May snow flurries

May snow flurries

Our readers find a lot of news, and they have many comments. Please post your news and comments below at “Leave a reply.” Here is the link to the old thread that’s now being retired — April 17, 2014.

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.

402 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife related news? May 15, 2014 edition

  1. Matthew Durrant says:

    Public Lands debate in Salt Lake City last night. The audience decided the winner and the State land-grabbers lost.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I really don’t think it is possible to ‘balance competing human interests’ and preserving land for future generations? Human land occupation is already too far out of balance. We’re going to have to face up to make preservation a top priority if we truly do care about it, and there’s really no way around it.

      • Leslie says:

        Why do these debates always have the politician no-nothing-about-science on one side with the informed people on the other, as if it were equal footing?

        • Ida Lupines says:

          I think the first comment says it best:

          think it is pretty easy to figure out why someone would want state vs federal management of lands.

          If you want unchecked exploration and destruction of the land, then you want state control.

          And if you want some (perhaps questionable) level of conservation then you want federal control.

  2. Kathleen says:

    Apologies if this has been mentioned already…
    “Rare Gray Wolf Iowa: First Seen in 89 Years Killed by Mixed-up Hunter”

    • Ida Lupines says:

      We certainly can expect more of this if wolves are delisted in the lower 48 by the current administration.

    • WyoWolfFan says:

      I was just going to share this story but you beat me to it. Interesting to see wolves move into a state like Iowa. Unfortunately I think they are looking for trouble there. Not a whole lot of wild spaces.

      • Kathleen says:

        Yes, I think Iowa might be more factory farms than anything else.

        • WyoWolfFan says:

          About all Iowa is is factory farms. Aside from white-tailed deer no big game around there. Any bear or mountain lion that wanders into that state gets shot pretty quick.

          • sleepy says:

            I live in north Iowa. Northeast Iowa is fairly rugged country. If anyone is familiar with southeast MN or southwest WS, it’s similar. Too hilly and rocky for large-scale agriculture, mostly small dairy farms.


            There have been evidence of wolves–scat and tracks–in that part of Iowa for the last decade. An established wolf pack lives 50 miles away in WS.

            Interesting, though wolves are protected by state law, bears and mountain lions have no protection whatsoever–they can taken, anytime, any place, in any numbers, by any lawful means. They are not considered a designated wildlife species.

    • Harley says:

      There are other concerns in Iowa. Those ‘factory farms’ are also great places to attract coyotes among other things. Wolves would have just as easy pickings as their little cousins do. And that would only cause more trouble for them.

  3. Elk375 says:

    Here is an interesting article from the New York Times. It is in Louise’s backyard, maybe she has some insight.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Wow Elk
      thank you for posting
      I’m not sure this is the same thing as brown marsh die off but the die offs are occurring up and down the east coast. I don’t see much evidence of it on Cape Cod but when I studied in Rhode Island and later when I worked with some very good scientists studying zostera marina, there were great losses in Narragansett Bay especially in Dutch Harbor and some areas around the ports. Most of the research at the time was focused on sedimentation and nutrification from ground water run off and chemicals. This is very interesting and I had not ready anything about loss of predators causing die offs. We are seeing a great many crabs here also. Appreciate the post very much.

  4. Ray says:

    Oregon wolf OR-7 that travelled from NE Oregon diagonally across the state to California has found a mate, surprisingly, on the SW Oregon/California border.

  5. rork says:

    “Heavy winter kill likely means no doe hunt in northern Wisconsin this fall”
    Interesting cause they had people commenting from both sides, one biologist saying it might be good to have less deer for a few years. Also what data they have to base their decisions on. It’s clearly admitting there are winners and losers in these decisions.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Forester buddy up here spoke with a forester friend in Wisconsin, who said Wisconsin forests would be much better off with fewer deer.

  6. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Montana FWP chief says feds mull lifting grizzly protections

    “Rep. Sam Krone, R-Cody, who serves on a Wyoming legislative committee that oversees wildlife issues, said Thursday that he expects Wyoming would move quickly to allow trophy hunting of grizzlies once they’re delisted.”

    Safe bet!

    • Leslie says:

      The states are salivating at the thought of the monies this will bring in. Too bad everything is about $$ these days.

    • Leslie says:

      “The agency has since done additional scientific work and concluded the bears can switch to other foods, such as elk.”

      Hmmm, thought they were worried about the elk population?

  7. WM says:

    Another summer (and another…and another) of more and bigger wildfires in the West. And, it is now an increasing trend.

  8. Nancy says:

    “But Wharff says the illegal outfitting portion of the bill must not target Wyoming residents who take out-of-state friends and relatives hunting in the state”

  9. Yvette says:

    This is a good example of collaboration between state, federal, tribal, businesses, farmers, and NGOs.

    The project was restoration on the lower Colorado River near Yuma, AZ. Everyone benefits. Humans and animals. Bird populations have increased by 75%.

    • Nancy says:

      Great read Yvette, brought a smile to my face 🙂

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Yes, we need to see more of that. As I’ve said, it is wonderful to look on the bright side and have a positive attitude (like good little boys and girls are supposed to do to not rock the boat), but we shouldn’t do it to the extent that we ignore the negative. The boat needs rocking.

    • WM says:

      Also amazing what infusion of $350K/yr, appropriated by Congress for 50 years will potentially do to motivation for such a project. The real questions are whether Congress will, in fact, follow thru each and every year for that long. And will the Lower Colorado River have enough water every year for the hoped improvements in a climate-changing environment? Maybe the Bureau of Reclamation will be building more dams?

      It also looks like Raul Grijalva is learning to play the game.

      • Yvette says:

        WM, is there anything in this world that you find pleasing, or must every last single thing be perused for fault? Anything?

        • WM says:


          I don’t see “fault.” Rather I see risk in a changing world, and just call attention to the way it appears politics work on natural resources issues. I am sorry you have a problem with that.

          The article already spoke to the matter of eliminating trash and reservation meth labs, which I do find pleasing. So that is hopefully federal tax money well spent. 😉

          • WM says:

            And, by the way, Congress makes lots of promises they don’t follow thru on, or incessantly delay. So, maybe in contradiction to my earlier statement, there is fault that can be assigned – big promises followed by under-delivery on those promises.

          • Yvette says:

            Since you seem to enjoy honing in on particulars that might be problematic, let’s review what the article states. It states the city of Yuma is on one side, and the Quechan tribe is one the other side. It states the riverbanks, as in plural, both right and left banks, were thickets of non-native vegetation, trash and meth labs. No where did it distinguish reservation meth labs.

            A critical mind is a good thing until it reaches a point where all actions are immobilized because they may not be perfect, or because there may be other problems that arise down the road.Problems will always arise. We either plan the best we can, then take action to improve a situation, or we sit and wait for perfection.

            Hell, with the decisions Congress makes, and the rate at which they seem to be driving us toward total collapse, they may not even be in existence in 50 years. So let’s sit around and do nothing but pick apart successful endeavors of people that did take action. That should work out nicely.

            • Nancy says:

              Yvette – WM is always going to play the “devil’s advocate” guessing its the lawyer in him? 🙂 and maybe his part of the country is less effected?

              But I agree, “sitting around doing nothing and picking apart successful endeavors of people that did take action” is beyond counter productive if our species isn’t gonna give a rat’s ass about what’s left of wilderness areas.

              Got a creek on the meadow across from me that runs full come springtime – with mountain runoff from snowpack. But come the middle and late part of the summer, you can walk across it in too many spots and not get your feet wet because all the way down this creek, it touches private, private, and more private ranch land and this precious creek/water is diverted for irrigating hay fields, (rights built in when their ancestors settled the area some 100 years ago) and few IMHO, give any thought to the wildlife, who depend on the creek for their existence.

              Some of the ranches near me and who border this creek, look like feedots thru most of the winter.

              But hey, I can’t complain because its private land slowly destroying the life of this creek.

              • Mareks Vilkins says:

                WM is always going to play the “devil’s advocate”


                hey, Nancy – use WM’s authentic vocabulary! in his own book that thing doesn’t come down to ‘playing devil’s advocate’ – it’s ‘intellectual honesty/integrity’. See the difference?

            • Louise Kane says:

              “A critical mind is a good thing until it reaches a point where all actions are immobilized because they may not be perfect, or because there may be other problems that arise down the road.Problems will always arise. We either plan the best we can, then take action to improve a situation, or we sit and wait for perfection.”

    • Immer Treue says:

      But Don Peay suggested the wolves were killing all the bison. How could this be?

    • Kathleen says:

      “…his agency will only *allow* the expansion of a bison tolerance zone around Yellowstone National Park if the population goes down.”

      “allow”! Anyone (taxpaying Montanans, especially, but also people who might conceivably spend vacation dollars here) who would like to leave a civil message for the MT Board of Livestock prior to their Mon. & Tues. meeting…the address is here maybe even ask that it be included in the record of public comments.

      • JB says:

        That, of course, is not surprising. ALL of the members of the livestock board represent livestock production–none represent wildlife. There is a fundamental conflict of interest here–livestock producers should not be able to dictate decisions about wildlife to the rest of the populace.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Here’s where the EPA could step in at any time, but they do not.

  10. Larry Zuckerman says:

    seems like the folks in Northern Idaho that claim mountain caribou are doing great across the border better read this one — where’s Santa when we need him?

  11. Nancy says:

    A sign of the times? When even animal athletes need help to “breath right”

  12. MJ says:

    Outside interests spend big in Idaho Republican primary
    Incumbent racks up large donation

  13. Yvette says:

    I enjoyed reading this article by Marc Beckoff. I heard about him from this site, but have yet to read any of his books. He’s now on the list of must reads. The tenet of this article is something I’ve recently been thinking about, so I was glad to see people are researching it. Another thing I’ve been thinking about is how anthropomorphism seems to be a dirty word with those of us that work in conservation in any fashion. That may not change, but I think we will start seeing people research and explore the topic more as we learn more about animal cognition.

    Hope you guys enjoy this.

  14. Louise Kane says:

    sea lions killed for eating salmon
    human fishing allowed

    terrible treatment of sea lions
    branding them?

    • rork says:

      That article doesn’t even distinguish species of salmon. It paints the desire to reduce sea lions as a benefit anglers rather than protecting endangered species. The sea lions don’t distinguish hatchery chinook from rare wild salmon of other species. Their predators, except human, are absent. It’s willfully using irrelevant statistics. It’s fish pollutants numbers do not even mention what species they are talking about – it’s nearly sure that they are picking worst case species, perhaps white sturgeon, and perhaps ones so big you aren’t allowed to kill them.
      I’m not saying I know how many or which sea lions should die, cause I’d like to know more facts first. That article did not educate me about the issues at all – except that the author doesn’t like sea lions killed (because they like sea lions). No links to serious information. No attempt to really get at cost or benefits. Just letting emotions flow.

      • Louise Kane says:

        The issues that stand out whether from this, admittedly emotional, blog post or others that have been writing about it are that sea lions are branded and killed because they are close to the dam and are eating salmon while fishing permits are allowed. I don’t think that every bit of writing ever done has to be void of emotion or footnoted. Can’t some things be treated as outrageous as they truly are.

        4 species are found here

        Here is the agency take on it

        whats next bears will be killed when they try and eat salmon

        the dams need to come out, habitat recovered and if sea lions can’t eat fish as they are endangered or threatened then the agencies should not be permitting for more fishing.

        • rork says:

          Emotional void not demanded, but lacking facts or twisting them is no good. Killing a few members of any species to save another species is never axiomatically forbidden in my book, but it is near last resort.
          It’s not clear you get it about the human regs. The author may have known, and just willfully ignored it cause it might kill their and-yet-permit-more-fishing argument.
          Anglers in that reach right now can only kill hatchery steelhead I believe. The regs are damn complicated. In mid-June they’ll be allowed some hatchery Chinook and hatchery Sockeye. It’s hard to teach sea lions about clipped fins or which months the super-rare species are coming through and should be left alone.
          I’d like to see the dams out but don’t expect Bonneville (or the Dalles) Dam to go in my lifetime. When I pass where Celilo Falls used to be I stop and I weep, and I’m often not the only one.

          • Louise Kane says:


            I did a fair amount of research on salmon and their declines for seveal documentaries or short films that I produced for NOAA that focused on the benefits of dam removals in this area. I was very lucky to collect and use some amazing historical archival footage of the Celio Falls that I got from the Bonneville Dams archives, spend time at the hatcheries, and speak to many scientists about the issues. I do understand the issues here and get your point. If you really wanted to help wild salmon then the hatchery fish would be eliminated also and fishing for them. The regulations are complicated but the big things that need to be taken care of like offshore gillnetting, preserving up stream meanders, preventing habitat destruction, and controlling commercial and recreational fishing are not being adequately addressed. I’m betting that many recreational fishermen can’t distinguish between the really rare species either…? so who has more right sea lions or fishermen?

            • Louise Kane says:


              sorry meant to post this article about hatchery fish and the issues with releasing hatchery fish into streams. My point the sea lions evolved alongside salmonids, they are the least of the problems. The big problems not being resolved.

              • rork says:

                I agree.
                I’ve been writing WA (and MI) fisheries managers for 2 decades trying to get them to think population genetics and habitat comes first, and that if the wild fish are so few you can’t fish them, then let’s not fish them. Sadly most anglers put their fishing above the fish.

  15. Louise Kane says:

    This is a crazy amazing video of hundreds of dolphins in sea of cortez

  16. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Protesters oppose state wolf policy

    15 protesters! Not really a mass movement! Remarkable comment from the honorable Gouvernor (save this for future generations): “…..he said well, we don’t want them here and if you people knew what it was like to live with 12,000 wolves you wouldn’t want them either….”
    12000 !?

    • Louise Kane says:

      Peter getting any cohesive effort to oppose wolf or wildlife policy is an uphill battle despite the huge numbers of people that generally oppose some of the worst wildlife killing state or federal policies. I think a great deal about this and I think part of the problem is that in trying to gain protection for something you must take away a perceived “right” by others to kill or manage (which amounts to the same thing except the agency gets to kill) or you must change the “its always been that way” mindset. Conversely, the lobbies and institutions that support the worst draconian, inhumane, ecologically unsound l laws just have to shout, “they are trying to take away our right to hunt, fish, use atvs” etc and that in of itself rallies a powerful resistance to change even if the change is better, makes sense financially and ecologically. There also seems to be a profound desire to selectively choose ignorance, fear and egocentrics to justify and drive bad policy in many areas (including rural areas as Ralph pointed out in one of his last posts). Why advocates/activists can’t coordinate better? I think professional jealousy, competition for funds, fear of losing grant or institutional funding for taking a position on a controversial subject etc. Its disheartening. The big NGOS are going to have to learn how to play ball together and strategize to improve. I wish for a collective campaign focused on people fighting against the squandering of public trust resources but first you have to get people to understand that the kinds of laws in place now really protect minority rights and these laws need ro be challenged because the “they” in this instance are the ones that are taking away our rights to see, enjoy and maintain wildlife populations and wild places by preserving bad laws that squander public resources.

