Our readers find lots of news and they have many comments. Please post yours below as a comment –“Leave a reply.”  Here is the link to the old thread that’s now being retired (Dec. 16, 2013).

Middle Fork Salmon River. Frank Church Wilderness. Is the area to be managed as an elk farm on low fertility pastures or a  wilderness with all native wildlife allowed to live or die without political preferences? Photo copyright Ralph Maughan

Middle Fork Salmon River. Frank Church Wilderness. Is the area to be managed as an elk farm on low fertility pastures or a wilderness with all native wildlife allowed to live or die without political preferences? Photo copyright Ralph Maughan

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

342 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife news? Jan 6, 2014 edition

  1. Ralph Maughan says:

    Although I have nothing but distaste for the austerity program being implemented on southern Europe, it and a number of other factors and events have led to a big jump in Europe’s wolf population.

    From the steppe to central Spain, Europe echoes to the howl of the wolf. UK Guardian. By John Vidal

    • Ida Lupines says:

      How wonderful – I hope that something can be worked out so that farmers and wildlife can coexist.

      • Peter Kiermeir says:

        Ida, the wolf regions of Spain, especially in northern Spain are what I would highly recommend to spend “tourist money” in a (relatively) wolf and bear friendly environment. Many locals there are proud of “their” wolves and “their” bears!

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Yay! I wish we’d be proud of our wildlife here in the US. I’m sure it would be a wonderful visit all around, to see Spain. Thanks.

  2. Barb Rupers says:

    Good questions with your photo of the MF Salmon.

    I have camped at the mouth of Big Creek and the MF Salmon on more than one occasion prior to the days of assigned campgrounds while on river trips with family and friends. I supported the wolf reintroduction into the Frank Church Wilderness and hoped as a result I would one day see or hear some wolves in the area.

    Killing wolves in this wilderness by request of the Idaho Fish and Game to increase elk production is against all ideals of wilderness!

    • rork says:

      I initially was against reintroduction, cause I thought there might be a few left (I heard none in 86, 94), or we should just wait for migrants.
      Last sentence of Barb’s is my feeling.
      I didn’t like the exact wording of the question in the caption.

  3. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Wolf serial killer active in the Italian Tuscany region.
    It is suspected that sheep owners want to make a political statement!

  4. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Top Yellowstone Expert (Doug Smith) Takes on the Wolf Critics
    Speaks to “Non Native Subspecies” Charge and “Surplus Killing”

    • Immer Treue says:

      Would say must reading for all the daffodils and petunias.

      • CodyCoyote says:

        This article at the Montana Pioneer out of Livingston MT is a ” must read ” for anyone with an opinion on wolves , good or bad. Dr. Doug Smith dispels the myths and replaces them with the facts , even though the interviewer Quincy Orhai tried to box him in on all the anti-Wolf rhetorical claims from the very first query. The ” non-native Superwolf species” , the tapeworm cysts threat, thrill kills, the presence ( absence) of native wolves before reintroduction … Doug summarily explains in succinct words the reality of Yellowstone wolves to date, with some good historical context.

        I hope Ralph elevates this article to a full post.


  5. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Avid elk hunters form wolf-trapping co-op
    It takes so much time and money to be a serious wolf trapper that group members feared many hunters, even those like themselves who desperately want to see wolf populations thinned, would either not take up trapping or not stick with it. So they formed the foundation, a sort of wolf-trapping cooperative that essentially pays regular-joe trappers to kill wolves.

    • Nancy says:

      This seems wrong on so many levels Peter. Would hunters be able to organize something like this with bears & cougars?

      Vigilantism certainly comes to mind.

      • Immer Treue says:

        Then one of the commenters says why check traps every three days, once a week would be fine… If purpose is to kill wolves.

        I submit, traps should be checked daily, three days is abuse, and a week is indeed torture. No “humanity” there.

        • IDhiker says:

          Here in Montana there is no time limit for checking traps at all. Having such a limit has always been fiercely opposed by the Montana Trapper’s Association.

          I suppose it would not be convenient for a trapper to check his traps every few days, especially considering some trappers run lines of up to two hundred miles long.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            If they don’t want to check them, perhaps people can spring them before they get around to it. 🙂

            • Ida Lupines says:

              Especially if they are illegal, I think it would be a public service to tear up these traps and snares to protect hikers and their pets.

          • Kathleen says:

            Actually, wolf trapping regs are different from “furbearer” regs in that they state, “Traps are required to be visually checked at least once every 48 hours” while “furbearer” regs state, “Traps should be checked at least once every 48 hours,” *should* being the operative word.

      • IDhiker says:


        In the same fashion where many criticized pro-wolf groups of overdoing it, resulting in the Tester rider, the question may become whether these anti-wolf people may overplay their hand eventually, also.

    • Larry says:

      The lupine and fescue association that I feel strongly about should form a coop and do some field inventory through favorite trapping haunts during trapping season. Bound to find some interesting inventory that you would want to collect and bring home. Field work is always more fun with a group of friends that support the same cause.

    • CodyCoyote says:

      Oddly , when you do a search for the terms ” wolf trapping ” and ” Wyoming ” , the only thiongs that come up are wolves trapped by biologists for collaring, research , or those trapped by Wildlife services . here in Wyoming, that is.

      I know of no bona fide private wolf trapper in Wyoming. The issue just doesn’t come up. Stats are hard to come by , but however many wolves were trapped by private folk in Wyoming these last two years, it has to be a very small number. Unlike the trapping of other smaller furbearing animals , which I do hear about on a regular basis ( and the two Grizzlies that Wildlife services accidentally snared which were released unharmed…where’s THAT YouTube vid? )

      Does anyone have any anecdotes at all on wolf trapping in Wyoming ?

    • rork says:

      Thanks. What I read was not exactly what was written:
      Writer Emma Marris, author of the 2011 book “Rambunctious Garden,” argues against HER romantic notion of wilderness.

      • Leslie says:

        The article quotes two people who are cut from the same cloth. Cronon is the professor who offered the idea of gardenization. Marris simply used that idea and elaborated on it. I would have to wonder if either of them have done much wilderness hiking and exploration, other than mere thinking.

        Barker puts out the suggestion of a difference between wildness and wilderness, but doesn’t explain what he means by “wildness existed before humans” but not wilderness. Splitting hairs me thinks.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I thought her vision for the future is a little frightening as well. Let’s just give up and try to work with what we have, but implying no restraint on human behavior. I haven’t read the book mind you, but from what I have read about it. If we don’t have a ‘romantic notion’ or an ideal, a lot is going to fall by the wayside.

          • Leslie says:

            There is some truth to Cronons’ gardenifcation in that if we look at say CA miwoks and other Indians there, they ‘managed’ their environment with the best possible science–their living knowledge of the environment. They burned, they ‘cultivated’ specific oak trees, the knocked dead wood off of the oaks to encourage a healthier tree. Cronon, as I understood him, was advocating to intelligent management, since we are ‘managing’ everything anyways. But of course it can all be misconstrued and taken to far.

            The little I’ve read of Marris I have found offensive. She has completely given up and doesn’t seem to have an ecology background. New growth forests where she grew up are just the same to her, maybe better, than old growth forests. I just don’t see the science in her logic and yet she has gained a lot of press. Why is that?

    • jon says:

      I don’t know how anyone can read a story like that and not despise trapping. Anti-trappers are normal people who actually care about animals unlike the trappers themselves. traps should be banned on all public lands.

  6. WM says:

    Yakama/Navaho/Apache/Warm Springs Tribes and BLM growing numbers of wild horses they cannot sustain on grazing lands in the news, AGAIN:


    And the Humane Society and wild horse advocates continue with their legal obstructionism, while providing no workable solutions.

    • Nancy says:


      “We will be undertaking a study for a processing facility where captured feral horses could be processed humanely, following Native American protocols as well as FSIS’s rules. The goal would be to package and ship the meat to other countries where the local culture already favors human consumption of horsemeat. USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service will help the NTHC tribes build this foreign market for the processed meat. Other markets, including zoos that can use horsemeat in this country to feed their big carnivores, will be explored as well. The Office of General Counsel at USDA’s FSIS has studied this issue and concluded that it is, indeed, legal for a federally recognized tribe—as a sovereign entity—to build and operate a horse-processing facility. In addition, FSIS is empowered to train tribal inspectors to bring them up to the FSIS level of quality so that inspections done at future tribal processing facility would be just as good as those done at thousands of FSIS-inspected facilities off the reservation every day”

      So whats the hold up WM? Or is there a conflict of interest among the people:


      • WM says:


        I don’t know for sure, but I think the material you cite on the Yakama Tribe website might be a bit dated (2010?). Then there was a horse population of 12,000, and now closer to 14 or 15 thousand. I don’t think the contact for the horse program has been in that position for about 2 years, and I think their view has changed since then, as the range has deteriorated under stress from more and apparently no relief in sight for some time.

        To understand the lack of attention to updating website information detail you would have to understand the culture. If I could, I would relate a story about trying to find out when a reservation road would be cleared of snow so some friends and I could gain access to climb the Mazama Glacier route on the east side of Mt. Adams. Meaning no disrespect to a sovereign nation, it is probably best I don’t share that story here.

        • Nancy says:

          Its confusing WM. A study 3 years ago to address the problem and then these recent comments:

          “Smiskin said in an interview last week that the tribe is not considering setting up its own slaughterhouse” But also in the article Smiskin states “the tribe will take care of the problem”

          With a population of over 100,000 people, seems there would be good reason for a slaughterhouse just for their own needs unless, there are members who are against the slaughtering of such an iconic animal.

  7. JEFF E says:

    • Immer Treue says:

      They did not show the injection of 50 cc of Stoli!

      Cool video, no pun intended.

  8. Peter Kiermeir says:

    ‘Wildlife paparazzi’ suspected of baiting wolves with turkey dinner
    A wolf along the Bow Valley Parkway was fed a home-cooked turkey on the weekend in what appears to be an attempt by a wildlife photographer to get a shot of the well-known pack.

  9. jon says:

    Colorado Man Shot To Death After Being Mistaken For A Coyote


    You cannot make this stuff up. This shows how dangerous hunters are to the public. Seems like some of these hunters are blind as a bat and still are allowed to hunt and kill things.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      They aren’t experienced, and yet still get to be called hunters. We just had three that went out duckhunting in my town in this extremely cold weather – their boat capsized and two died, one is hospitalized. Another one is missing and hasn’t been found. It’s sad that people don’t heed the rules or take educational courses. I didn’t even know it was still duck season.

  10. Wyores says:

    elk and wolf hunting season summary-
    Record elk hunting season


    • Leslie says:

      I just did a count and including predator zone, trophy zone and mgmt, at least 88 wolves were killed in 2013. If they ended 2012 with 186 wolves, minus 88, minus natural deaths, poaching, wolves killing wolves, then add in pups, do you think they’ll be cutting it close?

  11. jon says:


    Why is it that wolf haters like to pretend that they care about the native wolf when it was them who caused the native wolf’s demise, not reintroduced wolves and why is it that they continue to blame the native wolf’s demise on other wolves and not humans that killed the wolves off? It’s mind boggling to think that these wolf haters who hate the so called canadian wolf would have a favorable opinion of the so called native wolf wolf.

    • jon says:


      Here is a real wolf expert unlike Jim Beers and Toby Bridges

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I liked this part, especially after that ‘Rambunctious Garden’ nonsense. Although I do like the idea of nature springing up in urban areas, nothing can take the place of this:

        Right now, it’s as natural as it’s ever been in Yellowstone Park. Now we have more predators than we have ever had, which means we have fewer elk, and fewer elk means we have all these other ecological benefits, like beavers and songbirds and fishes, and generally enhanced riparian habitat, because fewer elk means less browsing of riparian habitat. So it’s a more balanced ecosystem. We only get that because we have natural densities of carnivores. As soon as you cross the park line, all the densities of those carnivores go down because humans manage them. And that is fine; it’s not a criticism. The carnivores are on the landscape. That’s the thing that the tourists like, but they are not at their normal densities that would occur if people didn’t manage them.

  12. Ida Lupine says:

    Just an observation. I’ve come to see JEFFE as a nice guy over time – but there was a time when he insulted people here left and right, and yet nobody discouraged him, even excused it and when Louise spoke up for the majority, and dismissed her as being ‘too serious’ when she took offense.

    • JEFF E says:

      I am not a nice guy per se. I do not spend time here to make friends or impress people, and at times am abrasive.

      And one last time, what I suspect you too mean by insulting people, is when I give them nick names which is what I do with everybody, here in the internet fantasy world, and in reality. $3 will always be so, likewise hot flash and Sunnyvale Jon, as will the daffodils and the petunias. And I have, when asked, explained why I have those nicknames, like it or not.
      And yes there has been a time or two of concerted effort to miss-construe what I said in a weak attack attempt, but that’s life in the big city.

      Now, a pissing match is a whole different ball game, which I have decided is usually with someone not worth my time or effort IMO….but I was thinking about with the newly late participant “Jim Jones”…..

      • Ida Lupine says:

        OK, I would prefer an honest person, who might be abrasive, than someone who says what people want to hear. 🙂

        I may be a bit too abrasive and ‘strident’ at times too.

    • JB says:

      ” I’ve come to see JEFFE as a nice guy over time – but there was a time when he insulted people here left and right, and yet nobody discouraged him…”

      How did I miss that? Shame on you, Jeff! 😉 (P.S. I hate to ask, but what’s my nickname?)

  13. Ranger Joe says:

    Governor Otter proposes wolf control board with an initial $2 million budget.

    This is essentially a copy of Wyoming’s Animal Damage Management Board, which itself was a copy of Utah’s animal damage management board, with a tighter focus on wolf control.

    The board will expect future contributions from livestock producers and sportsmen.


