Judge Candy Dale has denied the request for a temporary restraining order against a 2-day wolf and coyote killing contest planned for Salmon, Idaho this weekend. The plaintiffs argued that the derby constituted a commercial event that required the US Forest Service to issue a special use permit. The judge said that plaintiffs were not likely to prevail on the merits of the case and that plaintiffs have not “articulated an irreparable harm justifying the Court’s award of the extraordinary preliminary relief Plaintiffs seek.”

acrobat pdfRead the TRO denial order here.

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.

123 Responses to Temporary Restraining Order for Wolf/Coyote Derby Denied by Judge

  1. Melody Scamman says:

    Wow, evîdently species slaughter leading to extinction is not permanent harm? This ruling stinks for wolves and coyotes! And maybe for all creatures? The laws have to change. The animals can’t defend themselves, so how is it fair and just?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Not surprised. I read about this notice of telephone hearing in the online SF Chronicle last night, and I didn’t even bother to post it because I knew it would have a predictable outcome. Thanks again, Democrats, for bringing this vile business back to us.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        They keep saying how difficult wolves are to hunt, but yet Ken’s running tally speaks for itself, doesn’t it, and seasons ending much sooner than anticipated.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        These judges have to run for office, so I’m not surprised with this outcome. I am so done with the Democratic party. Green party all the way for me from now on.

        • jon says:

          Democrats are not perfect, but they are much better than the crazy republicans.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Not today’s bunch – only marginally better, and the slight difference isn’t worth it.

            • jon says:

              I disagree Ida. There are good democrats today. There are many democrats out there sticking up and defending wildlife against those that wish to do harm against it.

  2. Richard G. says:

    I should be surprised but their is a deep rooted wave to kill as many predators as possible. This is a real shame, until God forbid somebody gets hurt, only then will their be a big blowback.

  3. JB says:

    “While Plaintiffs and others may find the concept of a derby and prizes being awarded for the killing of animals repugnant, hunting is a lawful activity in Idaho.”

    Indeed; and until Congress (or federal land management agencies) say otherwise, state wildlife policy dictates what are legal, acceptable uses of wildlife on federal public lands.

    • Nancy says:

      “Indeed; and until Congress (or federal land management agencies) say otherwise, state wildlife policy dictates what are legal, acceptable uses of wildlife on federal public lands”

      Hard to wrap one’s mind around it though JB, when probably a small percentage of 10 % of the country (who hunt) condones this sort of event.

      • Donald J. Jackson says:

        Kind of weird how that all works out Nancy. I don’t have to condone the event to condone the ruling, this was an over reaching attempt to ban hunting.

        • Carole Beverly says:

          This wasn’t about banning ethical hunting. This derby violates every tenet of ethical hunting!!!

          • Donald J. Jackson says:


            Once the “commercial” aspect of this “contest” was out of the picture, yes, it was about banning hunting on Federal lands, when the organizer dropped the entry fee it was no longer a commercial use of Federal land, with the commercial aspect gone, there was no reason to pursue the lawsuit about a permit.

            Again, people need to think out side of the box, if this had been ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, every single anti hunting organization would use it to try and ban hunting of any species on Federal land.

            It was frivolous and should not have been pursued, this is not about one species.

            • Carole Beverly says:

              In other words, hunting wolves and coyotes on federal lands is just one long derby – 9 month season, no limits or controls of any sort… O.k., yeah, I see now that there’s no difference.

        • Nancy says:

          How so SB?

      • JB says:


        My *guess* is that less than 10% of the country would condone this type of activity, certainly a tiny fraction (less than 1%) engage in these types of events. It is (intellectually) interesting to me that such a tiny fraction of people can dictate the allocation of federal resources–especially when it conflicts with overall sentiment. I would suggest to those who wish to change the policy, you will have a voice the next time the Salmon-Challis National Forest goes through the planning process.

        “…this was an over reaching attempt to ban hunting.”

        The attempt to stop (or delay, more likely) a predator killing derby is hardly an “attempt to ban hunting”. Good grief.

        • Donald J. Jackson says:


          You and I disagree, you need to look farther than just this ruling.

          • Donald J. Jackson says:

            It really does not matter the species.

            • Donald J. Jackson says:


              It has become a time, you and I need to correspond through email, please send Ralph a note and request my email, although w disagree on many aspects of these issues, I think we could have a very productive conversation.


          • JB says:

            “Description of Slippery Slope (AKA ‘Camel’s Nose’)

            The Slippery Slope is a fallacy in which a person asserts that some event must inevitably follow from another without any argument for the inevitability of the event in question. In most cases, there are a series of steps or gradations between one event and the one in question and no reason is given as to why the intervening steps or gradations will simply be bypassed. This “argument” has the following form:

            Event X has occurred (or will or might occur).
            Therefore event Y will inevitably happen.
            This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious because there is no reason to believe that one event must inevitably follow from another without an argument for such a claim. This is especially clear in cases in which there is a significant number of steps or gradations between one event and another.”