      • timz says:

        “Then Otter told her he and Idaho were keeping their commitments to protect wolves at a minimum number of 150, reminding her he and the state government never wanted the wolves in the first place.”

        He and the state govt didn’t want them?? What about the people, polls at the time showing a majority in favor of bringing them back.

  17. Louise Kane says:

    Talk about bad laws, the EPA approved a new chemical that is part of a class of chemicals that look like they may be largely responsible for colony collapse disorder. These chemicals are routinely sprayed on our food, and bee food. GMO crops are also part of the problem. At what point do federal agencies decide that chemical companies are more persuasive than clear evidence that the chemicals they green light are causing widespread and potentially irreversible damage?

    • MAD says:

      One of the many problems with the USDA, FDA, and EPA is that they do not conduct any independent research on any item, chemical or pharmaceutical prior to their approval. All research and data comes from the manufacturer who applies to have their “product” approved and licensed.

      So, do you think there may be a small incentive for a manufacturer to “massage” the data when submitting their approval paperwork? It’s actually quite an insane process.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      We are we so slow to come around to accept that our agricultural practices and overuse of pesticides is responsible for dramatic honeybee loss? Europe is already way ahead of us on this.

  18. Kathleen says:

    Has this been posted? Sorry if it’s a duplicate.

    News item:

    New nat’l monument website:

  19. Ida Lupines says:

    Battle Lines Drawn Over Sage Grouse

    If wolf ‘management’ by states is any indication, the states, oil and gas, and ranching interests shouldn’t be anywhere near sage grouse protections. It just boggles my mind that these groups are seriously being given the option of voluntary conservation agreements in order to avoid ESA listing! How is it going to be engforced? Tinkering around with junipers and fences is never going to be enough when you’ve got increasing habitat take-over by oil and gas, and solar and wind. I think even ranching pales in comparison.

  20. timz says:

    Just got back from voting. Looking at the Idaho ballot had to be one of the most depressing things I’ve ever done.

    • Yvette says:

      The loss of Mountain Bull is devastating. Sawing off half of his enormous tusks didn’t save him or keep him out of trouble. btw, 30 more elephants were lost in Garamba NP in Democratic Republic Congo. They believe it happened in April and we can thank the Lord’s Resistance Army and the Chinese’s bloody thirst for ivory.

      When CITES made the decision to allow a small bit of ivory legal a few years ago the Chinese thirst became unquenchable. There is no controlling them. Now think how delisting wolves in our country has opened the same kind of bloodlust. Different countries; different species. Same insatiable appetite and bloodlust. Just different reasons to kill.

      Is there no country with enough cajones to sanction China since they are the primary driving force in the devastating loss of elephants? Oh yeah, I guess we can’t since China basically owns the U.S.

  21. Immer Treue says:

    Minn. serial poacher banned from big game hunting in U.S. for 5 years

    Burley said “there’s a lot more of this that goes on in the state than anyone knows about. It’s really hard to stop people.”

    As an officer with the local chapter of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association, Burley lamented that poachers such as Welsh “put deer hunters in a bad light. Anytime anyone gets caught, the anti-hunters are right there on it.”

    We have been talking about how extensive poaching actually is. An officer of the MDHA says there’s a lot more of this going on than anyone knows about… Rather supports the recent claim of the extent of poaching in Idaho. Yet, all we hear is the wolves are killing all the deer/elk.

  22. Immer Treue says:

    And from Wisconsin

    Wolf Advisory Committee wants quota of 156 for 2014-’15 season

    Since members vary widely in their views on wolves and consensus on a quota was impossible, they were asked to submit their preferred harvest number on a piece of paper. The submissions ranged from 0 to 300, with a mean of 156. Eleven members preferred a quota of fewer than 150 wolves; nine wanted a quota higher than 160.

    Al Lobner, representing the Wisconsin Bear Hunters Association, said he was “vociferously opposed” to the quota of 156 wolves. He advocated for 300.

    • Mark L says:

      Odd, seems someone would at least have the idea of voting ‘into the negatives’ to skew those silly numbers. I would have ‘vociferously supported’ the idea.

      • ma'iingan says:

        “Odd, seems someone would at least have the idea of voting ‘into the negatives’ to skew those silly numbers.”

        That would be the way to have your recommendation discarded – and achieve nothing.

        The fact that the recommendation was reduced to 156 from last year’s 251 was a clear message from the DNR biologists, the forester, and others on the committee – that the annual human offtake needs to be reduced while the effects are studied.

        • JB says:

          “…was a clear message from the DNR biologists, the forester, and others on the committee…”

          Kudos to them all.

          • Louise Kane says:

            yes kudos now they need to end hunting wolves with dogs, trapping and snaring

            • ma'iingan says:

              “yes kudos now they need to end hunting wolves with dogs, trapping and snaring”

              Dry land snares are illegal in Wisconsin – we use non-lethal cable restraints, and those can only be deployed after Dec 1st.

              • Louise Kane says:

                Ok so they are trapped and hounded and only captured by cable restraints after Dec 1st….none of it should be going. Its unnecessary and does not accomplish any valid management goal that could not be accomplished by a wildlife official for depredations. Killing wolves and other animals in traps and hounding them is inhumane.

        • MAD says:

          All these political hacks and quasi-scientists are a joke in Wisconsin. After working for a year in the field with Ron Schultz in Wisconsin, he is the only person I would trust and listen to his recommendations. And this goes back to the days of Adrien Wydeven and even a bit before. Politics and ignorance reigns supreme…

          • JB says:

            “After working for a year in the field with Ron Schultz in Wisconsin, he is the only person I would trust and listen to his recommendations.”

            Nothing against Mr. Schultz, but really? You would tune out everyone else and let a species be managed by the singular recommendations of one individual?

            I know a lot of people who know a lot about wolves–and they don’t always agree with one another, nor do their areas of expertise overlap entirely (some know a lot about biology and behavior, others emphasize interactions with other species [community ecology]). I would be more confident in management decisions that reflect varied expertise and diverse voices.

  23. Mareks Vilkins says:

    detailed article with pictures, videos, maps

    Return of the European bison

  24. Louise Kane says:

    not wildlife but ok dogs and GSD
    Immer maybe you have seen this
    imagine what wolves could do

  25. JB says:

    Here’s an interesting article about the ills of the trophy deer industry:

    • Nancy says:

      Seem to recall an article like this was posted awhile back JB. A sad, sick industry, propped up by sad, sick people. Designer heads, like designer clothing and footwear.

    • Nancy says:

      “This is a truly groundbreaking proposal because it creates, for the first time, an opportunity for anyone to contribute funding to FWP that would only be spent on efforts to promote the conservation and responsible management of wolves and other wildlife in the state”

      Then call it a Wildlife Conservation Stamp and put some feeling behind the idea and assurances, that the funds will be well spent on wildlife conservation and educating the public about wildlife issues and not, ending up – as one commenter said ” going to the state fund”

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Talk about an olive branch! It sounds like a great idea!

    • Immer Treue says:

      Been trying to get this going in MN for two years now. Congrats Montana!

    • Louise Kane says:

      good news but oh the irony
      wolf conservation stamp in state where 5 wolves can be killed by any hunter and hunting is almost year long allowing traps, snares bows and arrows and suppressors.

      anyone know how this passed, who introduced it etc
      the back story would be helpful to understand the nuances here

      • Ida Lupines says:

        It would seem to run contrary to wolf conservation. But, if the landowners right to shoot wolves in order to protect their livestock and pets is approved, then hunting elsewhere should be cut back to compensate for it. After all, isn’t that the official reason for hunting them in the first place, to protect livestock?

        I have higher hopes for Montana, as WY and ID seem to be lost causes. I hope they do not disappoint.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Higher hopes as far as spending tourism dollars there. I and others will never set foot or spend a cent in WY or ID ever again.

        • JEFF E says:

          you need to read and understand what is being said.

          “The proposal significantly expands the circumstances under which wolves can be killed without a hunting license.

          The Montana Legislature passed a measure last year requiring the change. The legislation didn’t define what qualifies as a “potential threat” so the Fish and Wildlife Commission didn’t detail it either, spokesman Ron Aasheim said.”

          This means that ANY landowner can “perceive wolves as a threat to themselves or domestic animals and then kill the wolves out of hand”….”Under the new rule, shooting wolves would be permitted whenever they pose a to human safety, livestock or domestic dogs.”

          potential as in ?????

          • Ida Lupines says:

            I read it fine. If that is the case, then hunting for ‘sport’ ought to be cut back on the public lands. You know, the so-called ‘this land is your land, this land is my land’ lands. They can’t have it all.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              Oh, not only on our public lands, but Federal WS or state agents and taxpayers’ money should no longer be required to kill wolves in addition, if the private landowners are going to ‘shoulder the burden’ all by themselves!

            • JEFF E says:

              you read it.

              you did not understand it.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                I understand it fine. I didn’t say I support it, I’d hope they wouldn’t approve this – I just said if private landowners want this, it should be compensated for by decreasing the hunting quotas on public lands elsewhere. It shouldn’t be in addition to, but subtracted from. But of course, that will never happen. I’m being semi-sarcastic.

              • JEFF E says:

                all evidence to the contrary

      • JB says:

        “Previously, landowners were largely limited to shooting wolves that had attacked or were attacking livestock. Under the new rule, shooting wolves would be permitted whenever they pose a potential threat to human safety, livestock or domestic dogs.”

        — Such laws are meant to undermine law enforcement. How does a prosecutor show that a wolf does not pose “a potential threat”? Wolves are a potential threat because they are wolves. This type of law equates to carte blanche permission for killing wolves.

        “Critics say the proposal is excessive and equates to a year-round wolf-hunting season.”


    • Immer Treue says:

      On second thought, might this just be another way to increase FWP coffers, but business as usual in wolf reduction? What good do non-lethal means of livestock depredation prevention do, if you can “pop” a wolf under any “perceived” circumstance. With the recent History of wolf “management” in the NRM states, as one who is not anti-wolf management, yet very willing to advocate for wolves, I would be leery of the Trojan Horse.

      One might also think, though not an olive branch in wolf management, that a first step in good faith for something like this would be a buffer around Yellowstone, rather than a token take reduction. Perhaps little to do with conservation and more to do with $$$ for FWP?

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I’m not saying I support this by any means, just how this should be compensated for, and they don’t want to defeat the proposed conservation stamp before it even gets rolling. I do think it should be called the Wolf Conservation Stamp, because it brings attention to just how persecuted and in need of national protection the wolf is. It shouldn’t be hidden in the term wildlife.

      • Kathleen says:

        Yes, I think that’s right. This is a way to add 100 non-“sport”-killed wolves to the kill totals (with impunity and out of season) AND–the stamp–simply a way to increase revenue.

        “The annual wolf quota would be reduced from four animals to three in an area near Yellowstone National Park, and trapping for wolves would be allowed for the first time in several wildlife management areas.”

        Give an inch…take a mile.

        • Kathleen says:

          I was responding to Immer Treue’s comment but mine didn’t get placed under his.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          The annual wolf quota would be reduced from four animals to three in an area near Yellowstone National Park…


  26. Louise Kane says:

    Prairie dogs, could this species be the only animal to be treated worse than coyotes? Using animals as target practice is just creepy. I can not comprehend this kind of behavior.

    • Immer Treue says:

      I’ve listened in on conversations of people who have gone on these prairie dog “hunts”. There was just something very wrong with the glee with their description how they “vaporized” prairie dogs, and the enthusiasm expressed by those with an interst to someday do the same.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I’m glad that they’ll have a little rain on their parade to spoil their fun. 🙂

    • Mark L says:

      Louise Kane says,
      “Prairie dogs, could this species be the only animal to be treated worse than coyotes?”

      Snakes. Heck, cockroaches and mosquitoes too, for that matter.

      • JB says:


        Fast-forward to 2:55

        • Louise Kane says:

          There is something really wrong with people that go out of their way to run over, shoot, maim or kill animals. This program seems to deal with Cane Toads as invasive species. The Prairie dog is not an invasive species. Even if the Cane Toad is an invasive species and needs to be controlled, as Immer suggested the glee people show when talking about killing animals weird and creepy. Ted Nugent like, the creepiest of the creeps.

          • JB says:

            I was simply responding to your question:

            “Prairie dogs, could this species be the only animal to be treated worse than coyotes?”

            Add cane toads to Mark L’s list.

            • JB says:

              By the way, I would recommend this mockumentary to everyone. It’s informative (about cane toads and invasive species) and also absolutely hilarious.

  27. Louise Kane says:

    posted on WCCL tonight
    look at how long the sob left his traps unchecked

    • Immer Treue says:

      One of the inherant problems with recreational trapping.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Outrageous. And the Wildlife Commission is ‘considering’ shortening check times by one day? Things are out of control, all right. If trapping is so important to these people, you wonder why they don’t check their traps. If this guy was so sick and had no vehicle, then someone else should have checked? They should have some responsibility – talk about entitlement!

      And how many times do we read that these people are never ashamed of their activities, because I don’t believe they are capable of feelings and emotions towards animals, and maybe even no one but themselves. Vile.

  28. Mareks Vilkins says:

    80 Days in Wolf Country: Filmmaker George Desort’s Love of Isle Royale

    9. What’s next for you?

    More time on ISRO while the wolves roam the landscape. These are special and precious days on ISRO! We will realize how special once the wolves disappear.

    BONUS: How do you define adventure?

    Adventure is about emotion. I think emotion trumps the physical when it comes to a memorable adventure. We are not all capable of climbing Everest or swimming the English Channel, but we are all capable of experiencing the emotions that make us human. Every great adventure explores the range of emotions. An honest adventure will bring out fear, calm, anger, frustration, loneliness, happiness, silence, despair and accomplishment. Rarely is the accomplishment the task at hand, but an underlying discovery about ourselves and the world around us.

  29. Mareks Vilkins says:

    about Latvian forester in the UK

    An inspirational forester

    Talis Kalnars was a pioneer of ‘continuous cover’ forestry in Britain, writes Phil Morgan. His woodlands were not only beautiful but profitable, as he nurtured the ‘natural capital’ of the forest ecosystem, and only harvested the dividend of high value timber.

  30. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Why we couldn’t care less about the natural world

    The richer we are and the more we consume, the more self-centred and careless of the lives of others we appear to become

    • JB says:

      “The richer we are and the more we consume, the more self-centred and careless of the lives of others we appear to become.”