    • rork says:

      ouch. Thanks for pointer.
      As a hunter (in Michigan), rather than be taxed for wolf reductions to improve deer hunting, I’d rather be taxed to help improve winter cover (mostly = cedar), the thing I think actually matters for deer densities (and health) in northern MI. The odd thing is that maybe step 1 would be to reduce the deer densities for a decade, the problem being…… deer (and forest management, on both commercial and smaller private holdings). Selling hunters on the idea that we overstocked for too long, and now must pay the bill, isn’t easy, and my DNR has not attempted it (it would be admitting error).
      Meanwhile in the southern lower, filling out my deer harvest survey my DNR learned I was satisfied with my experience. It failed to capture the reason for that though: only saw half as many deer (thanks to EHD, not predators, it was horrible), closer to appropriate densities.
      Was it Elk495 that employs schoolyard metaphors about hunters? This one goes, they want to keep playing and never grow up.

    • Peter Kiermeir says:

      Rancher-senator backs Otter’s wolf control board
      Republican Sen. Jeff Siddoway of Terreton told the Idaho Falls Post Register on Tuesday that “anything that reduces the wolf population is good.”

  14. aves says:

    “Both elegy and warning, Midway explores the interconnectedness of species, with the albatross on Midway as mirror of our humanity”

    2-minute movie trailer: http://www.midwayfilm.com/

    4-minute movie trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozBE-ZPw18c

    • Mark L says:

      Hmm, when the cost of ‘protecting’ the farm exceeds the value of the farm itself, what does that tell you?

    • Chris Harbin says:

      I thought it would be about Rush Limbaugh! Thanks for the link, paleontology is incredibly interesting.

  15. Jerry Black says:

    Looks like the lions will be next on Montanas “kill’um” list
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 9, 2014

    Bitterroot Study Reports Lion Numbers Higher than Expected

    Researchers from Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) and the University of Montana (UM) released results today of a DNA-based estimate of adult mountain lions in Montana’s southern Bitterroot Valley, which shows numbers are higher than initially predicted.
    FWP derived the southern Bitterroot’s initial lion population estimate in 2012 by applying radio telemetry information obtained in previous research projects in other parts of the state.
    But newly refined DNA-based techniques for lions gave scientists another tool to use in the Bitterroot. Researchers collected lion DNA last winter, and results document a population two to four times higher than first estimated.
    “Traditional approaches to estimate mountain lion abundance focused on radio collaring and counting individual lions, but recent advancements in lion DNA sampling and spatial estimation methodologies made it possible to get a more accurate estimate of lions in the Bitterroot,” said FWP’s Dr. Kelly Proffitt. “These new techniques reduced time, cost and the number of lions that had to be handled and made it practical for us to obtain an improved lion population estimate specific to the Bitterroot.”
    From December 2012 through April 2013, FWP’s Proffitt and UM’s Dr. Mark Hebblewhite directed the collection of DNA samples from live and hunter-harvested mountain lions in portions of the East and West Forks of the Bitterroot. The field team, led by FWP’s Ben Jimenez, prioritized collecting DNA samples in gridded portions of the study area based on habitat type and quality. DNA samples were then analyzed by the United States Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula.
    Since then, the research team has been immersed in a cutting edge statistical analysis of the data. Proffitt reports that the results are now complete and the work will be peer-reviewed this year and published in a scientific journal.
    From the 80 samples included in the analysis, researchers were able to identify 62 unique lions by their genetic signatures. The DNA-verified sample of 62 independent individuals is higher than the initially estimated population for the area and represents the lowest possible number of lions in the southern Bitterroot.
    Using 62 confirmed lions as a starting point to estimate the population, researchers combined information on habitat quality, search effort, and encounter likelihood in a spatial capture recapture (SCR) model to estimate the southern Bitterroot lion population. Results from this model predict 85 lions in the West Fork of the Bitterroot and 82 in the East Fork—lions that are independent adults, excluding juveniles and kittens.
    “Our field team had a very high encounter rate compared to other mountain lion studies and our recapture rate was low,” Proffitt added. “We kept capturing new individuals throughout the entire four months of study, which also indicates a high density of lions.”
    Results not only show a population higher than expected but also one that is at the higher end of lion densities compared to other lion populations that have been studied across the West. Proffitt points to several factors that likely contributed to higher than average mountain lion abundance in the area.
    “The combination of low to no female lion harvest during the past 10 years, combined with good quality lion habitat and diverse prey likely result in a high density mountain lion population,” Proffitt said.
    Beyond the Bitterroot, Proffitt’s and Hebblewhite’s work represents an advancement in the science of estimating mountain lion populations throughout their range. The pairing of DNA sampling techniques with habitat quality modeling is something new, Proffitt said.
    “These SCR models have become the gold standard for counting tigers across their range,” Hebblewhite said. “They were developed in part specifically to count tigers, and so, their application to mountain lions is a natural extension. Through my involvement in similar projects estimating tiger and leopard numbers in Bhutan and Russia we have learned much about these methods.”
    And in the Bitterroot, the results have the potential for broad application. The Bitterroot lion research was prompted, Hebblewhite explained, by an ongoing joint UM and FWP study in the East and West Forks of the Bitterroot aimed at uncovering the leading causes of elk calf mortality.
    “When mountain lions started turning up as a major cause of elk calf mortality in their first year of life, we wanted to establish a baseline for the lion population in the Valley,” Hebblewhite said. “We now want to evaluate the extent to which lion abundance is controlled by hunting season quotas and how potential changes in lion numbers might affect elk calf survival.”
    Wildlife managers use information on mountain lion abundance to manage lion harvest, minimize conflicts with humans and balance lion populations with deer and elk numbers. But in most places, information on lion abundance is limited.
    “We are fortunate to have this research on mountain lions in the Bitterroot,” said FWP Wildlife Management Chief, George Pauley. “It gives us reliable information to work with as we develop lion harvest quotas to reach the population objectives that we are after.”
    FWP Region 2 Wildlife Manager, Mike Thompson, said that FWP established a goal and associated harvest quotas last year to reduce the Valley’s lion population by 30 percent over the course of three years to balance lion numbers with prey and human tolerance. The harvest quotas to achieve this reduction were based on the initial (2012) population estimate.
    “With this new information we will need to re-evaluate our lion harvest quotas for next season before FWP makes its proposals to the Fish & Wildlife Commission in April,” Thompson said. “We’ll be tracking lion harvest as we go and will have the chance to adjust quotas up or down as needed.”
    To find out more, view the Bitterroot lion project report online at fwp.mt.gov. Follow links to “Fish & Wildlife” and “Species Conservation and Management” or contact FWP at 406-542-5500.


    Vivaca Crowser

  16. Elk375 says:

    A good article in the New York Times on mountain sheep and what the hunting community is doing to help increase the number of sheep in the Western United States.


  17. Kathleen says:

    Didn’t see this posted yet…but maybe I missed it:

    “UM researchers: 17 of 31 largest carnivores at risk”


    Excerpt: “The world’s largest carnivores are facing declines in both population and range, jeopardizing their long-term viability while hinting of a larger ecological disaster, according to a new study published Thursday in the journal Science.”

  18. Rita k Sharpe says:


  19. Rita k Sharpe says:

    Sorry, never been good on the computer.

    • bret says:

      It appears the Lookout pack has three young and will be confirmed as the sixth breeding pair in WA.

      The North Cascades Wolverine Research project placed a satellite collar on a young male wolverine last Month.

  20. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Bloody grizzly tracks are wake-up call for Denali Park trail users
    “….suspects the bear was caught in a wolf snare. There are several trappers actively trapping in the Yanert Valley, he said”.

  21. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Mount Olive officials see more harm with bear-proof cans
    Reason for trouble is: “… if the bear-proof can law is passed, a second employee would have to ride on the (new bought) truck to manually unlock the cans before they can be lifted into the sanitation truck. The proposed law also would require replacement of more than 6,000 containers that have been distributed to residents to allow for the new collections”.

    • Chris Harbin says:

      More trouble for who? Because they might have to hire more people? At some point we will have to come to terms with the fact that an increasing population and “increased efficiency” or “downsizing” do not co-exist very well. That and increasing population means our “freedoms” to do whatever we want will have to be regulated and regulated at a rate corresponding to the population increase.

  22. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Utah Farm Bureau urges delisting of wolves
    “The Endangered Species Act, if you look at the numbers, is a colossal failure,” said Leland Hogan, president of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation, in the latest issue of Utah Farm Bureau News magazine. !!!!!!!

  23. Nancy says:

    Probably be a hit in Japan – yuck!


  24. CodyCoyote says:

    Quite a swarm of reports in all manner of news media today on the threatened collapse of vital Apex Predators on every continent, and the cascadic effect on entire ecosystems.

    Here’s one sample: http://www.enca.com/life/decline-carnivores-threat-nature

    The debacle over the American Grey Wolf is highly cited , but it’s a long list. Scientists admit they do not know where apex carnivore trophic cascade truly leads because the science of ecologic dynamics is still young , but they see a lot of warning signs and some pretty damning evidence against wholesale taking of large carnivores.

    The implication of that is by the time scientists figure out why we shouldn’t kill apex predators, the animals will severely diminished in number or just plain extincted.

    And there we stand, with blood on our hands.

    Lots of reports on this. It’s not really news to us here at Wildlife News, but it now has some traction outside our camp. I hope Ralph and Ken aggregate the better articles and reportage into a comprehensive reference piece.

  25. Eric Peterson says:

    Hope this is an appropriate forum for requesting comments supporting additional restrictions on motorized (ab)use in Missouri’s Ozark National Scenic Riverways. I know the focus of this great blog is on the West, but motorized abuses of our public lands impact us all. Bad precedent in one area begets worse precedent in another.

    The Current and Jacks Fork Rivers her in Missouri are relatively pristine and are simply yet stunningly beautiful. There are no alpine panoramas, but subtle beauty abounds. Some of the largest freshwater springs in the world. Water, clear yet fertile, creates beautiful riparian areas and a tremendous fishery for smallmouth bass. Recently re-introduced elk are taking foot here. A resurgent population of black bears are taking hold slowly. I had the good fortune to witness one cross the Jacks Fork on a foggy morning a few years back; every bit as magnificent of a sight as I’ve seen anywhere, including 30+ trips out West. This area is truly unique and is an irreplaceable oasis of biodiversity in the increasingly homogenized Midwest. If this is an appropriate request, let me know and I’ll follow-up with information for making comments to the NPS.

  26. May 28, 2013 USFWS say it will cost between $140,000. to 4 million to preserve the species ‘grotto sculpin’ a small fish found mostly in cave streams and only within Perry County, Missouri. And, is not on the federal list of endangered species. USFWS is considering an 18 year conservation project aimed at saving the ‘ grotto sculpin’

  27. rork says:


    Just another story of wolves killing dogs while dogs were bear hunting in MI, but I thought it worth pointing to because it summarizes rates of wolf attacks since return. In 2012 it was just 20, down from 49 in 2010.
    Some idiot with a handle like mine is commenting, under some delusion of having any effect in that commenting environment.

    • rork says:

      2012 should be 2013. Damn shape shifters.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I don’t understand why these people seem so shocked, or the logic – if you are out in the wilderness hunting, it is the risk you take, and a hunter puts his dogs at risk by doing this. Unless they want to take part in a canned hunt. And they certainly don’t deserve to be reimbursed by the state for deliberately putting their dogs in harm’s way!

      • rork says:

        At least we don’t reimburse now (just to be clear for others). The article itself may have been a bit sympathetic, but most folks, including some hunters, aren’t (except for the dogs). Bear hounders have PR problems.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      This woman is the exception and not the rule. To be that skilled and self-sufficient sounds appealing, but I don’t think I could do it – I keep thinking of the definition of kill, which is to deprive, or rob, of life. I don’t think that is something to be taken lightly, unless you need to save your own life or eat to survive like other animals do. These things don’t apply in the modern world.

      Humans can pervert anything. You’d think the hobby of bird watching would be fairly benign. But I was at the vet’s the other day, and someone called, alarmed that their dog might have been poisoned because his neighbor poisons squirrels that come to the bird feeder!

      The other guy just sounds creepy.

      • JEFF E says:

        just curious ida, do you eat meat, including fish, at all

      • Larry says:

        No such thing as “hunting to kill your own food” being the moral high ground. You can afford to buy land and raise your own animals feeding it pure sterilized organic whatever if you actually play out the cost factor in “hunting”. And then there is the little flipit she slipped on when she said she will also take up the archery versions as well “to kill her own food”. There is more wounding and loss of animals through archery than anything else except maybe trapping. IF you do HAVE to hunt at least do it with a large bore rifle with a high powered scope so there is some chance the animal will be killed instantly. Any comments from hunters referring to health and family welfare is hogwash. Note the huntress article was all about farm game inside a fence in Texas!

        • cobackcountry says:

          The argument could easily be made that archery hunts provide the fairest conditions for the animal. You must be far more adept and considerably closer to your prey if you shoot a bow.

          • cobackcountry says:

            Just for reference, if I were not tethered by family to a “civilized” existence, I would hunt and gather for all of my food. Sadly, being a typical mother, I am bound to a job and have not the abundance of time it would take to live off of what I could harvest from the wild.

          • Larry says:

            That’s funny

        • rork says:

          “There is more wounding and loss of animals through archery”
          That’s on average, if at all. Some hunters, whether bullet or arrow, find it difficult to restrict themselves to only good shots. My bow gang finds that thoracic surgery with broadheads works fast, but you must let many “get away”, restricting to static, very close deer. That’s hard for crappier hunters who get few chances. We hunt public lands during bow, where gun season is more unpleasant.
          Cost factor you mentioned might also be true on average only – I think I do slightly better than break even, cause most hunting is only 5-10 miles away, home-made camo, used 200$ bow amortized over many years, used tree stand (but the best), a dozen arrows every 3-4 years. Exactly how much money a whitetail is worth is tough to say, but I usually manage 3 (maybe 400$ ?). My two friends with bigger land also get pretty cheap deer meat thanks to no commuting (it’s where I get eggs, rabbit, chicken, duck, lamb, turkey – I’ve got the chores the next 2 weeks at one). I realize others spend huge money. It’s only economic around here cause of so many deer so close – I could shoot them from the back deck to save gas, but it’s not as magnificent. Our local rec area is magnificent.
          But mostly you are right.

