It is time for a new page of reader generated wildlife news. Please use “comment” at the bottom to post your news. Do not post entire articles unless you have our permission, nor post copyrighted materials unless you own the copyright. Here is the link to the old (most recent “old”) news.

Typical early June cheat grass ripening. One of the biggest threats to wildlife and ecology of the sagebrush steppe. This is just a minor patch of the nearly useless, fire producing exotic grass from EurAsia. Photo June 8 by Ralph Maughan

Typical early June cheat grass ripening. One of the biggest threats to wildlife and ecology of the sagebrush steppe. This is just a minor patch of the nearly useless, fire producing exotic grass from EurAsia. Photo June 8 by Ralph Maughan


About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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

430 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife related news? June 9, 2014 edition

  1. cobackcountry says:

    No doubt the connection between breaking laws and lawless individuals exists. This makes me cringe. I certainly had some questions about some supporters, and about some extreme angles….but wow. So, so sad.

    • Mark L says:

      From the article:
      “One neighbor says the man claimed he “had been kicked off Cliven Bundy’s ranch” while people gathered to protest a federal roundup of Bundy’s cattle, although the rancher’s wife says there is no connection between the standoff and the Vegas shooting.”

      Suprise, suprise. That’s just odd.

      • cobackcountry says:

        In the current political climate, NOTHING shocks me.

      • Yvette says:

        I’ve read at least two different accounts for the reason they were asked to leave. 1) they were too radical; or 2) it was because he was a felon and could not legally own a gun.

        Somewhere I read an article that gave a little bit of background on Jarod Miller. It stated some of the things he was complaining about, and they were normal and valid complaints about life in general. The prison sentence for pot, which led to him being a felon, which led to him having an extremely difficult time finding decent employment. To me, I interpreted it as someone completely frustrated with his life situation and the challenges faced by many people that have very little financial resources. Make one small mistake, like the marijuana conviction, and the odds are stacked against you from that point forward. Those stresses will accumulate with some people, and they allow it to push them over a psychological edge.

        Please don’t misinterpret my comment as defending this couple. I’m not. It’s just that this guy could have been any one of thousands of Americans that are struggling for whatever reason. He went over the edge, and I think, there are plenty like him in the crowd at Bundy ranch. Frustrated people with guns—-an explosion waiting to happen.

        • IDhiker says:


          I think you are correct. There are many people around where I live in Ravalli County, Montana, that are extremely upset and paranoid about many issues. You read their rants in the papers, see their “constitutional” signs on their property, and they believe that, “We’ve lost all our freedoms,” as one told me.

          They have large stockpiles of guns and ammunition, bunker compounds, and the like. They seem to be hoping for a breakdown in society to release them from their everyday problems.

          Perhaps to free them from what they perceive as a boring, meaningless, and hassled life. So they blame the Federal government, wolves, environmentalists… anyone not subscribing to their viewpoint for their problems. Like many people, they are seemingly powerless to effect any real change in their lives for the better.

          Instead of finding personal adventure through backpacking, hiking, traveling, or the like, they sit and stew about revolution and getting even with their “oppressors.”

          • Immer Treue says:


          • Ralph Maughan says:

            I see Suzy Foss lost in the Republican primary. She was pretty awful. What does it mean?

          • Ralph Maughan says:

            More on ouster of Suzy Foss and Ron Stoltz, Democrats cross over to GOP ticket in Ravalli Co. primary.

            I think in Virginia, Democrats helped give Eric Canter the toss and the media ought not to merely call it a Tea Party victory.

            • Amre says:

              We’ll, I don’t think the guy who won that primary will be much better on environmental and wildlife issues…..

            • WM says:

              Cantor’s seat has been consistently R since the early 1970’s. Unless the D’s can somehow roll over this Tea Party guy who doesn’t seem to fit the image of a radical right – government is not working – kind of guy, it strikes me there is still a good chance the R’s keep it. No D opposition has been identified yet – not even conjecture- that I have seen.

              And, interestingly, Cantor for whatever endemic problems he had as an R was still sort of in the middle (and Jewish).

              I doubt the D’s will be taking this seat unless they pull off a miracle, and this part of Virginia, it would appear moves further to the radical right with the new R. That isn’t a good sign, except maybe for the R’s that see stalemate on immigration reform as maintaining the status quo – cheap labor, and more coming in from the southern border each day. And, who says we are a country of laws when our federal government can’t/won’t plug the hole with the laws we already have on the books, awaiting passage of a “Dream Act” which only deals with part of the problem. Geez.

              • Ralph Maughan says:

                WM, I wasn’t suggesting that Democrats might win Cantor’s district. It is too Republican for that.

                I meant that Democrats might have crossed over in yesterday’s primary to join anti-Cantor Republicans, both together causing Cantor’s loss. Perhaps it should not be rightly seen as a Tea Party victory.

              • WM says:


                If I understand your view correctly, would you then agree, that in this particular instance, there is a very real risk of this part of VA moving further to the right, because of some unwise/unthinking D’s affected an R process (their primary)?

                That is the part that scares me because, as the pundits are saying, this is making some sitting R Congressional types aware of the possibility the Tea Party will try to unseat them as well, AND so it appears they are adjusting their platforms for survival to accommodate more reactionary right Tea Party views to avoid a Cantor outcome (It appears Cantor was also lazy, out of touch and over-confident too, however). Three states with incumbent R’s facing stiff Tea Party opposition in upcoming Congressional seat primary votes in MS, KS and TN.

              • JB says:


                I agree with you regarding the risk; however, there is another way both parties can respond–i.e., they could stop gerrymandering districts to create ‘safe’ seats. That is, after all, the root of the problem. (The other –less desirable– response is to close primaries.0

              • Jeff N. says:


                ++++No D opposition has been identified yet – not even conjecture- that I have seen.+++

                From Business Insider, if still accurate.

                “Brat’s victory puts him on a course to face Democrat John “Jack” Trammell in the general election. Trammell’s website notes he is “in part” named for former President John F. Kennedy and declares his intention to fight “extremism and ‘business as usual’ in Washington.” Both Brat and Trammell are professors at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia.”

                This should make for some lively on campus debates.

              • WM says:

                Jeff N.,

                Thanks. I had not heard the name. Here is a bit more – he apparently just entered the race this week as the D nominee, and has yet to really define who he is politically. Could be he picks up some middle ground (formerly Cantor territory), that Brat won’t support. That might be refreshing.


  2. Mareks Vilkins says:

    the first petition about wolf situation in Latvia – ain’t it an amazing time lag?:)

    • Barb Rupers says:

      Hopefully the under passes will be completed while there is still a population with which to work in Texas.

      I found it interesting that Chile is the only country south of the USA that has no ocelots; the Atacama desert must limit their range in the north and temperature elsewhere.

  3. Yvette says:

    This isn’t American news and, it isn’t directly wildlife related, but it’s a huge victory for wildlands. The five dams proposed to be built on the Baker and Pascua Rivers in Southern Patagonia have been rejected.

    But people in the sparsely populated area remained divided. About three dozen families would have been relocated, but the dams would have drowned 14,000 acres (5,700 hectares), required carving clear-cuts through forests, and eliminating whitewater rapids and waterfalls that attract ecotourism. They also could have destroyed habitat for the endangered Southern Huemul deer: Fewer than 1,000 of the diminutive animals, a national symbol, are believed to exist.

  4. Ida Lupines says:

    Wow. I’m so glad that other cultures won’t let themselves become engulfed by modern life and the dominant culture’s views of how to live. ‘Strapped for energy’ indeed. Let them be the judge of how they want to live, and what they feel they need.

    This is why I can’t take the Administration’s in climate change promises entirely seriously, when we are net exporters of oil.

    • Yvette says:

      Ida, if you have Netflix or something similar you should watch the documentary, 180 degrees South.

      LOL, sorry I’m always suggesting books and documentaries for you. It’s just that I think we may have similar taste in such things.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Not at all, I love to hear about these things. I do appreciate it, and I think we do have similar tastes, feelings about such things. 🙂

  5. Nancy says:

    Interesting set of dynamics. Lots of possibilities as to how “noxious” weeds actually get spread. Most often by human related activities like livestock or hunting (big push on washing your rigs before heading into wilderness areas)

    And as most of us who live in this part of the country already know, domesticated dogs kill far more livestock than say….. wolves.

  6. Larry says:

    So, over in the wolf stamp blog elk375 mentioned a Wolf Foundation. I thought it was worth discussing and gave a thought. Surprised no other comments from this group so sounds like it would sink. I’m surprised at that. Thought someone would offer comments on that. What about a North American Predator Foundation? Been several comments about needing a national predator bill, which would never happen. Who is the current voice for predators to kids now? None.

    • Nancy says:

      Larry, there are hundreds of good groups out there concerned about predators – just one for example:

      The key would be to gather them all under one foundation and then create chapters around the country but how would one go about getting them all on the same page?

      Louise Kane and Jon Way put together a wonderful declaration of sorts (can’t find it at the moment) regarding the treatment of predators.

      • Larry says:

        Nancy: Thanks for throwing in your thoughts. I know there would be overlap. Just wondering if others could see benefits in it. I don’t pretend to say it is a good idea that would be successful. Right now I see something like that with a single focus, education. Presenting programs at schools. Even wonder if there would be someone of notoriety to endorse/lend their name to the cause that would help connect with kids. A very polished professional hour long school program about predators might be all some kids ever get that is truthful. It would have to be a standardized program so the presenter, whom ever and where ever would always be speaking with the same voice. Education is always cost effective. Just my thoughts from my back porch.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Nancy I have wished this for a long time. To see a collaborative effort. One thing that comes to mind is to put together funding for a coordinator position. The coordinator would be working many NGOs that have some interest in predator protection. the position could identify and target discrete projects that could be funded by all the orgs. Whether it was ad campaigns, a legislative initiative etc. The coordinator would be tasked to focus on taking input from each organization, creating a plan and executing it with assistance and funding from all the groups. But there is so much petty infighting that its hard to see that happen and every group disagrees on tactics, and fights for funding. Hopefully these organizations will step up to the plate at some point and someone will be the bigger guy and willing to start a collaborative effort. You can’t believe how hard it is to even get signatures from some institutions on ideas that they should be happy to promote for a common good. Its discouraging. I think its different for the sports groups as most of them want to preserve or expand the right to hunt, hound or trap. They don’t care how they get there they just want to kill and they are willing to spread the money around to do so.

  7. Immer Treue says:

    Comprehensive breakdown of WS animal control. Going through the list(a), it’s tough to disagree with all removals. Birds top the list.

    • JB says:

      So starlings and brown-headed cowbirds make up three-fourths of the animals killed? Hard to argue with those.

      • Yvette says:

        Starlings and brown-headed cowbirds may be 3/4 of total kills, but that percentage does not show the true perspective of the actual numbers of other species killed.

        I’m not buying what they’re selling, nor do they explain the reason for the high numbers of kills for other species that someone labeled a nuisance.

        75,326 Coyotes (Seriously? That many coyotes are killing someone’s chickens or goats?) This number is comparable to last years number.

        24,399 Beavers (beavers build the best wetlands; wetlands are important and key ecological systems and we humans have yet to get a handle on constructing wetlands that function as well as natural wetlands)

        11,698 Raccoons (rabies prevention, indeed. Not buying it. Just how many rabid raccoons appear every year?)

        419 Blackbears
        345 Mountain Lions
        329 Wolves

        Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive, and is only an example of their intentional kills. It doesn’t list the golden and bald eagles killed, or other unintentional kills, or the methods. I’m confident that you have a full understanding of the ecological significance, and probably the ethical significance too, of the scale of this amount of wildlife killing. And this is only WS; this doesn’t even calculate in the numbers of animals killed in predator hunts and killing contests.

        It’s my opinion that Wildlife Services should be mandated to justify their kills or be confined to airport duty. If they can’t do that then defund them and shut them down.

        • WM says:

          “…mandated to justify their kills?” Exactly how do they do that? They have cooperative agreements with local and state governments or port districts (airports) who pay for part of the work they do, and specifically ask them to deal with “specific individual” animals causing problems (some biologist/administrator sends in some paperwork/makes a phone call/email), or to deal with geographic areas involving specific species. Just how much of a “mandate” do they need, beyond a contract or these other forms of communication that specify their tasks?

          • WM says:

            And, nevermind, Yvette, how many non-lethal interventions they perform under these same request formats.

            • Yvette says:

              I could care diddly squat about their cooperative agreements. They still are using federal tax dollars for their work. It is highly unlikely that over 75,000 coyotes were killed at the request of farmer Brown. It is highly unlikely that 345 panthers were killed at the bequest of individual ranchers.
              The public deserves to know the justification of killing and the methods used.

              “non lethal interventions”. I never mentioned non lethal intervention on this topic.