      Interesting article. I think he may have it backwards. The data he uses to asked about the localized threat of global climate change (how big a threat is climate change to your country). Of course, it makes sense that people in richer countries view climate change as less of a threat because they have more resources to adapt to a changing climate. That doesn’t mean that they ‘could care less about the natural world’–it just means they (perhaps falsely) feel less threatened. In fact, a variety of data show exactly the opposite of what this blog purports–as countries develop economically, there is greater support for environmental protection.

      In any case, it is an interesting debate!

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        as countries develop economically, there is greater support for environmental protection.

        well, maybe it could be called ‘pollution export’??
        I mean, use the natural resources of other countries, manufacture products in China etc., consume products and pay little money to ship garbage to poor countries

      • Mareks Vilkins says:


        one more from GM to expand his point – I bet it will make you happy 😉 :

        We cannot change the world by changing our buying habits

        Small actions allow people to overlook the bigger ones and still claim they are being environmentally responsible

        So I wasn’t surprised to see a report in Nature this week suggesting that buying green products can make you behave more selfishly than you would otherwise have done. Psychologists at the University of Toronto subjected students to a series of cunning experiments (pdf). First they were asked to buy a basket of products; selecting either green or conventional ones. Then they played a game in which they were asked to allocate money between themselves and someone else. The students who had bought green products shared less money than those who had bought only conventional goods.

        The researchers call this the “licensing effect”. Buying green can establish the moral credentials that license subsequent bad behaviour: the rosier your view of yourself, the more likely you are to hoard your money and do down other people.

        Then they took another bunch of students, gave them the same purchasing choices, then introduced them to a game in which they made money by describing a pattern of dots on a computer screen. If there were more dots on the right than the left they made more money. Afterwards they were asked to count the money they had earned out of an envelope.

        The researchers found that buying green had such a strong licensing effect that people were likely to lie, cheat and steal: they had established such strong moral credentials in their own minds that these appeared to exonerate them from what they did next. Nature uses the term “moral offset”, which I think is a useful one.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I think these people in this particular study are not really ‘green’ and should not be used to represent what environmentally conscious people do. We as humans tend to generalize to find our way in the world. The results of this study would not apply to many people, and it would seem to be another way to try to put the environmental movement in a bad light and undermine it. I wonder if there is really any such thing as ‘green products’ anyway.

        • JB says:

          Interesting, Makeks. This reminds me of a debate on another blog ( from a few years ago, where the author (Tidwell) argued the small, voluntary behaviors weren’t significant–that we needed sweeping policy changes to deal with environmental problems. Interestingly, a bunch of psychologists responded, telling him he was off is rocker:

          “Dismissing the importance of small personal behavior choices in favor of a sole focus on policy changes is a big mistake. Small behaviors are important not only for the direct environmental impact they have, but because they often lead to more and more pro-environmental behaviors over time. Research shows that personal action and political action to protect the environment go hand in hand, rather than undermining each other. When people do something like buy a more expensive and perhaps less aesthetically pleasing compact fluorescent lightbulb, they justify it to themselves and others. This tends to result in changes in their self-perceptions (I am a person who cares about fighting global warming), their beliefs (global warming is a really important problem), and how others see them (they really care about the environment).”

          Generally, we find that as people do things to protect/conserve the environment, they see that as part of their identity, and feel guilty for not doing the “right” thing when it comes to environmental protection. I think the clever experiments you cite (above) may miss this by taking the behavior out of context (making moral reasoning less relevant).

          Again, a really interesting debate!

          • Immer Treue says:

            Act locally, Think globally

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Good article from Grist.

            To fight global warming in a democracy, we must do everything we can as individuals, including changing our lifestyles to reduce their impact on the environment and working for better policies.

            And other environmental issues such as respecting and protecting the homes of other inhabitants of the planet besides ourselves. I feel that too many other concerns get lost in the shuffle of ‘global warming’ and it becomes a humans only issue, mainly about energy and agriculture, and only passing interest in wildlife.

            Good comment in there also about using so-called green hypocrisy as an opportunity for detractors too.

          • Mareks Vilkins says:

            One should notice that in those ‘cunning experiments’ students who have bought green things IMMIDEATELY jumped to nasty behavior. I mean, it looks like they were ‘hoarding types’ BEFORE experiments and green items served only as a cover/deception

            So the question is – were they authentic ‘greenies’ or fake ones (by that I mean individuals who’s sole ‘green credential’ is that they buy some green stuff and don’t do anything to protect air, water, soil, forests etc.)?

            Of course, environmentally responsible behaviors do matter because only environmental movement consisting of such individuals can force government to change its environmental policy for higher standards. I cannot imagine how maniacal polluter/consumer would demand improvements in environmental standards.

            If we try to get more specific – imagine that both ordinary worker and billionaire are buying green products. And if both of them consequently engage in nasty behavior then there’s a lot more detriment to humans and environment if billionaire is ‘consuming green’ than worker.

            However, it depends on person’s social/cultural background – I doubt that, for example, Nancy would engage in hoarding money and hurting other people only because she bought some ‘green/organic stuff’ recently.

            • Nancy says:


            • JB says:

              “So the question is – were they authentic ‘greenies’ or fake ones (by that I mean individuals who’s sole ‘green credential’ is that they buy some green stuff and don’t do anything to protect air, water, soil, forests etc.)?”

              Well yes, that was sort of my point. It depends upon how whether or not you identify with the environmental movement, conservationists, “greenies” (whatever). It’s nice of you to use Nancy as an example, but to the larger question, can you imagine anyone that regularly posts here buying some green products and then using it as an excuse to do something environmentally damaging?

              Context matters. Identity matters. People act differently when they know they’re playing a contrived game in an experimental setting.

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        if one would be able to patent/copyright self-deception then he would get richer than Croesus in a short time

    • Mark L says:

      Correa saying ‘the world has failed us’ is a joke. Ironically if he’d wait a decade or so, it’d be worth a lot more than the $3.6 billion he wants. He’s a fool.

  31. Kathleen says:

    Has this been posted somewhere? Good news for the Northern Rocky Mountains wolverines…since the “healthy population just over the border” is often the refrain we hear advocating for continued trapping here.

  32. Ida Lupines says:

    So what does this say about continued development of our oceans for oil drilling and wind farms? I don’t understand why collisions are so prevalent, especially with the advanced detection methods we have today. I guess whales are not important next to our activities. It also says that whales are following their food supply closer to shore – how do we plan to account for that?

    The usual rate of whale strikes by ships is about one every few weeks, she said, compared with the three in the past few weeks.

  33. Louise Kane says:

    Immer and other MN residents as well as those interested in predator prey relationships and specifically wolves on deer.

    article by Phd nicely refuting claims that wolves decimate deer herds.

    • Immer Treue says:


      That was a well written piece. However, the self enfranchised deer hunter believes that deer, and for that matter moose, elk etc should be managed to the highest possible level of an areas carrying capacity, so they an get their’s. One of the reasons for emergency deer feeding this past Winter.

      No concept of forest health, or for that matter, deer. Without wolves and other predators, evolution would have entered into the picture via natural selection and produced…cattle.

  34. Louise Kane says:

    some good reading here including from WN contributor G Weurthner

  35. Louise Kane says:

    I love the sanitized language in the Wisconsin manual and how cable restraints are safe and humane…
    I remember a group of anti trapping people posted a reward of money to trappers that would allow a trap to be shut on their hand and to spend the allotted time that animals must spend outdoors trapped. Not one taker.

  36. Immer Treue says:

    Ahhh, but Spring/Summer have finally returned to NE MN. Beautiful sunny morning with warblers in profusion. So many different songs and calls going on at once produce an almost sensual overload. Returning from dog walk heard something traveling along the power lines that parallel the driveway. Thought it was a deer, but sounded “softer”. Yep, a wolf. Figured it would continue along and cross the road off which I reside, so I jogged down the driveway to the road, and sure enough, out it came. With a bit of indignation, it stopped and looked back at me, then proceeded on its way into the woods.

    As the white throated sparrows add their melancholy song…A wonderful start to a beautiful day. Now if the black flies and mosquitoes would just hold off for a while.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Awwww, that sounds beautiful. Enjoy! Warblers, where to begin, there’s so many! I’ve noticed the young birds are out testing their wings too, and the water birds have their little ones trailing close behind them.

      Have a great Memorial Day weekend, everyone!

    • Kathleen says:

      “…warblers in profusion. So many different songs and calls going on at once produce an almost sensual overload.”

      I spent four months on the Appalachian Trail way back when and will never forget waking up very early, just lying there listening, trying to count all the different birds I could hear. After about 12 or 13 it was impossible to pick out any other individual songs. Truly amazing.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Lucky you! So glad you got to start your day that way. Did you see a black color or grey wolf? I think the black wolves are really spectacular. They all are but I like the black coloring.

      • Immer Treue says:


        Wolf was typical gray wolf. One of a supposed breeding pair in the vicinity. As deer fawns are already dropping, I’d assume that the pair has their pups by now. There has been an awful lot of scat in the area, probably more than I can ever remember, so I would imagine the den site is fairly near.

        • Louise Kane says:

          I am jealous….hopefully they survive the traps and booby traps out there. I think that losing them when you know they are so close, would be too heartbreaking. I’ll think and wish good things for them and you too.

    • Nancy says:

      Thanks for sharing Immer. Love the explosion of wildlife sounds (and sightings) here, come springtime 🙂

      • Immer Treue says:

        One of the thoughts that came to mind this morning was Farley Mowat’s “And No Birds Sang”. I can’t imagine what it would be like not having the symphony of bird song at this time of the year. It heralds life, and the annual rebirth of said life each Spring.

        • Nancy says:

          It would be fun to stitch together a network of bird songs come spring – across the country – and, how those sounds can stir one’s emotions, (especially as one gets older 🙂

          For me its the Magpies, who never leave but get rather loud, boisterous come spring. Then crows and ravens arrive (have somewhat of a rookery on the meadow across from me) Red Wings show up, followed by Bluebirds and Meadowlarks, Redtail Hawks, field sparrows, wrens, Sandhills and Curlews.

          And then the big wildlife migrates back – Pronghorns, Mule deer (some do hang out for the winter) and elk. To see 300 hundred across the way is awesome!

          Hear the coyotes on occasion, seldom see or hear wolves yet 600 or 700 in the entire state of Montana, is too many, according to some….

  37. BobMc says:

    Investigative report of hunter-killed wolf in Pasayten Wilderness of Washington in September 2013. No entity filed charges against the shooter.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      It’s interesting to note that the investigator does not believe that the shooter was in danger from the wolf (the ‘charging animal’) because the possibility is very low, but in the final analysis, the self-defense provision exists under the law.

      If there’s a loophole to be had, a human will take it. The probability of truthfulness and honesty is very low.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      Rather interesting that the investigators said the wolf had been shot twice. The first killing shot through the chest, left to right; the second shot appeared to be to make it appear as though the wolf had been attacking and the hunter made a frontal shot; the bullet entered the front right shoulder – exited in front of right hip, it did little damage to the wolf’s internal parts.

    • BobMc says:

      It seems clear that the investigators believed that the crime scene was staged, and that the wolf was not running toward the killer. The thought is that the second shot, fore to aft, was after the wolf was already dead.

  38. Ida Lupines says:

    “…was a clear message from the DNR biologists, the forester, and others on the committee…”

    It’s certainly a sign of good faith – but I don’t think humans should be able to indulge their every killing whim such as with dogs, traps and snares, and who knows what else simply because they are human, and especially in modern times when the world is overpopulated by humans and wildlife is under intense pressure as never before. We cannot hunt the way we used to a hundred years ago, without creating an undesirable, artificial environment.

  39. JB says:

    Not wildlife news, but thought I’d share anyway… early this morning I lost a friend, companion and guardian to my kids. She was a few months shy of her 11th birthday, and we were glad she spent her last weekend with her family, chasing balls and herding kids. She was the best dog I could ever have hoped for.

    • Nancy says:

      JB – sorry for your loss, my heart goes out to you.

    • Immer Treue says:


      I don’t think there is a comparable hurt to the loss of a dog. There is something about them, and the way they communicate with us. It’s a closeness, not like people, but a niche all to itself, that if one allows the conduit of communication to happen…an unexplainable void occurs when they depart. Sorry for the wordiness. I’ve been there. Sorry for the loss of your family dog.

      • WM says:


        Sorry for you loss. Immer said it well for those of us who have had the experience. When I was ready after our last family dog died, I found it spiritually healing to take a couple of our favorite walks (or runs when both of us could still do it).

      • jon says:

        I’ve been there too. Most dog owners have. It’s a very horrible feeling you have when you lose a dog. Sorry for your loss JB. I hope you decide to get another dog down the line that you can cherish and love the way you did to your dog that recently passed.

      • JB says:

        Yvette, Jerry- so sorry to hear of your losses.

        All- One of the things that keeps me coming back to this site is that despite our numerous differences, everyone here cares passionately about wildlife. And the outpouring of sympathy/empathy today just reinforces my view that despite our differences, there are a lot of good people here. Thanks…truly.

    • JB says:

      Thanks Nancy, Immer, Ida. It’s been a rough morning to say the least. She passed at 4:30 lying beside just off my side of the bed (I heard her last breath, as she’d been acting sick and I was up reading and keeping an eye on her). Glad it was fast, but having trouble imagining life without her. She was one in a million.

    • Yvette says:

      I’m so sorry you lost your dog. They do become a big part of the family, and losing them is more difficult than many realize. I lost one of my cats last week. She too was 11 years old. Unfortunately, it happened when I was out of state for the week and my elderly mom did the best she could handling the situation.

      I’m glad you were able to be with your dog. It makes a difference. I hope you and your family cope and heal soon.

    • Jerry Black says:

      Sorry JB….I understand what you’re going through. It’s been 2 weeks now that I lost my 12 year old gordon setter,companion, and best friend, BoBo to cancer. The day before, we were out hiking, next day he collapsed…no indication that he was even sick. In my 73 years, I can’t remember being so sad. My blind lab is terribly depressed…BoBo was his eyes and his mentor. Even my 2 cats are having a difficult time. Right now I feel the trails, the mountains, and the rivers just won’t be the same without him.

    • ma'iingan says:

      My condolences, JB. Losing a long-time pet is one of the most difficult things we face as humans. Each time I’ve gone through it I’ve told myself it’s the last time but I’ve never been able to live up to that pledge, so sure enough here I am with a dog that I adore – knowing that he’s not going to live anywhere near as long as I want him to.

    • Jake Jenson says:

      Condolences Jeremy. Been there done that and going to endure it until I check out of this place my own self, because I keep bringing puppies home. Goes for horses as well, they’re just big lovable dogs.