          • Larry says:


            I still believe more animals/hunter suffer from slicing and dicing than animals/hunter suffer from shrapnel and bone splinters. The upside may be that slicing and dicing heals more than shrapnel. Sounds like you are about as ethical a hunter is they come. Too bad others don’t follow your focus. I have never killed a deer with an arrow when I was a hunter but I stuck a few only to loose them after a long trailing. I am glad I “joined” the Albert Schweitzer club (there is no such thing as far as I know but there should be) and laid down gun and bow and took up reverence for life. I know what motivates hunting as I was so consumed once. And I do understand that most of the meat we eat dies in slime in a chute. I am losing one of my dogs to cancer right now and I am thankful my dogs over the years have helped to turn on that gene inside me to see why reverence for life is a monumental and satisfying thing to learn before we ourselves check out.

    • rork says:

      “Extreme Huntress” seems to conflict with a back to basics move. It’s not how I want new hunter to be recruited, no matter the genitals.

      I buy almost no meat or fish, but I kill and eat wild and domestic animals – 2 ducks, half a lamb, and deer sausages last weekend. *drools* Few have the options I do though. Mark me down as Extreme Gardener, and Gatherer too. (“It’s two weeks later and rork’s spinach seeds have sprouted. He cautiously approaches…”)

      • Nancy says:

        (“It’s two weeks later and rork’s spinach seeds have sprouted. He cautiously approaches…”)

        rork – I take it you are indoor gardening? Would love to have the space for that. Love spinach and so do my chickens 🙂

        • rork says:

          Na, that was me just being breathless watching an episode of Extreme Gardener.
          I had fall spinach this year though, up until Dec 20, and I try to overwinter some too (under snow), and plant some early in 10×4 foot hoop houses, and I’ve got some in freezer.
          We kinda like spinach.

      • JEFF E says:

        I don’t agree with the competition part but that was only small part of the article and for me not the focus, but I am sure will be used to discount any other aspect of the piece.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I haven’t eaten beef in many years, at least 10. I don’t eat pork, lamb or veal, do eat some poultry and eggs, and mostly seafood and dairy. I do try to be frugal and not wasteful and try to limit use of animal products in clothing, and don’t wear fur. I’m mindful that an animal’s life was involved in the choices I make. I don’t purchase products where animal testing has been done on them. In today’s world, even vegan choices (some of them use palm oil) can have a negative effect on the environment because of the vast amount of people we have to feed.

      • JEFF E says:

        so in other words the meat products you consume, it is all right for someone else to do the killing for you, but those that prefer to do it for themselves are some how out of step in the “modern world”

        ok, got it.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Yes, it is ok. Our modern world doesn’t require that we do that anymore is what I meant. As long as people aren’t wasteful, treat animals as humanely as possible. A lot of hunters are hiding behind the hunting their own food image. It is a choice today, not a necessity. I also don’t think wild animals are as healthy to eat as we think, they way we’ve polluted their environment.

          That said, organic farms and hunting, where the animals have known freedom and a life, is superior to factory farming. That’s what I’m saying.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            The woman in the link you provided, for example, is promoting a television show. If she did her hunting quietly and without fanfare, I’d think more of it.

            I don’t know where this fallacy argument came from, that you have to hunt your own food or be entirely vegan. Hunters can bring back food for the tribe and have done for eons. I have no problem with sustenance hunting, just trophy hunting and psychotic hunting.

    • Chris Harbin says:

      Interesting article Jeff E. If I read it correctly and my math is correct, this is being added to the cattle feed for a weight increase of 2%. Nobody claims to know why the cattle become lame but they seem pretty certain that it is not Zilmax. This in spite of the fact that’s the only thing these cattle have in common. What happens to us when the remnants of Zilmax are passed on to the human population?

    • Leslie says:

      Tyson has been in the news before with its cruelty to pigs and how they are treated before slaughter. I would never buy a Tyson product, and I haven’t eaten beef in over 40 years. Previously because I disagreed with running cattle on public lands; but over the years the feed lots, hormones, drugs, etc. No wonder there is so much cancer and other unusual health problems in the U.S.

      I once heard a saying that in domesticating animals long ago we made an unsaid pact with them: we’ll feed you and give you an easier existence, and you’ll feed us when its time. I think livestock has kept their end of the bargain while we have not kept ours.

  28. Yvette says:

    This isn’t news, but I have a question for those of you that are geographically close to the wolf management in ID. What have the Nez Perce Tribe had to say in the controversy since the delisting and state hunting quotas were established? I assume they have representatives at public meetings on the subject. It looks like they’ve had a big role in the recovery and management in collaboration with the state of ID. Have they made and official opinion since the delisting and hunting began?

  29. cobackcountry says:

    Here is my shameless plea….I am doing some writing to do my share in the world 🙂

    I have spent a large part of my life on the butt end of a fly rod or fishing pole. My earliest memories include days trolling the lakes of Arizona with the view from the middle seat of my grandpa’s 12 foot Sea King aluminum boat. I don’t remember the triumphs of my first words, my first steps or my first “A” on a report card. Oh, but I do remember my first trout, my first pike and a long line of various fish that have followed since. I remember my children’s first casts, their first fish, their friends’ fist fish. I remember the biggest fish, the hardest fighting fish, and I remember the faces of every person I ever shared those moments with…..so fondly.

    My time is spent now being pulled between the realities of adulthood and the yearning to roam to natural places where the water is the expression of life that is a constant for all things wild. Where ever there is water that holds fish, there is freedom remaining and hope. Those waters have given me so much pure joy, been the threads of tradition that have sewn my family tightly together, one of the truest bonds I share with my husband. Those fish have been the catalyst for so many of the best and most beautiful memories I will ever have.

    Passing the time here in reality has offered me opportunities to see that fishing too has it’s down sides. While it is easy to get lost in the bliss of a fly line laid out to the perfect spot on the water, water and fish are all too often taken for granted. Finding a location to make a dream catch is tricky enough when you are just thinking of a trip. But the truth of those locations is much larger than “where”, or “when”. The huge truth is, keeping those locations and fish alive is a point of desperation. Those fish and the actual water they inhabit are in grave peril. Saving fishing is a true purpose to which we owe our utmost effort.

    Like a river, my life has taken some pretty intense turns at times. Like a river’s turns lead to other possibilities where pools hold promise and meandering tail waters calm the spirit, my life is better when I ride out the twists and turns. One of those turns allowed me to go back to school after years or doing things I was far less passionate about. So when the chance arose, I studied fish.

    While studying and being inspired by all the glorious facts I learned, I got hit in the head with the reality that the fish I love and the water the live in are under attack. Water rights and over use, pollution, non-sustainable fishing, and a lack of education and awareness are depleting the resources associated with fish and jeopardizing their existence.

    So as much as I love seeing pictures of all of the fish being caught and the splendor of the places the journeys to catch them lead anglers to, I am committing myself to raising awareness to the hazards our fisheries face. Please take the time to find a way to ‘pay it forward’ with your fishing experiences. Give some hours to a habitat restoration group, sit in on a session of government when water rights or resources management are being decided and figure out how to use your voice. Join a conservation organization, or do the ultimate act of preservation….take a kid fishing, pass it on, share this great love which has become a way of life for so many of us.

    It is my hope that by raising as much awareness of the plights of fishing as we do the joys of fishing, generations to come will be afforded that same joy and those same fishing opportunities each of us has enjoyed. So every time I cast a line with my granddaughter from that same Sea King my grandpa used to show me the ways of the water, I will reaffirm my dedication to this lifestyle. I am asking you to do the same, won’t you?

    Happy angling, blessed traditions, and best wishes for sustained fisheries and wild waters!


    • Elk375 says:

      Have you learned to Spey cast yet? That is next on my list.

    • rork says:

      I will.
      I failed to pass the disease on to my daughter though. Maybe I failed to get her to truly spectacular places, with ridiculously good fishing, enough. I do not recall my first fish, but before I was 10 we had lived in NM 3 years (I was enchanted), and spent weeks in Yellowstone, waaaay north Ontario, and Boundary waters, and months at my Mom’s home in the alps. Even if the fishing had sucked (it didn’t) I might have been hooked.

      I often wish I studied fish genes rather than human ones. I’m also envious when I read the coyote gene papers. I thought the green world was about beauty and fun, not a career.

  30. cobackcountry says:


    I am learning this winter! In fact I watched a pretty great instructional video a few nights ago. I plan to put it to use in Oregon, Washington and B.C. this summer and fall.


    It is basic, which is where my skill level with a 2 handed rod is at this point.

  31. rork says:

    I saw NOAA ice cover maps.
    There’s a solid bridge to Isle Royale (MI, island in Lake Superior) now I think.
    Here’s a slightly outdated story giving the frequency of this, and shots as of Jan 1.

    Also: The straits of Mackinac are solid. That’s a way for upper Michigan animals to get to the lower peninsula. (Ice breakers permitting.) I haven’t reviewed wolf densities north of the straits.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Though we have some sub zero temperatures coming this way again for a few days, the Arctic Express appears to be over for a while(what passes through here usually passes through IR). Will winds blow that ice apart, and as you put forth, are wolf densities on the mainland enough for wolves to even make the effort to reach IR?

  32. Nancy says:

    Some interesting shots by a wildlife photographer in Finland:


    The possible reason for those shots:


    Wild animals are too often shot in this country if they become too conditioned to handouts such as food, garbage etc. yet “bait” stations (donut barrels, grain, laced traps, etc.) are allowed in many states, to attract many of those same wild animals, just so they can be shot…. by hunters.


    • Nancy says:

      Can see how confusing this is for those (perhaps a majority?) of us that just appreciate the occasional glimpse of wildlife and want to record it.

    • Peter Kiermeir says:

      In fact baiting bears for bear watchers is quite common in Finland. Bear watching is by walking into the woods at dusk, spend the night in a wooden shed at one of the bear baiting stations and walk out again in the morning.

  33. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Mexican gray wolves blamed for 28 livestock kills in 2013
    “During 2013, the deaths of 46 cows were investigated as possible wolf kills. It was determined that 28 cows were killed by wolves, 10 died from unknown causes and eight others died from known causes other than wolves, including lightning strikes, one killed by a bear and one from a gunshot.”

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Thanks Peter. How can the local economy bear such an incredible loss!? 😉

    • Yvette says:

      How do the wildlife biologists determine if it was actually a wolf that killed livestock? I’m learning a lot on this site, but that is something I’ve wondered about for a while. Are there specific signs left on the carcass (wouldn’t that be eaten?) or remnants of a carcass that provide clues that it was wolf predation vs. cougar or some other predator? Then, is there policy that requires this to be documented before calling on the USDA’s Wildlife Services to eradicate the ‘problem wolves’? I’m guessing there isn’t, but I don’t know for fact.

      • Immer Treue says:


        Suggestion to answer your questions in detail. If not available locally, go to Amazon and order a copy of Carter Niemeyer’s “Wolfer”. Very informative, plus a great read.

        • Yvette says:

          Thank you!

        • Nancy says:

          Great suggestion Immer 🙂 My copy of Wolfer has been passed around a lot and while I’m not looking for converts, the book is powerful insight to all sides, when it comes to the reintroduction of wolves to this part of the country and, the treatment of all predators.

          I’d also suggest Marking The Sparrow’s Fall/Stegner for insight on how attitudes were formed out here about the land & the wildlife, over a century ago. The last chapter Genesis, is a real tearjerker, but also exposed the fact that mankind has yet to realize just how delicate the ecosystem is, in what’s left of wilderness.

          • Immer Treue says:


          • Yvette says:

            I ordered ‘Wolfer’ today. I read what they had on Amazon and it sounds like a book that you won’t be able to set down.

            “The Sparrow’s Fall”, I’ll check it out. It sounds interesting. I’ve latched on to the social dynamics surrounding some of these most controversial wildlife issues. The level of extremes over management for apex species, especially over wolves is mind boggling.

            I’ve lived in MT, and I’ve lived in WA, and have gone back and forth between WA and OK. There is no other place like the West. LOL, I’m reading several books now, and the semester just started, so down time for this old lady will be much less. Thanks for the book suggestions!

      • Montana Boy says:

        Here’s some free info from our friends to the North, comes in handy pocket form.


  34. Ida Lupines says:

    Good question. I can see how it can be shown that the cow or sheep was eaten by wolves, but how do you prove the original cause of death? Especially when livestock owners are leaving carcasses out as an invitation to them.

    Another interesting opinion:

  35. snaildarter says:

    Wildlife officials discover another wolf shot to death in NC
    By Steve Lyttle
    Published in: Local News
    Related Stories
    Related Images
    State and federal officials are asking the public’s help in finding the person responsible for fatally shooting a red wolf in northeastern North Carolina.
    It is the first death of a red wolf this year but follows nine such incidents last year.
    Young red wolves look a lot like coyotes, a nuisance predator that the state allows to be shot freely. Three conservation groups asked a federal court in December to stop coyote hunting in five coastal N.C. counties, saying the practice is leading to wolf killings.
    The red wolf is protected under the Endangered Species Act as an experimental, nonessential population. That means landowners can kill a red wolf if it attacks livestock or pets. In addition, a person is not prosecuted for accidentally killing a wolf during a legal activity.
    Officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say they suspect the latest shooting of a red wolf did not take place under legal circumstances.
    The wolf, which was wearing a radio tracking collar, was found last Tuesday in Tyrrell County, southwest of the town of Columbia.
    In all, 14 wolves died last year. Three were struck by motor vehicles, one died as a result of what officials call “non-management-related actions,” and another’s death came from undetermined causes. The other nine died of gunshot wounds.
    The red wolf once was common in the Southeast, but its population was nearly wiped out by predator control programs and loss of habitat.
    Red wolves bred in captivity were released in 1987 in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern North Carolina. Officials estimate about 100 wolves live in five northeastern North Carolina counties.
    Anyone who accidentally kills a red wolf is required to contact the Fish and Wildlife Service at 855-496-5837 or the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at 800-662-7137.
    Anyone with information on the death of the red wolf discovered last week, or any other wolf deaths, is asked to contact Wildlife Refuge Officer Frank Simms at 252-216-7504 or N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Officer Robert Wayne at 252-216-8225.
    Lyttle: 704-358-6107; Twitter: @slyttle
    Subscribe to The Charlotte Observer.