          • JB says:


            I agree with you, the species doesn’t matter. However, there would have been no legal precedent here that could have remotely impacted your privilege to hunt. The legal question dealt with a procedural technicality under the APA (i.e., the failure of the Forest Service to require a special permit). Even if the judge had come down in favor of plaintiffs, that would only mean that the FS should have issued a permit (or not). There would have been absolutely zero impact on hunting, in general.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I and many others don’t consider this kind of an event hunting – it is a killing contest. Contests and hunting aren’t defined the same.

    • Louise Kane says:

      There are other issues here JB as well
      the federal government requires permits for commercial activities on federal lands, wolf and coyote derbies on federal lands at the least should require a special permit as do other activities. The logic used to argue that this event does not have a commercial aspect to it is very faulty. and you are right, this is a big reason why a national carnivore act is needed. predator killing contests are not acceptable uses of wildlife on federal lands, despite being legal

  4. Wolf advocates:

    Can those of you who live in the target area don orange vests over bullet proof vests, use horns, and thread throughout???

    Wishful thinking yes but thought I’d put it out there. Would do the same if I did not live in Seattle.

  5. Addendum: Also use vehicles to block USFW roads?

  6. Donald J. Jackson says:


    Are you actually advocating that people put themselves in harms way? Interfering with a lawful hunt is against the law, are you willing to go to jail? Or worse yet die?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Donald, any who would stand up to these anti-wolf bullies probably wouldn’t make it to jail, I’m afraid.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Donald if people can go out and shoot guns in the woods then certainly blowing a horn can not be illegal….too bad if it interferes with killing contest

      • Donald J. Jackson says:


        Every state has laws on the books about interfering with lawful hunts.

    • Louise Kane says:

      and Donald are you suggesting that if people are wearing orange vests and blowing horns on public lands they may be killed by hunters?

      • Donald J. Jackson says:

        No, I did not suggest that, I said, that interfering with a lawful hunt is against the law.

    • Chris Harbin says:

      The 1st rule of Ecodefense is: Don’t get caught.
      Rules 2 and 3 Don’t harm (or kill) anyone through your actions and don’t harm yourself. The idea is aggravate the destroying of our environment.

      I’m not against hunters or hunting per se but this predator derby is just BS pure and simple. It is a form of hunting that was probably never justifiable and that is even more true today. So if those who promote and participate in such a questionable hunting practice, why can’t others who are against this BS choose to participate in some civil disobedience?
      You put a lot of people with guns whose goal is to kill as much as possible in a short period of time then the potential for disaster is certainly increased……just ask Dick Cheaney.

  7. Ralph Maughan says:

    As I stated earlier, I think the primary intent of this event is to anger and offend people who don’t like it. It won’t have a great impact on wolves or coyotes. A few wolves might be killed. More coyotes will be killed. The coyotes will return, and they will likely be a little bit wiser due to genetic and epigenetic selection.

    No one should threaten anyone. They are looking for that and will play it up.

    Last year a coyote derby was planned for Pocatello, Idaho. It got little publicity. I understand about 3 people showed. I don’t know if they shot at coyotes or not.

    This is typical fare for this remote town in central Idaho. I have lived in Idaho for 42 years, not counting my childhood years in Rexburg, Idaho. Salmon has always been like this. In the 1970s folks talked about what can be do to change the attitudes of Salmon residents. I think most decided “nothing.” I try to avoid buying anything there or staying. Some good people live there too.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Oh, one other thing, please support the organizations that had the courage to bring this lawsuit.

  8. jon says:

    It’s very likely that you will never stop these killing contests. All we can do is to bring awareness about how hunters are treating wildlife. Steve Adler, the man behind this contest is advising his wolf killers to not bring cameras and to not brag about the wolves and coyotes they kill. Just the thought of killing as many animals as you can and putting their dead bodies on a scale to win prizes and money really makes you sick to your stomach.

  9. Donald J. Jackson says:
    December 27, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Are you actually advocating that people put themselves in harms way? Interfering with a lawful hunt is against the law, are you willing to go to jail? Or worse yet die?

    I am advocating civil disobedience against “institutional thuggery” — the kind that would make David Thoreau proud.
    After all he proclaimed: “Never let institutions make you agents of injustice.” This perhaps more aptly applies to governmental employees (e.g. I gave up my post as an Assistant Attorney General on these grounds) but nonetheless the spirit applies to all who believe in Thoreau’s intent.

    I would happily risk the suspension of my bar license and jail if logistics would allow me to be in the killing fields tomorrow if more probably than not my presence would make a difference (e.g., prevent a death and garner national media coverage) and would honor the words of Secretary Babbitt at the 1995 YNP release ceremony: “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.”

    I would also do everything I could to protect myself.

    • Joanne Favazza says:

      Valerie, I agree with you completely. History shows us that non-violent civil disobedience can be very effective in bringing atrocities to light. What if the civil rights activists in the 50’s and 60’s had decided not to participate in Freedom Rides, lunch counter sit-ins, boycotts, marches, etc.? It may have taken a lot longer for segregation to end if they had decided that fighting for injustice wasn’t worth going to jail for.

      I believe it’s well past time for the strategy of non-violent civil disobedience to be employed in the fight to preserve wolves and biodiversity before we lose all that we value and hold dear. Placating state politicians and the livestock and hunting industries has only led to more dead wolves and other wildlife, and has emboldened those who destroy for profit and thrills to continue more of the same.