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      long-range hug

  40. Ida Lupines says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, JB. Pets are a part of the family!

  41. Leslie says:

    Sorry JB. Losing your dog is the toughest. My sister-in-law just lost her dog, and lost her husband last year. She said the dog has been harder than losing her husband to cancer. Dogs are the best. Their only fault is they don’t live long enough.

    • jon says:

      That’s tough to lose both your dog and husband. Waking up in your house with your dog and husband not being there must a horrible feeling. I agree, dogs are the best and I wish they could live as long as people.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        Sorry, JB for your loss. And thanks Immer for expressing such a profound loss of another species companion so well.

  42. Leslie says:

    I wanted to throw this out for any comments. I was on a plane this weekend and happened to sit next to a former YNP biologist. He said the Park made a mistake when they brought in the wolves from where they did, and thought they should have brought wolves from Wood Buffalo National Park which are bigger and can take down bison. That way they would’t be only concentrating on elk.

    Thoughts on this interesting take?

    • jon says:

      I don’t get why it would matter where you get wolves from. As most of us know, all gray wolves are more or less the same. This former biologist seems like a wolf hater to me. it seems as if he’s mad that the wolves are killing elk.

      • Leslie says:

        because those wolves tend to be bigger, up to 200 pounds, so they could vary their diet

        • Immer Treue says:


          With respect, I had literature on the Wood Buffalo National Park Wolves and for the life if me I cannot locate it… But I don’t recall anything close to 200 pound wolves.

        • jon says:

          No wolves get anywhere near 200 pounds. The biggest wolf ever killed was 175 pounds and that was decades ago. Did this former biologist tell you wolves are 200 pounds?

    • jon says:

      Did he go into further detail about what he meant? Did he think the wolves are eating too many elk? it seems as if many hunters want as many elk out there as possible.

      • Leslie says:

        it was hard to figure his take out exactly. He was talking about the northern range elk herd, and how climate, wolves, bears, hunting has taken a toll on the herd in general and that the wolves in the park are limited to elk or smaller game because of their size.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I don’t know that it would have made any difference to people who are opposed to wolf reintroduction? It also worryingly sounds like there is plenty of misinformation within the ranks of our Federal employees too. Prejudice abounds, and I didn’t think that elk numbers were in any jeopardy from wolves, but human hunting! We can’t tailor the environment to suit our inconveniences.

      • Leslie says:

        he wasn’t just a park employee, but an veteran biologist for the park. He certainly was worth listening to as he did a lot of science for the Park and also was fairly revelatory relative to a lot of the Park political policies which he disagreed with as they weren’t science based…friend of the Craigheads too.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          I’m skeptical. It seems unusual. Biologist or not, he’s still a park employee, not a god.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Or a former park employee.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              The thing that raises a red flag for me is that Yellowstone wolves can and do take down bison in the park. A wolf is a wolf is a wolf, isn’t it? I’ve not heard that these wolves are ‘bigger’ (and also they are Canadian!) before. When things are out of balance, why do we immediately try to bring attention to wolves?

              • Ida Lupines says:


                To me, science is an on-going process, with theories being proved not entirely correct or right on the money regularly. It’s not a religion that the lay people have to defer to.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                So, it would appear by this article that if hunters want more elk, they should encourage more big, strong wolf packs that could take bison such as the Mollie pack, instead of killing off wolves for irrational reasons, and whining.

                It would benefit the bison herds also (and the environment in general), instead of hazing and shooting them? That’s my take on it?

              • Leslie says:

                Yes, good article and he and I spoke of Mollie’s pack. So it appears this biologist might be on to something, and maybe hunters should be requesting bigger wolves, not smaller!

              • Ida Lupines says:

                Yes, sorry to be so adamant and I don’t mean to be rude, but ever since the (lying, cheating, sneaky) delisting in 2011, I’ve lost faith and patience in our government’s ability to do the right thing with regards to our wildlife. 🙂

                Yes, this former YNP biologist may be on to something! What we are doing is disrupting (and weakening) the wolf packs, and creating the very scenarios we do not want, it seems. We have wolves already who do eat bison, and it seems it is nature’s design. By interfering with that, we’ve knocked things way out of alignment.

              • Mareks Vilkins says:

                Ida, that article from Billingsgazette about Molly’s pack living on bison diet in winter is damn interesting

    • WM says:

      ++He said the Park made a mistake when they brought in the wolves from where they did, and thought they should have brought wolves from Wood Buffalo National Park which are bigger and can take down bison. That way they would’t be only concentrating on elk.++

      I am curious about this guy’s comment. THE JUSTIFICATION for bringing in the wolves they did was, in part, specifically to reduce the elk population following the 1988 fires which resulted in the habitat change that exploded the elk population. It also seems that wolves adapt to the prey that is available. Hunger is an incredible motivator.

      Molly’s pack wolves (or wolves from Wood Bison Park) are not anywhere near 200 pounds. Either you are misquoting this guy, Leslie, or he fed you a line of wolf poopie.

      Afraid I find neither comments credible, unless you can come up with some independent hard evidence in the literature, supporting this view, Leslie.

      • Leslie says:

        Yes, you are right they are not 200 pounds; I mis-wrote. But the wolves of Wood Buffalo Park are the largest canids in the world.

        I think his comments about bringing in larger wolves was reflecting his idea that these larger wolves could be more adaptable in the kind of prey they took down. He noted that you need a very big pack to bring down bison with smaller sized wolves. The wolves will many times wound a bison and follow it for days, waiting for it to die. I think his idea was that with larger wolf weight, then the pack doesn’t have to be so big. I am not sure if this is true. I watched a video of the Wood Buffalo wolves, and in that video they wounded a bison and waited days for it to die. It may be that pack size in general, not weight, is the determining factor as to taking down a bison.

        • Ralph Maughan says:


          Although I can’t cite the article right off, I am quite sure I read one that found wolf packs that hunted deer primarily were the smallest. Elk hunting packs were larger. Moose and bison hunting the largest in numbers. Perhaps someone can remember the citation.

        • SAP says:

          Interesting topic. Based on what I know about bison, and what I’ve observed of wolves hunting, I can’t imagine that being heavier would confer much advantage in hunting bison. It would almost seem to be a distinct disadvantage because of the loss of maneuverability.

          One could hypothesize that maybe a very large ambush predator — like a smilodon or an Amur tiger — might at a certain size have the mass and the bite strength to quickly dispatch an adult bison. It would just be a matter of simple physics (predator of requisite mass collides with prey animal and knocks it off balance) and mechanics (big enough jaws and teeth to deliver a decisive kill bite to the spine?). Just speculating wildly, but such traits would not likely manifest in a coursing predator such as the wolf.

          I would guess that size of the Wood Buffalo wolves is an example of Bergmann’s Rule — the extreme cold that far north may have selected for larger bodied wolves (lower ratio of surface area to mass, reducing heat loss). Deep snow would favor a taller wolf as well, perhaps (which, along with food scarcity, explains why Arctic wolves are tiny — they don’t really have to contend with that much snow there). But, within the range of variability for wolves, I can’t imagine that mass would confer any advantage in hunting bison. Speed, persistence, and nimbleness would carry the day (and keep a wolf from getting gravely injured).

        • WM says:


          Dale Lott, a behavioral ecologist and professor at UC Davis grew up on the Western Bison Range in MT, where his father was Superintendent. He was a bison expert, and did a fair amount of research at Woods Buffalo Park in Canada. He only addresses wolf – bison interactions tangentially, in his book “American Bison.” However, he does point out the wolves at Woods, were “above 100 pounds,” and seemed to be most successful on winter kills when packs of 20 were involved (as observed by Ludwig Carbyn (a well known wolf researcher in his own right), and others. He also points out that roughly 50% of the annual bison calf crop was killed by wolves, and that mostly, calf protection if any, was from the mother or other attendant females. He asserted bulls, were mostly useless in defending the herd. “American Bison: A Natural History,” (2002, UC Press).

    • Yvette says:

      My first question would be have bison ever been a normal part of the wolf diet? What is the ecological history?

        • Yvette says:

          ++ Jeff E. I got my answer, and we got another answer, too. There use to be a lot of wolves, and yes, I know the ESA doesn’t mean we restore an animal to historic population levels,
          but I given this short historical account of how numerous they were I think they should have remained on the ESA.

          We humans have outcompeted every other species. I wonder how long until we’re endangered?

          • JEFF E says:

            The wolf population was in direct proportion to the available prey base.
            in particular when that base was buffalo, and numbered, conservatively, in the 10’s of millions, maybe more, for a millennium or more, then the “consumers” will likewise have a proportionate population.

            Also don’t forget that Elk herds on the plains numbered in the millions and caribou ranged as far south as the middle of the north American Continent.

            Must have been something to see.

  43. Leslie says:

    First I’ve ever heard anyone say they should have brought in bigger wolves!

  44. Louise Kane says:

    Posted in End Animal Klling Contests New Mexico
    Kary Johnson
    Curt Stager playing “Blackbird” with special guest, Birdie, our favorite crow. Curt is a science professor at Paul Smith’s College and author of “Deep Future: The Next 100,000 Years of Life on Earth” and “Your Atomic Self.” ( And Birdie is the best crow in the UNIVERSE! If you like it please press “Share” to spread it around. — with Curt Stager at Paul Smith’s College, NY.
    Share · June 27, 2009

    • Leslie says:

      Ida, we talked about bears too and this guy said these UFS&W guys just want to have a feather in their resume cap–delist for their ‘success’, not the bears.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        This guy sounds awesome. Aganin, sorry to be so sharp in my replies. 🙂

        • Leslie says:

          He had an interesting take on a lot of things that made me have to stretch a bit from my own opinions. A lot of resentment against the political winds of the Park Service mostly

          • Yvette says:

            LOL, for a little over a year, I pretty much open every presentation with, “People and policy are usually the biggest part of the problem; but as long as there are people, we contend with policy.”

            Politics can drive a person insane, and the layers of politics within state, federal or tribal agencies is maddening.

  45. Ida Lupines says:

    Did anybody say 200 lbs. specifically? I thought Leslie said the biologist just said ‘bigger’. All that says to me is that wolves have a plentiful food supply and are healthy, not scrawny and starving and driven to the edges of their habitat.

  46. smalltownID says:

    Good to see this is being delayed as it has impacted actual sage-grouse research being conducted.

      • smalltownID says:

        Despite the title of the article, there is very little research on if it works because DRC-1339 is very effective and very specific to birds. There has been some recent research on indirect effects like if it can lead to avian botulism because you have so many dead birds after application (negligible effect on increasing likelihood of botulism in a ND study). There wouldn’t be 100s of studies every year using DRC-1339 if it wasn’t effective at killing corvids.

        Study referenced….Could blackbird mortality from avicide DRC-1339 contribute to avian botulism outbreaks in North Dakota?

    • Ida Lupines says:

      But wildlife managers weren’t sure killing the ravens would have a lasting benefit to sage grouse. They said the program was justified as research.

      “We’re pretty sure that once you remove a territorial pair of ravens, somebody else is going to move right in,” Ann Moser, Fish and Game wildlife biologist told the Times-News in early April.

      Total eyeroll-worthy, isn’t it? And of course, ordered by the Idaho Legislature. 🙁

      • smalltownID says:

        This is an important distinction Ida which few people make in my opinion. Both sides of the aisle have a difficult time separating IDFG biologists from the Idaho legislature. That quote from Ann is a perfect example of how IDFG biologists feel about it. Kudos to Ann for sticking her neck out there. She is one of Idaho’s great wildlife biologists.

  47. jon says:

    Makes ya wanna puke. Why are these wolf haters so afraid to let the voters of Michigan weigh in? Run to the legislature and silence the voices of well over 400,000 Michigan residents who signed to ban wolf hunting in Michigan.

    • Louise Kane says:

      These people paid their signature collectors also
      This was a dirty dirty campaign to keep wolves hunted and to silence voters. The legislators are beholden to lobbyists like Safari Club International and NRA here. This is bad precedent.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Keep Michigan Wolves Protected is looking for volunteers to make calls should anyone be interested, I’ll post the e mail

    • rork says:

      Mlive had an article as well, not really much different:

      It’s not certain the legislature will pass a bill, so we aren’t silenced yet, but it might happen, and we do seem to have constitutional problems. Initiatives here requires 8% of the number of people who voted for governor to sign it. Legislature can then pass it without governor’s approval (this happened last year with a law concerning health insurance covering abortions that was opposed by our governor – 8% of the people count for more than who we elected governor). Also, if it contains appropriations (it does) it is immune from public vote later. We also may have a problem in that the legislators can just keep passing different versions of the same thing, even if voters do not approve. The initiative, if passed by legislature, would be version #3 so far. You can just exhaust the opposition. The first two problems could be fixed by constitutional amendments, but the last one is hard to do without fuzzy language (“substantially similar”).
      Basic argument for this new law is that citizens are too dumb to deal with the issues – we must remove their power. Science alone will tell us what is best (is the fantasy).

      • Louise Kane says:

        Rork thanks for posting, as you know I follow this closely. It’s most disturbing to me that SCI and NRA know that they can exhaust the opposition. It speaks leagues to me that so many people worked so very hard to keep wolves protected and to ensure that the issue was voted. To thwart that kind of support by purposely exhausting the issue is dirty fighting. On the legislator’s part its unconscionable to ignore such a loud vocal constituency in favor of special interests. It’s rare to see wolves get so much support and so very disheartening to know in the one state that really is willing to fight to protect them special interest money may prevail. And you are correct I think this “science alone” tactic was very harmful as it created diversions and lies about the subject that are nuanced and difficult for most people to understand. Its hard enough if you are really engaged but for the average citizen when they hear the DNR should be “making decisions” and “let science make determinations” they don’t understand a state agency that is tasked to manage wildlife may not be the best choice here. Delving into political influence and the connection between special interest money, lobbying efforts and state wildlife agencies and understanding the issues all take time and some people don’t have the time or urge to follow through. If citizens want to support wildlife, its rare they will do so much follow through. I think its amazing that two times Keep Michigan Wolves collected enough signatures to bring this to a vote. To have that kind of determination from a body of citizens to protect wolves is incredible. I feel very sad that this opportunity may be overturned and voters silenced by extremely corrupted people and processes. The people of Michigan are pretty progressive when it comes to appreciating wildlife. It sucks they are up against such foul players.

        • rork says:

          Excellent writing.
          Except I’m not sure if one side is a constituency and the other a special interest, or vice versa – that’s a very nice trick I may employ sometime.

      • jon says:

        I think they will. These republican legislators all over the US have no problem with suppressing the voters. They will sign off on this and make it become law silencing thousands and thousands of voters in Michigan.