              We justify work done with federal funds on nearly every job that uses federal funds. Damned straight I think it should be mandated that their kills are justified. How will it be done? It’s not for me to develop a plan for WS or to implement that plan. That should be developed by the funding agency, and with assurances of methods are developed to track the plans and the kills. You know it can be done. You just aren’t that dull, WM.

              • WM says:

                Well, Yvette, their co-op agreements do often have work plans that specify in detail what WS is to do. They are developed by the states, counties and ports that employ their services. That means THOSE ENTITIES DEFINE THE WORK. And, do be aware, if you are not, that those entities provide funding too, so it’s not just federal dollars with no accountability. In fact, it is quite to the contrary. Somebody LOCAL wanted certain animals removed. That is where the real beef should be concentrated. So, it would seem some of your criticism is misdirected.

                By the way, about 25% of those coyotes are killed in TX, alone, because somebody LOCAL wanted them removed there. Maybe that is where you should be concentrating some of your distaste.

                And, I mentioned non-lethal interventions, precisely because they do some of that when it seems it might work or that is what the local client wants done. It is an option.

  8. Ida Lupines says:

    My goodness, that rather light-hearted article paints Wildlife Services as almost a benevolent agency! Maybe I missed it, but was there a mention of poisons used that contaminate the environment? Talk about spin. I don’t believe a word.

  9. Louise Kane says:

    This is one of the most horrifying things I have ever seen. Trapping and hounding have got to go. This is why coyotes need protection, people can’t be trusted to be fair, humane, or decent. This kind of shit happens all the time, most people that do it are not stupid enough to post it but still the internet helps the killers to boast and they can’t seem to help themselves. Please don’t comment this is unusual I have numerous files that tell me its not. Hunter or not this is disgusting

    • Ida Lupines says:

      This is what our nation condones as ‘recreation’. This is nothing but killing porn for sickos. I didn’t even watch, I’ve seen enough of this crap.

    • Yvette says:

      I can barely stand to watch this these things. Unfortunately, these types of videos come appear regularly. All that means is there are a lot of sick people out there.

      I’ve mentioned before that the people that to kill for the enjoyment of killing is psychologically off kilter. Deranged, IMO. The hunter in this particular video truly enjoyed watching his dogs kill this coyote. These people walk among us and they are effed up in the head. Killing is not a sport. Taking joy from watching your dogs kill another canine is equivalent to ghetto dog fighting. Both are sick; one is more predominate in the White man’s world; one is more predominate in the ghetto world. Guess which one is legal, and therefore, accepted.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Yvette it is fd up big time. anyone that ignores the scope and severity of the abuse that is doled out to coyotes, raccoons, fox, and other wildlife that are trapped and hounded has their damn head in the sand. This goes on all the time. There is no excuse, no justification and no escape for the wild animals that are persecuted because there are no good laws. As Nancy wrote Jon and I are working to get a carnivore conservation act passed. Its a good start and would end these kinds of events. we hope it can be used as a model for other states. It may take a while but what legislators could watch this and think this is OK. The right people have to get engaged and then hopefully some new laws will be passed. This is outrageous in 2014. It is horrifying that any other being should be treated like this and that the sob loser cretin is not in jail.

    • Amre says:

      Coyotes are some of the most abused wild animals out there. There given little to no protection, are treated like pest, and there is even a bounty on them in Utah to “increase the mule deer population”(even though it hasn’t worked). And off course, there are those disgusting killing contest…..

      • WM says:

        You may not like this story, but do pay attention to the assertions by the livestock industry in TX, with accompanying maps about coyote depredation on sheep/cattle over a span of 70 years or so. And, the important role that Wildlife Services plays state-wide. So, there it appears state, private and federal money goes in to the control actions to keep the coyote population down. There it probably is less about deer, and more about producer costs and losses from coyotes. And these WS guys think the poison doesn’t work as well as traps (no discussion of by-catch of canid innocents, however).

        • Louise Kane says:

          WM we should perhaps ask Jon Way to confirm but from reading information about coyotes, I think the relentless killing of coyotes does nothing to diminish their numbers nor does it help predation of cattle or sheep. I have read that farmers that protect their cattle and sheep and that use good husbandry practices and allow coyotes to live near heir farms have pretty good success with keeping predation down. The coyotes that learn avoidance behaviors tend to keep interlopers away just as wolves do. At least one farmer has written asking how to protect his coyotes so that new coyotes that may not be as well behaved don’t move in and start causing trouble. How can this ever be studied when there is no baseline of protected coyotes to study!

          • Louise Kane says:

            Wildlife services killed over 2 million animals last year, I can’t fathom that.

          • WM says:


            Did you read in the article I linked about the coyote fence these TX folks considered conceptually then abandoned?

            While I respect Jon Way’s opinion, there are a lot of other scientists studying coyotes and how to control their numbers and how they interact with livestock, including calf/lambing operations. One would hope consensus would emerge eventually. Because there is a lot of money spent controlling these little buggers, and a lot of livestock lost if the answer is not a good one. What is that saying, “necessity is the mother of invention?” Sure do wish the invention part would produce a workable solution.

            And, by the way, did you catch the statistic – upwards of 25% of those 75,000 coyotes killed by WS each year nationally involve TX, with very little federal lands or grazing permits? I haven’t looked it up, but they may not even have any federal grazing lands.

            • Nancy says:

              “Many urban dwellers who have moved out to new additions in the city suburbs find themselves in frequent encounters with coyotes. They often attribute those sightings of coyotes or problems with them to their invading the coyote’s habitat.

              In fact, just the opposite is true. Coyotes are proliferating to the point they are **re-inhabiting land long cleared of coyotes by early ranchers and farmers** or that never contained coyotes in the first place”

              Huh? So which is it?

              “Most of these guys sign up for multiple predator species on their ranch. They want the raccoons gone right alongside the coyotes and everything else, so that helps decide what methods to use,”

              And, for too long and the hell with wildlife.

              “Bodenchuk said. “If we’re going to aerial hunt or put out M44s, it’s really just for coyotes. But if we’re looking for raccoons we’re going to put snares in the fence and traps in the ground and catch coons, coyotes and bobcats, and try and keep the landscape pretty clean.”


              “In 2009, 14 percent of the coyote take was from the air with 86 percent of coyotes killed on the ground with M44 kills making up the larger number, followed by snares, traps and shooting”


              “At one time nearly cleared of coyotes”

              And the lesser publicized but just as economically important damage coyotes do is predation of wildlife populations—deer, quail and turkey. with HELLO?? Wait for it…. HUNTING LEASES a big part of ranching revenue, coyotes are enemy No. 1″

              In all of this “dismal” news in this link WM, the fact is, humans are “proliferating to the point” where wildlife now need champions.

              They need a voice and lots of independent biologists and folks concerned, willing to step forward, to explain why there’s an ebb and flow to their numbers due to mankind’s ability to:



              to increase in number or spread rapidly and often excessively.

              • Louise Kane says:

                ah Nancy I did not see your post addressing the same the part about keeping the landscape clean makes me feel so bad. I can never understand how people can be so arrogant, cruel and stupid.

            • Louise Kane says:

              Wm I suggested deferring to Jon Way because he is the only scientist that exclusively studies coyotes that I know posts here, unless of course others do that I am not aware of.

              as for that article. I did read it and take issue with the tone. It feels very biased and disingenuous. The jaunty writing tone, gee whiz but those darned coyotes are eating our pets, doesn’t do much to disguise the author’s intent to malign coyotes.

              I wonder how some of the claims about coyotes can be made, when most states don’t even trouble themselves to list coyotes as game animals or offer any sort of regulations. How do they know how many animals actually exist, what the incessant hunting does to their populations (size of animals at maturation, age of maturation, ability to survive when pack members are randomly killed, densities, habitat preferences, etc). There are no reporting requirements, no statistics, nothing but the studies that are done by independent researchers. I guess I find it hard to swallow that killing 75,000 coyotes a year is anything but wasteful, unnecessary, and ignorant.

              I may be speaking out of turn but there has to be some undesirable, random and long lasting ecological repercussions to killing wild animals this way.

              Wild canids that are left alone do use territoriality to restrict their numbers and they are subject to the same constraints that other predators are. Populations don’t explode when there is not enough prey or habitat, etc.

              Why is it acceptable to ignore science, evolution and biology concepts that illustrate the tendency for coyotes to self regulate their populations.

              The article feels very familiar in its discrimination of coyotes. The first reaction to their presence one of fear, to eliminate on sight, and to ignore the concept of coexisting with them.

              I’m surprised you’d use this article to illustrate support for wildlife services

              “But suburbanites mostly try to co-exist with coyotes. They’re not actively trying to kill them. Well, maybe they would fire off the occasional .22 shot if they discovered a coyote munching on Kitty or Fido.”

              “What those absentee landowners should understand is that coyote control not only helps their neighbors, it helps their own wildlife population. Coyotes, and other predators, prey on deer, turkeys and quail as well as sheep and goats.”

              “Most of these guys sign up for multiple predator species on their ranch. They want the raccoons gone right alongside the coyotes and everything else, so that helps decide what methods to use,” Bodenchuk said. “If we’re going to aerial hunt or put out M44s, it’s really just for coyotes. But if we’re looking for raccoons we’re going to put snares in the fence and traps in the ground and catch coons, coyotes and bobcats, and try and keep the landscape pretty clean.”

              The sense of entitlement to poison, kill and eradicate any animal that the ranchers don’t like is astounding.

              There has to be a better way….

              • Nancy says:

                Haven’t heard a coyote howl in weeks around my neck of the woods Louise (and its private & public lands combined) But do know the federal trapper comes out around calving time, which starts in March.

              • Louise Kane says:

                Nancy there are so many claims that populations of coyotes are out of control. I remember hearing Jon Way talk once and explain to a crowd that sometimes people think they are seeing multiple coyotes but they could be seeing the same animals as they travel long distances. I know I stop hearing them howl here after hunting season. I am frightened for them when I do hear them knowing I am not the only one taking note that the hunters will be locating them. The members of the Stop Killing Contests in New Mexico group complain that they see fewer and fewer. That article is so typical treating them like they are terrorists stealing wild turkey, deer and other animals.

        • Yvette says:

          WM, yes it is reasonable to expect that WS should be mandated to justify the money spent on management practices, methods, and strategy. The Guy Cutrer article in Ranch Magazine is more evidence that we need to continually revisit how we manage wildlife, why we manage predators, are the practices being used working for the purpose they are meant to serve, and is the money spent justified.

          Mike Bodenchuk, the TX state head of predator control stated WS provides preventative and corrective services to livestock producers. The methods used for preventative management are meant to clear the region of predators before any incident of predation occurs. Does this work and is it financially viable? A study, “Effect of Preventative Coyote Hunting on Sheep Losses to Coyote Predation (Wagner, 1999), was conducted to test the efficacy and economic viability of preventative measures to reduce coyote predation on sheep in Utah. Their study showed two economic benefits for aerial gunning: 1) a reduction in lamb losses to coyote predation, and 2) a reduction in the hours required for summer predation management. A different study, “Coyote Depredation Management: current methods and research needs”, (Mitchell, 2004) found problems with the Wagoner study, and therefore, did not confirm their Wagoner’s results. Mitchell stated there were several statistical problems with the design of the Wagoner study. Further, Mitchell found that the only significant result was finding the allotments that were treated by aerial hunting had fewer confirmed lamb kills than their controlled allotments. He also states that a concurrent study by the same researcher found no consistent relationship between extent and intensity of aerial hunting and lamb losses or the need for summer predation management.

          It appears there is no confirmation that aerial hunting used as a preventative predation management strategy works. The Wagoner study that tested the cost benefit ratio estimated costs for aerial hunting at $185/coyote.

          There is more…

          • Yvette says:

            I want to respond to something else that the Gary Cutrer stated in the Ranch Magazine article. He stated, “And the lesser publicized but just as important damage coyotes do is predation of wildlife population—deer, quail and turkey. With hunting leases a big part of ranching revenue, coyotes are enemy No. 1.” A couple of things need to be addressed about this statement. 1) the coyote predation on deer; and 2) hunting leases being a big part of ranching revenue. In most instances, large prey do not constitute a major food supply for coyotes except when alternative resources are limited, and when it is found in their diet it is primarily carrion. Fawns are more vulnerable to coyotes, but again, with stomach content analysis or scat analysis coyote diet is primarily small prey.
            “Hunting leases are a big part of ranching revenue”. Well, they might be, that is the problem of the property owner that is leasing for hunting, and WS should not be managing predators for private industry hunting leases. In the Ranch Magazine article, Mike Bodenchuk states, “Wildlife Services job is to respond when a livestock producer needs help.” WS should not be working for hunters, so even if hunting leases are a big economic boon for ranchers it is not our problem and should not be at our expense.
            Lastly, not all coyotes kill sheep. So far I’ve not found anything to justify the WS strategy of preventative predator management and the TX ranchers opt for WS to control ALL wildlife. So if you’re a raccoon, rabbit or any number of wild animal species you will be killed on site, which can be argued that leads to worse problems with coyote predation. Leave it to Texans to kill off the coyotes preferred dietary choice then squeal when coyotes kill sheep.