      When it comes to wolf and wildlife advocacy, and environmental activism in general, “business as usual” just isn’t cutting it. It never has and it never will.

      If anyone wants to call me a radical, do so if you wish. But there is nothing more radical than the massive, unprecedented destruction that those in power inflict on this beautiful living planet on a daily basis, year after year, decade upon decade. Those who brutally destroy life for profit and self-interest like to define those who oppose them as “radicals” so they can continue their destruction and divide the opposition. It’s time to expose them as the true radicals (and sociopaths) that they are.

      • MJ says:

        Has anyone discussed these issues with a lawyer, and also the application of the U.N. World Charter for Nature as Paul Watson has? Also the civil rights movement has a lot of lessons to be learned for peaceful civil disobedience. There needs to be organization and reasonable control, the people who supposedly threatened sponsors of of the Idaho derby gave wolf hunters a lot of fodder.

      • Joanne Favazza says:

        Whoops, meant to say fighting AGAINST injustice.

    • Ann W says:

      Valerie, FYI, when I clicked on your name, the link address is incorrect. You might want to try it yourself.

      Shows up as http://www.omniadvocacy,net/

      (note the comma instead of a period)

      There are a lot of hunter’s rights so they are not interfered with, so that would be a difficult road to take. It would get media attention, and it would seem Idaho’s reputation should be highlighted, so they stop these hunting contests themselves.

      • Ralph Maughan says:


        You are right about Valerie. I do know her. I will try to find a correct email address.

  10. Jon,

    Akin to Phil and his brothers (such a chilling visage!) on atrocious A&E Duck Dynasty Program who proclaimed to CNN a few days ago that “Heaven is killing living things.”

  11. Ida Lupine says:

    Once I heard the judge was going to ‘phone it in’, I knew it was all over. Yes, I would risk jail also for the right thing, as many many people have done over the course of history.

  12. john says:

    damn, one “conservationist’ is poaching elk, and another is promoting the canine derby,, all liberals must be this crooked and lame.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      It’s tragically comic, isn’t it. I haven’t even been able to comment about the conservationist elk poacher, I’m so shocked.

    • Jeff N. says:


      Why do all of your posts have a political bent to them? Sure politics are discussed here….mostly in the form of how disappointed we are with the current administration in regard to the ESA, and the delisting of the the wolf. Maybe you need to take your grievances with liberals to another forum…..some liberal blog site. Your flame throwing of liberals doesn’t really add anything to the topics being discussed.

      Most here are discussing the ethics of this type of hunt and it’s legality in regard to whether or a not a permit should have been required…and I guess now we have our answer.

      What are your thoughts on the wolf/coyote killing derby? I’m pretty sure I know what your answer will be.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Don’t worry – it’s difficult for some when everything they hold dear has been found to be a lie – but they will adjust in time. 🙂

    • jon says:

      The people participating in these derbies are most likely all conservatives. That is the difference between those on the left and right. Those on the left tend to be pro-wildlife and those on the right to tend be supportive of killing wildlife for sport. The country show know who these people who are participating in the contest are.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        It’s not that way anymore. The Democrats are the ones who allowed the wildlife disposers to have free rein – not just at the local level but in business and industry, and they sure are not in the Oval office. Who are the ones protecting wildlife today? I challenge anyone to name even one who is making a difference.

      • MJ says:

        A lot of wolf advocates state they are conservative. The ESA and the The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act are via Richard Nixon. (side note: JFK founded the Navy Seals, pro-military dem?)

        States rights vs Federal makes sense but respect for nature is another thing. State legislators on both sides initiate legislation for and against.

  13. Ellen Mass says:

    ok, so it is ‘legal’ to tell our youngsters – kill all you can! it is ‘only’ predators after all – us humans should be the only ones allowed to kill and let’s do it indiscriminately!!! When we will learn that full scale slaughter is horrific, barbaric and totally unnecessary!

  14. JB says:
    December 27, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    I agree with you, the species doesn’t matter. However, there would have been no legal precedent here that could have remotely impacted your privilege to hunt.

    JB, what do you think the success of a NEPA claim would have been? Meaning failure to analyze adverse effects of concentrated indiscriminate pack destruction on ecosystem?

    • JB says:


      I think conservationists would have a very hard time linking ‘pack destruction’ (and/or disruption) to specific, adverse ecological effects. Indeed, scientists are still debating whether (and under what conditions) predator removal actually impacts ecological conditions. Without the ability to demonstrate that some adverse impact (beyond merely temporary disruption of packs) is probable, I think a NEPA would not get much traction. But in all honesty, I’m skeptical about by ability to predict the outcome of such cases.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        How about on the East Coast rise of white tail deer population and proliferation of Lyme disease?

        Richard Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY, believes introducing wolves in areas of high coyote populations would control not only the spread of Lyme infections, but also other rodent-related diseases.


        It would seem an out-of-order ecosystem is the reason.

      • WM says:


        I know your question was directed to JB. But since it is a legal one, and you and I are both lawyers, here is a thought. NEPA was intended to address ” federal actions SIGNIFICANTLY affecting the environment.” The federal action here would be granting or choosing not to grant a special use permit, for a very small event, if it otherwise qualified for review (separate issue which the Magistrate just said Plaintiffs lose).