  48. Yvette says:

    Just great. The Lone Star tick is in Oklahoma and it transmits the Heartland virus. There have been two deaths from the virus this year, and one man was from OK. It’s here.

    Crapola, I have a lot of field work to do this summer and I’ll be way off down in the bottoms. Maybe I should get one of those tags they put on cattle’s ears and put it on my muck boots. That might be better than spraying myself with toxic chemicals (OFF) everyday. Normal ticks are bad enough, but this Lone Star tick is bad news.

    • ma'iingan says:

      “That might be better than spraying myself with toxic chemicals (OFF) everyday.”

      Save the OFF for mosquitoes – DEET is a poor tick repellent. Get some permethrin – it actually kills ticks on contact, and you apply it to your clothing and boots, not your skin. Make sure you get the pump spray, not the aerosol – for some reason it tends to foam when sprayed from an aerosol can.

  49. Louise Kane says:

    FYI – the power of the internet and a collective show of resentment. Animal Planet listened. Good news.
    and I have to appreciate Mech’s comments

    PROGRAM Nominated for Scat Award by
    International Wolf Center
    Following sharp public criticism, Animal Planet removed its Man-Eating Super Wolves show from previously scheduled air times on Tuesday evening, May 27, and Wednesday, May 28. The program was a part of the special series Monster Week, which routinely demonizes real and imagined predators.
    “The show was irresponsible,” said the Center’s Executive Director Rob Schultz. “Producers blended distorted facts, fabricated details and unreliable resources to confuse the public and incite fear and hatred of wolves.”
    It is because of these damaging distortions that Man-Eating Super Wolves has been nominated for the Center’s 2014 Scat Award, given for the worst portrayal of wolves in the media, literature or cinema. “Left unchecked, these distortions can cause people to make poor and misinformed decisions that affect the future of wolves living in the wild,” Schultz explained.
    Renowned Senior Research Scientist and wolf expert L. David Mech, of the U.S. Geological Survey, denounced the program as “Total nonsense and a real disservice to the wolf, to science, and to the public.
    Mech, who has spent his 55-year career studying wolves in many areas of the world, says that the program is one of the most sensationalistic, exaggerations of the real wolf that he has ever seen.
    “If wolves were so dangerous to humans,” Mech asked, “how have Minnesotans canoeing and hiking survived throughout the Superior National Forest and other parts of northern Minnesota, where some 2,500 or 3,000 wolves roam? Or throughout most of Canada, where an estimated 60,000 wolves live?”
    Photo Caption: Mech takes behavioral notes on an arctic wolf during a research expedition. He carries no gun and never felt he needed to do so.
    “Wolf attacks on humans are uncommon and extremely rare,” says Schultz. “To suggest that wolves have consumed all of their natural prey and are beginning to feed on humans is ridiculous and demonstrates a lack of understanding of our natural world.”
    The Scat Award was last given to the movie The Grey in 2013.

    • Mark L says:

      Yep, very good of Mech to step up.
      On a side note, a friend of mine was added to the stats of accidental wolf killing last year around Christmas in Michigan; she hit one with her car. She said after she called the police she looked for a collar for the poor thing for about 15 minutes before realizing it wasn’t someones dog. (?) She doesn’t get out in nature much.

    • JB says:

      I’m confused– I thought the media was complicit in “sanctifying the wolf”? 😉

      • Mark L says:

        I get what you mean there, JB. I think he’s seeing the effect of his own point of view being used by those around him to their advantage. I’d get tired of it after a while too if I were him. Just ‘trusting the science’ has gotten very complicated when someone has an agenda to push.

        • WM says:


          You do realize Dr. Mech is the founder of the International Wolf Center, which is focused on objective wolf information and education? So, I think he has been out there correcting different points of view, inconsistent with the science, for some time, now.

        • JB says:

          Hey Mark,

          I was just pointing out the conflict between Mech’s former and current positions regarding the media. My point is that Mech is attempting to have it both ways–i.e., the media is both vilifying and sanctifying the wolf. Of course both claims are true of certain media sources–but both claims cannot be simultaneously generalized.

          • Louise Kane says:

            Yes I find it ironic but you know the complaints I’ve aired about Mech’s inconsistent standards in the past. I can’t understand where he was coming from in arguing that wolf hunting acts as a pressure valve to reduce wolf hate. That claim seems better based in social science studies not observed research related to biological studies of wolves. That claim also was used to justify the hunts post ESA. You can’t have it both ways, as you are arguing here. AS an advocate I’m happy to see this support but still think he seems all over the road. The wolf conservation center is a bizarre institution in my mind. I know some will not like that at all.

            • rork says:

              “I can’t understand where he was coming from”
              It’s just having an opinion about a topic he may know more about than the average person. Scientists are often shy to speak about stuff not directly their area of expertise (it can damage their science reputation), but I welcome hearing from people like him. I’d like scientist to be able to give their opinions more.
              Not to say I agree that hunts reduce poaching, but I suspect it may have some truth. Yes, I’ve heard experts argue here that wolves may be an exception, and take that seriously too. Valuing wolves more highly as time passes may happen for many reasons, and it may be hard to tease the causes apart. Hunters may come to appreciate their hygienic effects on ungulates even – just one example. I’m not holding breath though.

          • Louise Kane says:

            I should have said seems bizarrely out of touch with the impact of Mech’s statements and how they helped bolster aggressive wolf hunting/managemeet policy. I never see anything coming from them about the really aggressive wolf killing, thats what I find bizarre

            • WM says:

              I don’t see Dr. Mech’s comments as being inconsistent. I see a wandering path of consistency that greets each new swing of the pendulum from advocates and the anti’s, responding to contemporary views. That is why I am a bit perplexed by JB’s view on this.

              The most recent contemporary views, as discussed here, are for profit Hollywood ventures (The Grey and this Animal Planet Episode). Dr. Mech (or the International Wolf Center as his alterego) have greeted both with deserved criticism. It seems if the media is capable of sanctifying in 2012 when Dr. Mech’s article of that ilk was published, it is equally capable of vilifying wolves for profit in 2013 and 14. Each should be challenged, and doing so, does not in my mind equate with inconsistency of position, as some here suggest.

              Wait for the pendulum to swing again, and you can criticize him and the Center some more. 😉

              • WM says:

                Sorry (verb tense) “…if the media ARE capable of sanctifying.”

                Also, probably important to note that two specific ones here, don’t necessarily make a trend for all media, though they are rather large individual data points because of their viewership potential.

              • JB says:


                Mech generalized about the complicity of “the media” in the BioCons piece based upon 11 purposively selected media sources. Give me the power to select whatever media source I want, and I’m relatively sure that I can find ~10 sources that claim just about anything. My point is that his generalization was inappropriate based upon and inadequate and biased sample. It’s the same criticism any scientist would give of this work.

                Perhaps an analogy would be in order? His claim is akin to looking at the effect of wolves on ungulates in 10, hand-selected management units, and then making generalization about wolf-ungulate relationships everywhere.

  50. Louise Kane says:

    Bob Barker on pigeon shoots
    if there is anything more vile than “sports events” that use domestic or wild animals for target practice or to kill them in contests its hard to imagine. Its 2014 and these activities are legal. something is very wrong and rotten

  51. Louise Kane says:

    a recent victory posted on End Animal Killing Contests in NM. The indefatigable Liz and Guy Dicharry proving that citizens can make a difference.

    New Mexico Department of Game and Fish
    Media contact: Rachel Shockley, (505) 476-8071; cell: (505) 470-6832
    Public contact: (888) 248-6866
    ALBUQUERQUE – The New Mexico State Game Commission prohibits coyote-killing contests and the hunting of nongame species, including rabbits, prairie dogs or coyotes on its Wildlife Management Areas. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish manages New Mexico’s Wildlife Management Area system and promotes wildlife conservation throughout the state.
    Only one Wildlife Management Area, Water Canyon, allows hunting for nongame species as a management tool for the non-native Himalayan tahr, a large ungulate related to the wild goat.
    Commission-owned properties such as Edward Sargent, Heart Bar, Lake Roberts, Pecos Canyon properties and the Rio Chama, provide wildlife safe places during crucial breeding and wintering times. They also give visitors opportunities to access some of the most beautiful and wild places in New Mexico. Visitors to these areas must abide by all restrictions and posted notices.
    Learn more about Wildlife Management Area activities and closures by visiting under “Conservation” or by clicking here.

    • WM says:

      ++…examine the relentless threats that this species [wolf] has encountered since being stripped of Endangered Species Act protection back in 2011.++

      Uh,… well,… er, uh, ….”relentless threats” in the Northern Rockies. Really?

      Idaho is one thing. The Northern Rockies is yet another. Looks to me Defenders coffers are getting a little low. Gotta stoke the fire and renew the issue before they get marginalized with their poster child species.

      • Louise Kane says:

        I think relentless threats is appropriate
        Wyoming and Montana are not much better really

        • Louise Kane says:

          every NGO is always seeking to raise money. None are exempt from that trial
          yet in this instance, they will need money to challenge the BS wolf policies of the NRM states. I just wish the big NGOs would get their shit together and work with each other. For all the critique that can rightly be directed at Defenders (and I have some beefs too), they are constantly out there sending information about wolves. For a public that requires easily digestible information they do this job. The images of wolves being shot from helicopters, trapped and snared and the e mails that I’ve seen accurately depict current wolf policy. I;m happy every time I see an ngos fighting for wolves, someone has to. I just wish they did’nt have to. You’ll notice that the focus is on NRM wolves, Mexican wolves, and national delisting, objectives that make sense. I;ve not seen anything related to Washington or Oregon both states that have the least aggressive wolf policies. Not sure about what they do for Great Lakes but my point is when would advocacy be acceptable to you?

    • Ida Lupines says:

      The animals are currently in the care of the Alaska Zoo, which says they cannot be released into the wild now that they’ve been handled by humans.

      Why not?

      • Nancy says:

        Ida – these pups will spend the next few months in the care of humans and become habituated although it would be very cool if a biologist had the time to monitor the den to see if the pack returns and a reunion was possible.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          It doesn’t seem like they’re giving release even a chance – could the pups be raised with future release in mind? Animals are very adaptable, and these pups are still wild animals, retaining all their wildness regardless of contact with humans.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            It’s certainly been done before – and condemning these pups to a life in captivity seems like purgatory. Would the parents have come back at some point, afterwards and if the den had survived?

            • Ida Lupines says:

              And we know zoos dispose of ‘surplus’ animals at some point.

          • Nancy says:

            It’s complicated Ida and I would imagine expensive to raise them isolated from most human contact and with no parents around to teach them how to hunt, it would be impossible to just return them to the wild when old enough.

          • JB says:


            The situation is complicated. Raising these animals such that they don’t associated people with food requires additional resources, and it may not work; wolves are not endangered in Alaska; there are liability concerns if a wolf raised by people were to be involved in an attack; etc.

      • Yvette says:

        Yes, there is a wildlife rehabber here in OK and she and the volunteers are great. She got in a litter of coyote pups this spring. I asked if there was any way for them to care and raise the pups and release them. She said they would be released, and that they work to not handle or habituate the pups to humans so they can be released. She said their natural instincts will take over. It probably won’t be long before it’s time to release them; I’ll have to follow up with her and see if it’s a successful release.

        One would think a zoo could do the same with wolves. I still question how the pups (wolf or coyote) would learn how to hunt and care for themselves without adults to teach them. I kind of have doubts, but hope for the best. They are meant to be wild.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Thanks Yvette! I was sorry to learn of the loss of your cat. I’ve never had a dog (but I do love them), but I certainly have experienced the devastating loss of a beloved animal companion and friend.

          I don’t know if this group is still around in Alaska, but they’ve got a great pedigree:

        • Ida Lupines says:

          I tend to believe that all living creatures have a ‘genetic memory’ passed down to them through the ages, and humans are not the only ones who can learn how to adapt and call on an inner strength to survive. 🙂

          • Yvette says:

            Ida, with your love of all animals you should check out Annette’s website. Explore the website and find them on facebook. You will see how skilled she is, and her level of dedication.

            Now that I’m finished with classes and only (LOL, ‘only’) have my thesis work to finish I will see if they will accept me to volunteer at WHR.



  52. Ida Lupines says:

    I thought this was a fun commercial I recently saw (although it does have the screech of a red-tailed hawk in it 🙂 ):!/moose.aspx

  53. Louise Kane says:

    Alexander Archipelago wolf being considered by USFWS for ESA

    the link provides a way to comment

  54. cobackcountry says:

    I just received a “special” email from Representative Cory Gardner.

    Here it is, and my response. I am fed up!!!! But this is standard lip service from representation that needs to GO!

    Representative Gardner,

    I am in receipt of your response and wanted to express my sincere disgust with your lack of sincerity or consideration for people other than ranchers or the oil industry.

    At what point do the rights of an entire nation become of consequence to you? It is becoming increasingly evident that you have no regard for anyone not supporting one of your campaign backing special interst groups.

    There is a changing climate amongst modern conservatives. We support conservation, innovation, and we are no longer wanting to live with the grip of industry around our throats. We’d like clean air, decent habitat, great places to hike without cow dung on our boots, balanced ecosystems that provide opportunities for hunters and non-hunters alike. We believe in preserving species even if it means reducing jobs or paying more for meat. Why? Because we can’t get ‘extinct’ species back. We realize we have an obligation to do the ethically correct thing. Because ranchers and oil companies need to move out of the stone age and adapt to a changing world, just as the rest of us do!

    You are no representative I’d consider ‘mine’. You have lost my vote by pushing too far to the hardest right, where neither women nor green thinking or pro conservation individuals have any value.

    You will “consider” me when/if a vote on amending the ESA occurs? Like the current political representation did when they voted to negate the intentions and legalities of my second amendment rights? Please, spare me the pseudo concern and false proclamations. You would ‘consider’ them while inking the very amendments you brought up.

    Your professions of understanding of the inception of the ESA falls short of masking your true ire for its’ very existence. You’d likely kill all grouse if enough ranchers said they needed for space to graze, or a natural gas company wanted to frak in vital grouse habitat.

    Your party line stand on issues, and extremist over reaching, are EXACTLY what is wrong with our government. There may be two primary parties these days, but I assure you that neither of them truly represent what the predominance of Americans stand for!

    I hope you will be out of a job soon, at least the one that is paid by my tax dollars.

    Vicki Breedlove-Fossen

    ———- Original Message ———-
    From: “Representative Cory Gardner”
    Subject: Responding to your message
    Date: Fri, 30 May 2014 11:43:37 -0400

    Dear ——my name here,

    Thank you for contacting me regarding the Endangered Species Act (ESA). I appreciate you taking the time to write. It is an honor to serve you in Congress and I hope you will continue to write with your thoughts and ideas on moving our country forward.