            • WM says:


              ++Well, they might be, that is the problem of the property owner that is leasing for hunting, and WS should not be managing predators for private industry hunting leases.++

              Again, let’s remember the article is written about Texas, with mostly private lands and an anything goes attitude (Don’t get me going on Texans; that’s another story).

              If you take that position, for consistency and equal treatment purposes, there should not be subsidies of any form for the grain, corn and rice farmers throughout the country, especially the Midwest. Yet here we are. They get WS/APHIS services to control everything from insects and rodents to predators, crop subsidies, crop insurance subsidies, price supports, conservation payments for keeping high risk/erodable lands out of cultivation, or for enhancing wildlife habitat. I think there are some other farm bill programs I forgot that Congress offers up.

              I am not defending any of this, but I am suggesting if you want to deal with it, there must be comprehensive treatment. And, well, if coyotes or other predators of any kind are on PRIVATE land, potentially damaging private property (livestock) the equitable argument is that they should be able to do something about it. So, the alternative is a bunch of ranchers/farmers band together to pool their $$$ and hire some private helicopter and guy with a shotgun, or a trapper. I think there is little one can do to stop this, and it may actually be better to have federal or state folks involved with greater transparency.

              And, I will say, it is unreasonable for somebody doing a study, or making conjectures (unfounded mostly), saying predators should be left alone while private land owner loose livestock. “Ooops, guess we were wrong. Sorry, dude.”

              • Yvette says:

                WM, you are not addressing the issues. You’r hung up on the’private property’.

                The issue that me and many others have is the scale of the kills, and the management strategy, i.e., does it work and is it economically, environmentally, and ecologically sound? I suspect that WS is simply staying with status quo. They use the same tired strategy because, not because is is works best, but because it’s the ‘what they’ve always done’.

                To continue to harp on how the money that the livestock owners invest in the predator management program and imply that buys them anything they want just doesn’t work. In TX, according to the numbers Bodenchuk stated in the flippant article that you posted it is 44%. Additionally, simply because something happens on ‘private’ land does not mean the landowner has the power to do or request actions that likely have repercussions far away from his ‘private property’. That tenet is not much different than other environmental laws such as the principle behind upstream/downstream water law.

              • WM says:

                Contrary to your assertion, one of the core issues is PRIVATE PROPERTY, and the so called legal rights that have evolved in the US over the last two hundred fifty years.

                Look, Yvette, I linked to an article that focused on WS work in TX, because of all the criticism of how many coyotes get thumped every year. No doubt it is quite a few.

                I tend to believe it is much more complex, and it is those private property interests, and the costs of protecting them (including government handouts if they can get them) are at stake. Maybe some folks need to have skin in the game for them to understand.

                And, if you don’t think private property rights are at the very heart of the tension in state water rights administration systems (including federal reserved rights) across this country you really don’t know very much about the topic.

          • Louise Kane says:

            Thanks for posting that study Yvette!

        • Louise Kane says:

          WM a study I posted earlier indicates hunting/ random killing of predators increased likelihood of conflicts. Is WS using the best available science or just accommodating ranchers and their predictable reaction to predators, kill em all? when is someone going to do this study on coyotes, wolves and bears.

    • Immer Treue says:

      When someone makes a comment about animal abuse, in regard to causing undue pain and suffering to a hunted animal, the callousness associated with it, this one ranks up there. Then, talk about the intelligence of said miscreant, putting it out there for the whole world to see. About on the par with someone robbing a bank and putting the note to the teller on their own deposit slip. Karma!

      • Louise Kane says:

        One can only hope for Karma but its easy to wish for when the real work that needs to be done are laws enacted to protect wildlife from creeps like this.

        • rork says:

          “Authorities began their investigation in March.” So we can hope this guy will be punished. I’d like laws that say no hound-hunting for coyotes at all, but I’m not sure everyone else will agree.

          Michigan Hunting Dog Federation guys says they oppose hound-hunting of wolves, which I didn’t know.
          Hope you caught how mum my DNR guys were on wolf hunting methods – at the current moment wolves are temporarily not game animals. It’s also best not to say much about trapping or dogs for people wanting them reinstated as game. DNR could have said it opposed dog on wolf, but didn’t, and I think never has.

          PS: “My” coyotes have been very vocal, often well before dark lately. We know where the den is, but stay clear of it, even though we really wanna see pups. You can’t walk without nearly stepping on fawn deer lately, so it’s the good times.

          • Louise Kane says:

            this is my question
            how can people that work in DNR not be opposed to wolf hunting with dogs? Or coyotes and dogs. Canids against canids is dog fighting. These people are supposedly educated and have an interest in wildlife. I truly do not understand how any person, expecially in a career path having to do with wildlife could condone hounding of wild animals. The money issue does not explain it all to me. super revved up packs of dogs trained to kill chasing terrified wildlife, disrupting habitats, communities of animals, and creating havoc in ecosystems is wrong and then there are considerations of decency. what sane person would support this kind of mayhem?

            • rork says:

              I think your comment displays why it’s legal for coyotes – your reasons weren’t that great, used over-the-top language (mayhem, havoc, super reved up, terrified), overstatement (trained to kill, dog fighting – when that need not be the goal) and fuzzy stuff (decency). It’ll have to be better than that.

              With wolves I understand the argument that it is inhumane to the dogs – it’s a deadly point that I’ve not seen overcome yet. I think with coyotes it’s not supposed to be like that (except for knuckleheads like our camera man).

              Ya know, we permit it against bears here. Mind you I am not in favor of it – I’ve seen bear hounding several times (just on Michigan out of doors TV shows). But the reasons I don’t like it are things that may not bother everyone, having to do with culture and ethics, that are hard to get agreement about. It’s not some new fangled crap either (like using bullets – just kidding the gun guys there). It might be more about the attitudes of the hunters than their methods for me, and it’s possible they aren’t all burning stupid .

              • Nancy says:

                “It might be more about the attitudes of the hunters than their methods for me, and it’s possible they aren’t all burning stupid”

                Burning stupid? Neither were some of this country’s most notorious serial killers. Ted Bundy comes to mind…. Should we start viewing some of these hunters as serial killers of wildlife? Picking and choosing which wildlife lives or dies – because THEY buy a license or, just have the okay to fire at will when ever, since no one inside the hunting and livestock community cares?

              • Louise Kane says:

                Rork I appreciate your comments but whats over the top the language or the actions. Really the language describes exactly what happens a bunch of loud baying screeching dogs chasing terrified animals through the woods. They trample and disrupt the habitats and other wildlife. and the dogs do tear apart and kill the animals that are their targets as well as other living beings in their way. If this is not mayhem I don’t know what is. Just calling it like it is.

              • Louise Kane says:

                also Rork, many of these guys do train their dogs to kill the target. There seems to be a new breed of sadists that enjoy the thrill of killing wildlife in as violent a manner as they can. There are numerous facebook pages documenting these behaviors.

                I created a page as a repository for the images that get sent to me so that I can easily show legislators that the incidents that seem so outrageous are really commonplace.

                One facebook page that was the subject of great discussion among advocates contained hundreds of images of a man with his 3 year old daughter and unbelievable number of wild animals he killed in one season.

                One image showed him dangling a live coyote in front of a pack of snarling jumping dogs during a training excericse. The coyote was curled into the fetal position. it was one of the most awful things i have ever seen.

                The commenters and followers wrote things like “you go Duane show that yote” blah blah blah. The poster bragged about the yote having a bad day. These pages are the tip of the iceberg. There is so much abuse that goes on that is legal.

                I find that words like indecent are appropriate. There must be room in the discussion for honest reaction and emotional response as well as for clinical scientific response.

                I think its time people stopped being afraid to express outrage for fear of being labeled as extremist or unprofessional. Some things should elicit disgust, and deserve to be called indecent.

              • ma'iingan says:

                “Really the language describes exactly what happens a bunch of loud baying screeching dogs chasing terrified animals through the woods. They trample and disrupt the habitats and other wildlife. and the dogs do tear apart and kill the animals that are their targets as well as other living beings in their way. If this is not mayhem I don’t know what is. Just calling it like it is.

                But it’s not like that at all – so I’m calling it bullshit. Do you encounter a lot of hound hunters, Louise? I do, and though I don’t particularly care for them or their sport, your lurid account is indeed over the top.

                And it’s exactly why wolf advocates who oppose hunting wolves with hounds can’t get any traction in Wisconsin.

                That kind of rhetoric (“destroying ecosystems”) drives away any moderate supporters who might agree but don’t want to be labeled.

              • Louise Kane says:

                so you are calling BS? I have seen enough evidence to make a determination about what hounding without having to be physically present. Do you need to see whalers killing whales to know that its destructive, or wildlife in Africa poached to understand the destructiveness?

                I suppose because you say hounding “is not like that” and I can see that it is I should take your word for it?

                My friends have hunting dogs and i know the sound of baying very well. They are not hunting with the dogs but when the dogs are excited I think of what that sound would be for a wild animal with 6 or so dogs chasing them. Terrifying seems pretty damn accurate to me.

                I suppose that the video of the hounded coyote is a one of a kind?

                Whats BS is the implication that using appropriate language to describe a highly offensive activity is the reason that hounding of wolves in Wisconsin continues… come on now.

                Wisconsin’s DNR is highly supportive of hounders and trappers. Oh yeah and isn’t Paul Ryan a hunter and I thought I remembered him having some remote connection in Wisconsin politics? hmm that radical political environment wouldn’t have something to do with the fact that Wisconsin is still the only state to allow wolves to be hounded?

                Hounding of wolves is not widely supported at all, even in Wisconsin. I read the comments sent to the DNR but I’m sure you have too.

                as for moderate….Im betting most people would not find the video of the hounded coyote or other images that are common on the internet moderate. I find it amazing that wildlife specialists would not be the first to condemn these activities.

                Its not the calling out language thats offensive its the overt shift of blame to people that object that is.

              • ma'iingan says:

                “so you are calling BS? I have seen enough evidence to make a determination about what hounding without having to be physically present.”

                You’ve seen a few Facebook videos posted by degenerates, and constructed a fantasy around hunting with hounds, where the landscape is overrun with –

                “super revved up packs of dogs trained to kill chasing terrified wildlife, disrupting habitats, communities of animals, and creating havoc in ecosystems”

                The truth is, it’s illegal in Wisconsin and most every state to allow dogs to kill ANY wild animal, most hunters use just 2-3 dogs at a time, and most runs end without success – and I can’t think of any of our ecosystems that have had “havoc” created but this small niche group of hunters.

                Even during the peak of the winter hunting seasons they’re next to invisible. I’ve never heard of anyone’s enjoyment of Wisconsin’s winter landscape being disrupted by super revved-up packs of dogs.

                “I suppose because you say hounding “is not like that” and I can see that it is I should take your word for it?”

                AGAIN, I’m no fan of hunting with hounds – but you’ve never seen it other than the degenerate crap you search out on the Internet. I’m in my 28th year as a wildlife professional, mostly in Wisconsin – where I’ve learned a thing or two about hunting with hounds.

                So yeah, the rhetoric is over the top and wolf advocates who use it alienate more moderate supporters. I witness this at every public meeting concerning wolves.

                The scumbags that post the videos absolutely need to be called out and prosecuted whenever possible – but they don’t represent the entire community of hound hunters.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              So dropping coyotes into a pack of snarling dogs or sic’ing dogs on a trapped coyote isn’t considered over the top. And then videotaping it. Despite warnings, these people cannot help acting like textbook psychopaths.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                The difference between hunting with guns and hunting with dogs in this way is the torture aspect. The ‘yote was having a bad day. What an a*****e-ish thing to laugh about on a permanent videotape. I hope someday he won’t get to play with dogs anymore and have a bad day when the voters vote for the DNR cancels his fun.

              • ma'iingan says:

                “So dropping coyotes into a pack of snarling dogs or sic’ing dogs on a trapped coyote isn’t considered over the top.”

                It absolutely is. Where did you see me defending this practice?

            • Louise Kane says:

              Ma first of all I don’t seek out or search the internet for this “degenerate crap”. There are many grassroots groups and NGOs that care about carnivores and these images are circulated just like the trapped black wolf in the snow with the blood. I do now, however, whenever I am sent them take the time to put them onto a face book page or save them in folders as evidence to prove that they are not isolated events. They are degenerate and vile but thats not my doing. This shit goes on all the time.