        The event impacts, many might say, will be de minimus, and these animals will be hunted and maybe killed anyway. Wolves will be killed pursuant to state quotas; coyotes are considered predators with no limit on take.

        And, let’s be clear, wildlife management is a reserved state power, even on federal land, with the only exception being federally protected species, and then with “co-operation of the states” under most statutes.

        Your question: [Impacts] or adverse effects of concentrated indiscriminate pack destruction on ecosystem…?

        De minimus. And the state controls/manages the wildlife anyway. Compared to the temporary ecosystem impacts of a timber sale on steep ground, a mining operation, and a bunch of other stuff, definitely de minimus in most respects.

        That is why an event of this type over a narrow two day window should never be approached as a NEPA claim, and the idiots that try to push that agenda jeopardize the very law which is intended to deal with “significant” environmental impacts FOR ALL OF US on important issues. Haven’t you been watching what is happening to FLPMA?

        Taking off the gloves here [sorry Ralph, but I have to say it], conservationist organizations that participated in this suit just added another nail in the coffin of key environmental statute sanctity.

        • JB says:


          I was with you until the end, but I struggle to see how you’ve arrived at your conclusion (i.e., “…conservationist organizations that participated in this suit just added another nail in the coffin of key environmental statute sanctity”)?

          When the suit was filed (at least), the sponsor was charging for participation and the event gave the appearance of a commercial activity requiring a special permit (this is bolstered by the fact that the BLM decided it would require a permit). The opinion seems to turn on two issues: (1) the event (the gathering part) takes place on private land and those involved would be dispersed on private and public lands (which differentiated this case from prior precedent), and (2) plaintiffs could not show substantial harm as a result of the activity.

          Regarding #1, I’m persuaded by the logic, but I don’t think it would hold for all such events–the impact any event has is a function of size, regardless of whether it is dispersed (think cumulative impacts). I think it is disingenuous to claim there won’t be much of an impact when the sponsors can’t tell you how many participants they will actually have (which I believe was the case). If they don’t know (or don’t have a limit) I would favor requiring a permit, regardless of the activity.

          Regarding #2, it seems to me this is where the rubber meets the road. Without the probability of demonstrable harm, people who don’t like these events won’t be able to stop them.

          In any case, I think the probability is quite high that the [very!] few people who were negatively impacted by environmentalists bringing this suit are already firmly in the we-don’t-like-environmental-laws camp. Conjecture, I know. But I get the feeling I’m on pretty safe ground.

          • rork says:

            How about simply: it’s making us look silly. Rather than talking about reducing predator killing through alteration of game management techniques, fighting this contest clearly shows a by-any-means mentality. Those who thought pro-predator forces were merely the same old hysterical anti-hunters have had their thinking confirmed – as happens daily.
            If predator hunters want to shoot themselves in the foot, while doing little harm, why not let them?
            (PS: My thinking is that permit or not is uninteresting – if permit had been required, they could have gotten one. It’s just trying to tie things up with string – useful tactic for critical things, but not good PR when used trivially.)

            • JB says:

              I think the ultimate question here is whether this tactic was trivial. I suppose that depends upon your perspective. I think it is fair to say that the groups who attempted to put a stop to the derby got a nontrivial amount of publicity and attention for their cause. The vast, vast majority of people will be unaware of the legal intricacies here; they will see only that these groups attempted to stop something that they themselves find despicable (or alternatively, a minority will see this as ‘the same old hysterical anti-hunters’ working to stop hunting).

        • WM says:


          Sorry, I don’t have time to respond in detail to your (fair) questions, this morning. I will try to explain later, if they still need answering. Something to ponder, in the meantime, however. The issue of charging for derby event participation, does not take place on or use federal land land. You, and certainly others who are perplexed by that aspect, might want to look more closely at the judge’s ruling. She doesn’t care about the contest at all- there is no federal interest there. That, in fact, was why I was scratching my head during this entire discussion, and the legal theory advanced by Guy Dicharry on another thread. NONE of this occurs on federal land, and the hunting part is a legal activity.

          Please understand I do not like or support these kinds of events. I just don’t think NEPA and special use permits are the vehicles to stop them. Using these laws on lost causes, and I think this one was from the start, defeat the real purpose of these hard won statutes, while giving discrete data points to their critics who are trying to build the case to change them in drastic ways. I think the NGO conservation groups that participated in this ill-conceived suit succeeded metaphorically in taking one more step toward throwing the baby out with the bath water. Had they won on a small technical aspect, the example would be worse. NEPA critics would have one more data point to seek changes to the law – feds stopping otherwise legal activities in a state. The states are the ones that need to stop these kinds of events.

          • JEFF E says:

            absolutely correct WM

          • mikepost says:

            Thanks for bringing some clarity and nuance to this otherwise mostly emotional debate. I am not sure that most will “get it” but a great effort on your part regardless….