  36. Ken Cole says:

    Guest opinion on wolves: Idaho damages its public image as well as its rural economy | Opinion | Idahostatesman.com.

    Interesting statistic about how more compensation is paid to ranchers and farmers for crop losses to elk than for losses due to wolves. That doesn’t mean that ranchers don’t complain about elk too.

    • Cobra1 says:

      I would like to know how many of those ranchers will allow elk hunting on their property.
      I would like to think that if they allow a few hunters on their property and still have damage that would be one thing, but if they don’t allow anyone to hunt to help with elk numbers then they should not be compensated.

      • WM says:


        Elk usually go on somebody’s property in search of food or shelter in winter, or if whatever is available on the forbidden field is tastier and maybe more nutritious than what they are eating elsewhere, whatever the season. Mostly wildlife agencies don’t like “hunters” killing elk in some rancher’s hay field, orchard or alfalfa patch outside the normal big game harvest season. There are, however, some special hunts (sometimes limited drawings or special tags) to reduce elk in areas of conflict such as those spoken of. Occasionally, a rancher might not get the desired outcome and resort to a little self-help, and get in trouble with the law. The logic is we feed them, so we ought to be able to thin them out.

        Some ranchers do complain about elk, and they may or may not be the same folks complaining about wolves. Same thing is true about elk at the urban fringe, where maybe they wander out on a golf course and trod across a putting green. The groundskeeper is pissed, while the golfers might think its cool, unless a hoof print makes some week-end Tiger Woods miss a twenty foot putt for a sawbuck or a round of beers at the 19th hole.

        And then there is the part where some elk may go on some farmer’s land or an urban fringe to avoid predators, including what has been until recently, a growing wolf population in some states.

      • Montana Boy says:

        I would add that in Montana compensation comes with the string attached that you allow hunters. As WM says the biggest problem occurs before and after hunting season. Also now with wolves on the landscape the elk are staying close to ranches because it safer.

        • Leslie says:

          MB says “Also now with wolves on the landscape the elk are staying close to ranches because it safer”.

          Can you give data for that? I think that is simply anecdotal and not true. I have not seen that at all, but certainly the science has shown that irrigated pastures are attracting more elk in droughty conditions and earlier green-up over the years.

          • Elk375 says:

            Elk have changed there habits with wolves. I have seen that all over Western Montana in the last 10 years. Elk start to move to the pivots in August and stay there all winter. Wolves have changed elk.

          • WM says:


            ++Can you give data for that? I think that is simply anecdotal and not true. I have not seen that at all…++

            We have talked about this before on this forum. Let me start with the results of discussions about re-introducing wolves to Rocky Mountain National Park (rejected based in part on its small size) and Olympic National Park, some time after the NRM reintroduction. The wolf recovery analysis teams including Ed Bangs with consultation from Banff Provincial Park in Canada (where wolves have pushed elk into town there, and they have had to make adjustments to traffic manage the elk), and other wolf scientists. They concluded after discussing the matter with RMNP and ONP administrators that wolves would likely push more elk into Estes Park (RMNP fringe town), and into Sequim (ONP fringe town).

            Furthermore, YNP has had to remove/relocate wolves near Mammoth Hot Springs because the elk were reportedly staying around NP buildings, in part to avoid wolves.

            You can call it anecdotal, but there is research supporting the concept – its called predator avoidance and Professor Scott Creel (MSU) and Mark Hebblewhite (UM) have papers on the topic. I think even Arthur Middleton (Harvard/UW) has touched on the subject in his recent studies in the Absorokas. Sometimes the avoidance is subtle, but nonetheless it exists.

            The thing I have a problem with is that some strident wolf advocates just don’t want to educate themselves about this stuff.

            • WM says:


              Try this study from Canada’s Jasper National Park.

              Dekker, Dick, and Greg Slatter. 2009. Wolf, Canis lupus, avoidance behaviour of American Elk, Cervus elaphus, in Jasper
              National Park, Alberta. Canadian Field-Naturalist 123(3): 236–239.

              • Leslie says:

                Thanks WM. I will check that one out. I am familiar with Creel’s work as well as Middletons. I do try and keep up with the science on this.

                Here is another one on the ‘ecology of fear’. I really don’t like the new use of that language, as it makes wildlife sound like they are just running around afraid all the time, rather than using intelligent adaptation and awareness, which I think is a better description (kind of like when humans walk in woods with grizzlies. Perks one up but doesn’t mean we are panicking all the time.)


            • Ida Lupines says:

              You’re being presumptuous about what people know and do not. It is their natural behavior, isn’t it?

              JB has done an interesting post about the complexities of the subject – it is not just wolves affecting elk:


              • Elk375 says:


                You can quote reference material all you want but have you ever observed elk in the wild for more than your two week vacation west every several years. Have you ever seen wolves in the wild with the exception of Yellowstone Park.

                Move west and spend 50 years of your life in the mountains and you will have different perception of what is and what is not. I respect Nancy, Salle, Leslie and Mike they either live out here or visit for an extended period. Jon, Richie G, you and Louise are a rare and occasional visitor. Some of your comments are baseless.

              • rork says:

                The presumption that many (average) wolf advocates are not up on the science papers seems correct to me. It’s certainly true of the other side too.
                I might note about Elk375’s comment that kinda goes “you have to see if for yourself” – in upper MI we have many testimonials about what’s happening to deer densities (“they are being decimated”) that are not backed by any data, and often run counter to available data. Not to say astute people’s observations are’t true and come earlier than the science paper (and Elk’s claim seems very plausible), but sometimes they are aren’t. But they get repeated endlessly. Near constant use of the word “obvious” is used for fallacies. The “True belief” comes from popularity of a claim, and confirmation bias (unwillingness to absorb information that runs counter to one’s theories). Even I (a Vulcan überbayesian) think I’ve been guilty of overestimating the degree to which wolves knock down coyotes in MI. More data is good.

                • Ralph Maughan says:


                  While the serious activists often do read the scientific papers on wildlife because they are circulated by email, for the smart person at a lower level of activity who is not in a communications network, these papers sit behind an expensive wall. Folks won’t pay $30 or so to download a paper.

              • WM says:


                While I think your statement is generally true (about having to pay for science papers), it is also possible to obtain some through their authors. For example, the three scientists I cited above – Creel, Hebblewhite and Middleton (correction: Yale, not Harvard, as noted above) – have many papers available on their respective public/private university websites:

                Creel – http://www.montana.edu/screel/Webpages/creel.html

                Hebblewhite-http://www.cfc.umt.edu/HebLab/Publications.php and on google scholar

                Middleton- http://environment.yale.edu/profile/arthur-middleton/publications

                The full paper by Decker/Slatter on wolf avoidance by elk in Jasper NP as noted above is available for free. Just plug in the full cite reference to a search engine, and it will likely be found.

                There are a lot of lazy pro and anti wolf folks out there who want to hold to their shallow understanding of wolves on the landscape because it is easier not to deal with complexity/uncertainty, and the results of what continuing science tells us – after all science is self-correcting over time.

              • JB says:

                “…in upper MI we have many testimonials about what’s happening to deer densities (“they are being decimated”) that are not backed by any data, and often run counter to available data.”

                It’s the same hear in Ohio and we don’t have wolves. The coyotes are (according to some hunters) to blame; others cite an alleged conspiracy between farmers and the Ohio Division of Wildlife. I spoke with one researcher last week who laughingly told me that this is the third time that the ODW has “killed off all the deer” since the 1980s.

                Whereabouts do you live, Rork? I’m originally from Big Rapids (aka: deer heaven); a longtime friend recently told me there are so many deer there you could hunt them with a hammer.

              • rork says:

                JB, I work in Ann Arbor (at the school so much better than yours – teehee – it’s our fallacious conceit anyway). I live 15 miles west of there, hunting Waterloo/Pinckney down here, Presque Isle county up north (tip of lower). I was mostly talking about upper peninsula tales of decimation by wolves earlier today, where buck harvest was 35K in 2012, 30K in 2011, 30K in 2010 (despite higher wolf densities the past few years), but likely down in 2013 due to bad winter. I admit there may be weather by predator interactions (in effects on deer), and that wolves effects alone aren’t zero – it’s not nearly simple.

                I forgot about paywalls, cause the U subscribes me to just about everything (which is why I occasionally send papers to commenters here, who are less lucky). “google scholar name” with my name likely works, but it’s just human biomedical stuff.
                I read some Bruskotter paper’s just last weekend. ‘Science’ even – hoowee.

              • JB says:

                That school to the north? LOL! We drive past you a few times a year to see family (in Lansing, Kalamazoo, & GR). I’ve always liked Ann Arbor though–even better the Columbus. SHH! 🙂 I’m not very familiar with the areas you hunt, though. Other than having driving past/through many times.

                Re: Journal access

                I’m in a similar situation regarding access to journals, though I’ve been surprised about a couple of our subscriptions–new pubs in the Wildlife Society Bulletin are especially hard to get, despite the fact that I’m a member. In my experience, all you need to do is email the lead author and they’re happy to send a copy. I send them to folks all the time.

            • There were large herds of elk grazing on the green lawns at Mammoth Hot Springs long before wolves were re-introduced.
              The wolves were removed because they were trying to den right next to the park employee residences and the residents didn’t want them attacking their dogs while out on a walk.

          • Nancy says:

            I’d be interested in that data also Leslie, because the population of elk in my area migrated out around the first to the middle of December even though there are several huge ranches in my area.

            • Leslie says:

              I am not disputing that wolves change elk behavior i.e. landscape or ecology of fear as its been called. But that doesn’t mean that elk that migrate are now not migrating overnight. Here is what I read from Middleton’s study in my valley: 1.At 1 kilometer wolf distance to elk. there is an increase in elk movement 2.avg. of a wolf encounter every 9 days 3. No difference in habitat use before and after wolf encounters but preferences have more to do with time of day, forage etc.

              Just from 8 years of observing the migratory herd here (wolves have been present for those entire 8 years so all I have is for ‘before wolves’ is anecdoctal), I see that they are behaving more like the deer do–that is they use the timber for refugio. They like to stay close to timber in case of threats but forage in open areas early morning, early evening, and before storms. They avoid or are wary of areas where they have to cross creeks where they are vulnerable. Before wolves, I understand people could almost come up to elk; and they were all over the bottoms and didn’t move along as much. I think basically wolves have changed the elk behavior so they are acting more like elk should, not like cattle. Elk have engaged their natural ‘smartness and intelligence’. I prefer ecology of adaptation and intelligence vs. ecology of fear.

              But as far as changing their behavior so that they are huddling around people and farms, I am not convinced that is due to wolves but from what I have understood, the non-migratory herd around Heart Mountain and Cody environs is not ‘more vigilant’, but more well-fed because of irrigation and burning fields off in spring/winter.

              For instance, deer have become a problem in Cody. Why? Because of mountain lions outside the town? I think not. Because of habitat loss and great horticultural plants in town vs. the surrounding desert. Food is a great motivator and the elk around the farms are in better condition than the migratory elk herd that relies on sketchy green-up.

              • Montana Boy says:

                The elk in this valley are not real migratory and those that do move to winter ranges don’t do so before December. Which is after crop and range damage can be done. As with most animal issues it’s hard to make a blanket statement across regions, states or even a state. I’m sure what we’re all seeing is only small parts. If it were only a food issue here why has the change only happened, there is no new development in this valley, no large fires the only change has been the wolf.

              • Leslie says:

                MB, what valley do you live in?

              • Montana Boy says:

                Given that I’m the most evil person here that should stay a secret not for me but my family. If your ever in the Missoula area let me know we can set up a meet if it’s important. That’s all I have to say on that subject. 🙂

          • Immer Treue says:

            OK, in the past we have had discussions, do wolves learn. If hunted, they will develop a fear of man and develop avoidance patterns. I have been consistent in saying, you can’t learn when you’re dead.

            What about elk and deer? They are hunted by man, so why in the world should they cluster around farms, ranches, etc? Should they not fear man because of hunting? I think not, it’s all about food.

            • W.Hong says:

              Interesting take on why wildlife stays close to ranches, I would be interested in reading more about this, do you have any links you can provide to validate your theory of them only doing this for food?

              • Immer Treue says:

                Sorry, no supporting data, just observation and deductive reasoning.
                Around my neck of the woods, NE MN, hugging the Canadian border, it’s all about food. Deer are not originally common to this area. The DNR tells people not to feed deer, yet folks continue to do so. I don’t feed deer, but they continually raid my bird feeders (oiled sunflower seeds). They approach the cabin in broad daylight. It’s not wolf avoidance, it’s food. I go outside, and they run. They are afraid of me, but they come back. Food.

                Elk. Generally move up to mountIn meadows to forage in Spring and Summer and move down to wooded slopes and valleys in Winter. Where are the ranches and farms located? In the lowlands and valleys. Food.

                It’s just my take on the situation.

              • Nancy says:

                Immer – I often see it as a trade off around here – the elk show up late April early May and do take advantage of “cow-free” pastures, young, tender grasses. They are also calving around June in many of those same areas.

                By the time they start moving to higher elevations (public lands) they have less than a month before 2-3 thousand head of cattle, are also on those same grazing areas.

                Most Mule deer head out of this area late fall like the elk & pronghorn but, I do have a small group, maybe 10-20 Mulies who hang around all winter. They kind of rotate around the valley.

                And I’m always checking the fenced yard before I let my girls (dogs) out in the morning, because my little 20 lb. half breed, thinks she can take on any intruder 🙂

                The older does just look at me and then continue to graze, realizing that I’m not gonna run them off because maybe they know, I know, life is hard enough come winter.

                Spent the last half hour sitting on the side porch, soaking up the rays “sunshine” – its 42 degrees here.

                Saw a ground squirrel about 10 miles away from town yesterday and a friend, in the same town, said he saw a robin in his yard.

                Hello? Way too early to be seeing that kind of wildlife in this area. Add to that, I’m not seeing the little winter birds that usually stop by this time of year.