              You say these actions don’t constitute the majority of hounders, hunters etc. yet by saying that you ignore the growing body of evidence substantial abuse directed at carnivores occurs regularly and that trapping, snaring, hounding and wildlife killing contests create a huge potential to engage in what amounts to legalized abuse.

              Trappers can set hundreds of traps and snares. Snares are inexpensive and both are indiscriminate, Lengthy trap check times and the methods allowed to kill the trapped wildlife are not humane. You argue hounds are not revved up. What do you call a pack of dogs baying, pacing and straining to start a hunt? The people that are training their dogs to hunt coyotes abuse the dogs and the wildlife. Just because its not legal for hounders to allow their dogs to kill an animal doesn’t mean it doesn’t occur. Jamie Olsen was a wildlife services employee and he was caught doing it.

              Did you take a look at the page I posted? I’ve been sent hundreds of images of what you call degenerate crap from all over. The link I posted contains a very small subset of images by a trapper, hounder, serial abuser from Oregon. He has killed what looks like thousands of animals. Heaps of possums, hundreds of coyotes, raccoons, fox, bobcats, muskrat and otter. I posted only some of the images before he took down the site and before i grew so sickened I had to stop.

              The common thread on these sites is to boast of how many animals you kill. Sometimes getting multiple animals on a set really gets them going. Many of them hound, as this guy does and they talk about the way the dogs get so excited to kill the animals. Look at the link I posted where almost every image involves a dog or multiple dogs in them. Dogs with dead animals, near animals about to be killed or draped on the back of a truck.

              As a wildlife professional for 28 years you should be concerned about the escalating violence against wildlife. Although I think its been there all along and that the internet is just exposing it. Legal or not, hounding, trapping, snaring and killing contests are destructive, inhumane, and indefensible.

              Dogs are not wildlife. They are invasive species just as much as acts are. They do not belong in wilderness areas or national parks harassing and chasing wildlife. in this case see no evil hear no evil is just business as usual. Ignoring evidence to the contrary doesn’t mean it isn’t so.

              • Nancy says:

                Not a comfort to know Louise, but from what I can gather, if a dog is caught chasing cattle in these parts, it can be shot on sight. If a dog is caught chasing wildlife it can also be shot on sight. Yet many ranchers let their dogs run loose (to harass wildlife) and dogs are used to “hound” wildlife like bears or mountain lions.

                But I’m sure there are some on the WN who could define the “delicate” difference.

              • Louise Kane says:

                Really fd up Nancy that dogs can be shot on sight for chasing livestock or wildlife but hounding is legal. The laws are a mess.

              • Mark L says:

                Anyone find irony in dogs chasing (OK…’hounding’) coyotes that are sometimes actually part dog (and some probably part eastern/red wolf)? In the east, coyotes aren’t all coyote for the most part.

          • Louise Kane says:


            Ma’iing this is the Facebook page that I created to document the man who kills coyotes and uses them as live bait for his dog training. i am only half way done with posting the images. I have at least 6 other equally as disturbing images from sites to post. there are hundreds out there. I started posting because on the worst ones once people discover the gruesome imagaes, and in some cases call authorities, the idiots take their pages down. So as soon as you see them you mud take screen shots, save them in folders and then post them. This takes time and an emotional toll to do it and then I follow through by writing letters to authorities. I can’t keep up with it and like I said its very emotionally disturbing to expose yourself to this. But I am tired of hearing that these incidents are isolated or that they are infrequent or any of the other lame ass excuses that allow patent serial abuse of predators to continue. So now I have a site containing this horrid content so I can point to proof. I did not seek out these images, they exist because a depraved part of the population goes unregulated and is allowed to perpetuate the fallacy that this kind of killing is sport. I think you are in wildlife management, if so instead of being angry when these abuses are brought to your attention you might think about revising policy so that there are no loopholes for this kind of behavior starting with eliminating trapping, snaring, hounding, penning, contests. all involved commercialized killing of wildlife.

            • Louise Kane says:

              I meant to say I created a site as a repository for predator abuse by trappers, hounders, contest participants and others that abuse predators. The page I posted is just that once case in Oregon.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              Thank you Louise.

              “Trappers in New York are currently limited in options for pursuing their sport and this legislation could expand opportunities for them in the state,” said Tony Celebrezze, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance director of state services. “This bill is a step in the right direction toward allowing trappers the freedom to use all available technology.”

              All available technology? It sounds like war. WTF.


              • Ida Lupines says:

                I should say that nothing gives me more happiness than to see these lowlifes’ noses rubbed in their bloody misdeeds. Keep up the good work, Louise.

              • Louise Kane says:

                a friend of mine in NY told me this died in committee but that it pops up year after year! we spent hours calling against it and some of the aides had no idea what the bill was. Once these things pass they are almost impossible to undo. Its so important when you see a bill to introduce or expand trapping, snaring, hounding, killing of carnivores to call and write and post widely.

              • Louise Kane says:

                Ida did you know that MA is considering expanding bow hunting into Sunday. If you don’t have my e mail please ask Ralph. If you want a list of legislators and a form letter I drafted please e mail me. I need to check on what’s happening there.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                Wow, no I didn’t know that! I always liked the idea of having Sundays as a day to rest, and a break from the relentless paths of money-making and destruction.

                I do have your email, I believe. At some point, with our human population expanding, it is going to interfere with people wanting to have quiet walks in the woods. It’s already happening with people’s dogs getting injured.

    • timz says:

      One can only hope this fellow and his dogs run into a pack of wolves one day. The outcome is likely to be a little different for the dogs.

  10. Lyn McCormick says:

    Utah to Auction part of Lake Canyon Wildlife Area

  11. aves says:

    Researchers find link between lead ammunition and bald eagle deaths:

  12. Louise Kane says:

    resolution to ban snaring and trapping in New Mexico county passed! Some good news

    • CodyCoyote says:

      Why does the right embrace ignorance?

      – because it’s all they know.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Public comment through august 4th
      cormorants protected through migratory species act

  13. Ida Lupines says:

    I haven’t heard any coyotes lately, but have seen a couple. I have heard that shriek of the foxes tho! 🙂
    And I saw a beautiful bald eagle the other day on a walk (a small bird chasing him away!). My lovely little rural corner of the world is fast becoming suburbia with new homes mowing down all the trees. The town has approved a protected area near me tho. Must be that new ‘mitigation’ strategy. 🙁

  14. JB says:

    California Fish & Game Commission appears to be moving forward on a petition to ban wildlife killing contests (predator derbies) in the state. This effort was spear-headed by Project Coyote with significant involvement from the science advisory group.

    Here is a link to the letter that PC sent:

    Here is a link to an appendix justifying scientific claims made in the letter:

    • Yvette says:

      That’s great work, and I like Project Coyote’s approach, at least, from what I know about them. I hope this spreads to other states. I think it will when more of the general public becomes aware of these killing contests.

    • Louise Kane says:

      kudos JB for being part of such a worthwhile excellent endeavor!

    • Ida Lupine says:

      All well and good, but nobody cares about reason, adequate or not. If they did, these contests would have been cancelled a long time ago; yet they continue. To continue to let the public off the hook leaves me mystified; of course they know what is going on, it just isn’t that important to them. But perhaps with continued hammering away at the topic, we may get some results. Or we may continue to be ignored. California isn’t really exemplary of other states, they are unique.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I should have written: not only are they continuing, but increasing around the nation! But I hope to be proven wrong…in my lifetime.

      • Yvette says:

        Ida, I think the killing contests are under the radar of the general population. I didn’t know about them until this past fall. Once I started to dig a little bit in what was happening I was astonished to easily find 15 coyote killing contests, and several of them also included bobcats. I know for a fact that one of the bigger ones in my state looks like they try to keep a low profile. They don’t post photos; not any at all.

        I plan to start doing op-eds in the target towns/counties on coyote ecology as it pertains to these killing contests. Even if it gets in their local newspapers I don’t expect it to go over well. Oklahoma will be a hard nut to crack.

        Oklahoma was the last state in the union to end legalized chicken fighting. That was a huge fight that went on for years before it became illegal. It only ended in about 2002.

        I honestly think most people aren’t aware of the coyote/bobcat killing contests.

  15. Nancy says:

    Check out the last comment under the article.

    • Louise Kane says:

      do you know BW girl? it just sounds like the same kind go ignorance you always see when wolves, coyotes or other predators are involved. There are seemingly common traits in predator haters ignorance, intolerance, a scarcely concealed love of gratuitous violence.

      • Nancy says:

        Don’t know her Louise but I’ve run across her name on a few sites (articles about wolves) with the same pathetic comments.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        I could find no comments she made regarding wolves but I did not exhaust the source; she (he?) works/lives in Orlando Florida. Click on her name in the comments and it will take you to the Discus account.

        • Nancy says:

          I gave up after about 20 days worth of comments Barb. Wow! Southern Baptist? Anyway the screen name sounds familiar.

  16. Louise Kane says:

    effects of hunting on cougars as management strategy shows increased complaints of human predator conflicts

  17. Ida Lupine says:

    But why does anyone even need to hunt a poor defenseless animal with (several) dogs? It is indefensible. I hope no one will say because it is ‘fun’ and ‘sporting’, when it is neither one. Especially when humans have myriad ways of hunting alternatives. We’re totally out of control – wars that never end, shootings daily with too many guns. Something is very wrong.

  18. Ida Lupine says:

    I have to laugh, what kind of an idiot refers to a coyote as a ‘yote anyway. I don’t think Louise’s account is lurid, but the fact that there’s a video certainly is lurid. Wisconsin is swirling down the toilet lately, and I hope Michigan doesn’t follow suit.

    • Yvette says:

      I read about this Friday. It leaves an describable knot in the stomach. This makes two big, famous bulls that have been slaughtered for blood ivory within 30 days.

      If the world does not get the Chinese and other Asian countries that are driving this elephant massacre under control we are going to lose this magnificent species in the wild.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Yes, I think we have to use sanctions or make it conditional on trade. If we do not, we are complicit.

  19. CodyCoyote says:

    Twelve southwest Wyoming ranchers AND the Wyoming Stockgrowers are suing Western Watersheds –in particular state director John Ratner—for multiple criminal trespasses since 2005 , accusing him and WW volunteers for trespassing to get water samples for testing. Ratner says the lawsuit is news to him. He says he tries very very hard to stay on public lands or public easements as they go about trying to gather the evidence that state and federal agencies cannot or more likely will not do on their own. Western Watersheds is trying to show the harm that ranching does to wildlife in riparian areas. The Stockgrowers have retained firebrand hired gun lawyer Karen Budd-Falen to plead the case. I wonder if she is up to speed on the nuances of Wyoming trespass law, and the difference between simple and malicious ( criminal ) trespass ? For starters. She is a real piece of work…a Ready Fire Aim kinda lawyer.

    The Plaintiffs must think it is still 1892 in Wyoming.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Surely there’s an exception for Federal EPA laws regarding water quality.

    • Louise Kane says:

      isn’t it is still 1892 in Wyoming….

      • CodyCoyote says:

        It’s always 1892 in Wyoming, Louise ( read up on the Johnson County Cattle War to see why ).

        My take on this agressive lawsuit is when you observe the hyberbolic reaction of the ” affected” ranchers and Stockgrowers in the aggregate complaint, it can only be explained by realizing the plaintiffs do, in fact, have something to hide or not want found out…

        We’ll know when Western Watersheds calls it’s first witness for the defense , ” Will E. coli please take the stand ? “

        • Louise Kane says:

          interesting to see this lawsuit and juxtapose it with the Cliven Bundy debacle a month or so ago. trespassing on public lands goes unpunished I wonder what shit will rain down on WW if they did trespass to obtain a water test? Maybe it will be cause for a lynching!

        • Nancy says:

          “The lawsuit cited two water quality samples delivered to the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality in 2005 and 2010, the coordinates of which ranchers and landowners say prove Ratner and staff members were on private property or had no option but to cross private property to get to the site”

          An interesting read on the subject:

          Or google: creeks, streams and the effect of cattle on them.

          Lots of sites come up, ALL over the country, as areas try and address livestock pollution.

          • CodyCoyote says:

            Footnote to above: a person familiar with this complaint and the lawsuit ( whom we know very well at this blog site) wrote me that this is a classic SLAPP suit… Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. That’s a frivolous lawsuit designed to deflect the issue, mainly by causing the other party to have to spend a great deal of money or spend a great deal of time in a court case that otherwise has little or no merit. SLAPP’s are preemptive strikes designed to deflect or obfuscate the issue at hand , or they are a ” my lawyers can eat your lawyers before breakfast” scenario. There is also the question of the friendly venue.

            In other words, the cattle barons are doing EXACTLY the same thing that they and other industries and interest groups have long accused the environmental groups of doing: filing frivolous lawsuits in friendly courtooms to tie up a policy issue in court. The cowboy boot is on the other leg here.