          • MJ says:


            This is what is happening at the state level and it should be getting publicity. Discussion about things happening at the state level needs to reflect that the majority of voters in the specific states have a voice, in the current system this isn’t happening. “States rights” is an issue that divides parties and is being used as a platform, but what does that mean if special interests / individual politicians are making these decisions and not the voters of the states? This is a HUGE issue that I don’t see much publicity for. Support for animals will need to come from all political parties to be meaningful.

            A valiant effort with important publicity occurred with the suit against the Idaho derby, and the publicity helps public awareness. To make change to the larger picture principles need to be addressed. Laws need to change, legislators need to be voted in or out, the voters need to be aware and involved.

          • JB says:


            In a general sense, I absolutely agree with you about the over-use of environmental laws to stop (or usually just delay) the almost inevitable ‘harvest’ of [insert resource]. However, I cannot imagine a situation where this particular case would be hauled out as an example of misuse of such laws? Honestly, I get a hardy chuckle at the idea of a politician using this particular anecdote to sell the idea that environmental legislation is being misused. Imagine candidate X recounting the horrific details of how the poor hunters who wanted only to kill as many predators as they could were set upon by the rabid environmentalists, who fortunately were unsuccessful in their bid to stop the hunters’ fun. And what was the result? The sponsors were not even delayed in holding their contest. The judge ruled from the bench and that was that. I suspect that any candidate who hauled out this particular example would lose more votes than they would gain (well, outside of intermountain West anyway).

            I also agree with you on this point: “The states are the ones that need to stop these kinds of events.” Indeed. And this brings us back to the all-too-common thread: state agencies in the West are ruled by a tiny fraction of ‘hunters’ what believe anything should go when it comes to killing wild animals. So yeah, when you’re given the choice of a hammer and a rock to pound nails, you choose the hammer every time. But when you have only rocks…well, you use the tools that you have.

            And then there’s the publicity. I think we all agree that some hunters will look this case and see their suspicions confirmed (i.e., env. groups want to stop hunting–or some such silliness). But I suspect that the press and publicity generated is far more likely to sway the minds of a few who weren’t aware that such events still existed. And these folks are likely to become member-donors to the organizations that had the ‘courage to stand up to such barbarism’ (paraphrasing, of course).

            And so we go round-n-round…

            • Donald J. Jackson says:

              Thanks JB, I am already stating to see the aftermath of this, you might not agree, but that has no bearing on how it is being perceived.

              • Donald J. Jackson says:

                That was suppose to be, I am already “starting to see” And I don’t consider it to be “silliness”

              • JB says:

                SB: With all due respect, the fact that the folks you interact with in the far reaches of NW Montana are upset doesn’t suprise me in the least.

                I think we both agree that there is CURRENTLY absolutely no chance that hunting will be threatened in any meaninful way. So what are you and your buddies afraid of? You must realize that hunters in general get a black eye when they refuse to ‘police their own’ and get rid of these events, right? The irony here is that the very thing these folks fear (loss of hunting rights) is made more likely by their support of such events.

              • Donald J. Jackson says:


                I am not afraid of anything, but I am seeing a trend here that is not a good one.

  15. Nancy says:

    “We just can’t have activist judges, and we just have to keep Idaho for what it is,” he said. Alder said he has cautioned participants not to make a show of the wolves and coyotes they kill, and is banning cameras when carcasses are weighed and measured to determine the winners”


    • What?? No photos? What will some of these guys do if they can’t put the dead wolves on top of their trucks and parade them though Salmon.
      I agree with Ralph that much of this is about trying to make people who like wildlife, other than elk and deer, feel bad.
      Anyone who would travel hundreds of miles to participate in this event should be watched around the local kids. When killing wolves loses its thrill, some of these folks may turn to humans to get their jollies.

      • Montana Boy says:

        I always enjoy reading comments here. It’s amazing how much some of you sound just like the anti wolf crowd. Wait til some kid gets killed or they’re killing all the wildlife. How about the being disease part. So who’s trying to make who feel bad. Carry on.

  16. LoneWolf25 says:

    Civil disobedience is long overdue as a major strategy for attracting national media attention to the demonization and slaughter of natural predators and as a way to stop wolf massacres in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan, Alaska and the Southwest. Imagine if wildlife defenders had mobilized five hundred individuals, families with children, seniors, veterans and others to descend on Salmon, Idaho and the nearby killing fields to defend wolves? The politicians and judges are in bed with the welfare ranchers, crooked outfitters and lowlife wildlife killers. Strange times under Democrats Obama, Pelosi and Read. The decent, good hearted American people must turn to civil disobedience as soon as possible or the continent’s wolves and grizzlies and bison and on and on will perish.

    • Montana Boy says:

      So grizzly, wolf and bison populations have grown over the last how many decades and some how they’re all going to perish unless we have civil disobedience. Wow

    • Ann W says:

      We do need people involved. Separate the wildlife management from hunters. This alliance was created when wildlife agencies first came into place in the states. Time for an update.

    • Joanne Favazza says:

      Lone Wolf: I wholeheartedly agree with you. Read my reply to Valerie’s comment above.

    • Ida Lupine says:


    • Donald J. Jackson says:

      If you are expecting Defenders of Wildlife to mobilize anything other than fund raising, then you are going to be extremely disappointed.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Donald, I’m already extremely disappointed, so there’s nowhere to go but up for the future (I hope, anyway!). 🙂

        • Donald J. Jackson says:

          Oh believe me Ida, it can get a lot worse.