                Anyone else getting different vibes this winter?

              • Immer Treue says:


                Winter. No a complaint, but an observation. Been enjoying relative warmth of 20’s here, but the deep freeze appears poised to break through again. Looks like a long cold MN winter. Be nice to borrow that sunny 40 degree weather for a day.

              • Montana Boy says:

                I think it’s time to repeat your trapping challenge to see what your wolves have learned the past year.

                Look at the avoidance issue from the preys point. Here in Montana the elk have two general choices. First private land where the main hunter, hunts days, mostly weekends for 2 months. Uses a bow or big game rifle and has a success rate less than 5%.
                Second choice federal land with the same hunters as above plus hunters that hunt at all hours 365 days a year and have a success rate of 10%.
                Add that to the food issue.

            • Leslie says:

              Yes Immer. Food is a great motivator. I agree.

              I asked Middleton once if this migratory herd here might start not migrating soon and stay in Sunlight because we have several large irrigated ranches here in the bottoms. His reply is that that kind of behavior change takes many generations. So his answer was ‘no’.

  37. CodyCoyote says:

    Very near the 2-day meeting of the Wyoming Game and Fish full commission on Wednesday January 22 at the main G & F building in Cheyenne WY , there will be a presentation on the imp[acts of large carnivores ( Wolves, Grizzlies, an aside to Cougars ) on Ungulates.

    To Wit:

    20.Presenter: Dr. Dan Thompson, Large Carnivore Section Supervisor, Wildlife Division. Large Carnivore Impacts to Ungulates. A summary of impacts to wild ungulates from large carnivores will be presented. Informational presentation; however, the Commission may vote to take action on, or provide the Department direction on, items covered in the presentation.

    Point being, the Commission may at this time give G & F some marching orders on managing wolves for more idealistic elk harvests. or whatever. in other words, would/ could Wyoming do what Idaho just did ?
    e. g. Eliminate whole packs inside the Trophy Zone or anywhere else in Wyoming where the outfitters are howling about losing ” their ” elk to wolves. Vis-a-vis the Frank Church Wilderness Idaho Extirpation ?

    – just a heads up. Getting solid info on advance from Wyo G&F on anything Wolfie is all but impossible these days.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Isn’t WY’s trophy zone around the National Parks? What a terrible mess this is becoming.

    • Leslie says:

      Cody, where is the info available on commission results/recommendations? Also wonder with the record high hunter elk ‘harvests’ for the last two years in Wyoming, why would they recommend any different from what G&F is already doing?

      • CodyCoyote says:

        Leslie- briefly , it’s hard to get good info from Wyo G&F on certain sensitive topics like wolf management. Both times that I have FOIA’d them I was insulted when the documents came back heavily redacted.
        I would surmise the Wyo G&F Commissioners per se have lots of information about wolf control going into the January meeting next week , mostly thru their own internal channels or verbal backchannels.

        I don’t mean to infer they are going to heave a bolt out of the blue next week and authorize some wholesale wolfpack management to appease this or that outfitter (s) complaints of ” No 6-point elk in my area ” , which is sorta the tone get from the Idaho insurgency.

        But the language of the Agenda items suggests they could do that if so motivated. Normally , G & F biologists would wait till later in the year ( Spring snowmelt season) to get more pertinent data on status the wolf population , pack counts, and denning , before they go make recommendations. They’ll have their data by end of March and the annual report is due out April 15.

        I do see from the current budget line items that Wyo G&F has asked for and will likely recieve over $ 900,000 from the Legislature for wolf management. That’s a given. The Department may be hurting for funds for other programs, but wolves are not among them. Wyoming will always find the ways and means to ” control ” those damn wolves….

  38. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Photos of adult male and female leopard in Azerbaijan – nice Video attached
    Wildlife protection where you would not usually expect it. There´s a fine carnivore (yes, includes bears and wolves) protection initiative in Azerbaijan. And, Arizona wildlife officials might note: The Jagua…sorry Leopards there need no radiocollar


  39. Yvette says:

    A hunter and retired wildlife biologist kills a lactating cougar east of Baker City, OR. Realizing his mistake he found the cubs and took appropriate action. That’s a good thing but still so irritating. The article doesn’t state why he killed the cougar, just that he was hunting. It sounds like he has character and a conscience since he went out of his way to find the kittens, and report to OR Fish and Game.
    Maybe this will cure him from sport/trophy hunting. There simply is no need for it. Now three cougars face a life in the zoo rather than being the wilderness.


  40. Ida Lupines says:

    Elk, you are absolutely right. I do have great respect for those who live in the RM area and have the experience of many years’ observations, and believe it or not I do appreciate that wildlife does have an effect on people’s livelihoods. Many of the ethical hunters I think can be found right here commenting. I would never presume to know more than they do.

  41. SEAK Mossback says:

    The EPA issues a dire assessment of impacts of the proposed Pebble Mine —

    • rork says:

      Those minerals – they aren’t going anywhere.
      Weigh it again in another few decades.

  42. JEFF E says:


    Like I said, all the input in the world means exactly squat.

    their mind was made up weeks and weeks ago. everything else is theater.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Yes, that’s certainly the way it seems. I knew public input would mean nothing.

      • JimT says:

        One more policy that will ultimately mean wolves are driven out of Idaho or killed off…it was a done deal months ago.. Hearings were a sham.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Well all we can do is visit the states that don’t have such draconian wolf eradication policies instead.

          I don’t know if there’s any hope for Montana and Wyoming (or even WA and OR), but it is truly a shame that when the preeminient place in most people’s minds for wolves and wildlife is the Rocky Mountain West, they are destroying them.

  43. Barb Rupers says:

    Update on regulations and current status regarding wolf depredations in Oregon.

  44. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Rhino hunter now hunted
    Winner of black rhino hunting auction: My $350,000 will help save the species

    • JimT says:

      Could have donated it and saved the rhino. Egotistical trophy hunting is a corrupt practice no matter how one tries to rationalize it.

  45. Peter Kiermeir says:

    International Artists Come Together to Honor the Wolf in Benefit CD

    The Native American Music Association, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) has just released a special benefit CD entitled, WOLF, featuring songs from award-winning and nominated recording artists in an effort to honor and pay tribute to the wolf, especially the Gray Wolf which may become delisted as an endangered species.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Good! Just about every country on the planet is more progressive than America regarding wildlife.

      • Peter Kiermeir says:

        Unfortunately not Sweden, especially Sweden. The suspension of the hunt is only part of an annual ritual. At the end they will again have a limited hunt. In Sweden there is a strong anti-wolf movement by a hunting lobby that strongly resembles that in the America. And there is a lot of poaching going on. You find Wolves drowned in lakes – with chains around their legs! Wolves in Sweden face the problem that no fresh blood is coming over from Russia. The population is in mid-Sweden and hunters in Finland and northern Sweden prevent that new wolves move south.

  46. Louise Kane says:

    anyone living in Michigan wanting to help the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign Ellie Hayes sent this letter to help solicit people to collect signatures, please forward …..

    Dear Supporter,
    In 1973, wolves were at the brink of extinction –with only six wolves left in Michigan. And despite 40 years of critical protection, there were only 658 wolves last year – and that number’s declining.

    Still – a group of Michigan legislators and special interests forced through a 2013 wolf trophy hunting season. When citizens gathered nearly 250,000 signatures to stop it, the politicians passed another law to take away our right to decide.

    We need your help right now. We are supporting an important referendum to give Michigan voters a say on whether or not we hunt the vulnerable wolf population. We have just 8 weeks to gather 225,000 signatures, so please sign up now to help gather signatures and let’s make 2013 the last wolf hunt.

    Click here to sign up to gather signatures. We’ll send you a packet and all the information you need to help out.

    Whether you can gather 20 signatures from friends and family or 658 signatures (one for every wolf in Michigan) your efforts are vital to this historic campaign.

    It has been a very difficult year for Michigan’s wolves, but things could get even worse: The Department of Natural Resources Director, Keith Creagh, has recently said there is “always a potential” to add wolf trapping in future seasons after 1200 trophy hunters were only able to bag 23 of the 43 wolves targeted this season. Trapping is cruel and inhumane, forcing many wolves to die a slow, painful death trapped in a steel jaw.

    We cannot let this happen. We need your help urgently so please sign-up now to gather 10, 20, 100 signatures or more by March 5 and let’s give voters the chance to stop the hunt.

    Ellie Hayes
    Campaign Manager
    Keep Michigan Wolves Protected
    P.O. Box 81096
    Lansing MI, 48908
    Office: 517-993-5201
    Mobile: 313-338-8114

  47. Immer Treue says:

    It can’t get much more insane than this. Another dog killed because, “I thought it was a coyote.”


    The time is long past due when some idiot with a rifle can lawfully shoot at this canid. The time is long past for said idiot(s) gets off with a slap on the wrist. There is no excuse.

    • jon says:

      You can bet the same excuse will be used when some hunter comes in contact with wolves in places where wolves may be protected. Hunters are becoming a serious threat and danger to people and their pets.

      • W.Hong says:

        How So? I have been investigating this for some time now and seem to only see a few incidents compared to the amount of hunters in America, please explain if you would?

        • Montana Boy says:

          You say you have been investigating for some time, do you see any trends of dog shootings? What have you found?
          Just curious.

          • W.Hong says:

            I have noticed no trends other than some people are irresponsible and don’t identify their targets correctly before shooting.

    • Kathleen says:

      A Weimaraner looks *nothing* like a coyote; plus this dog had on a yellow reflective vest, an orange collar, and was inside city limits! And the shooter blames “poor lighting”?!?

      “…the man is facing charges for careless discharge of a firearm and property damage over $50.”
      That is beyond insulting.

  48. Rita k Sharpe says:

    What ever happened to the rule don’t raise your rifle, unless you are certain of your target? Certainly, one doesn’t think that shoot first and we will sort it out later, is going to fly. How do you get a coyote from a weinheimer?

  49. jon says:


    According to hunters, it’s ok to kill wolves as they are a non native invasive species and because they eat the game that the hunters think belongs to them. Hunters are extremely ignorant.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Quite a few people in Idaho believe that there was something odd or foreign about the “Canadian” wolves that were reintroduced. Because they don’t investigate the source of their opinions this is a persistent myth.

      • jon says:

        Yeah, A LOT of hunters. My question to you where are the hunters supporting wolves? You don’t seem to find any hunting forums where you have hunters supporting wolves, only forums where you have hunters talking about killing wolves. I am more than willing to expose people to what hunters are saying about wolves on PUBLIC HUNTING WEBSITES.

    • rork says:

      Not all hunters jon, as much as that may pain you. You are looking at a hunting forum. There’s self-selection in the folks that would read that, and even more regarding who would write there. Others don’t attempted to straighten anyone out in such a place, or balance it.

      • jon says:

        I know them anti-wildlife whackjobs read this website.

        • ma'iingan says:

          “I know them anti-wildlife whackjobs read this website.”

          And the anti-hunting whackjobs read the hunting websites. And round and round we go.

        • rork says:

          jon: There are few anti-predator folks posting here. Amazing, isn’t it.

      • jon says:

        That thread is being sent to the WDFW commissioners to show how radical and extreme hunters have become when it comes to natural and native predators.

        • W.Hong says:

          I just read a news article yesterday on CNN that a Federal Judge has ruled that bloggers have 1st amendment protections. This would seem to show, they do have protection to post what they want on the websites. Without proof of actions, it would seem they are mostly talk.

  50. I have always thought there was a sexual component to excessive trophy hunting as practiced by groups like the Safari Club. Here is a link to what investigators found at one of their conventions:http://abcnews.go.com/WN/sex-tourism/story?id=10288468

    • I used to belong to FNAWS (The Foundation For North American Wild Sheep) and went to a couple of their conventions.
      The convention hall was filled with booths operated by hunting outfitters from all over the world. The Safari Club was always there with a large diplay. I got a creepy feeling just talking to the rich jerks that ran the Safari Club booth. Looks like my feelings were justified.

  51. W.Hong says:

    It seems it is that time of year again in Japan.


    250 Dolphins rounded up for slaughter

    • W.Hong says:

      I am confused.

      Why is nobody commenting on this story about 250 dolphins being trapped in a small harbor, that will be killed or sold to play in a sideshow?

      Based on my observations, I thought that people here cared about all wildlife, I find the dolphin stuff to be extremely repulsive?

      I spent a few years scuba diving with dolphins when I was immigrating to America and thought that people here cared about them?

      • Ida Lupines says:

        We do care – there’s so much killing of wildlife going on all over the world it’s hard to keep up sometimes. I find it terrible also. 🙁

        • W.Hong says:

          I am confused Ms. Lupine, all I am reading on this blog is about wolves, please explain to me, why this species is the most important?

          I am from China and have spent many years immigrating to America, but I don’t see anything really being said about the other wildlife around the world. I do enjoy Peter’s posts, but it seems as if America is focused on one species?

          Please explain.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            We aren’t really, at least I don’t think so – but America’s wolves have been almost killed to extinction in this country due to myth brought over from Europe, and the wolf’s past threat to man’s agricultural practices. Some think we are headed down a similar path. Some of the misconceptions that persist are mind-boggling for modern times – when man has long since gained the advantage. It is time to see them as just an animal.

            But, bison, grizzlies, wolverines and other animals are also in danger. But none so irrationally hated as the wolf. That’s why it may appear that we only care about one species. 🙂

            • Ida Lupines says:

              The pro and anti wolf sides couldn’t be more diametrically opposed – but if there’s one thing we do have in common, it’s that neither side trusts what our gov’t is telling us. 🙂

          • Rita k Sharpe says:

            W.Hong, I don’t think you have been here at this blog long and there are other blogs,that discuss their passions such as elk, other game species,horses or even the habitat. I read other the articles that have been posted here by Ralph or Ken and right now wolves caught my attention. Bears, bison,elk wolverines, bighorn pronghorn,not to mention the cow, have been discussed here ,so the wolf is not the only animal ,but wolves seems to encompass and/or polarize discussions.

            • Ralph Maughan says:

              Yes, there has been a big focus on the wolf lately here, but that has been because of all the news. This emphasis won’t continue.