            My hunch that the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association and the dozen cattlemen as plaintiffs really do have something to hide or things they don’t want seen is now much stronger.

            • Louise Kane says:

              There is something called a sanction 11 that can be invoked for frivilous lawsuits. They are hard to invoke when there is a legal basis for the claim no matter how inconsequential. I think its a shame they can’t be invoked more easily especially in circumstances as you outline, my lawyer is badder than yours or you have no money for a lawyer so take that.

    • Yvette says:

      This is infuriating.

      “Landowners are not comfortable having an extreme biased organization that has not demonstrated the professional qualifications to collect credible data trespassing their lands,” attorney Karen Budd-Falen said in a news release.

      For the last 14 years my primary job has been stream monitoring. I have never come across any agency or volunteer group that did not have accepted protocols in place. They determine procedure for how the samples are collected; how to handle samples after collection; holding times for the sample that are determined by which assays are to be conducted; how to store samples between collection event and delivery to lab etc. Collecting water samples in and of itself is not a difficult thing to learn. Many people across the Nation have been trained as volunteers in various watershed groups. The intent of protocols and quality plans is to ensure precision, accuracy and repeatability. Designing a full stream monitoring program that has rigor does take knowledge of watershed management, and the program design is based on multiple factors for what the agency or volunteer group is trying to achieve; i.e., baseline monitoring or a specific problem? But collecting the samples and use and maintenance of equipment such as YSI sondes and dataloggers can be taught to anyone.

      It sounds like the stockgrower’s attorney is full of manure. I would imagine Western Watersheds has their credibility covered via protocols and quality standards that they follow with each and every sample collection event.

      As for trespassing private land it seems that is going to be difficult for the ranchers to prove. This is especially so if GPS and/or GIS was used to ensure that their private land was not trespassed. Anyway, who is to say they didn’t enter the stream via public land and travel upstream or downstream to the collection site? I don’t know about Wyoming, but in Oklahoma the landowner does not own the stream even as it crosses private land.

      It is common knowledge the damage livestock has on water quality and stream banks.

      What would be cool is if Western Watersheds could set up gauging stations upstream and downstream of the point of interest. That is an expensive endeavor, though. However; regular monitoring could be conducted at upstream and downstream sites.

  20. Ida Lupines says:

    Ma’iingan, thank goodness there are good wildlife professionals such as yourself and others on this blog. These things get people riled up because they are so incredible cruel…hopefully as you say it isn’t the norm.

  21. Louise Kane says:

    more on the coastal BC wolves
    they dig and eat for clams! so cool

  22. Ida Lupines says:

    More than 20,000 elephants poached in Africa in 2013:

    The BBC notes that though the overall poaching levels in 2013 declined, the report found that poaching levels exceeded the elephant birth rate, posing a serious threat to the survival of Africa’s elephants.

    Can’t somebody do something?

    • Jake Jenson says:

      Yeah they can, hunt trap and poison the poachers. It’s the only way possible to insure positive Elephant herd growth. lol..

      • Yvette says:

        The blood ivory issue reminds me of the ‘war on drugs’. The poachers are getting more and more sophisticated and there is so much money to be made that it also involves corruption with politicians and even some park rangers that are supposed to protect the elephants.

        As bad as these poachers are I see the bigger problem with China. It is the Chinese that is driving the demand. I really wish we had the power to put sanctions on China and shut them down, but alas, most of our products come from China and they hold the note on much of our debt. Is that correct?

        A well researched and interesting article from a couple of years ago:

        • Ida Lupines says:

          They need our markets, so it would seem to me that we would be in a prime bargaining position for upcoming trade agreements. Enforcement of course would be the key. They have some of our debt but not a major portion. But I truly believe that we’ll always put human needs and human autonomy above those of animal extinction, so I doubt any country will take any serious action, except to throw a paltry sum of money at the problem every now and again, which will probably end up in a corrupt politician’s pocket and nowhere else. If something isn’t done soon, we will see the end of elephants and rhinos, and our top predators. They say in ten years for elephants.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Yes, Yvette I have read this National Geographic article, and I believe I also posted it here as well. Very grave situation.

  23. Louise Kane says:

    Idaho hunters kill wild lion, US trophy hunters kill some of the biggest in size and numbers of African wildlife. Will say it again trophy hunting sucks. What kind of person wants to use their short time on earth to seek out and kill something like this while spending enormous amounts of money in doing so? This should be illegal sorry I know thats not popular but I can’t stand to see magnifigence reduced to pile of dead meat, tongue lolling outwards with some freak addicted to killing grinning ear to ear like they accomplished a valuable amazing feat.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Americans are some of the most shallow, entitled, arrogant people on the planet. We’re not called “Ugly American” for nothing. Too much prosperity breeds contempt. Trophy hunting is for status and selfishness, and the people who do it are poor excuses for humanity.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        And some of the dumbest! I’ve been reading the inane comments of the supporters of the latest head-scratchingly ridiculous White House debacle of the trade of high-level Taliban for Sgt. Bergdahl. I know Americans have been dumbed down, but they should realize that military law is different than civilian law. The guy left his post – end of story. While I do think he should be home, he hardly served with honor and distinction as Susan Rice insists. It appears he never should have been accepted into the military in the first place.

  24. Louise Kane says:

    John Perez posted the conservation forces rationalization for trophy hunting in Stop Animal Killing Contests in NM. More we are the true conservationists because we pay money for licenses to kill wildlife. Zacharay another part posting has a good take. Why can’t these men do what others do when they are having flashes of too much testosterone fight one another or that other time held mechanism for release that is also an appropriate description of what they are, jerkoffs.

    From Conservation Force

    Why We Hunt – The Meaning of Trophy in Male Initiation

    Conservation Force
    6 hrs · Edited · Like

    Zachary Stauber They and Safari Club Int’l are seriously Orwellian. Promoting trophy hunting in order to generate money for conservation is like saying the mafia traffics drugs to raise money for drug abuse counseling and rehabilitation. There are literally millions of other things they could do to raise conservation money that don’t include killing endangered species. It’s basically trying to launder blood money, is what it is.
    1 hr · Like

    • Ida Lupines says:

      It really is something about human nature. I’m dismayed also about the Iraq situation, where thousands of people have died, and now the game has been reset to zero again. All for nothing. We just can’t help ourselves, so the future of the entire planet and its non-human inhabitants is very dim.

      • Immer Treue says:

        A bit that I have read suggests that So much of what are considered borders in the Middle East were the brain child of Euro centrist governments. It’s time to let those in the Middle East to slug it out on their own, finally allow them to have their own nations, somewhat like happened when we finally vacated Vietnam. Just leave them alone!

        • Ida Lupines says:

          I tend to agree.

        • Yvette says:

          If it weren’t for the oil our politicians could care less what they do to one another. As long as the oil wells don’t dry up we will never stop ‘spreading democracy’ inn the Middle East.

          • Immer Treue says:

            Perhaps the reason for the surge in drilling and oil extraction techniques here, thinking the oil of the Middle East may be lost for a while?

  25. Ida Lupines says:

    “One of our biggest challenges across the entire country is habitat fragmentation. It certainly has impacted the bison,” Jewell said in a recent interview.

    “There’s almost no animal it has not impacted. You get a treasure like the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge — 15,000 acres in an urban area. It is really an oasis. But without connectivity to other parts of the landscape, it’s going to be difficult to make it anything like what it used to be.”

    Something we can agree on!—but-limited-space-to-roam/article_dff3ca96-25b2-5104-9994-f0e8b156adf7.html

  26. Ida Lupines says:

    Thought some of you might like to read this:

    Final Salute to a Wet-Nosed Warrior

  27. Immer Treue says:

    Mech on Isle Royale

    It is difficult to disagree with Mech’s points.

    • WM says:

      Interesting Dr. Mech would seem to advocate “watchful waiting” over more immediate intervention. However, in light of his assertion that causation of skeletal abnormalities are apparently inconclusive (seems I have read elsewhere causation was conclusively inbreeding), maybe waiting to see what happens is not such a bad thing.

      My sentiments, still are tweaked by the possibility that those abnormalities might be amplified in successive generations, and could make it harder to kill food. It may to some extent be painful if the condition worsens with age too(think of those who have large breed dogs afflicted with hip dysplasia thought to have resulted from kennel in-breeding, though there is now more speculation it could also stem from other environmental influences).

      • Immer Treue says:

        Ah yes, amplification of recessive genes. Thing is, with most of these genetic skeletal abnormalities, the animal is either completely debilitated at an early age and dies, or the manifestations of the abnormalities don’t kick in until the animal becomes aged. If the latter is the case, and wild wolves don’t usually live past six years of age, the liability of the structural fault becomes moot.

        Either side of the Mech “opera” can sing their own aria, however if one has followed Mech through the years, it becomes more and more obvious that he works from a very logical platform.

        • JB says:

          “however if one has followed Mech through the years, it becomes more and more obvious that he works from a very logical platform.”

          I suspect that all of the folks involved in the IR wolf saga would prefer we tackle the issue with logic, science and sound reasoning. In this case, I tend to agree with Mech, as I’ve noted here before. However, I do worry about the loss of IR’s wolves–a very uncontroversial population–when the species engenders controversy nearly everywhere else. It is nice that there is still a place where wolves can be wolves; ungulates, ungulates; and researchers can observe the saga without intervention from all of those folks who would do these animals harm.

  28. JB says:

    “however if one has followed Mech through the years, it becomes more and more obvious that he works from a very logical platform.”

    I suspect that all of the folks involved in the IR wolf saga would prefer we tackle the issue with logic, science and sound reasoning. In this case, I tend to agree with Mech, as I’ve noted here before. However, I do worry about the loss of IR’s wolves–a very uncontroversial population–when the species engenders controversy nearly everywhere else. It is nice that there is still a place where wolves can be wolves; ungulates, ungulates; and researchers can observe the saga without intervention from all of those folks who would do these animals harm.

    • Amre says:

      Isle royal is constantly changing. About 100 years ago, there were caribou, lynx, etc, but no wolves or moose on it. Then, those animals became extinct on the island. Moose came to IR and their population quickly grew. Then in the 1940s, wolves migrated on to the island. The populations of both wolves and moose have fluctuated a lot since then. Island populations are always vulnerable to inbreeding. And these days since full ice cover on the Great Lakes is now rare, there are few if any wolves coming from the mainland. Unfortunately, a female wolf from IR was shot in December, as she was walking on the ice towards the mainland. The only thing that can save isle royals wolves now is if a wolf from the mainland comes.

  29. aves says:

    T-shirt fundraiser for red wolves:

  30. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Greenpeace loses £3m in currency speculation

    The most significant damage to Greenpeace may be to the trust of its supporters, as 90% of funding comes from small donations

    • WM says:

      Sadly, this sort of thing reinforces the assertion that a lot of environmental groups and their employees simply don’t know much or care about finance, economics or business. In reality that is what makes most of the world turn, including the vehicle which ultimately churns out the fuel upon which many non-profits run – small and large cash donations, and endowments from often guilty uber-rich who mad their millions by destroying the environment, and who cut checks for tens of thousands of dollars/euros or other currencies, in an effort to make themselves feel better about how they became rich.

  31. Yvette says:

    Maybe this will help make sense of the big push toward the privatization of our public lands. Although, it appears to go much deeper than that. So what do Oilmen, the NRA, and the Safari Club International have in common? Read on, and read the report in one of the links in the article.

    This is a powerful and scary trio.

    • Yvette says:

      Big, huge eye roll here. The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has absolutely no business being in line to get this buffalo. First of all, bison are in no way culturally linked to the Cherokee; secondly, I’d like to know where they will put this bison. They have land but they don’t think they have a huge contiguous land base, so the buffalo won’t be able to roam, so to say. Any tribe that is not culturally tied to bison should automatically be shut out. Maybe that is a stretch, and I’m out of line, but those tribes that do have a cultural link should receive priority, and NEED comes to mind. The Cherokee certainly don’t need this bison. They tend to always be sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong. Why do they want this bison?

      • Ida Lupines says:

        How about this one? I have always wanted to see the American Great Plains preserves, and also for those tribes for whom bison is part of their culture.

      • Mark L says:

        Bison ranged to the east historically. They WERE an occassional part of Cherokee culture (at least in middle Tennessee). I’m not sure if they feel the need culturally to offer to take them, or if they feel their present location was a historical habitat. In other words, I don’t agree with discounting a tribe because of lack of cultural ties, if the land they presently occupy was a part of the bison’s range. It’s about returning the bison, not whether it’s the tribe’s possession.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          It should be about returning the bison to the lands they used to occupy, but it will turn out to be about possession and slaughter for meat. That’s the dominant culture’s creed – what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is mine, and the almightly dollar. I worry that this has seeped into other cultures.