        • MJ says:

          Things can always get worse, (correlate to Murphy’s law) but they could reach critical mass if enough efforts are made. Public awareness public awareness public awareness, and the ability of the voter to have a proportionate say in decisions about all our natural resources.

      • LoneWolf25 says:

        Donald, Defenders of Wildlife was the last group I had in mind. They are firstly of all a fund raising organization as you well know. They are a clueless and cowardly organization that has betrayed wolves at every turn, from agreeing to classify wolves as “experimental, non-essential” beings in the 80’s, to capitulating in every way to the worst of the welfare ranchers and ignorant sport killers to always putting money ahead of wildlife. I despise Defenders of Wildlife, as I’m sure the wolves do as well.

        • Donald J. Jackson says:

          Wolves don’t have the capacity to despise anything loneWolf

          • LoneWolf25 says:

            You are of course correct. We who respect and love them know how Defenders of Wildlife has betrayed them at every turn, it is we humans who despise those who betray us and our friends.

  17. Dawn Rehill says:

    Gonna keep this short very short, I live in the year 2013, what is happening in Salmon , ID is not the year 2013 . People around the country know about this derby , and DAMN wont be spending money in Idaho . Gotta hit ya in the pocket hve your derby but your state is gonna pay

  18. Nancy says:

    An indepth look:


    As John W. Laundré stated:

    “They insist that it was the NAM that “saved” wildlife from the many abuses of past hunters (like themselves?) and has led to the recovery of many wildlife species that we enjoy today. What they fail to point out however, is that as they interpret and unfortunately implement via wildlife agencies, the principles of the NAM, it is far from a conservation document. It is not a conservation model but instead it is a hunting document designed by hunters, for hunters to justify hunting”

    Its time for everyone to have a voice when it comes to “our” wildlife.

  19. The Salmon Wolf Killing Derby has made international news. I heard two references to it this morning on the BBC.

    • IDhiker says:

      Only time will tell if the derby’s publicity is worse for the organizers or the people that tried to stop it.

      But, extensive coverage means more people can weigh in on such things, whether pro or con. I agree with WM that the states will have to stop events such as this. What effect the coverage has in Idaho is also up in the air.

      There are hard core people on both sides of the issue, but I think most are unaware and/or don’t care. For those unaware, this “legal” sporting event may open some eyes that were formally closed.

      • Larry says:

        IDhiker, You are right, only time will tell. In the meantime, I am glad I am hardcore on the side of wildlife. In the end (and I mean mine) I will be most pleased with myself when I think back to the times that I felt empathy for those that could not help themselves and did some small thing to help them. Wildlife (any species) always falls in that category with me. If nothing else, these barbaric killing actions of hunters reinforce in me what I want my life to reflect.

      • I participated in pest control contests in Idaho 60+ years ago when I was young(magpies,crows and jack rabbits) and in one rabbit drive(one was enough). I won one big buck contest and two of the pest control contests.
        I have purchased an Idaho hunting license every year for 60 years. I saved up every dime and nickel I could find, and bought my first gun(a Winchester.22 for $32) in 1953. I am not opposed to fairchase hunting or gun ownership. I have a concealed weapon permit.

        That said, I am uncomfortable with adults who kill predators or “varmits” for “fun” and I find trapping and trappers to be repugnant.
        The Salmon Wolf Killing Derby makes hunters look like Knuckle Dragging Neanderthals.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      The sponsors are saying the Salmon motels are full and it’s great for the economy there.

      They might be exaggerating, but after a couple days it all ends. Salmon has been the hub of a lot of mountain and canyon-based recreation since the subsidized timber industry there collapsed. However in the last 2 or 3 years the summer and early fall has been filled with very dense forest fire smoke. Not only the smoke, but the fires have burned out a corridor across the mountains from just west of Salmon to within 30 miles of the Oregon border. You don’t read anything about the impacts of this on wildlife or the future of the area.

      As a side note, has anyone looked at the area with Google Earth or Wikipedia? The population is 5% less than it was in 1990. The median household income is about $35,000 compared to Idaho’s $47,000. Men have a median income of $30,417 compared to just $18,819 for women. The town is 96% white. Over 20% of the people are below the poverty line.

      I’ve lived in Idaho for about 50 years — part of my childhood and all of my life since I was 25. I think people need to make a distinction between rural Idaho (especially central Idaho) and urban Idaho. Here in Pocatello, pop about 60,000, a coyote derby was scheduled last winter. Three people showed up. Salmon and some other rural places, e.g., Challis, Grangeville, Elk City, are special cases in nastiness when it comes to attitudes toward wildlife, natural resources — the environment.

      It has puzzled me all my life why so many Idaho political leaders have viewed the Salmon-Challis attitude of rural poverty- based resentment as the normal and desirable condition of public opinion. It might be because they long ago learned to displace their anger onto “outsiders” rather than Idaho political leaders. People like this allow the folks sent to Boise to rule or to Washington D.C. to be completely irresponsible.