              • Rita k Sharpe says:

                Ralph ,I thank you and others for keeping abreast of the situation with the wolves. I hope you and others continue. If people would just come in and just read other articles that are important and just not just read what other people have commented on certain subjects such as wolves for it just ends up as an emotional carnival . We need to keep up what is happening to the wolves and the implications it could mean for other animals,who will/might suffer later such as the bison. There are some people that do comment here, that give informative comments. Thank you, all.

              • W.Hong says:

                I can assure you Ms. Sharpe, in the last month, I have read just about all of the articles as well as the comments on those articles on this blog, I have been reading for quite a while longer than I have commented.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Also, since the wolf delisting and bringing back of horse slaughter in America, and proposed ag-gag laws for the treatment of our domestic animals, we in America have taken a step backwards as a humane country regarding our animals and wildlife. Before we can criticize other countries, we need to address our own wildlife abuses in America.

            But of course the slaughter of other creatures in other countries is a concern and we do care.

          • Yvette says:

            Excellent question, W. Hong. I’ve not been posting here long, but have periodically come to read this blog for several months. Now I read it daily. I find it be balanced, informative and it seems to draw educated and well informed people. Hunters, activists, wildlife biologists, and professors. There seems to be civil discussions here and I like that.

            I can speak only for me, but all animals are important, and our wildlife are losing habitat. Plus, I personally, would like to see modifications in our hunting laws, and trapping outlawed.

            Many animals need someone’s voice along with solid scientific research. We need species diversity.

            Personally, I loath seeing the persecution that the coyote has long endured. It is absurd to me at just how much the coyote suffers at human hands. And it’s legal. The beaver takes a hard hit, too.

            I do not currently live in a ‘wolf state’, but have spent time living in MT and WA off and on, and have close family in WA and OR. There is something about the wolf that draws extreme emotions on both sides. I don’t know why…..yet. I am Native American (to be politically correct), but my tribe originated in the southeast united states, and were forceably moved to what is now Oklahoma. We do not have the cultural ties to the wolf like some other tribes. Some Native cultures view the wolf (and other species) as a brother or a family relation. This cultural more is entrenched in some of the Indigenous people of this continent. Many tribes have clans that are based on an animal and plant species, and the clans vary among different tribes. I am deer clan, or Ecovlke, in our language. We have other clans, like racoon, skunk, and beaver. We have a wind clan. The tribe my nieces and nephews are enrolled with do have a wolf clan, though they are not of the wolf clan.

            I do not see non-human species as less than me, but simply as different. I am not the ‘higher species’; I am a different species that functions differently. I expect a wolf to be a wolf and a cougar to be a cougar. I am under no illusion of their power. They are not pets, but I try to respect them for what they are and we Indigenous co-existed with many species, but some of us seem to be losing that respect. I’m not special or better because I’m Native American, but that does play into how I view many issues.

            There were wolves in Eastern region of the continent when Europeans first immigrated. I’ve read one published paper that researched how those early immigrants brought their fear, loathing and mythologies of the wolf with them to this continent.

            As Ida said, there are so many animals being killed worldwide. For instance, look at the what is happening with the African elephant and the ‘blood ivory’. Or, the rapid rate of habitat loss due to palm oil that is decimating orangutans and other rainforest species.

            The scale of persecution, habitat loss, slaughter, and laws based more to protect human economies and interests is overwhelming. There are so many adverse impacts on a global scale that I think it in my best interest to learn about and focus my energy on more local issues. I come here for the reasons I stated above, because much of what I learn I can transfer to a local scale.

            And…..the wolf just seems to draw you in to his spirit.

            • Nancy says:

              Yvette – a collection of quotes you might appreciate 🙂


              One of my favorites:

              “The animal shall not be measured by
              man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished
              and complete, gifted with extension of the senses we have lost or never
              attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren;
              they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves
              in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and
              travail of the earth.”
              -Henry Beston

              • Yvette says:

                That’s a keeper, Nancy. Thank you for sharing. I like that link, too. The people on this site have directed me to some great links and they don’t even know it, LOL.

      • Montana Boy says:

        You’ll find only the wolf peaks interest of this group. They read wildlife news but they are very species selective in concern. News links for other animals seldom draw comment but if you have a story involving a hunter, trapper or wolf that’s a story. The wolf can do no wrong.
        I do hope you continue to post comments.

        • Ralph Maughan says:

          Montana Boy, see my comment above. I don’t want to overemphasize wolves. The focus will change.

      • Nancy says:

        W. Hong – as you can see by the link below, something was done about the “dolphin stuff”


        As with the wolf controversy (which is literally in my backyard) the people of Japan, who are concerned about the welfare of wildlife, will need to step forward and show their support.

        • W.Hong says:

          Yes, I have watched that documentary, however it does not really to seemed to have had much of an effect, as with many things, the practice of slaughtering the dolphins has not changed.

      • CodyCoyote says:

        Hong— the three worst perpetrators worldwide of dolphin slaughter are the Japanese ( the Taiji spawned the activist movie ” The Cove ” ) , the residents of the Scottish Faroe Island with their Grind tournaments ( good clean Viking fun is the slogan ! ) , and your native China where numbers are hard to come by . High on the list are the Solomon Islands in the Coral Sea , but qualitatively the worst dolphin take might be the rare Irrawaddy river dolphins in Burma. I myself have witnessed and photographed dolphin kills in Indonesia in the Gulf of Tomini on the north coast of Sulawesi ( Celebes) Island, and published them or made the images available to activist organizations.

        You are good in bringing up global cetacean kills here at Wildlife News. It really isn’t All Wolves All The Time aorund here, but that’s where the news and noise seem to lead us, regrettably.

        China deserves the most unspoken attention on dolphin kills but seems to get the least. Maybe you could help do something about that.

        • W.Hong says:

          I have been working on it for a long time now to stop exploitation, my outspoken views are one of the reasons I no longer live in China.

          • Jake Jenson says:

            What you’re kidding right;

            Whatever the price of the Chinese Revolution, it has obviously succeeded not only in producing more efficient and dedicated administration, but also in fostering high morale and community of purpose. The social experiment in China under Chairman Mao’s leadership is one of the most important and successful in human history.– David Rockefeller

            • W.Hong says:


              You had to experience that “Cultural” revolution to know what I am talking about, over 1 million Chinese try to leave the country every year because of the government, many end up in slave labor or dead at the hands of the smugglers.

              I choose to live where I can say what I want without threats to my life, I can make a mistake without being executed by a bullet to the back of the head.

              Mr. Rockefeller was wrong when he stated this and the statement is still wrong to this day.

      • Immer Treue says:

        W. Hong,

        Sure, I care about dolphins in specific and cetaceans in general. I find nothing good in butchering these ocean mammals, and the history of whaling, that continued into the Industrial Age as repulsive.

        Other than allowing indigenous people subsistence hunting rights for the few cetaceans they take, it’s a practice that should end, and should have ended long ago.
        Watching a movie/documentary such as The Cove leaves one nothing but depressed.

        Though I may feel disgust about what happens to all cetaceans, I neither live by the oceans, nor do I have the time, or $ to spend on their cause.

        I live in the middle of Superior National Forest, in the middle of wolf country snuggled up to the Canadian border. All to often we see in print that those who don’t live in wolf country/or are impacted by wolves should keep their mouths shut because they don’t know how it is living with wolves. Thus, my passion for wolves.

        TWN is a wildlife site that deals mostly with the Rocky Mountains, the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems with associated wildlife of that area. Wolves are still big news in that locale.

        Are there blog sites that specialize in the plight of aquatic mammals? I’m sure there are, and I would hazard a guess that little time is spent with terrestrial ecosystem wildlife. Not a challenge, but rationale.

        • W.Hong says:


          I guess I was mistaken, I did not see where this blog was for certain species of wildlife, but I was under the assumption that “The Wildlife News” would pertain to all species of wildlife and I have read many stories about other wildlife besides wolves, I see there are individuals that are posting information about European wildlife.

          As I stated, I didn’t see where this website/blog dealt with primarily Rocky Mountains. I do know the owner lives in the Rocky Mountains, but as I said, I thought(I guess mistakenly) that it was about wildlife.

          I don’t believe one species is any more or less important than another.

          • Immer Treue says:

            W. Hong,

            “I guess I was mistaken, I did not see where this blog was for certain species of wildlife, but I was under the assumption that “The Wildlife News” would pertain to all species of wildlife and I have read many stories about other wildlife besides wolves, I see there are individuals that are posting information about European wildlife.”

            It’s not, but if you go to the Home Page and go to “About” you will See the areas of strengths of the main contributors.

            Peter from Germany cites as many stories about wolves as anyone. Just curious, if you are interested in other wild life, then why not write about what you are interested in rather than what almost seems as borderline complaint for lack thereof.

            • W.Hong says:


              I am not complaining about anything other than the killing of wildlife.

              As a person that was raised in a different country that basically has no wildlife laws and lived there well into my late 20’s, I am simply trying to learn.

              I am not “interested” in other wildlife, I am, however very interested in All Wildlife.

              Dolphins, Whales and Elephants are strong passion of mine, as they show a strong tie to humans and in ways can communicate with us, I just thought that others would be interested as well. I have little experience with wolves or even dogs, where I moved from, dogs were a meal to put on the table.

              Where I came from in China is much different than the metropolitan cities you see on Television, dog was considered part of the meat protein we had available to us.

        • CodyCoyote says:

          Immer —little known legal perspective. the Marine Mammal Protection Act was passed the year before the Endangered species Act. The MMPA is administered by – of all agencies the US Dept. of Commerce – since it is usually enforced in a shipping channel or boating area ( think manatees or sea lions) , if at all. The ESA came later for terrestrial animals and was given over to US Fish and Wildlife Service at interior. USFWS has little or no say on marine mammals.

          • Immer Treue says:

            Don’t understand if this is an addition to what I wrote it some sort of correction, as my comment had much to do with global cetacean/marine mammals, Japan, icleland, Norwayin particular,and very little to do with US.

  52. Mark L says:

    Yep, which begs the question; what about those of us that hunt and are also pro-predator (or pro-carnivore, technically)? Admittedly already in a minority, I’m a left handed bowhunter too. How whack is that?

    • Montana Boy says:

      I was throwing my left hand arrows away now I can send them to you. 🙂

    • Immer Treue says:


      I look at something like this as a snake eating its own tail. As with other predators, remove some, and others move into the voided territory. What prevents more Barred Owls from moving in. The killing will never end.

      That said, in the past, I have found Barred owls very easy to call into an area. My ornithology needs work, but this seems like a fruitless battle.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      I see this as good news. The bison in Jackson Hole really tend to overpopulate.

  53. Mark L says:

    W Hong,
    As Immer has said, this is mostly a regional site on US wildlife. If interested, you might try BIrdforum (birdforum.net) for a more international flavor (it’s mostly British and hence more left leaning). There IS a whole section on cetaceans (wildlife issues and viewing them) with some remarkably apt people commenting (including some from TWN areas). Hope this helps you.

    • W.Hong says:

      Mark L.

      As I stated in my message to Immer, I didn’t see the statement that it is regional, and by Mr. Maughan’s own statement said:

      “Montana Boy, see my comment above. I don’t want to overemphasize wolves. The focus will change.”

      Have I made a mistake, by asking?

      • Mark L says:

        No, sounds like you (and Ralph) are on target. Sometimes a pendelum needs to swing all the way out for it to begin it’s trip back towards the center. This looks to be that occassion.

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      Thanks for the link. It looks like this could harm Kroll and governor Walker.

  54. Elk375 says:

    Here is an interesting article that I pick up on 24 hour campfire. It was in the Twin Falls Newspaper maybe someone can find a link for it.

    As Elk Move South, Problems Grow

    BOISE• Mike Grimmett takes no pleasure in feeding Idaho’s wildlife.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Here is the link, Elk 375.


      “Throughout southern Idaho, elk populations are up by 20 percent to 50 percent, said Toby Boudreau, a wildlife program coordinator with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The elk population has almost doubled in some areas, he said.

      Ironically, Toby Boudreau blames wolves in part. Wolves it seems are the explanation for everything these guys don’t like. They do consider that there are other factors, “Wolves are only one possible cause for the elk moving south, Boudreau said. Another factor is the rash of wildfires decimating traditionally healthy habitat for elk and deer. Last year’s Pony Complex and Elk Complex fires, for example, burned elk and deer habitat in the Sawtooth and Boise national forests. Combined, they burned more than 280,600 acres, helping to push elk and other wildlife farther south, much to the dismay of farmers.”

      There is little evidence that wolves push elk out of the mountains. For example, did wolves push the elk out of Yellowstone Park’s northern range? No one suggests that, pro-wolf or anti-wolf.

      • Nancy says:

        From an article in October:

        “If Idaho, Nevada and Utah were to coordinate their hunts it would contribute greatly to the success of the hunters, reducing the herd, said Hansen, but he admits convincing all three states to get together will be a big challenge”

        Jerome Hansen of the Idaho Fish and Game said his agency is working on a ten year plan for elk management. He said the elk population doesn’t really have a natural predator in Southern Idaho, so habitat and social tolerance were the two main factors controlling the elk population here”

        Sooooo, exactly where are all those pesky wolves?? Not to mention mountain lion and black bear?


        • Montana Boy says:

          Perhaps Ralph will answer you question. If not I suggest looking at some maps.

        • Ralph Maughan says:


          There are no wolves at all in the places where these people are complaining. They are talking about areas very close to the Utah and/or the Nevada border.

          • Nancy says:

            Yep, I did realize it was two different areas of the state Ralph but the complaining seems to be the same – lots of elk, where some don’t want them. Maybe they should trail em back to the wilderness 🙂

      • When I began hunting deer in the Lost River Valley as a teenager in the 1950s, there were very few elk. Those that were here, were brought in by railroad from Yellowstone some years earlier.
        By the early 1960s they had increased enough to open a season on them.

