bad we can’t sponsor contests to reduce the extremists, whether they be right or left.
    Just like the anti-wolfers gather at the local pub to work each other up over something they have no control over, you folks gather here and goad each into equally ludicrous lines of thinking, probably because you too lack any control over the situation.
    Entertaining at some level, but the real truth is that the more rational folks living somewhere in the middle tend to be generally annoyed by either side.

    • Zoe Berger says:

      Rtobasco what you call frothing like a rabid skunk is outrage in response to behavior that is unacceptable – it is not merely irrational emotion. With the determination that seems to exist, I do not see why you think wolves will not likely be murdered here. There have already been almost 200 killed since the hunt began this year. Isn’t that enough?? Hunters are already winning by being allowed to continue. This event goes beyond that and truly is just a killing fest whose participants really do not consider what they are doing since they are part of the mindless and selfish group mentality that thinks this is a great way to spend a weekend. I do not rest assured that wolves are here to stay. I rest assured that they will continue to be tormented until something is done to educate and open the minds of these people into seeing a different role they can play other than being thugs and dominators.

      • WM says:


        So what is your best guess as to how many coyotes and wolves will be taken during this event? You seem to believe it will be quite a few of both species, and exactly how would you know?

        • Zoe Berger says:

          WM what is this, another contest?? You don’t seem to understand – I think ONE death here is one too many.


December 2013


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

~ Edward Abbey

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