      • Salmon and other small towns in Idaho often get a lot of federal money injected into their economy in the form of wages paid to USFS and BLM employees who live there.
        For some strange reason many of the non-federal workers seem to resent that and rage against any type of federal ownership and restriction on the public lands surrounding their towns. They advocate state ownership and control.
        I live next to state land near McCall,Idaho and much it is leased to ski resorts and rich cabin owners and is posted with NO TRESPASSING signs. I do NOT want state control of any of our public lands.

        • Ralph Maughan says:

          Larry Thorngren,

          Yes. These towns like to think of themselves as ranching, mining, timbering places, but government and transfer payments often make much more of their economies. I think this resentment is part of the culture, and so passed down and to new people who move in.

          Wallace Stegner, the writer, remarked about this very thing a long time ago — send us money and otherwise leave us alone. In recent years the amount of Forest Service money has declined a lot as timber subsidies were cut way back. These were never places where they could have an unsubsidized timber industry, and there is anger that economic rationality on a larger scale finally took hold.

      • Louise Kane says:

        this seems to be the case in many places
        the best habitat for wildlife like wolves or large predators is inhabited by rural people, largely uneducated and with lesser incomes….and that translates into bad policy for wildlife….
        how to change this?

  20. Kathleen says:

    “The question is whether any civilization can wage relentless war on life without destroying itself, and without losing the right to be called civilized.”
    ~Rachel Carson

    The answer is becoming increasingly clear.

  21. Ida Lupines says:

    I’m not sure I agree with the line of reasoning that because hunting would occur anyway, the derby is just an extension of that. Hunting is usually an individual or small groups pursuit, and encouraging a large group of people to participate in killing animals for no reason other than ‘we don’t like ’em’ is just primitive and has no place in modern society. But since money and attention are now greatly reduced factors, it may limit those who would take part, only the hard-core wolf, federal government and environmentalist haters. I noticed that it’s being referred to only in ‘dozens’ will attend.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      That should read ‘encouraging a large group of people to participate in killing animals at the same time and place’. You could get the same number of animals killed in a weekend that would normally take an entire season.

  22. Dave Anthony says:

    Nothing is going to change on wolf/coyote protection until extreme pressure prevails in the form of $$$ lost through Idaho tourism, boycotting ID potatoes, or a politician loses his job. People living in Salmon have ‘hunting’ as a culture so threatening them, etc., is not going to work.

    On the other hand, let’s look at what the ‘tea party’ does (and, No, I’m not a Republican) … let’s pick out a political ‘target’ that could have stepped in and said something to support ‘predator animal rights’ but he/she did not. Or, better yet … let’s find one/two elected officials that did speak out ‘for’ the hunt. Then, simply throw campaign $$$, complimentary services, etc. to their next political opponent(s). Do ‘background reports’ on the professional/personal lives of these officials and go for a public execution … let people know (afterwords) why the idiot incumbent got beat. In the end, it might be cheaper than a court fight or lobbying and also prove to be a whole lot more effective.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      It’s good to have the Idaho Conservation League step up on this. I read it earlier today.

      The ICL has a lot of supporters — moderate conservationists — in urban areas and some other places in Idaho. This made me think I needed to point out the distinction(s) inside Idaho before everyone in state is associated in the minds of people with those holding this shooting spree.

      • IDhiker says:


        My wife and I had been members of ICL for some time, but we dropped them because of their tepid response to this wildlife issue. We did contact them by letter about this, but ICL never responded. We will consider rejoining.

  23. Nancy says:

    Jeff E – Rick Johnson summed it up well in the last paragraph, don’t you think?

  24. JEFF E says:

    I think valid points were made throughout the opinion piece. That is why I posted the link. I also believe the way to marginalize and ultimately eliminate dumbass events such as is happening in Salmon and elsewhere is these type of reasoned well thought out dissertations….over and over and over, to the widest possible audience; as opposed to the ill thought out knee jerk attempt to run to the court and fanning the hot flash teeth gnashing and arm flailing attempt of the last few days. Anyone that spent a few hours in critical evaluation would have come to the same conclusions as was so well stated by WM above The lawyers for the NGO’s that were involved should be fired for incompetence IMO and are at the same level as the idiots that are putting on the “derby” in Salmon and other such events. Neither group portrays the type of image that I believe represents a majority of people that even pay attention to these issues.

  25. JEFF E says:

    On another note I was in Boise about a week ago and was just coming down Capitol Boulevard when a beautiful coyote in full winter coat crossed the road about 30 yds. in front of me. It was about 4:30 am so the Capitol was fully light in the distance.

    I would have given anything to have been able to get a picture of that. would have been priceless metaphorically.

    Something like “you better look out, you better not shout, the legislature is coming to town.”

  26. Yvette says:

    From the beginning of this lawsuit I was not optimistic that using NEPA regulations would stop this derby. It did, however, draw additional attention. That attention seemed to be what the promoters of this slaughter derby wanted. The more riled the promoters, ranchers, and ‘hunters’ can get from the animal advocate and environmental non-profits the more satisfied they become.