        • Yvette says:

          That’s a good point, Mark L. I’m in Oklahoma and am familiar with the tribal landbase here. Most of the 39 tribes here have land, but it’s checkerboarded. The Cherokees are one of the Five Civilized Tribes; my tribe, the Muscogee Creek is also one of those five. The Cherokees do good work on many fronts, environmental is one of them (my field), but I also see the backside of a few things. I suppose it depends on why the Cherokee want this bison. I haven’t checked on it, but I imagine it’s to butcher and distribute the meat? IF this is about returning the bison to a historical range then I’m suspect of their intentions at this point.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            It may not even have gotten this far, it’s whoever is putting this plan together in MT to do the ethically best thing for the bison. The first most important thing in my opinion is to let them be able to roam so that they are not stuck in fragmented habitat that ‘has to be culled’.

  32. Louise Kane says:

    The killing contests this week should anyone care to comment

    • W.Hong says:

      I tried to look at this page on facebook and it says no content available.

  33. Immer Treue says:

    Wolf effect on Fox and Coyote

    • Louise Kane says:

      Immer was just going to post this anyhow

      The problem I have with these studies even though they imply support for having wolves on the landscape is that they rely on data from “harvested” animals. I’m not convinced that extrapolating population estimates through harvesting is an accurate means to understand anything about population densities or the relationships between the predators. The fisheries model (maximum sustainable yield) led to the collapse of ground fish. It never was logical to me to presume living numbers of beings from counts of dead animals. Not a reliable indicator

    • WM says:

      I’d feel better about the conclusions reached from this historic data, if another researcher besides Ripple (or one of his grad students), had a name on the study.

  34. Mareks Vilkins says:

    treasure chest of information:

    “Predators and Prey: Integrating Management to Achieve Conservation Objectives” was held in March 2007 as part of the 72nd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference

    nr.10 – “The Good, Bad and Ugly, Depending on Your Perspective” by Carter Niemeyer

    nr. 11 – “Social and Ecological Benefits of Restored Wolf Populations” by the Defenders team


    papers by wildlife managers

  35. Louise Kane says:

    starting with education
    I like this so much better than “hunter education” course being foisted on small children teaching them to kill even before they are in high school. I think its dangerous to teach kids to hunt before they are developmentally able to determine their emotions about killing.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Yes, it’s a beautiful book. Have a good day, all –

    • rork says:

      By Darwin’s liver, do we forbid the kids animal products (meat, milk) until high school too, Dr. Freud?

      • Louise Kane says:

        maybe we allow children to form their own conclusions and explore and learn about the natural world before they are taught about trapping and hunting?

        • rork says:

          My daughter and many other kids near me catch their first walleye at about 4 or 5 years old. They get that you eat them, that they are good, and that people like you when you bring them good things to eat. Near me, the family and village also tends to agree that bringing home deer meat is a good thing. That’s ancient. We let kids learn to slaughter and butcher farm animals if they want. Many ethical things are encoded in culture rather than law.
          (I agree I don’t want schools forcing any such on anyone. I’ve never heard of someone taking hunter ed without wanting to.)

    • JB says:

      Teach kids to kill? One day my son saw a mosquito on his arm –SMACK! Murder–or the natural reaction of an organism to a possible threat?

      BTW: I’m not sure if you’ve ever been to a hunter education class, but it isn’t indoctrination; it’s more about teaching them how NOT to kill themselves (or their friends) then it is about teaching them how to take the life of animals.

      • Louise Kane says:

        OK JB, please where is there a correlation between smacking mosquito on one’s arm as a perhaps involuntary and natural reaction to a threat and the trapping classes that are funded by states as part of a curriculum? And yes I have been to a hunter education class for adults and as much as some contain instruction on hunter safety others do in fact teach to trap and hunt. Trapping and hunting do involve killing. I don’t think that should be taught to children. when principles like Darwin’s theory of evolution are still debated in some circles but teaching hunter education classes is seen as a priority, I have an issue with that.

        • JB says:


          The point of my response is that killing is a very natural response to a threat–it doesn’t need to be taught. In any case learning to hunt is actually a useful survival skill–one that has been passed from parent to offspring for a long time.

          Your posts suggest that you think that teaching children to hunt or to use a weapon is going to lead to some sort of pathology (“I see a correlation between teaching young minds to use guns and or hunting at an early age and creating a predisposition of callousness toward wildlife”). I simply don’t see this; I think any “correlation” you see is illusory. We were taught hunters’ safety and boaters’ safety in the classroom (yes, the classroom!!) in 7th grade–reps from the DNR (I believe) and local Rod & Gun Club came to the class room and gave instruction, and then there was an optional field day on the weekend where you learned to shoot a bow, shotgun, rifle, and even a muzzle-loader. I remember the field day quite well. I especially enjoyed target shooting with the bow (so much so that some of the neighborhood boys bought cheap recurves afterward…and no, I never shot a cat, bird or animal with it). But I digress. The events were about learning safety and becoming proficient, and the folks that put them on were very knowledgeable and professional. I and my classmates were able to get through these and, to my knowledge–none have become sociopaths.

          But if your hypothesis were true, sociopaths would be everywhere, as teaching kids to hunt and kill animals (both wild and domestic) for food or defense is nearly ubiquitous across cultures. Most of my family grew up on farms, where the kids were sent to “fetch” (i.e., kill and clean) chickens, for example. This a normal part of life in most places around the world, whether we’re talking about domestic livestock or catching and killing fish and game. Personally, I would rather my child know where his food comes, and confront the fact that his life requires the death of other organisms–whether he swings the hatchet, pulls the trigger, or another does it for him. For me, the dissonance created by these actions actually created empathy and, eventually, led me to cut much of animal products out of my diet.

          Whether kids should be allowed to hunt (or at what age) is a different question. Frankly, I would not hunt with a 10-year old (even an exceptionally mature one); I’d feel uncomfortable hunting with someone less than 15 or 16 years old. I wish states/govts/society would look much more closely at when (what age) it is appropriate to allow someone to hunt.

          • Louise Kane says:

            JB I understand some of your points here and I too was brought up learning to fish and shellfish from the time I could walk and through my father developed a deep appreciation for fish, wildlife and animals. And I think your response about people being exposed to hunting or fishing and understanding the processes by which food is obtained perhaps developing an aversion to killing things is interesting. I do however think the opposite occurs and in part because of the way different people are exposed to the issues. I was lucky to have been raised by a kind man that loved wildlife. He was also a hard core commercial fisherman and it was not until later in his life that he totally understood the dissonance in his love for most beings and the practice of commercial fishing. In his later years he said I just don’t have the heart for killing anything and that later extended to catch and release. My father was a man who lived to fish so that change was radical. That’s what has happened to me as well. I am probably a better fly fisherman than most and I’ve tuna fished, owned a commercial fishing boat and spent a lot of time on the water. i can’t stomach seeing a fish caught now. Anyhow, perhaps I’d have less objection if legal ages were increased, if trapping, snaring and unfair practices were eliminated and guns were not such a pervasive part of our culture. I am bewildered and angry at all the violence against humans and wildlife.

            • Louise Kane says:

              I meant to say that your response was interesting and probably true in some cases yet the I believe the opposite occurs also.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              I’m not opposed to hunting or fishing for food, but I am terribly opposed to waste and entitlement, and all in the name of human hierarchy. If you hunt or fish, at least have the decency to use it entirely and eat it entirely. I remember being out with some friends bluefishing, and a beautiful one was caught, yet I don’t know if anyone took it home, I do remember saying something about taking it.

      • Louise Kane says:

        JB here is a question for you
        do you want your son to go to a school like this? where gun safety is taught as part of the curriculum and teachers can carry concealed weapons. Legislation like this is foisted on constituents by making the debate about safety instead of indoctrinating a new generation of students into gun ownership and use.

        I see a correlation between teaching young minds to use guns and or hunting at an early age and creating a predisposition of callousness toward wildlife. Before the child has a chance to learn about the biology of the animal or the connectedness of living beings within their habitats and ecosystems they learn about hunting and killing them.

        Here is a sample of the hunting education required by Wisconsin. Ten year olds can get a license and under ten can be “mentored”!

        Hunter education is required for anyone born on or after January 1, 1973. No person younger than 10 years old may obtain a hunting license.

        The following persons may only hunt with a mentor:

        Anyone born on or after January 1, 1973, who has not completed hunter education
        Youth ages 10 and 11
        Age Restrictions
        Minimum Age There are no minimum age requirements to take the Wisconsin Hunter’s Ed Course online.

        • Louise Kane says:

          Someone tried to give my son a bb gun when he was younger, we had many arguments about why he could not have the gun. Adolescents don’t have the maturity to handle guns bb or otherwise. Gun ownership and perceived gun “rights” in this country is out of control. I think there is a parallel in some hunting circles in the the violence we are seeing against humans against wildlife, especially predators.

          • WM says:

            Oh, I don’t know, Louise. I tend to believe hunter safety courses (and firearm safety generally under adult supervision) also give lessons in responsibility, trust by a parent to a child, family bonding, introduction to physics and how mechanical systems operate to produce a result, even how discipline and practice in an endeavor results in measureable improvements (my hunter safety course was linked to a target shooting class sponsored by the NRA, which at that time was a more sane organization oriented toward shooting sports).

            According to your view I and many others who have gone through similar courses must have sociopathic tendencies, and indifference toward wildlife or the value of life in general, as a result of exposure to these activities.

            I am inclined to believe so many of the senseless shooting incidents involving adolescents and younger adults (like Columbine and others we all know about) stem from other causes, often involving young people who have never been through these kinds of courses, or who had other organic mental or environmentally induced conditions – like shitty parenting.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              WM, you and JB completely disregard the actual sociopaths who are out there, who do enjoy killing and have a ready-made societal outlet for it with no repercussions. Killing for food is only one small part of hunting – for example, there is no need to kill anything for a trophy or sport, or to make a fur coat for someone. Why does an animal have to give up its life for human social bonding? Who cares? Yes, that may be ancient, but we’ve moved forward in time and have other means now. I agree with Louise that a certain amount of mental maturity and understanding needs to be reached before children learn to hunt and handle weapons. In courts of law, certain levels of maturity are recognized at different ages. Ten isn’t old enough to see and understand an animal as a sentient being completely, and learning this is a process. Some very young children are very much disturbed by hurting animals, and this shouldn’t be squelched because of parents and societal ‘norms’. But older children, say 15-16 and up, certainly should have an awareness and if they show an interest, then could taking hunting and gun instruction. But unfortunately, a lot of this is under the parents’ influence and control, especially at younger ages. Some kids reach their own conclusions, and question the status quo too – good for them!

              That said, both of my grandparents grew up on family farms where they raised and grew their own food, and I look forward to a time when we return to that. I think that we should eat much, much less animal products than we do, and we’d be healthier for it.

              I’d hardly consider killing a mosquito the same as killing wolves and grizzlies in their dens, but I don’t kill mosquitos or bugs either. If I find them indoors, I put them outside. I wear clothing to keep mosquitos off, and repel them if they light on me. I don’t go out when they are out, like dawn and dusk (made that mistake once and don’t plan on repeating it again!) Actually, I’m not bothered by them much at all.

              Your fracking comment was spot on, I totally feel the same way. Once our water is contaminated/gone for profits, then what?

              • Ida Lupines says:

                I’ve always felt that every living thing has a life force that is something to be honored and respected, and not extinguished without so much as a second thought.

            • Louise Kane says:

              WM of course I don’t believe you are a sociopath and I know many hunters who are very responsible. yet there has been a shift in values and practices that is disturbing to say the least. Would you acknowledge that? I am speaking to states like Wisconsin, and I think Idaho (I’ve go to go back and check) that had bills up for consideration adding trapping classes to their school curriculum. From the posts I see they might concentrate on biology, literature, and core education principles instead…

  36. rork says:

    This guy seems to know more info on WI deer study:
    but I don’t see that WI DNR has new reports out where I expect them to be. Durkin says stuff like “That suggests many woodlots in Eastern farmland have become too mature and lack the understory to feed deer” (why does loose their fawns) and I wanna know if the serious biologists said that (with references) or if Durkin is just retelling just-so stories that many hunters have (against older-growth), about which I am quite skeptical.

  37. WM says:

    Not so much about wildlife, but indeed an important topic which enters our discussions here = fracking.

    A contentious discussion is developing along the Front Range of Colorado, and specifically the City of Loveland, (west of Denver and north of Boulder) about whether to allow it. Conspicuously absent from the discussion is US Senator Mark Udall, who faces a tough re-election year.

    • Nancy says:

      WM – read this article but curious about your thoughts on fracking.

      Has this country started down a very slippery, destructive path towards independent, fossil fuel energy sources, ignoring and saying the hell with the environment, because of the BIG $$$ bucks behind it?