        25 permits for bull elk became available in 1962 or 63. (With an average hunter success of 25% the IDF&G thought there were enough elk in the valley to kill 5 bulls) I drew one of the permits. I killed a large bull in the north fork of the Big Lost River.
        Before long there were elk everywhere and they started to show up in the rancher’s fields.
        They were attracted by the hay and grain fields. There were NO wolves to drive them there. One rancher west of Arco claimed to have 2,000 elk in his hay fields. This was in the 1980s, TEN years before there were any wolves. Hundreds of elk permits were offered by the IDF&G and they had to open a late season(December) cow hunt in order to lower the elk population.
        The idea that the wolves are responsible for the elk showing up in the fields is hogwash. The elk showing up in the fields today are the decendents of the Yellowstone elk that found those same fields thirty or forty years ago.

        • The same thing happened throughout Idaho. Yellowstone elk were brought by in railroad cars and re-introduced all over Idaho as well as Canada(The elk grazing on golf courses in Banff and Jasper are decendents of imported Yellowstone elk.). Elk populations had been reduced to almost zero by years of market hunting to feed the miners in the early gold camps.

  55. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Livestock depredation by wolves declined in 2013
    “….who received $11,200 for seven sheep killed by wolves.” Wow, do they really get 1600$ for a sheep? It´s about half of this sum here in Germany

    • Nancy says:

      Peter – its interesting to note that the county (Beaverhead) with the highest claims of depredations (involving probably the same ranches) has the smallest population of wolf packs (according to wolf pack maps) Most of the depredations seemed to have occured on private land and most of the “packs” removed average 1-2 wolves even though its claimed the average pack is 6-8 wolves.

      *see weekly reports:

      Appears to be an awful lot of “unknown packs” also. Wondering if Montana is already counting 2 wolves (same sex) as a pair?

      If the numbers are correct for estimated wolf numbers in Montana, close to 1/2 the population has been taken out to date by hunters, trappers and other/WS.

      If trapping & hunting (of both sexes, regardless of age) continues into March, my guess would be a huge reduction in the population for 2014.

      Does the loss of less than a 100 cows and a handful of sheep merit this kind of “management?”

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Aren’t we tired of having our intelligence insulted by those in politics. 🙁

    • Louise Kane says:

      I am continuously amazed that livestock producers get anything. Losses are a cost of doing business. Without being reimbursed the livestock industry would be forced to practice better animal husbandry. I’d like to be reimbursed for costs that occur as a part of our business. Its the same with fisheries….why should anyone be reimbursed for an economic hit in private business loss and why should wild animals pay with their lives, as a species, for removing cows, sheep or other livestock on public lands, especially when these animals, en masse, create a public nuisance . This is very troubling

  56. Nancy says:


    “The fishermen in Taiji say the hunt is part of their village tradition and call foreign critics who eat other kinds of meat hypocritical”

    There isn’t much difference when you think about between slob hunters around here, shooting into herds of elk, right off highways.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I worry about things like this. With our gargantuan population of 7 billion and growing by leaps and bounds daily, wildlife cannot keep up with these archaic traditions on top of habitat loss and our polluting their habitat. The Taiji fishermen pointing the finger at others who behave badly doesn’t change the fact that this dolphin slaughter is brutal and not necessary in today’s world.

  57. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Watching bears is much more profitable than killing them

    “We found that the bear viewing is generating 12 times more in visitor spending than is bear hunting, and over 11 times more in direct revenue for the B.C. province,”

    • rork says:

      Thanks for pointer.
      I like such data, but it’s only for a few spots, and for the coolest few animals. I’ve been trying to get people fired up about Lake Sturgeon – tougher – most folks have hardly heard of them, but they do like their local dam. Upper MI folks point out that they could kill half the wolves and few people except them would even notice. Our Elk get viewing tourists, but we still need to kill them too (I realize predators are a bit different). So economic arguments help, but let’s not have them be too short term, or the only thing, else selfishness will be the only rule (and some animals aren’t cool enough to benefit).

      (And as a member of the math police I point out growing abuse of “exponentially” – use that word sparingly, and only if you know it’s true, else discredit is yours. The last ten times I’ve seen it, it has always been wrong. I fear the definition will be changed to reflect idiot usage: “lots more”.)

      • Immer Treue says:

        “(And as a member of the math police I point out growing abuse of “exponentially” – use that word sparingly, and only if you know it’s true, else discredit is yours. The last ten times I’ve seen it, it has always been wrong. I fear the definition will be changed to reflect idiot usage: “lots more”.”

        As with ‘decimate ‘ and all the evolved spellings for said word.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Well, with what passes for sound science today, you can hardly fault people for not being entirely correct. It’s rather petty. 😉

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        Upper MI folks point out that they could kill half the wolves and few people except them would even notice

        So everybody must be knowledgeable about every issue in a country? Especially if 80% of people live in towns/cities somehow everybody in the US is supposed to be rational, pragmatic and sophisticated about wildlife issues in NRM or Great Lakes area ? Or how about poaching then? If state’s agency can’t document ,prosecute & punish it then it has some shreds of legitimacy because ‘ few people … would even notice’ ??

        I guess the same lame reasoning applies to ‘reduced hunting opportunities’ and following reduction in revenues because few people in cities would even notice that epic rise of unemployment in countryside
        (because income from hunting has vanished/disappeared) … too bad for wildlife agency and it’s budget

    • ma'iingan says:

      “Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Watching bears is much more profitable than killing them”

      As usual Ms. Randolph omits some pertinent data – that despite all that hunting mortality in WI, we still relocate around 700 bears each year, and lethally remove another 100 or so that won’t stay out of trouble. And then there’s around $375,000 in annual damage payments that are paid out of hunting license fees, along with the cost of relocating the problem animals.

      I’m not sure what her plan would be if we were to discontinue bear hunting, as she’s proposing.

      • jon says:

        Another hunter who thinks killing wildlife is the only way to deal with them.

        • ma'iingan says:

          “Another hunter who thinks killing wildlife is the only way to deal with them.”

          I realize your replies are auto-generated, but maybe you could provide your actual management plan this time?

          Obviously the relocation of nearly 700 bears and the resolution of an additional 625 complaints using non-lethal mitigation should show you that we are engaged in control methods that don’t include hunting.

          I’d like to know your plan for funding these non-lethal actions. Put up or shut up.

      • WM says:

        Mostly I have found Patricia Randolph’s writings fact deficient in many respects, on so many occasions. Makes me wonder about the moniker “Mad Raven” with its double entendre meaning. Here, she attempts to compare the noble efforts of a coastal British Columbia First Nations group in a very sparsely human populated area, with the very different and more densely populated (by bears and humans) areas of WI, where the perceived problems and their potential solutions are different, as well.

        Mad indeed; its hard to tell whether it is smoke or steam coming off from the piles of BS.

      • Louise Kane says:

        “I’m not sure what her plan would be if we were to discontinue bear hunting, as she’s proposing.”

        I am curious, how did wild animals sustain or diminish their populations without human interference/management and manage to evolve and survive? Are you suggesting that without human management bears, wolves, and all other predator populations would be consistently problematic? The population of wolves in MN prior to hunting seems to suggest otherwise….perhaps Patricia Randolph is tired of the carnage that results from the traditional and predictable wildlife management model that is favored by state wildlife agencies. she is not the only one

        • Ida Lupines says:

          🙂 Great comment, Louise.

        • ma'iingan says:

          “I am curious, how did wild animals sustain or diminish their populations without human interference/management and manage to evolve and survive?”

          They handled it just fine – however we are now occupying a landscape where wild lands abut human-dominated lands, and animals that are comfortable in that buffer zone can cause problems.

          “Are you suggesting that without human management bears, wolves, and all other predator populations would be consistently problematic?”

          ALL other predators? Certainly not – that’s a pretty broad generalization. But certainly black bears and wolves are comfortable in that zone, especially wolves.

          “The population of wolves in MN prior to hunting seems to suggest otherwise…”

          Really? Minnesota’s been removing over 200 wolves annually, plus using a variety of non-lethal depredation controls for as long as I can remember. So yeah, there’s conflict.

          Anyhow, the topic was black bears in Wisconsin. We have the most in the lower 48, and despite our annual hunting mortality of around 5000 animals, we still field over 1000 complaints each year, relocate 650 bears, and pay out over $300K in ag damage. All the relocation funds and damage payments come from surcharges on hunting licenses.

          That’s the plan. What’s yours? Stop hunting? OK, what are you going to do with that growing bear population that is now pushing into residential areas? Relocate them? OK, it’s about $1500 per bear – who’s paying, and where are you putting them?

          • Ida Lupines says:

            They handled it just fine – however we are now occupying a landscape where wild lands abut human-dominated lands, and animals that are comfortable in that buffer zone can cause problems.

            In the future, the areas ‘allowed’ are going to get smaller and smaller as the human dominated lands are going to get larger and larger. I guess its extinction or zoos for everything else?

          • Nancy says:

            “Alternatively, increases in reproduction may be a response to decreased survival of adults. When life expectancy is shorter, animals should invest more in reproduction and less in survival. In hunted populations, harvest is the primary cause of mortality for adult black bears (Hellgren and Vaughan 1989, Schwartz and Franzmann 1991, Beringer et al. 1998, Koehler and Pierce 2005, Czetwertynski et al. 2007). Lower survival rates in the east suggest that these bears experience higher harvest and human-caused mortality, which would be expected from higher human population density in the east. Therefore, humans may be causing a shift in life history towards more and earlier reproduction by suppressing adult survival, both through harvest and through non-harvest human-caused mortality such as road kills and the removal of conflict bears”


            MA -According to this article the black bear population in Wisconsin is declining:


            If black bears are such a problem maybe Wisconsin needs to have a 10 month hunting season, no bag limit? That would certainly put a dent in the population right? Or is it a case of tolerance for the bear, but not the wolf 🙂

  58. Yvette says:

    This is seven months old, but I was glad to see Tribes voicing their concerns in a state tribal accord meeting in Michigan.

    Tribes are a unique participate in all conservation issues given their sovereignty.


  59. Immer Treue says:

    Little to do with wildlife, other than they have to love in it, but weather has been something. This Winter the area of the country in which I live has been buried in double digit sub-zero weather with more on its way. The nay Sayers have been, well saying, that’s it for global warming…

    Has anybody been tracking what it’s been like in Fairbanks?!!! It’s like Springtime (at least in NE MN) and has been there most of the winter.

    • rork says:

      I’m scared by possible deaths. Hope there’s some good death too though (i.e. garlic mustard).
      Most concerned that tens of thousands of deer will die, resulting in more frustrated deer hunters, who will not understand what the largest issues are and take action there, but rather blame predators. Some will even blame regulations that allowed too many does to be shot. I’ve beefed up the circuits on my irony meter in preparation.

    • Nancy says:

      Immer – its like springtime here in southwest Montana. Freezing morning temps but by afternoon the temps have climbed into the 40’s. Calling for the same weather til the end of the month. Looks & feels like March.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I don’t know if anything has changed here in NE except for yearly variation. It was near or in the 50s for a few days last week (January thaw) and before that down to 11 or so. Pretty seasonable this week (30s), a foot of snow expected for tonight and tomorrow, and bitter cold the next few days. It’s a good thing I like winter. But March is just around the corner!

      All of my usual birds are here, and I was surprised to still see goldfinches around and a pair of Carolina wrens (what a song). I don’t usually see them in winter. Lots of juncos.

    • Immer Treue says:

      -24° as I write with a fairly consistent diet of double digit below 0 for the next week, save Friday when a clipper with snow pays a visit.

      rork, same here. White tails will have a tough time this winter. Historically, the area in which I live was moose/caribou country. Logging and to a lesser degree, agriculture opened this area up to deer. Deep snow and of course sustained cold plays havoc with their numbers, and yes, we know who gets the blame.

      Interesting aside, as depredations were down this year. Was it due to last seasons (2012) wolf hunt, or to our extended Winter where deer were weak through Spring calving season, and wolves left livestock alone? The consecutive Winters of 95/96 and 96/97 witnessed so many winter deer deaths that wolves hit livestock very hard, as there were so few deer to eat.

  60. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Coyote killer’s competition not welcome in Southern New Mexico

    “Las Cruces has an ugly secret. Each year, a Utah-based group named Predator Masters holds its annual “hunt and convention” here.”

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Good! I’m glad people are starting to speak out about these cruel events.

      • Yvette says:

        The coyote ‘calling’ contests is on my radar. There was a coyote calling contest in Elk City, OK earlier this month. I lived in that stinking, armpit of a town the first ten years of my life. It was common to have a dead coyote hung on every fence post. As a kid, that was a normal scene. I’ll see one or two coyotes hung on a fence post in my part of the state, but not often. Until last month I had no idea the prevalence of these coyote killing contests.

        The poor coyote gets it from all angles, and the laws are not on their side. Last month I got into a row with a former colleague from a NM tribe over coyotes. He hated them. I think the hatred of coyotes is just as strong as it is for wolves, if not worse, but the coyote seems to lack the love and admiration that the wolf receives. Of course, they’ve never been endangered like the wolf. Coyotes are smart. I don’t know much about them yet, but the more I learn the more I like them.

        • Ralph Maughan says:


          Despite more than a hundred years of coyote slaughter coyotes have spread from the Western U.S. to all of North America. I can’t think of any explanation for this except human activity including contests such as these.

    • rork says:

      Thanks Nancy.
      I’m more familiar with WA managers essentially fish-farming right in the same rivers that have the wild runs, and using all kinds of lame excuses for why there’s no danger. I’ve been angry for 20 years. Trouble is the economic pressure is very real. It’s not just to make sport anglers happy – It’s why we can buy 10$/lb Copper River Sockeye too. “Wild” says the label, so folks think it’s all good.

      (I’m OK with artificial expansion if extinction is looming. Some great lakes Sturg populations are at that point. Salmon river salmon were too. It comes after you already said “kill none” for a long time.)

    • WM says:

      Hopefully this will be one of those professional papers that will become widely available for interested parties to read at no cost.