    Colorado is blessed with great natural beauty and is home to diverse wildlife. The 1973 ESA allows for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to list species of plants and animals as endangered or threatened according to assessments of their risk of extinction. The ESA places strict provisions on both federal and certain private lands in order to protect these plants and animals. While it is of the utmost importance to protect species at risk of extinction, we must also look at the economicimpact of unnecessarily regulating lands to protect species not in jeopardy.

    To that end, I am introducing the Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act. This legislation would prohibit the Department of Interior from listing the Sage grouse under the ESA, as long as a state has prepared a conservation and management plan. This will allow for the protection of Sage grouse habitat while simultaneously balancing the needs of Western citizens and their economic future. Please rest assured, should any legislation amending the ESA should come before the full House for a vote, I will certainlykeep your thoughts in mind.

    Again, thank you for contacting me, and do not hesitate to do so again when an issue is important to you.

    Cory Gardner
    Member of Congress


    • Ida Lupines says:

      Good for you! The entire crux of the matter is that they do not want any animal listed under the ESA, and could care less about ‘the beauty of . If we’ve learned anything positive about the wolf delisting, it is that we citizens cannot allow any other animal to suffer the awful fate that they have. Voluntary conservation agreements are ridiculous.

      • cobackcountry says:


        Thank you. I have been writing about conservation and such matters for many years. Blog here, editorial there…

        I have also watch the unraveling of the core principles of not only our Constitution, but our resource management legislation.

        I usually refrain from a left vs. right engagement because I frankly don’t find either side to be majorly better than the other.

        I guess every once in a while, a girl has to rant!

        I talk to a lot of folks, and make a point of listening to the other guys’ opinion. Most folks don’t like the way things are going in this country. Most do agree though, that they enjoy wild places, wild things, scenic places and healthy environments for animals and humans alike.

        I don’t think I have come across a politician that “gets it”. I think it is time for a changing of political party structure. (Kind of what happened during the Civil War era when some parties died out and the platforms of dems and reps flip-flopped a bit). We need new parties, new platforms, new people in touch with REAL people.

        Hey, I guess being mouthy is not a trait I can escape.

    • Nancy says:

      “To that end, I am introducing the Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act. This legislation would prohibit the Department of Interior from listing the Sage grouse under the ESA, as long as a state has prepared a conservation and management plan.

      This will allow for the protection of Sage grouse habitat………………….. while, what for it…….. simultaneously balancing the needs of Western citizens and their economic future”

    • Louise Kane says:

      Thanks for writing so few people take the time to do anything but bitch

      • cobackcountry says:


        You are welcome. I think more people need to keep track of having corresponded with representation. It is a great was to prove their accountability for their actions.

    • Bob Mc says:

      This from Rep Dave Reichert (R) when I wrote regarding USDA APHIS WS: “Rest assured, should these measures come to the House floor for a vote, I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind and give them thorough consideration.” Compare to your Rep: “Please rest assured, should any legislation amending the ESA should come before the full House for a vote, I will certainlykeep your thoughts in mind.”

      How the hell did these guys become mind-readers? I wrote back to let Rep Reichert know that I sent comments, not ‘thoughts’ and I asked for action, not assurances, on a joint letter regarding WS, not a wait for votes.

  55. Louise Kane says:

    WM this is written by Ms Stone so I am sure could put you into an rant but its clear, concise and yes spells out the worst of Idaho’s policies so lay people can understand.

    • WM says:

      And, yet, Louise, another interpretation might be that ID just wants to cull back to the obligation it begrudgingly had to accept in the 1987 NRM wolf reintroduction plan, and further specified in the 1995 EIS, and finally approved by FWS in the 2009 delisting rule after those obligations had been achieved, and ultimately re-affirmed in the Congressional Rider after a federal judge in MT disagreed with the FWS (codifying the 2009 rule).

      Of course Ms. Stone conveniently omits these important aspects in HER rant. By the way, I am not ranting, only stating the verifiable facts of the reintroduction of wolves to ID.

      Again, my views are somewhere in the middle of what is currently the minimum legal obligation of ID under the ESA (100 wolves/10 breeding pairs with connected meta-population in the NRM, plus buffer), and a number 3X that.

      With NRM wolves being managed at well above 1,600 (FWS expected they would be managed at about 1,000 according to the 2009 rule), in expanding range there is hardly the urgency of a need for FWS to conduct some kind of immediate/urgent audit demanded by Defenders of the state of ID.

      This is all part of an orchestrated media and funding blitz by Defenders, IMHO. My wife just got calls from Defenders earlier this week asking for a donation, since she is a member. Can’t wait to see their next monthly magazine. Gotta find some way to justify/support Jamie Rappaport-Clark’s $200K+ salary.

      • JB says:

        What the heck does Rappaport-Clark’s salary have to do with anything? And how am I to judge the salary without comparable figures for other non-profits?

        You guys want actual data? Try Charity Navigator–they track a variety of stats from NGOs and rate them based upon their financials and transparency. I gathered all of the environmental and hunting orgs I could find, along with a few others that could be used for comparison. Here’s how they come out (ordered based upon their overall score). Note Defenders sits right next to the National Wild Turkey Foundation and HSUS, and ranks ahead of the Wilderness Society, NRA, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Safari Club Int., Nature Conservancy, and Jane Goodall Institute–as well as the March of Dimes! (And take a look at where WildEarth Guardians ranks–don’t blow a fuse, WM!)

        Org Program Expenses Admin. Expenses Rating (of 70)
        Sierra Club 89.70% 1.60% 67.1
        American Bird Conservancy 85.90% 7.60% 66.5
        Pheasants Forever 87.10% 3.40% 65.6
        Cheetah Conservation Fund 82.00% 8.30% 63.2
        WildEarth Guardians 85.80% 5.00% 63.2
        Rocky Mountain Elk F. 90.10% 7.00% 62.9
        Environmental Defense Fund 77.10% 6.90% 62
        National F&W Foundation 92.90% 3.20% 61.9
        National Resource Def. Coun. 83.80% 6.20% 61.8
        Wildlife Conservation Soc. 83.20% 13.50% 61.6
        International Wolf Center 86.00% 3.00% 61.4
        American Red Cross 90.70% 4.00% 56.5
        Center for Biological Divers. 83.60% 6.00% 55.9
        Ducks Unlimited 79.00% 2.70% 55.7
        World Wildlife Fund 73.00% 6.20% 55.6
        Environmental Defense Cntr 80.30% 12.50% 55.4
        National Audubon Soc. 77.60% 5.90% 55
        Boone & Crockett Club 66.00% 23.40% 54.22
        Fund for Animals 80.10% 4.20% 53.4
        National Wild Turkey Fed. 88.30% 9.60% 53.3
        Defenders of Wildlife 69.50% 11.40% 51.8
        Humane Society of US 75.00% 3.00% 51.7
        Wilderness Society 75.50% 7.40% 51.3
        National Rifle Association 82.50% 5.80% 50.9
        Greater Yellowstone Coalltn. 73.90% 10.20% 50.6
        International Game Fish Ass. 77.20% 10.00% 50.6
        Safari Club International 72.00% 16.60% 49.7
        US Sportsmen’s Alliance 79.20% 5.50% 49.1
        Nature Conservancy 73.80% 15.10% 49
        Issac Walton League 66.20% 25.80% 48.1
        Whitetails Unlimited 90.20% 5.30% 45.3
        Jane Goodall Inst. 69.80% 4.30% 45.2
        March of Dimes 66.00% 10.40% 44.9
        National Wildlife Fed. 67.80% 9.20% 40.5

      • JB says:

        Well that was messy, let’s try this again:
        Rank | Org | Program Expenses | Admin. Expenses | Rating (of 70)
        1 | Sierra Club | 89.70% | 1.60% | 67.1
        2 | American Bird Conservancy | 85.90% | 7.60% | 66.5
        3 | Pheasants Forever | 87.10% | 3.40% | 65.6
        4 | Cheetah Conservation Fund | 82.00% | 8.30% | 63.2
        5 | WildEarth Guardians | 85.80% | 5.00% | 63.2
        6 | Rocky Mountain Elk F. | 90.10% | 7.00% | 62.9
        7 | Environmental Defense Fund | 77.10% | 6.90% | 62
        8 | National F&W Foundation | 92.90% | 3.20% | 61.9
        9 | National Resource Def. Coun. | 83.80% | 6.20% | 61.8
        10 | Wildlife Conservation Soc. | 83.20% | 13.50% | 61.6
        11 | International Wolf Center | 86.00% | 3.00% | 61.4
        12 | American Red Cross | 90.70% | 4.00% | 56.5
        13 | Center for Biological Divers. | 83.60% | 6.00% | 55.9
        14 | Ducks Unlimited | 79.00% | 2.70% | 55.7
        15 | World Wildlife Fund | 73.00% | 6.20% | 55.6
        16 | Environmental Defense Cntr | 80.30% | 12.50% | 55.4
        17 | National Audubon Soc. | 77.60% | 5.90% | 55
        18 | Boone & Crockett Club | 66.00% | 23.40% | 54.22
        19 | Fund for Animals | 80.10% | 4.20% | 53.4
        20 | National Wild Turkey Fed. | 88.30% | 9.60% | 53.3
        21 | Defenders of Wildlife | 69.50% | 11.40% | 51.8
        22 | Humane Society of US | 75.00% | 3.00% | 51.7
        23 | Wilderness Society | 75.50% | 7.40% | 51.3
        24 | National Rifle Association | 82.50% | 5.80% | 50.9
        25 | Greater Yellowstone Coalltn. | 73.90% | 10.20% | 50.6
        26 | International Game Fish Ass. | 77.20% | 10.00% | 50.6
        27 | Safari Club International | 72.00% | 16.60% | 49.7
        28 | US Sportsmen’s Alliance | 79.20% | 5.50% | 49.1
        29 | Nature Conservancy | 73.80% | 15.10% | 49
        30 | Issac Walton League | 66.20% | 25.80% | 48.1
        31 | Whitetails Unlimited | 90.20% | 5.30% | 45.3
        32 | Jane Goodall Inst. | 69.80% | 4.30% | 45.2
        33 | March of Dimes | 66.00% | 10.40% | 44.9
        34 | National Wildlife Fed. | 67.80% | 9.20% | 40.5

        • WM says:

          So, uh….administrative expense cost = individual salary of its top administrator? Show that data, or the sub-classifications of administrative costs, including salary ranking, within that category ranking and there may be validity to the point you are making.

          For example Wild Earth Guardians is based in Santa FE, NM, and has a small office in Washington DC. Sierra Club is based in San Francisco, and has a huge legislative office in DC.
          Defenders is based in DC. RMEF is based in Missoula, and doesn’t have a DC presence of which I am aware (maybe they use lobbyists).
          Think cost office space, where it is located, and what the core purpose of the group is, as well as the functionary roles of top dogs, here. RMEF and The Nature Conservancy, for example, spend a lot on acquiring wildlife habitat; Defenders, CBD, and Sierra Club do not.

          Are you trying to score relevant facts, or give up some confusing rankings just discredit my quickie sarcastic jab at Rappaport-Clark and their funding blitz (and I do call it a blitz – My wife got another call from them as we were sitting down to lunch today)? 🙂

          • JB says:

            Um, I’m not the one with a vendetta, so if you want more data, go get it yourself. My point was, you continuously chastise others for making claims without data, yet your continued critiques of organizations (e.g. HSUS, Defenders, WildEarth Guardians, NRDC, CBD, and others) are based on your own perceptions. Citing one person’s salary without data from comparable organizations is meaningless.

            • JB says:

              Update– According to Charity Navigator David Allen of RMEF makes $224K per year. Should I expect you to cancel your membership?

              • WM says:

                Already did, about 6 months ago.

              • topher says:

                R.M.E.F. total revenue = more than 79 million
                Defenders total revenue = a little less than 25 million.

                Makes it a little easier to justify Allen’s salary.

          • Louise Kane says:

            I’ve hot a beef with many of the bigger NGOs but I recognize that they are running a business. I also appreciate that they are the watchdogs because most people even when they believe in something don’t take the time to let their politicians know what they stand for. Someone has to. and they don’t look the other way.

            who would be the watchdogs? administration costs are real and necessary evils. Defenders is one of my least favorite organizations yet I appreciate them keeping wolves in the center and front.

          • JB says:

            Okay, I’ve done your homework for you again. I collected the ED/President salary for all of the environmental, animal and hunting advocacy groups I just listed (n=32). The median was $210K, the mean $279K, Rappaport-Clark earned $276K.

            Rank | Org | Program Expenses | Admin. Expenses | Rating (of 70) | President’s / ED’s salary
            1 | Environmental Defense Cntr | 80.30% | 12.50% | 55.4 | 0
            2 | Fund for Animals | 80.10% | 4.20% | 53.4 | $21,305
            3 | International Wolf Center | 86.00% | 3.00% | 61.4 | $47,861
            4 | Cheetah Conservation Fund | 82.00% | 8.30% | 63.2 | $48,000
            5 | WildEarth Guardians | 85.80% | 5.00% | 63.2 | $76,000
            6 | Boone & Crockett Club | 66.00% | 23.40% | 54.22 | $110,338
            7 | Center for Biological Divers. | 83.60% | 6.00% | 55.9 | $123,961
            8 | Greater Yellowstone Coalltn. | 73.90% | 10.20% | 50.6 | $125,723
            9 | US Sportsmen’s Alliance | 79.20% | 5.50% | 49.1 | $133,436
            10 | Jane Goodall Inst. | 69.80% | 4.30% | 45.2 | $155,804
            11 | Sierra Club | 89.70% | 1.60% | 67.1 | $165,900
            12 | Whitetails Unlimited | 90.20% | 5.30% | 45.3 | $170,475
            13 | International Game Fish Ass. | 77.20% | 10.00% | 50.6 | $175,000
            14 | American Bird Conservancy | 85.90% | 7.60% | 66.5 | $180,049
            15 | Safari Club International | 72.00% | 16.60% | 49.7 | $193,033
            16 | Pheasants Forever | 87.10% | 3.40% | 65.6 | $210,146
            17 | Rocky Mountain Elk F. | 90.10% | 7.00% | 62.9 | $224,260
            18 | Izaac Walton League | 66.20% | 25.80% | 48.1 | $232,327
            19 | Defenders of Wildlife | 69.50% | 11.40% | 51.8 | $275,888
            20 | National Wild Turkey Fed. | 88.30% | 9.60% | 53.3 | $302,681
            21 | Wilderness Society | 75.50% | 7.40% | 51.3 | $324,380
            22 | National Wildlife Fed. | 67.80% | 9.20% | 40.5 | $339,240
            23 | Humane Society of US | 75.00% | 3.00% | 51.7 | $347,675
            24 | Ducks Unlimited | 79.00% | 2.70% | 55.7 | $352,736
            25 | National Resource Def. Coun. | 83.80% | 6.20% | 61.8 | $376,317
            26 | National F&W Foundation | 92.90% | 3.20% | 61.9 | $419,817
            27 | Environmental Defense Fund | 77.10% | 6.90% | 62 | $433,510
            28 | National Audubon Soc. | 77.60% | 5.90% | 55 | $460,489
            29 | World Wildlife Fund | 73.00% | 6.20% | 55.6 | $495,806
            30 | Nature Conservancy | 73.80% | 15.10% | 49 | $561,278
            31 | National Rifle Association | 82.50% | 5.80% | 50.9 | $831,709
            32 | Wildlife Conservation Soc. | 83.20% | 13.50% | 61.6 | $1,015,701

            • Nancy says:

              Course all these salaries JB pale in comparison to say – these people 🙂


              Good comments below the article.