      • WM says:


        I had a longer explanation that seems to have been lost in cyberspace. My short answer is that ANYTHING that has a risk of degrading groundwater quality ought to be approached with caution. Fracking has that very significant risk. Petroleum contamination of anything is very difficult and expensive to clean up. So, I hope we move very slowly in these areas of resource extraction, because there may come a time when we need to utilize more groundwater.

  38. Yvette says:

    This is part 2 of a 3 part investigation on Aljazeera regarding the O&G industry and their ties to the NRA, SFI and the Congressional Sportsman’s Foundation.

    This second article is about sage-grouse conservation.

  39. Immer Treue says:

    Perhaps a few things (10) to ponder about science,

    The types of things the new “American Taliban” fail to comprehend about science.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      Glad to see proof and theory are at the top of the list.

      The concepts that there is no proof for a theory but that there has to be a way to disprove it or it is not a valid scientific theory are hard to get across to some.

  40. topher says:

    Not really interesting and not really news. Am I the only one who feels like things have been dumber around here lately? Maybe its just been slow for interesting stories but its getting harder to find interesting stories and the comments seem to have lost a couple I.Q. points, to the point of being almost unbearable. If anyone can explain this shift it might be time to try and correct it. Just sayin’.

    • JEFF E says:


    • Immer Treue says:

      “Maybe its just been slow for interesting stories but its getting harder to find interesting stories and the comments seem to have lost a couple I.Q. points, to the point of being almost unbearable. If anyone can explain this shift it might be time to try and correct it. Just sayin’.”

      Two comments.

      If this is what you believe, why not attempt to contribute something more interesting and thought provoking. Assist in bringing the IQ up a few notches rather than the “possibility” of sounding as if ones hat size is a bit too large.

      Though I possess no empirical data to support the point that follows, it is (just about) Summer. Many folks, hopefully, are out enjoying nature rather than glued to an electronic device talking about it.

      Tough winter up here… Mosquitoes and black flies aside, with almost twenty hours of light, it’s nice to be outside. Come the season of cold and darkness, with midterm elections and possible repercussions for us and wildlife, I’d be willing to bet many things both interesting and intelligent will begin to ratchet upward.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        It’s summer. That explains a lot.

      • topher says:

        Most of the people who comment on a regular basis seem to be pretty set in their beliefs and its hard to recall a single instance where anyone has changed their minds regardless of the type or volume of information offered. I’m guilty of it. Its no fun to argue unless your right and most of the conversations here are more opinions than facts. While easy to argue facts, opinions are another matter.

    • topher says:

      On second thought, Sometimes no news is good news. Its easy to forget that at times.

    • rork says:

      I’d have thought embarrassment alone would have stopped such acts and such legislation. Apparently I’m naive.

      • Louise Kane says:

        This kind of shit is why one can’t assume people will behave logically, intelligently, or humanely. There is a great deal of abuse that goes unchallenged and when it does as in this instance the abusers created a law to perpetuate and legalize the abuse.

  41. Ida Lupines says:

    Poor topher, I hope my comments aren’t making his or her head spin. Take an aspirin and have a lie-down, you’ll feel better.

  42. Louise Kane says:

    on public lands …..

  43. Mareks Vilkins says:

    FWP looks to new technique to document wolf population size

    Researchers from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the University of Montana estimate the state’s wolf population at more than 800 using a new statistical technique.

    The results of the study estimate that for the five-year period, wolf populations were 25-35 percent higher than the minimum counts for each year.

  44. Jerry Black says:

    3 Young Grizzlies Killed in Swan Valley

    • Immer Treue says:


      I know, wrong type of whale, but just the same, don’t tell Ahab.

    • Louise Kane says:

      That is an amazing story. I had never heard of fish eating spiders!

  45. Nancy says:

    “What we hope is that a clear message is sent to society that we do not stop on the highway for animals. It’s not worth it.”

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Seems rather Draconian for a young woman with her whole life ahead of her, no criminal history and only a desire to help.

      According to evidence presented in court, the speed Roy was estimated to have been travelling at was between 113 and 129 kilometres per hour. The speed he was travelling at was a complicated issue the jury had to factor into their decision. It apparently caused one juror to hold out on agreeing to convict Czornobaj of criminal negligence on Thursday.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Of all things, this happened to me today (on foot). I did a city hike this morning at one of our lovely parks, and a very large family of Canada geese with young of varying ages was waiting at the traffic light, looking both ways, then crossing when the light changed. 🙂 The littlest ones had complete trust in their parents, waiting with them and then following. Awwwww.

      A couple of stragglers were still crossing when the traffic started to move, so we hit the pedestrian crossing button, and held up traffic. Horns were sounded and we got some dirty looks, but the geese and their little ones made it back to the river safely. 🙂

  46. topher says:

    I heard one of the local plants here in Poky was going to expand further back onto what I believe is B.L.M land where I frequently hear and see a fair number of Sage Grouse in the spring. Does anyone here know anything about it? Just curious, seems like a shame.

  47. Nancy says:

    2 million in Texas alone. And the government is worried about a few thousand wild horses???

    Interesting that they STILL allow boars to be released on hunting preserves.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I wish we’d stop with the poisons, it is macabre and doesn’t speak well of human nature at all, that we come up with these incredibly lethal solutions rather than something less drastic.

      I also notice it is always animals blamed for disease and contaminating crops, when of course 7 million people must create a lot of e.coli on their own. Ewwwww!

    • rork says:

      We don’t have stupid national laws protecting wild pigs, but for horses we do. Get it?
      People are dying some place in the world, so perhaps we shouldn’t even be talking about wildlife, eh?

      • Ida Lupines says:

        This is the great problem – if people are dying some place in the world, it is usually due to our own misdeeds – continued wars, greedy corporate types and corrupt politicians and leaders. It’s also due to populations growing out of control and our imaginations creating beliefs that aren’t true or unproveable. Of course we don’t want human beings to suffer, but what can be done?

        Certainly we can’t take it out on other living things on the planet? If so, there will be nothing but grasping humanity on this planet at some point, and that won’t be pretty either.

        I do agree with JB that drones have wonderfully positive uses for search and rescue, tracking wildfires, and protecting the environment. We can’t have complete unfettered freedom to do whatever we want in this world, at least, not anymore, without affecting others negatively.

    • JB says:


      They’re ‘worried’ about animals that cause agricultural (and other kinds) of damage–especially non-native, invasive species. We (the US taxpayers) are currently paying a lot of money to keep the ‘wild horse’ advocates happy–and it continues to grow.

  48. aves says:

    “There was a situation with some bald eagles on the Internet the other day”:

    • Barb Rupers says:

      Thanks, aves; interesting read.

      I check into see the condors about once a day; the most I have seen at the place when they had food was about 15.

    • Nancy says:

      “Those feelings about animals are so much harder to articulate and defend than the old calculus of useful and not useful. Even the name of Ms. Naumann’s department, the “Nongame Wildlife Program,” basically throws up its hands at explaining what, exactly, the kinds of animals it’s responsible for are actually for.

      ****All we know is they aren’t game animals — not the ones we want to hunt”

      How telling is that comment…..

      aves – I spent this spring checking in on the Decorah Eagle nest live webcam. 3 babies grew up in that nest and are on their own now 🙂

      Also checked in on the Eagle Valley live webcam in WI. Two babies born there and the first, not long after hatching, was taken by what was thought to be a great horned owl. The 2nd, was overcome by gnats.

      Both sets of eagles, in two vastly different areas of the country, attempted to raise young but one nest was off a biking/walking path in Iowa (and a corn field given the stalks in the nests and outlines in the fields below the nest) and the other nest was, while in some sort of sanctuary, one could still hear trains whistling, traffic and voices on the river below the nest.

      Sad fact is, we humans are slowly munching up what’s left of wilderness areas and the wildlife there, I worry that we’re not gonna know its gone……….til its gone.

      • sleepy says:

        Actually, Eagle Valley WI and Decorah IA are about an hour apart, not in vastly different parts of the country.

        I live in northern Iowa in a town of c. 25,000 and not a week goes by that I don’t see an eagle, sometimes just flying above, and sometimes sitting in trees in the city park.

        Earlier in the spring out on country roads, there were plenty of eagles in the corn fields feasting on dead deer that hadn’t made it through the winter.

  49. Ida Lupines says:

    I guess this is a good outcome for the wolf pups rescued from the Alaska wildfire. Warning: prepare for cuteness!

  50. Louise Kane says:

    I know some don’t like Patricia Randolph’s writing but here she speaks to an important issue managing predators by the numbers without taking into account their sociality. Its bad policy and inhumane

    • ma'iingan says:

      “The report also documents that in certain ecosystems, when packs are reduced to less than four individuals, the trade-off between pup-rearing and hunting may prevent successful reproduction.”

      But not in Wisconsin, where white-tailed deer do not support pack sizes much larger than four animals. In fact our late-winter pack sizes have averaged 3.9 – 4.4 over almost four decades prior to delisting.

      With average litter sizes of around five pups, there is also little evidence for the “social stability” that we hear about a lot.

      Rather, our data suggests that our wolves experience high pup mortality in most years, and that most juveniles disperse during their first year – I’m not sure how one infers “social stability” from this data.

      • Louise Kane says:

        so in a situation where lets say the alpha male or female is trophy hunted and killed (in a pack of 4 or 5 ) you are thinking the data does not indicate the pack would be harmed? Seems like it might be worse for a smaller pack than in a larger pack. as you suggest the small pack sizes are indicative of the prey base and the ability of the pack to hunt and obtain enough food….if they are already limited by that constraint trophy killing a random member of the pack is not likely to help much.

        • ma'iingan says:

          “…as you suggest the small pack sizes are indicative of the prey base and the ability of the pack to hunt and obtain enough food….if they are already limited by that constraint trophy killing a random member of the pack is not likely to help much.”

          It’s not about the prey base or the ability to kill enough prey, it’s about the size of the prey.

          If you have more than four or so adult wolves trying to share a 120-pound whitetail, the subordinate animals are going to go hungry – which is a factor in small pack size and early dispersal.

    • JB says:

      The problem I have with this argument is the alternative: self-regulating packs. Where wolves reach a density where they self-regulate the #1 cause of wolf-mortality is intraspecific aggression–wolves killing wolves. I can’t see how this situation is less socially disruptive than removal by hunting or control actions?

      • Mark L says:

        Just conjecture, but my guess is that where wolves have reached a density that they self-regulate, they are in larger packs than those that are disrupted from other means. Intraspecific aggression is as ‘natural’ as the social hierarchy that wolves have now, the hunting…the randomness of getting shot/trapped, is not.
        I’d be curious if they is a numeric association between numbver of pack members and intraspecific aggression.

        • JB says:

          I’d be curious to know if that were they case, Mark. Larger pack sizes would potentially be advantageous if your biggest worry was aggression from other packs. I’m not sure I buy the “naturalness” argument. Seems a dead packmate is a dead packmate, however they die?

        • Immer Treue says:


          Sort of a double edged sword. I agree that the randomness of hunting/trapping makes the comparison to intraspecific strife suspect, however, data appears to support that younger wolves make up 50% of hunter/trapper take, where I’d surmise that intraspecific conflict would have greater impact on older wolves.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          I was just going to say that – intraspecific aggression is natural for wolves – but hunting and trapping for ‘control’ is additive, is many times based on reasoning that has no bearing in reality and peculiar to human imagination only (such as religious beliefs that put humankind above all else, and mythology), and really isn’t necessary, especially in today’s world where wolves and other wildlife are at extremely low numbers compared to what they used to be.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Besides being unnatural. Humans need to butt out and quit being so obsessive about populations other than our own. It’s nutty!

          • rork says:

            “but hunting and trapping for ‘control’ is additive”
            You may get chewed out for that. This wolf on wolf violence is density dependent, isn’t it?

            Sweet to have folks like ma’iingan and JB around, at no charge – thankyou. I been seeing folks getting comfortable saying that disruption by hunting increases depredations on ranchers, rather than that this will likely happen, or just maybe happen. I kinda like this part about having opened our eyes: the stuff we don’t know will be able to fill volumes.

            • Ida Lupines says:


            • topher says:

              “Sweet to have folks like ma’iingan and JB around, at no charge – thankyou.”
              It’s nice to get a free bit of education from people who likely paid quite a bit for theirs. Thanks for your time.

              • Elk375 says:

                Let’s not forget WM

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Yes, right up there with the noblest of human qualities – taking that knowledge and sharing it with the world to save our priceless wildlife. That’s what is important to all of us. Sincerely appreciated, all who contribute – and of course Ralph’s blog.

          • ma'iingan says:

            “…but hunting and trapping for ‘control’ is additive…”

            I assume you mean to say that hunting and trapping are additional sources of mortality?

            They are certainly not entirely additive – the fact that something over 50% of the annual public harvest in Wisconsin consists of pups illustrates that a significant portion of the take is compensatory.