      Reporter Cheney’s article on the paper does not appear to address the costs of preventive measures that a livestock operation may incur to deter wolves in the first place. Whether this was a part of the authors’ study is unknown, but whatever the status, it should be included – so if multiple ranchers in a wolf area make capital expenditures and pay for ADDITIONAL labor, whether they incur a depredation loss or not, it should be added in, whether it is for temporary or permanent wolf-proof fencing, tending to stock with greater frequency or buying training and feeding guard dogs, or roving range riders – it all costs.

      We need a better picture and comprehensive economic benefit – cost analysis of wolves on the landscape – if more wolves are to be advocated and justified. Of course, that has been the unknown cost element Defenders of Wildlife has avoided addressing for so very long, beacause they have a very good idea what it costs. I also expect they are not too happy about what this study says.

      Can’t wait for the retort – interesting to see that Professor Hebblewhite (an elk predation specialist scientist who knows a lot about predator-prey spatial relationships) and Carolyn Sime (the former well-respected wolf program coordinator for MFWP) are co-authors.

      • JB says:

        “We need a better picture and comprehensive economic benefit – cost analysis of wolves on the landscape…”

        WM: I’m curious, is it your position that we should only allow animals ‘on the landscape’ after such rigorous cost-benefit analyses have been conducted? And if so, should we not conduct such c/b analyses for all species (why single out wolves)? And what happens if [when] we find that some species come at considerable cost and provide little ECONOMIC benefit? Should we undertaken a program to cleanse such species from the landscape, or simply minimize them like we do wolves. (Tread carefully here, I think you might be surprised at what some of your favorite game animals cost).

        • WM says:


          I have no delusions about what it costs to keep certain game animals on the landscape. I know what elk, for example, can do to an apple orchard, corn or alfalfa field, or hay stack (to say nothing of the rose or carrot garden); cars and elk/deer are not a good mix either.

          The topic is wolves. We removed wolves, historically, from the landscape,largely for economic reasons, justifiable or not. We are now in the process of repopulating or re-introducing them under federal statute, the ESA, some 60-70 years later. No state, to my knowledge, has indicated in any formal manner that they want more than they have, but will be ready to manage them when they come, or their numbers become sufficiently large that management of some sort is considered. The question is how many, where, what are the initial and recurring costs to government, or to those with established land uses in areas where they will repopulate. Who will bear the cost and why? Should they just absorb the cost as some commenting here suggest – tough to do when one is in business, without some protestation.

          My objection to Defenders is that they talk about “co-existence” with larger numbers of wolves, but they don’t want to address what true NEW additional costs are to producers of livestock (or government), whether it is preventive cost or reimbursement for livestock losses. Wolves on the landscape in the West in larger numbers are a paradigm shift for additional costs to state and maybe eventually even local government, private business and potentially a loss of opportunity cost for recreational hunters and its attendant economic losses.

          It seems to me decision-makers, from administrators to legislators and even voters ought to have that information.

          • Ralph Maughan says:


            Did you forget that Defenders paid those who lost livestock for many years, and even now there are state compensation programs?

            I thought Defenders wasted their money because they got little credit for it.

            • WM says:

              Glad you brought that up, Ralph. I thought Defender’s efforts in that regard was buying silence or tolerance (which is what every compensation program really is – witness the very liberal one in WA, especially for large producers), rather than objectively addressing the issues of cost of having wolves on the landscape. Maybe their money would have been better spent with some demonstration projects where they quantified the fair market costs of having their volunteer herd watchers, guard dogs, temporary/permanent fence and fladry builders, and associated capital costs, and recurring O & M. Then they could have compared that to the depredation loss payouts. I also expect they walked a delicate balance of paying out, and giving too much publicity/taking credit for the amounts they paid, where and why.

              • Ralph Maughan says:


                I don’t quite follow you. You will be able to tell by what I write below.

                Since I know little of Defender’s internal operations, I can only guess they were trying to buy silence as well as favorable publicity and also do what was right. There are often multiple reasons why a person or a group does things.

                I don’t think Defenders got any gratitude from ranchers,and the media rarely mentioned that a wolf-caused loss was reimbursed by them, giving the impression the livestock owner paid for the loss in total.

                Defenders did spend a lot of time, money and volunteer effort putting up fladry and stationing volunteer watchers who would scare wolves away from livestock. This was successful in some cases.

                Defenders did present internal survey evidence at a meeting the Wolf Recovery Foundation sponsors showing that their program(s) brought them no wolf tolerance in the Mexican wolf recovery area.

                In retrospect they should have taken the attitude I did at the time which was introduce the wolves, pay the ranchers nothing, and ignore the small number of losses.

                Would that have caused bad publicity? Perhaps, but nothing worse than they got by trying of obtain favorable media coverage.

                I already know from long experience that the Western ranchers were imperious, and never made deals with non-livestock opponents. They would go out of their way and a take a loss for themselves in order to make sure those they didn’t like got no gain.

                We (wilderness supporters) had tried to accomade them on Wilderness designation. We got no support from they for that, but we did get Wilderness areas with cows in them.

              • WM says:


                I expect the lack of gratitude from ranchers, for the compensation, probably had quite a bit to do with the fact that they simply didn’t want the wolves there in the first place. Maybe a thank you would have been seen as a sign of weakness as with outstretched hand they took the cash My speculation anyway, I surely don’t know.

                My objection, as state above, and which has been stated before on this forum, was/is that Defenders could have done the demonstration projects to show how much all of the preventive measures cost. Going out with a bunch of volunteers on to some guy’s ranch and doing the work is good PR, but how does that translate into in implementation plan. They put all that stuff in a slick glossy PR handbook Suzanne Stone put together. Not once did they address producer costs for capital outlay or labor for these items/techniques. Missed opportunity or hot button issue avoidance?


                Carter Neimeyer is noted as a contributor to the pamphlet. I wonder if he might be able to shed light on why costs were not addressed.

                Regarding designated Wilderness, have you had a chance to look at the 2011 Congressional Research Service report I linked to earlier on another thread? It shows all the warts and flaws of competing and non-conforming use in all the Wilderness areas created under the 1964 Act. I guess a wilderness with cows, mining, and airstrips is better than no wilderness at all, yes? Otherwise they probably would not have been created- quite a few of them anyway. This document is worth the read, just to understand how difficult it was and is to get wilderness designated.


                Please don’t get me wrong, I love wilderness and have spent a lot of time in quite a few of them. Took my first trip into the Bob Marshall in 1965 or so.

          • JB says:

            “We removed wolves, historically, from the landscape,largely for economic reasons, justifiable or not. We are now in the process of repopulating or re-introducing them…”

            Here in Ohio we removed white-tailed deer and elk. Then we reintroduced deer. Otters have been reintroduced across the country, much to some anglers dissatisfaction. My question is why are wolves different? Why single them out as the species for which we need all manner of economic data?

            “The question is how many, where, what are the initial and recurring costs to government, or to those with established land uses in areas where they will repopulate. Who will bear the cost and why?”

            The last question is really the only relevant one in politics. Who bears the costs, and who gets the benefits. In this case, those who bear the costs are in the minority, but they have the political power. The ability to ask the other questions you’ve listed is merely an expression of that power–and provides a means to maintain it.

            This quote seems relevant as a general response to your post:

            “Large carnivores help reduce disease prevalence in ungulate prey populations, thereby mitigating agricultural costs because of spillover effects on domestic livestock (58). Perhaps counterintuitively, large carnivores may also provide crucial services for the very industry they are perceived to be at most in conflict with: pastoralism. By limiting the density of wild herbivores and promoting productivity, large carnivores may enable pastoral activities that are sustainable (12, 59). This is not to deny that large carnivores also have direct costs, often associated with livestock losses (60), and balancing these costs against potential benefits for human-dominated ecosystems as a whole is a pressing challenge (61). Regardless, the potentially widespread beneficial ecosystem and economic services associated with large carnivores are underappreciated by society.”

            Ripple et al. 2014 Science: 343 (6167), [DOI:10.1126/science.1241484]

            The problem with such systems of economic accounting is that they are extremely biased toward the here and now–future costs and benefits usually are not quantified, often because they cannot be known. The other problem is that costs and benefits are not accrued equally by society — and across time. I’m sure it was economically sensible (in the sense that it was in their individual best interest) for the landowners and market hunters of the mid-1800s to eliminate bison– future generations concerned be damned.

            • JB says:

              Sorry, should have read: “the concerns of future generations be damned.”

            • rork says:

              Most folks estimating costs or benefits do just that – look at only one of them.
              In Michigan alterations of deer numbers make winners and losers out of nearly everyone in the state. It’s part of the cost of growing beans, driving a car or having a yard, but many businesses benefit. The harder to quantify stuff is endless. If cost of growing beans exceeds a certain threshold, we will stop growing them, or the cost of beans will rise. This is not a new thing. “Established use” is not sacred, except to the user.

      • Ralph Maughan says:


        This could be an important paper, but,yes we need to be able to read the actual paper.

        For example, I think maybe their losses figures come from the slope of a multiple regression equation. If so, what is the confidence interval around the figure? This will be based largely on the sample size.

        • Ralph Maughan says:

          Excuse me, the newspaper said “18 western Montana ranches combined with wolf-tracking and climate data between 1995 and 2010.”

          An N of 18 is not much of sample. Unless the effects are huge, there will be little confidence in the generalizabilty of the regression coefficients. The researchers already said that wolf effects were small relative to other factors, so this makes me skeptical of the whole thing, but I need the paper.

          • Montana Boy says:

            The paper is available for a fee.
            If you read the comments after the article there is a link to cree paper which ask for authors permission so I will not post link here.

            • Ralph Maughan says:

              Montana Boy,

              Yes, these papers are almost always available for a fee. While the general public would seldom read a scientific paper if it was free, these high fees for most of the papers deters the intelligent layman and oftentimes journalists..

        • rork says:

          I see “confirmed wolf predation” (it’s 0/1 in any year on any ranch) having 21.9 lb effect, stderr 9.96 lb, in the models with “all the gear” in them – and they do use allot of covariates.
          Ranch to ranch effects are huge, and did take some wind out of the depredation effect estimate, so there might be some anxiety remaining, however
          I smelled nothing bad (in a very rapid review).
          Disclaim: I’m no calf expert, and competent review demands being one – and actually having the data (maybe I missed where they offered it, and there may be just cause: it could impact participating ranchers economically cause it would be hard to maintain anonymity).

    • Montana Boy says:

      Curious have either of you read any data coming from the study on the OX ranch in Idaho and now in Oregon? Part of the story…


      • WM says:

        Montana Boy,

        I was not aware of this study. But, unless these guys are also looking at range condition, rainfall, temperature and maybe snowfall (as does the UM study), it might not be as helpful in accurately assigning causes to weight differences cattle before and after wolves. Natural systems with these kinds of variables -year to year- make it very hard to quantify. There should also be concern about where the funding for the study came from, who critiqued and approved the study design and possible expectations of sponsors. Groups like state Beef Councils, pushing their own agendas, should be every bit as suspect as Defenders, IMHO.

  61. Zach says:

    University of Montana researchers come up with figures of average wolf depredation costs:



  62. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Ranchers happy with governor’s wolf control plan
    “We feel Idaho’s citizens know that we need to control these wolves and that the legislature’s decisions will reflect that,”

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Another thing to thank this Administration for – allowing guns in the national parks.

      • Yvette says:

        Another great law from one of Oklahoma’s finest, Senator Tom Coburn.

        “Introduced as an amendment to the credit card reform bill by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma), the provision allows owners of licensed firearms to bring them into national parks and wildlife refuges as long as they are allowed to do so by state law.”

        I hear he is retiring, but he’ll be replaced by someone just as bad, or probably, worse. It does me little good to vote in this state.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        Congress passed a law requiring this, not the President.

        Here is the story as in NBC News.


        • Ida Lupines says:

          The national park gun law change was included in an amendment to the Credit Cardholders’ Bill of Rights Act of 2009, authored by Senator Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and signed into law by President Obama on May 22, 2009.

          I thought it was an amendment to the Credit Card Reform Bill that the President signed? Has he no responsibility for anything or is he just a figurehead?

          • W.Hong says:

            From my understanding, this happened on private land inside of the park, also guns have been allowed since GT became a park, because of the elk hunt in the fall. I would think that if this man shot the wolf, it was because it was doing something like harassing livestock, which is legal in WY and would be legal on private land inside the park.

          • WM says:


            Probably not my place to give a primer on government and legislative process, and how government works (or doesn’t). Ralph is the political science professor here, and I bet he is just shaking his head in a manner consistent with a frustrated teacher, after your last comment. So, forgive my intrusion for the common good. I am guessing a few others here would also benefit from the following:

            “All Legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

            (Article I, Section 1, of the United States Constitution)

            And from the US House website:

            “How Are Laws Made?

            Laws begin as ideas. First, a representative sponsors a bill. The bill is then assigned to a committee for study. If released by the committee, the bill is put on a calendar to be voted on, debated or amended. If the bill passes by simple majority (218 of 435), the bill moves to the Senate. In the Senate, the bill is assigned to another committee and, if released, debated and voted on. Again, a simple majority (51 of 100) passes the bill. Finally, a conference committee made of House and Senate members works out any differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. The resulting bill returns to the House and Senate for final approval. The Government Printing Office prints the revised bill in a process called enrolling. The President has 10 days to sign or veto the enrolled bill.”

            Amendments, well they come in along the way, sometimes not at all germane to the title and content of bill. Sometimes they are designed to kill a bill, or to get something thru “on a must pass” basis of the core bill. Same thing is true of “riders” (if you recall that concept and common practice).

            And, do you really think a President will veto a “must pass” bill over a nit picking amendment or rider, when Congress (also reflecting the will of the people) has already weighed in, and incur the political liabilities of doing so? A Presidential veto (or peeing on your chosen Secretary of Interior) is mostly a rare thing, even on controversial matters.

  63. Nancy says:

    Alittle off the subject of wildlife but certainly related.

    “It is a fact that the majority of California’s population values our local natural resources more as habitat for some charismatic creature they read about in Ranger Rick than as the lifeblood of historic cultures that have organically developed out of an intimate daily relationship with the land”


  64. Ralph Maughan says:


    This post is now over 330 comments, and we will have to replace it soon with a new one.


January 2014


‎"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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