    The hatred and beliefs of the wolf and coyote mythology as horrific killers and worthless vermin is so deep seated that ever changing that ideology from that sect of people probably is futile. They seem to enjoy rubbing the bloody results of their hunts in the faces of animal advocates as much as they love slaughtering them. The fight against them is futile. Would it not be more productive to chip away at the laws that favor the hunting and trapping of wolves and coyotes? That is a tough fight given that our country is politically skewed to the right and with the strong bent toward personal property rights, and states rights. Those laws seem written to protect the livestock producers and, in some form or another, go back as far as when Europeans first immigrated to this continent bringing their fear and loathing of the wolves to this continent.

    From an ecological standpoint we now know the importance of the apex species. And given the numbers of wolves slaughtered (I won’t use the word harvest) since they were delisted in selected states and the ‘right to hunt’ given over to state wildlife agencies it won’t be long before their numbers are again low enough to be listed on the ESA.

    Do you think it would be more beneficial that all of the wolf and coyote NGOs could cooperatively work to chip away at the laws that currently protect the hunter vs. the wolves and coyotes. This is a tought fight, but there are so many laws that need to be changed. For starters, trapping needs to be illegal given but for scientific needs. This may be a pipedream, but hunting ‘derbys’ should be illegal. Coyotes need legal protection since they have zilch in all states. It’s kill as will. Any rancher that leases public land should be publicly reported as to how much land is leased, where and for how much. That information is pretty much private. Since much of this wolf loathing is driven by ranchers that lease public lands, all information pertinent to those leases should be easily accessible to the public. And lastly, paying livestock owners for depradation of livestock on their word is something that is outdated, expensive and certainly not in line with the ‘market’ of capitalism.

  27. Ken Cole says:

    Yvette, there are some online resources available to help figure out who grazes on BLM public lands. The BLM Rangeland Administrative System lets you search for the name, address, and phone number of BLM permittees.

    The Evironmental Working Group’s farm subsidy database allows you to look up how many subsidies they have received.

    Also, with regard to US Forest Service permittees, you can often find out who is grazing what allotments by looking up the Annual Operating Instructions for a given allotment. Certainly not as convenient as the BLM RAS database.

    • Many more wildlife killing contests are scheduled and coyotes are getting hit really hard. PLEASE HELP us stop/ban/limit these contests. Here in NM, coyotes (and other carnivores) are routinely killed for entertainment and prizes in contests. There are several contests happening in NM including the killing contest that will be sponsored by a school club: FFA (Future Farmers of America)being held by the Hondo Valley Public Schools on Jan 18,19. We are asking our NM Dept. of Education and the US Dept. of Education to please make a policy to ban school sponsored killing contests. The killing contests have nothing to do with teaching kids how to responsibly manage livestock and predator conflicts. We should not be teaching our children to participate in gratuitous killing events. More than 50 contests are being conducted all over the USA. Two more hideous contests which cater to youths are the JMK coyote contest out of Oregon and the “Barking Moon” contest out of NY. Please message or email me — we need your help!

  28. topher says:

    I just wanted to point out that there is a late season archery elk hunt underway in the Salmon unit. While the hotels may or may not be full some of these people are elk hunters. My younger brother and his friends account for at least three. I’m sure he’s dissapointed to see the hills crawling with these people as he exhausts his last chance to fill the freezer for the next year. I have heard him in the past recycle some uneducated wolf rhetoric and I suspect this will give him a chance to better distinguish the differences between “us and them”. This predator derby was poorly timed and may serve to turn off some elk hunters who otherwise might be sympathetic to “the cause”. I’ll talk to him when he gets home and post some kind of update.

  29. topher says:

    If our Fish and Game Dept really disagrees with these contests as we suspect they do the they should step up enforcement during them just as they step it up during other seasons. An increased presence in the area of the hunt would serve to deter any poaching that might go on during the contest and might catch a couple poachers in the process. With the archery elk hunt going it really wouldn’t be surprising to see an arrow or two sticking out of a bullet hole.I suspect there is a fraction of predator hunters who are also rampant poachers but I don’t know for sure and some added enforcement would help to answer this question.

  30. CodyCoyote says:

    Might I suggest a topic for a comprehensive analysis here ? Even though the Grey Wolf was packaged into the Northern Rockies as a single entity , for the most part considering the wolves already migrating on from Canada into northern Montana had to be factored in with the Yellowstone and Idaho units, they really are five different management units. Northern Montana dispersers, Montana newcomers ( e.g Bitterroot–> Madison ), Central Idaho reintroduced, Wyoming outside Yellowstone with its bipolar disorder scenario of Trophy and Predator status, and of course Yellowstone wolves. Each of these units are managed w-a-a-a-a-y differently.

    Example: the Trapping issue never comes up in Wyoming. Shoot on Sight, however, does.

    Without even looking at the Great Lakes wolves or Washington-Oregon-California wolves , and ceding that the Mexican Wolf imboglio is a separate and distinct situation , we have in the Northern Rockies a lot of crosschecking analyses to ponder. Every time I start in on that , from any entry point and management vector, it does not take long to come to a chokepoint where sound management of a recovering species is overwhelmed by provincial mob rule that results in wolves getting whacked or snagged ruthlessly without real justification. Except to appease some narrow interest group.

    One wolf species, five domains, a multitude of fates with not many defensible outcomes.


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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