            • WM says:


              You’ve done MY homework? I didn’t ask for any. I only made a sarcastic one liner about Rappaport who likely tripled her salary and benefits when she went from FWS to Defenders as executive in training then, its President after Roger S. retired. With the job comes being a spin-master and fund raiser, which has its own pitfalls. Probably a truism for every NGO, whatever the cause.

              And, if you are going to honest about outliers on both ends of the spectrum, maybe you ought to remove the $800K that NRA’s LaPierre rakes in (he’s worth about 3 or 4 datapoints for an average or a median), as is the WCS exec.. NRA, has a much broader political and commercial mission than hunting, as we all know.

              • JB says:

                It’s you’re missing my point, WM. You’re constantly harassing people here to support their assertions with data (a fact I appreciate, btw). However, you’ve also made quite an effort to make numerous derogatory comments about Defenders, WildEarth Guardians, CBD, etc., —often with little or no data.

                So all I’m saying is pony-up. If you’re going to ask others to support their claims, have the courtesy to do so yourself. Otherwise, your continued rants about Defenders are no better than $3 Mike’s continuous rants about hunters– in either case, it amounts to a lot of hot air.

                On a personal note. I’ve known Suzanne Stone for more than a decade. She was there when wolves were reintroduced; for a long time (as long as Defenders would let her) she organized a yearly conference specifically aimed at managers for sharing BMPs (that’s where I met Ralph, Carter, Ed Bangs, Mike Jimenez et al. for the first time). Over the past decade she, perhaps more so than any other person, has worked directly with ranchers to try and figure out how to co-exist with carnivores.

                Is her rhetoric a bit hot at times? Yep. But claiming that Idaho has “declared war on wolves” isn’t any more hyperbolas than claiming scientists are “sanctifying the wolf”. 😉

              • WM says:

                ++…–often with little or no data…++

                Now, wait a minute. I am not quite sure how one can refute an organization’s philosophy consistently, with “facts and data.” My criticism (not sure they rise to a vendetta as you suggest) often have to do with approach toward problem-solving, or puffing/amping up an issue well beyond objective facts. And, you should know, that my very first posts on this forum dealt directly with assertions by and positions taken by Suzanne Stone.

                Then there is Lynn Stone, also a Defenders employee, who authored the “non-lethal” brochure that was supposed to be THE handbook for how livestock interests were to deter wolf attacks on their stock. Again, for about the 10th time, not one whit about the economics of it all. Defenders has still to address that aspect, and Suzanne Stone, for all the hands-on rancher case study stuff has not weighed in on the additional capital expenditures, and regular operations and maintenance costs of continued “non-lethal” techniques. Her efforts have focused on “volunteers -unpaid labor” to do things like string fladry, round up stock at the end of the day, hone in on approaching packs with a directional antenna, the use of dogs ( ). Not that hard in my book to put dollar figures to it with a little financial knowledge and time ledger, and materials cost list. In the end, I would suggest pretty easy to quantify.

                Quite frankly WildEarthGuardians, has grossly distorted truths about livestock risks from predators, using national livestock statistics and then extrapolating to wolf country, and has taken some REAL DUMB legal positions (which I have also been very specific about – I even predicted some legal losses), that has weakened their advocacy, while really pissing off the anti’s and some of us in the middle. And, I have regularly provided facts or data on the positions I have taken as regards these organizations. I will also say, and have said before, CBD litigates too much, and I can assure you it has gotten the attention of the R’s in Congress, and the Governors of every Western State (think I even provided facts and data on those assertions, and some links to position papers and websites, maybe even more than once).

                I am not missing your point. I would suggest you are refusing to acknowledge mine, including previously submitted documentation supporting positions I have taken. By the way, you forgot HSUS on my target list. They, of course, have taken a position that wolves should never be delisted – ever – although they have couched some of their legal filings in meeting ESA obligations. Not because of scientific data that would support delisting, but because of their animal rights views. I think I have provided links to their position statement on never delisting wolves (mostly applied to the WGL DPS, but also by analogy to the NRM).

              • JB says:

                “I am not missing your point. I would suggest you are refusing to acknowledge mine…”

                It seems your points can be reduced to the following:

                You don’t like the rhetoric Defenders uses to recruit members, and the fact that they don’t back up their claims with more data (or omit what you consider to be important facts).

                Fine–fair criticism; but I’m not sure how that separates them from any other interest group. Also, I’d like to see you acknowledge that there is a difference between a persuasive essay and scientific research. You should not expect the former (no matter who it comes from) to explore every caveat and provide confidence intervals for their estimates.

                For ~15 years Suzanne organized the North American wolf conference–which brought together scientists with the actual on-the-ground managers. Defenders also is the only NGO I know that has actually ponied up the cash to sponsor conferences to do this–and the NAWC isn’t the only one. For several years they sponsored Carnivores, which was well-attended by academics who work in the applied area. The piece that Suzanne authored that you are so critical of, indeed could have been improved by providing economic information. However, it actually is a really useful document even sans this data. Did you see who the consultants were on this project? A veritable whose-who of APHIS folks working with canids. So how about a little slack for someone working in the field actually trying to do something positive?

              • WM says:


                I guess we have about beaten this topic to death. Do let me say in closing, it is important to increase the knowledge base. Surely you would agree with that.

                If you know Ms. Stone, and Defenders still has an interest in contributing to the knowledge base about non-lethal methods, perhaps my criticism of the lack of cost information to implement on-the-anch/farm techniques (short and long term) could easily go away. It has been roughly 7-8 years since their initial project was undertaken, resulting in the publication of the Defenders brochure in 2008. Perhaps with your connection to Ms. Stone or other Defenders advocates you could personally ask them to update it. They could maybe seek out the services of an agricultural economist or extension service economist from a university in the heart of wolf country, for guidance or collaboration. The ranching community does take better to stuff that comes out through the Co-op Extension Service of their state universities (and indeed that is why the programs exist in land grant colleges across America). Can’t imagine it would cost more than $50-75K, and maybe even give a grad student a professional paper/thesis project to assist. Run a draft past the wolf management programs of the affected states, and publish it on line. Have a few thousand more hard copies printed to hand out at the next wolf conferences, or mailed to area ranchers in conflict areas. Maybe even explore to see if there is some federal or even state grant money to be had for the effort.

                How’s that sound? You on board for a phone call? 😉

                Winners all around, IMHO.

              • WM says:


                Guess you aren’t really interested in increasing the knowledge base on “non-lethal” wolf measures (or maybe you just missed my last post?).

              • JB says:

                Indeed, I missed your last post, WM. I’ll mention your idea to Suzanne.

      • Louise Kane says:

        To use your words, and yet WM another interpretation might be that the real compromise came from the American public. I’m sure you remember that the only two conservation representatives on the committee did not approve of the recovery plan. That recovery plan was a huge series of concessions that were singular to wolves. I think you know that but you fall back on it in every discussion about the states and their abysmal treatment of wolves. The whole process of recovering wolves has been flawed right from the beginning. 1) The ESA was never intended to allow economic factors as a justification for killing listed species as a concession to ranching, livestock or trophy hunting industries or for any reason for that matter. Yet that’s exactly what happened. The treatment of wolves and their their recovery under the ESA were separated from other species as a compromise to special interests. See Dale Goble’s, Of Wolves and Welfare Ranching.

        Equally difficult to stomach is the thought that the threshold for delisting under esa recovery plans were meant to green light the slaughter of animals once they reach the level that allows them to be delisted. It’s bizarre and insulting to think that wolves were delisted only to see them continuously kept at indecent levels and subjected to relentless and inhumane harassment. To argue that, “ID just wants to cull back to the obligation it begrudgingly had to accept in the 1987 NRM wolf reintroduction plan” as an argument to justify Idaho’s Wyoming’s or Montana’s policies is astounding.

        and finally, I find it hard to believe you could pass the red face test by suggesting that the rider attached to an omnibus bill that delisted wolves was good precedent. That was one of the sleaziest political maneuvers I can remember. Dirty underhanded political pandering.

        You know perhaps the hardest for me to swallow is that your take seems to argue for the status quo in predator management. What is there to support in these state plans or in continuing to appease an unyielding mindset grounded in intolerance for wolves? If Idaho still begrudges wolves and their return after hundreds of years of persecution than something is wrong. The wolves are not the problem here. What is wrong is the sense of entitlement to exterminate wolves in vast public lands that are the last remaining wilderness areas and where if ever there was a place for wolves to exists they should be here. These lands belong to Americans and wolves. They are not just a concern to Idahoans or northern rocky mountain residents.

        Just because the USFWS keeps its mouth shut about the terrible treatment of wolves and ignores public sentiment does not mean that the policies are good, it just means politics are running the show and they are sidestepping their duties until somebody stands up to them and forces their hand. Looking the other way feels unconscionable.

        and what does Rappaport’s salary have to do with anything.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          It’s even more hard to swallow to see that the Interior Dept. supports this, and wants to delist wolves in the rest of the lower 48, encourages more hunting, and is going to subject grizzlies to the same fate even though they are nowhere near recovered to where they should be. Are they going to wait the 5 years before hunting or come up with some creative rationalization to hunt immediately like they did with wolves? I know some of those @*%!#! *$^$^@#%#^& our there are chomping at the bit ta kill sumthin’. And whatever they are proposing for other endangered wildlife to keep them from the dreaded ESA protection is ludicrous, and tragic. A voluntary agreement to keep private landowners exempt from any ESA decisions that may arise for thirty years is a joke.

          You know, even Uduall is a disappointment to his family legacy.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Is the species subject to overutilization for commercial,
            recreational, scientific, or educational purposes?

            Delisting A Species

            • Louise Kane says:

              good point Ida actually most of the criteria for delisting could apply as a reason that wolves merit protection

              “We assess
              populations and
              recovery achievements
              in eliminating or
              reducing threats, and
              we seek peer-review. In assessing threats, we review five factors:
              o Is there a present or threatened destruction, modification, or curtailment of the species’ habitat or range?
              o Is the species subject to over-utilization for commercial, recreational, scientific, or educational purposes?
              o Is disease or predation a factor?
              o Are there adequate existing regulatory mechanisms in place, taking into account the initiatives by States and other organizations, to protect the species or habitat?
              o Are other natural or manmade factors affecting its continued existence?”

              • Ida Lupines says:

                No, by no means is it limited to just one, the one I posted just stood out to me.

                Of course, all of this criteria was bypassed by Congress when wolves were delisted, with no means to challenge it. It is illegal. I do hope that the Interior Dept. doesn’t delist in the rest of the lower 48, because the FWP Director’s lackadaisical attitude about our wildlife (aw, don’t worry, there’s plenty of ’em up in Canada) is quite worrisome!

                I intend to watch closely what happens with the grizzlies, and the sage grouse.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                In case we’ve forgotten:

                Congress Pulls Wolves Off Endangeed Species List

        • Barb Rupers says:

          I believe that WM has confused two Stones involved with wolves in Idaho. Suzanne Asha Stone, who works for Defenders of Wildlife and lives in Boise, is the author of the brochure mentioned.

          Lynne Stone is or was the executive director of Idaho’s Boulder White Clouds Council in Ketchum. She has been involved with wolf activities in that area.

          • WM says:


            Thanks for point out my error. I did that once before. Still as lead author, Suzanne Stone gets my full criticism for the Defenders document which you reference above. Nary a line about the economics of non-lethal techniques which Defenders suggest ranchers deploy in wolf country.

            My apologies to Lynne Stone for this embarrassing error.



            No apology whatsoever for the dig on Rappaport’s salary. No straw man, Yvette. There is a timed funding campaign underway, which tracks a Defender’s petition to have FWS audit ID’s wolf management effort, which of course is linked to the S. Stone letter. Seems I read somewhere two data points make a coincidence; with three there is a trend.

            And do read the non-lethal methods brochure, and see if you find any information on the economics of using these techniques. After all, most cow-calf and sheep operations are doing it to make a profit. And if you are going to try to get somebody to do something there just may be a reason to tell them what it costs,…or not, if it doesn’t pencil out. And, by the way, to my knowledge, Defenders to date has made no effort to quantify the costs of these techniques. Why shouldn’t they be taken to task for such a purposeful oversight? How many dogs do you need for 200 cow/400 sheep? What does it cost to buy, train, feed and get vet care for? How much does the daily/nightly additional labor cost to run fladry or bring in livestock at night, how much for the fencing to do it? Doesn’t it make sense to have answers to these questions, especially by those who advocate the non-lethal techniques as a part of change from the status quo?

            • Yvette says:

              Agree with your summation on needing a cost/benefit analysis for non-lethal methods. It might exist. I have’t checked to see if it does or does not. IMO, I think we should also include the ecological benefits of non-lethal, which we capitalists generally leave out. I imagine that isn’t easy to quantify, but I’m sure some economic professional could figure a way. If some economic guru can figure out that a human life is worth $200,000 dollars than someone can figure out the economic benefits of apex predators like wolves.

              I get a slew of emails from the big major conservation NGOs. I’m neither for nor against the size of her salary, but if it is linked to the Stone letter you didn’t state that so it appeared to be a straw man point.

              For the wolf issue, I don’t really only care about the what is best for the wolf and their place in the ecological system without the hysterical mythological message that seems to plague this species. I care about earnestness in the science and honesty in the political marketing message (LOL, like that will ever happen).

              There has to be a better approach than what is happening now—that includes the high salary of an NGO CEO, and the far too powerful agriculture industry.

            • Immer Treue says:

              In my opinion, this is where Defenders and other wildlife NGO’s have dropped the ball.

              “And if you are going to try to get somebody to do something there just may be a reason to tell them what it costs,…or not, if it doesn’t pencil out. And, by the way, to my knowledge, Defenders to date has made no effort to quantify the costs of these techniques. Why shouldn’t they be taken to task for such a purposeful oversight? How many dogs do you need for 200 cow/400 sheep? What does it cost to buy, train, feed and get vet care for? How much does the daily/nightly additional labor cost to run fladry or bring in livestock at night, how much for the fencing to do it?”

              Using their weight/lobbying power to help create a wolf conservation stamp where target proceeds go for these non-lethal methods.

              I can write and write to my reps, but it amounts to naught. This is a prime opportunity for non-consumptive, and for that matter consumptive users of wildlife resources who appreciate the presence of wolves and others carnivores to contribute. WTF is the hold-up?

              • JB says:

                Also an opportunity for some interest groups to lose power over their wildlife commission, which is why it probably won’t happen.

      • Yvette says:

        As others have stated, Jamie Rappaport’s salary has nothing to do with the Stone letter. It’s a straw man argument. I thought of this after I first saw the post but ignored it given WM’s penchant to argue for the sake arguing. Straw man tactics are best reserved for juveniles on the ilk of ‘news’.

        I was happy to read the Stone letter as I am not familiar with her. One of the reasons I continue to come on this site is for the high caliber discussion on well written articles, and for the marvelous links people provide.

  56. Louise Kane says:

    not exactly wildlife but new film on aborigionals in Australia and how they were imprisoned and their lands taken. Sound familiar, what is also familiar is parallel decline in native predators. Australia used 1080 like they are crop dusting. A terrible situation, criminal.

  57. Nancy says:

    Bear hunting and gets attacked by a bear. Poetic justice?

    • Nancy says:

      An update on the above link from a commenter on the story –

      Brent Berkey:

      Have known the father and son since the late sixties. Tight bond between them. Tough and dedicated outdoorsmen. The Grizzly go the drop on them, but father killed it. Pray for the son. His life is on the line.

      Got the drop on THEM?

  58. Nancy says:

    “They killed 89 bears last year in an area wildlife officials say used to have the best moose hunting in game management unit 19A”

  59. Immer Treue says:

    Just a bit of “captive” wolf behavior shown and explained.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Immer I Loved seeing that and then watched a lot more do you know what happened to Malik

  60. Jerry Black says:

    3 Bighorn rams killed near Missoula for intermingling with domestic sheep

    FWP Kills Three Bighorns on Mount Jumbo After Exposure to Domestic Sheep

    Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials killed three bighorn sheep today on Mount Jumbo near Missoula due to disease risk after the bighorns were found mingling with domestic sheep.
    Domestic sheep can carry bacteria and viruses that are harmless to them but can cause an often fatal pneumonia outbreak in bighorns. Pneumonia spreads quickly, sometimes killing over half or more of a bighorn sheep herd.
    The City of Missoula permits domestic sheep to graze on Mount Jumbo every spring and summer as part of an effort to reduce leafy spurge, an invasive plant species that covers parts of the mountain and competes with native wildlife forage. FWP and the City of Missoula have a bighorn and domestic sheep agreement and protocol to reduce the risk of bighorn sheep interacting with domestic sheep.
    Vickie Edwards, FWP Missoula-based wildlife biologist, says that this is the first time since 2000 that there has been any documented interaction between the wild and domestic sheep population.
    “We work closely with the city to ensure that the sheep do not interact, but these rams were in a spot we would not expect them to be and co-mingled before the herder could prevent the interaction,” Edwards said. “The herder did a great job following the protocol to ensure that the City of Missoula and FWP staff was able to respond quickly.
    Officials closed the nearby hiking trails before dispatching the sheep early this afternoon.
    “This is an extremely unfortunate incident, but we hope that by dispatching these three sheep we have prevented potential disease exposure to the rest of the herd,” Edwards said.
    The bighorns will be sent to the state wildlife lab in Bozeman for testing that will provide FWP with additional information on the health of the sheep and their herd. The bighorns were part of the Bonner herd which was last affected by pneumonia in 2010 and lost nearly 60% of its population to the disease and culling efforts. The source of that pneumonia outbreak is unknown.
    The domestic sheep currently grazing Jumbo will be moved off the mountain to the North Hills until officials are able to determine whether other bighorns may be in the area.


    • Bob Mc says:

      WTF? Shoot the domestic sheep for carrying disease! Bighorn herd lost 60% of its population, so we let disease-carrying domestic sheep into bighorn territory? Did I miss something here, or is Montana FWP missing some gray-matter?

    • Louise Kane says:

      what is the reason for allowing domestic sheep that carry this disease to graze so close to this area? This is awful

      • jburnham says:

        The sheep are there specifically for weed control. The mountain is literally on the edge of the city, it has many heavily used trails, and it’s full of leafy spurge. Bighorn sheep sightings in the grazed areas are pretty much unheard of, though bighorns frequent areas within 6-8 miles away. FWP’s response of killing the bighorns, testing them and moving the sheep is sensible.

        • Jerry Black says:

          Bighorn sightings in the area are not unheard of at all. I’ve watched them from Bonner to west of the North Hills which are on the west side of Rattlesnake Creek. They’re often found on the ridge above Sawmill Creek and almost to Evaro. Most people that hike in that area AND MFWP are aware of that.

          • jburnham says:

            Jerry, maybe you missed it, but I said bighorn sightings in the grazed areas are pretty much unheard of. Do you know of bighorn sheep sightings on the L trail or anywhere on the side of Jumbo that overlooks the city? That’s where the sheep graze. Bonner and Evaro hill where bighorns frequent are both more than 6 miles away as I said. In 20 years of living and hiking these area I’ve never seen or heard of bighorns on Mount Jumbo in the grazed areas in question.

            • Jerry Black says:

              You’re right……not in that particular area on the south side of Jumbo….closest would be the “saddle” on the north side where they pass through on their way to the North Hills.
              Notice Spurlock’s ranch?? Nothing but leafy spurge. I thought there were some regulations requiring landowners to make an effort to control it.

        • Mark L says:

          Any animal other than sheep control weeds? Might be a good time to use it.

    • Kathleen says:

      This situation sadly illustrates the dilemma humans have created and for which the natural world pays the price. Weeds devastate ecosystems and all they provide (including wildlife habitat), doing widespread damage far greater than the “dispatching” (ugh!) of three wild sheep (and I’m not saying I like that outcome). Leafy spurge is one of the worse, and it’s simply virulent in Missoula County. Domestic sheep have been found to be a good control, grazing (and weakening) the plant and preventing seed production. Goats are also used, but they browse woody plants as well and can decimate native shrubs. (I don’t know if goats carry disease like domestic sheep do.) Herbicide is another option that most people don’t like. There are only so many tools in the toolbox, so what’s the answer? I was under the impression that moveable fencing was set up around the grazing sheep on Jumbo, but it doesn’t sound like that was the case…

      The link below provides side-by-side photos of a healthy, diverse native plant community and a leafy spurge monoculture in western MT. This isn’t a pairing of two extreme examples–this is how it really is here; I’ve watched it happen in the hills around my property.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I thought this was a terrible rationale also – why not a modern day Civilian Conservation Corps. (I think that is what Ms. Jewell is trying to do) to manually pull weeds (oh the horror of doing manual labor), or putting prisoners to work? ‘Dispatching’ (killing) valuable wildlife because of non-native sheep that are being used to eat non-native plants is some kind of crazy situation we’ve got ourselves in.

        Will we ever the those brilliant days again of the Soil Conservation Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps?

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Awful. But how can anyone reasonably justify using sheep when they spread disease to the native Bighorns? Invasive plants are extremely widespread – the more sheep you have and the more they move about, the more the native Bighorns will be exposed and have to be ‘dispatched’! And what about the seeds being ‘spread’ by the domestic animals? It doesn’t seem very practical over the long-term. Is capture and quarantine a better way?

        Or wild horses and bison trampling the weeds?

        • Kathleen says:

          Leafy spurge is virtually impossible to eradicate–the best one can hope for is to control it. The roots can go to a depth of 25-30 feet and lateral rhizomes can be 15 feet long. All along those many rhizomes, new plants pop up. It’s a monster of a plant–even herbicide can’t get all the way into the root system. This is why hand-pulling is ineffective; mowing would come closest to grazing, but the hills around here (e.g., Jumbo) are as steep as walls. Oh yeah–when leafy spurge seeds pop open, they can shoot up to 15 feet from the parent plant! I hate leafy spurge. (Don’t get me started on cheatgrass.)

          Grazing is ideally timed so that animals are eating plants before they develop mature seeds that might remain viable as they pass thru the digestive system, and rotational grazing allows for 2nd growth to be consumed also. I used to whack the flowering heads off of plants only to find that a 2nd flowering seed head grew and was sometimes larger. Grrr. (One assumes sheep would be eating the plant down much closer to the ground than my seed head whacking!) There really aren’t many options for leafy spurge, and sheep seem to have been as effective or more so than anything. Is moveable fencing enough of a barrier to protect bighorns?

          Missoula probably justified using sheep because, as jburnham said, bighorns haven’t been seen on Mt. Jumbo, which is City of Msla open space/conservation land (and elk winter range), so there’s a definite interest in controlling weeds. It’s a complex problem, but it’s not exactly like anyone recklessly turned domestic sheep loose in bighorn habitat. However, the loss of three native bighorns is huge; the loss of their lives is immeasurable to each of those individual animals. The domestic sheep are ultimately exploited, too.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            However, the loss of three native bighorns is huge.

            Yes, this is why I question the wisdom of trying to kill of an invasive species, you have to kill endangered wildlife whose every individual is important to the population. That can’t continue in the case of bighorn sheep, can it, every time they are exposed to a domestic sheep? Believe me, we’ve got our invasives here too.

            As far as sheep not being seen in the area, you can never say never. History shows us how gambling on the statistics does in the real world – the Fukishima-sized earthquakes and tsunamis no one thought would happen and did not prepare for, or the BP drilling accident. If we can find new and better ways of drilling for oil and fracking, we surely can get to the bottom of the leafy spurge problem?

  61. Louise Kane says:

    OR 7 has pups!
    he is thankfully about as far away from Idaho as he can get. The two pups they show are tiny beautiful black animals shown peering out from under the bushes. A toast to them and OR7’s new family and a prayer to be safe!

  62. Louise Kane says:

    Great news for CA #wolves today! CA DFW votes 3-1 to extend state endangered species protections to the species!

    More good news just posted by Oliver Starr on WCCL

    California extends state ESA protections for wolves. 3-1 vote by commission even against state fish and wildlife department recommendations. This is also the state that banned hound hunting of cougars and is considering a ban on predator killing contests. Go California!

  63. Ida Lupines says:

    a href=””>’This Settlement Deserves to be Cherished’

  64. Jerry Black says:

    Oregon Wolf Poached in Montana


    FWP Seeks Tips on Wolf Poached in Burnt Fork of the Bitterroot

    Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is looking for tips on a wolf that was poached in the Burnt Fork area of the Bitterroot Valley, east of Stevensville, on Saturday, May 31.
    The two year old male wolf had dispersed to Montana from Oregon and was wearing a GPS collar, which provided wildlife officials with movement data and gave an estimated time of death between 6 and 9 pm on May 31. The wolf was found shot near a road between Sawmill Saddle and Ambrose Saddle in upper Haacke Creek.
    The wolf was collared in Oregon in 2013 and had made its way through Idaho and the Big Hole Valley before prior to arriving in the Bitterroot earlier this month.
    Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call 1-800-TIP-MONT (1-800-847-6668). Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward up to $1,000 for providing information that leads to a conviction.

  65. Jerry Black says:

    “Neo-Greens” Selling Us and the Earth, Out

  66. rork says:
    Richard Thiel, of international wolf, trying to calm deer hunters about wolf impacts with simple language. He doesn’t really explain compensatory deaths or anything tricky though. I need every hunter to start to be aware of stuff like this. We didn’t know how blind we were (and continue to be, do doubt) until we recently started looking.

    • Nancy says:

      Thanks for posting this link rork. Very informative and I agree:

      “every hunter needs to be aware of stuff like this. We didn’t know how blind we were (and continue to be, do doubt) until we recently started looking”

  67. aves says:

    An opportunity to speak up for red wolves:

    • Louise Kane says:

      Thank you for posting Aves. I’ve commented and will be sure to post other places. I was surprised that a Fish and Wildlife agency would need to be forced by court order to end coyote hunting in a red wolf recovery area where 10+ wolves were killed out of a population of less than 100. That was a disgraceful, willful and wanton action by a state agency in contravention of a federal law.

  68. Louise Kane says:…/florida…/article/385872
    wolf reserve wolf that fled flooding gunned down by USFWS

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Noise and mess? That’s rich, isn’t it. Humans make more (unnecessary) noise and mess than any living thing on the planet. I wish someone would organize a cull for all of the bazillions of motorcycles, leaf blowers, lawn mowers, etc. that make so much noise! 😉

    • Nancy says:

      “It’s also not clear why some moose abandon calves that have been collared while abandonment is almost unheard of among fawn deer that are handled and collared”

      What’s not clear here, is the age of the mothers abandoning their calves – first time mothers? And perhaps their experience when they were “handled” was too traumatic for them.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I don’t know why this is such a surprise. The moose must be frightened or must think the collar means something is wrong. Plus these collars must be burdensome on animals, and even a health hazard. I have always heard that human handling of young cause the parents to abandon offspring. I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often during these studies, or does it? We really need to quit meddling – the moose are in dire enough straits from our activities to begin with.

  69. Nancy says:

    Long but interesting discussion on Ungulates & Climate Change – Potential Impacts

    Some interesting comments on wolf impact on elk about 50 minutes in:

  70. Immer Treue says:

    Bob Hayes finds fault with B.C.’s wolf killing plan.

    • Louise Kane says:

      “The government assumes that if the harvest goes up, it’s a sign the population is increasing. “I’m not sure about that,” he said.”

      This was a big problem in fisheries tying catch to population densities. anyhow Chris Genovali and Raincoast Conservation have written some good pieces criticizing the BC wolf plan.

      These are older I’ll try and find the most recent publications and post

      • Louise Kane says:

        It should have read

        trying to attach meaningful values from catch to population densities….

  71. Ida Lupines says:

    I can understand wanting to remove/diminish invasive species brought to this country long ago, and learning from our past mistakes about habitat and native wildlife and plant – but what are we doing about bringing new ones in currently? It seems crazy:

  72. rork says:
    “The Montana deer and elk hunting population: The importance of cohort group, license price, and population demographics on hunter retention, recruitment, and population change”
    Pretty sophisticated models, but perhaps results is readable for most people. I am not sure if everyone can see the full paper – the abstract says little. I was shocked they found a price effect on locals when tags went from 16 to 20$, even though that is nearly nothing compared with other expenses. Wondered if there was an “economy effect” they didn’t capture – the other expenses you are trying to avoid.


May 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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