  51. Moose says:

    Good article by Patrick Durkin, Outdoor writer for the Green Bay Press Gazette. I have always found him to be quite reasonable in the correspondence between us.

    • rork says:

      I pointed to that on the 17th. No bites.
      I was skeptical of his just-so forestry theories, and he didn’t point to where his data came from. I’d rather see how the lead scientists would present it and discuss it. I saw no new reports where I expected them on the WI deer study web pages.
      I did appreciate most of it, for getting these ideas out to the public, but have to keep up my reputation as reviewer #3.

  52. Ida Lupines says:

    Pretty sad considering that palm oil is mostly used for candy and junk that we don’t need. And preposterous as a biofuel.

    • Yvette says:

      Ida, palm oil is used in many items, both food products and non-food products. It’s impossible to boycott since it’s ubiquitous. Shampoos, soaps, lipstick…just name a product.

      INGREDIENTS: Vegetable Oil, Vegetable Fat, Palm Kernel, Palm Kernel Oil, Palm Fruit Oil, Palmate, Palmitate, Palmolein, Glyceryl, Stearate, Stearic Acid, Elaeis Guineensis, Palmitic Acid, Palm Stearine, Palmitoyl Oxostearamide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Kernelate, Sodium Palm Kernelate, Sodium Lauryl Lactylate/Sulphate, Hyrated Palm Glycerides, Etyl Palmitate, Octyl Palmitate, Palmityl Alcohol

      CONTAINS: Palm oil

      It’s just one more major thing destroying habitat and ecosystems.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I scrutinize labels diligently for it, and avoid anything with it. If the label is vague, I do not purchase it. Not impossible. I try now to buy simple products.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I’ve probably read/linked more materials about products containing palm oil than you know. If we can’t avoid it entirely, we certainly can use much, much less of it in the prepacked, processed junk we eat that we do not need.

  53. Jerry Black says:

    “Cowspiracy”…Environmentl Organizations Called Out…..

    • Ida Lupines says:

      This is a human overpopulation issue. More humans demanding more meat, and as countries become more prosperous, they want more and more of it. This documentary clip gives the impression that people aren’t responsible. Nobody is forcing people to eat meat – and if they would eat less of it (and if there were less of us), we wouldn’t be in this mess. Even if ranching were discontinued in certain areas of the country, the meat eating damage isn’t going to stop – waste lagoons from processing facilities are visible via satellite images:

      • Ida Lupines says:

        And sure, it’s pretty bad – but it’s hard-pressed I think to beat the fossil fuel industry for environmental destruction, and people have no intention of changing their lifestyles any time soon – just looking for that magic bullet that allows them to still have and do everything they want and not harm the environment, which isn’t possible.

        On the contrary, human overpopulation is the subject nobody wants to address, including environmental groups, and it’s the root of every problem we have. It’s taboo.

        Between that and delaying tactics and foot-dragging for carbon emission control (c’mon, didn’t we give the coal plants time to clean up their act, modernize already and wasn’t the deadline 2015?) And we haven’t addressed heavy equipment, busses and trucks. At this rate, it really doesn’t look good for climate change.

        • Louise Kane says:

          Center for Biological Diversity is actively engaged in campaign that addresses overpopulation but its the one of the few…..

  54. Ida Lupines says:

    I’m doing a lot more cooking from scratch, and using simple ingredients. It tastes better and is better for you. I can’t even stand processed junk anymore!

  55. Jerry Black says:

    Why Aren’t Environmental Groups Divesting From Fossil Fuels?

    • Nancy says:

      Very good question Jerry.

    • WM says:

      Some might say the answer is pretty simple. The money guys/gals at these environmental groups are held responsible for getting a high return on their invested money. Mostly it has nothing to do with investing in “environmentally friendly” companies or mutual funds, where the asset mix can be shielded from view to a certain degree.

      Check this out this mission statement for the Sierra Club Foundation:

      This from their mission statement:

      ++Socially responsible investing (SRI) has evolved considerably from its origins as “negative screens” designed to excluded so-called “sin stocks” like tobacco and alcohol, nuclear energy, or companies with ties to apartheid.++

      Nothing in there about evil fossil fuels. And, by the way, what’s wrong with alcohol if its made from grapes, hops, grain or corn by good hard working people, and consumed in moderation?

      • JB says:

        “And, by the way, what’s wrong with alcohol if its made from grapes, hops, grain or corn by good hard working people, and consumed in moderation?”


      • Immer Treue says:

        ““And, by the way, what’s wrong with alcohol if its made from grapes, hops, grain or corn by good hard working people, and consumed in moderation?””


    • rork says:

      This question has made news recently regarding how universities invest endowments (Stanford). The vast majority do not divest from coal or dirty oil for a simple reason: it has zero effect except for the sound effects. It’s easy to find 100 articles about it. Harvard said: “negligible financial impact on the affected companies”.
      The endowments showing in the article Jerry pointed to are laughable compared to universities – the effects would have to be homeopathic.

  56. alf says:

    Yesterday on the ag segment of the noon new on KPAX (channel 8, Missoula) the presenter reported (and was visibly outraged) that a “wild” horse advocacy group had petitioned the USFWS to list feral horses and burros as either “threatened” or “endangered” under the ESA ! WHAT CHUTZPAH !!!

    This, in spite of the fact that there are currently tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of the damn things frequently doing more damage to the public lands that domestic cattle and sheep do; and to say nothing of the graze they steal from and habitat they destroy of truly wild — not feral — animals, that are often indeed and truly threatened or endangered, such as sage grouse and desert tortoises, to name just two of the most obvious.

    • rork says:

      Don’t forget the captive ones. Even if we killed every feral horse, we will still have way too many horses. Sheesh, people near me mostly own them just for fun.

      • rork says:

        Evil ranchers not liking feral horses does not make the horses good. I have a non-positive number for the “optimal number of horses (or burros) that result in a thriving natural ecological balance on the public lands.”

    • WM says:

      Just a thinkin’ outloud here. The Wild Horse and Burro Act was passed in 1971, and the ESA in 1973. I don’t think the drafters consciously intended at the time to give “double coverage” to protect horses (and burros) on public lands.

      Maybe a technical ESA statutory construction allows for protection of feral horses and burros, with the questionable genetic link to the modern horse (accompanying the Spanish Conquistadors), but it will be a tough sell to FWS and the American Public. How petitioners conveniently exclude tribal lands from the request for protection is interesting, although politically expedient. Most tribes don’t want them protected, it would appear. The petition also excludes burros.

      Here is a link to the petition through the Cloud Foundation website:

      The Petition:

      • JB says:

        It’s hard enough to get them to list (let alone protect) native species. Good luck getting them to list wild horses. I would not be surprised if this were the shortest response ever to a listing petition. Something like: “The best available science indicates that the wild horse population in North America is not native to the country, and therefore not eligible for ESA protections. Nice try.”

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Grazing punted from Federal study of land changes in the West? What a totally useless exercise in futility.

            • Yvette says:

              I have a question on non-native species. When a non-native species becomes established in a niche or ecosystem, and becomes naturalized will they ever be considered ‘native’?

              The wild horses have been here for a very long time, and apparently, thrive on this continent, at least, in some regions. I know very little about it, but have read there were horses on this continent before the arrival of the conquistadors. I don’t know anything about the subject, so I don’t know when they were here or when they vanished.

              What about certain introduced fish species, like trout? I know they are stocked in some streams where they aren’t native, and in some regions they do become naturalized. I guess that doesn’t mean the trout are native, but no one complains about trout that become naturalized.

              Does the scientific/conservation community ever consider any plant or animal species to be ‘native’ at some point? If so, how long? A century? Two centuries?

              If we go far enough back in time wouldn’t we find that many of the plant and animal species that we consider native were introduced? Humans and other animals have been migrating since the beginning of time, so it seems they would introduce plant and animal species during those migrations.

              I read these conversations on native, introduced, and invasive species, but I don’t recall ever having discussed how far back in time we go before we will consider a species that was introduced, at some point in time, a native species.

              • WM says:

                ++I guess that doesn’t mean the trout are native, but no one complains about trout that become naturalized.++

                Actually, there have been huge and somewhat expensive fish eradication programs to remove non-indigenous species from stream/river systems and lakes. Introduced Eastern brook trout and their larger cousin the lake trout, seem to be the biggest offenders in colder waters throughout the West, along with other introduced salmonids that out-compete indigenous species or cross-breed with them). Ken and Ralph have posted several articles on this, the most recent being one on the Lahonton Cutthroat in NV.

                I remember when the greenback cutthroat trout was all but extinct in the upper reaches of the South Platte River and the Arkansas River basins (Colorado), because they were unable to compete with introduced trout species back in the 1970’s. Rocky Mountain National Park killed off fish in a bunch of streams, if I recall correctly, with the intent of reintroducing ESA protected greenbacks.

                Here is the FWS recovery plan from 1998 showing their progress to that date (with a special acknowledgement to Dr. Robert Behnke of Colorado State University, an acclaimed authority on salmonids, whom I was privileged to know):


                And for those who love to pee on FWS for never doing enough, pay attention, they do a lot of good at protection a number of species in highly contentious regions, with complex socio-economic and political environments that limit options practically available to them (even under purist federal laws like the ESA).

              • rork says:

                Fish are a good example of where we tolerate non-natives more – it’s about the money. I chew out my DNR fisheries people often. They like providing recreational opportunity – newly sticking atlantic salmon in some places, helping brown trout, stocking steelhead, rather than focusing on the hard things: sturgeon, our splendid array of white-fish of various names (some extinct already), lake trout. In WA tolerance for walleye has waxed and waned – they can’t make up their minds. The excuse that the place has changed is often used – in MI we do that for trout over grayling, and overabundant alewife and lamprey is the salmon excuse. They also sometimes use they-are-not-very-invasive (“what’s the harm”) excuses.
                Ask me again in a few thousand years and I may know how long I think it takes for newbies to feel native. By then I may also know how big Doug Fir gets in MI. Perhaps my bias against semi-domesticates like horse and mute swan may have decreased.

  57. Louise Kane says:

    Anyone wanting to help make calls for the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected Campaign, this is who to contact. Its easy to donate an hour or so and put your money where your mouth is…..

    “Hey everyone,
    I wanted to thank everyone who helped last week! We were able to get many shifts covered and we also able to get a lot of folks to our in district meeting with state reps. I am still looking for some help with making calls this week for this weekends doorhanger canvass shifts. It is an easy sell as volunteers only need drop them off at the door and not have conversations with voters. Let me know if you have some time tonight-thursday to make some calls. In addition I know in advance I will need some help next week to make calls to get people lined up for after the holiday. Thank you all so much for everything you all do for the wolves! Drop me a line if you can help!

    Chris Silva
    Campaign Coordinator
    Keep Michigan Wolves Protected

    P.O. Box 81096
    Lansing MI, 48908

    Office: 517-993-5201

    Mobile: 313-744-2603”

  58. WM says:

    Not really wildlife news, but at some point this new emerging personality from California may affect wildlife policy – Kevin McCarthy, new Majority Leader in the House (replacing Eric Cantor).

    This guy is a career politician, with it seems some attraction to the Tea Party crowd, though claims not to be one. Rather he is labeled an R moderate. He doesn’t know squat about international business, and is already messing with the future of Ex-Im Bank in his leadership position. This narrow interest bank is important to our foreign trade and dealing with China and the EU, and our balance of trade. This important financial institution makes government subsidized loans that allow foreign purchases of our exported products like airplanes made by Boeing (competing against heavily subsidized Airbus), with its hundreds of small business contractors that make parts and systems which are integrated into the final product.

    McCarthy does not appear to be smart, in a worldly way, or any kind of visionary. He was a professional politician in CA. He has little tenure in Congress (something like 7 years) though is well connected, and seems impressionable from the far right (grandpa was a CA cattle rancher by the way). This guy has danger written all over him, as compared to Cantor who lost his primary to another wack job Tea Party guy. Stay tuned, because it appears the Tea Party is morphing into yet something else, it seems.

    • Larry says:

      That stuff is like a bad cold that keeps coming back with different symptoms and I keep hoping it doesn’t morph into something fatal.

      • Larry says:

        No, I’m not changing my name to FLarry! Been called a lot of things but never that, what you get when you holster a pistol with the hammer cocked.

  59. Nancy says:

    Not wildlife news but something we touch on here more and more often. Wonder how much more proof is going to be needed……..

    • Yvette says:

      States with historically few earthquakes are trying to reconcile the scientific data with the interests of their citizens and the oil and gas industry.

      Comments from Oklahoma Corporation Commission (they regulate the Oil and gas industry in OK)

      “This is all about managing risks,” said Oklahoma Corporation Commission spokesman Matt Skinner. “It’s a little more complicated than that because, of course, we’re managing perceived risks. There’s been no definitive answers, but we’re not waiting for one. We have to go with what the data suggests.”

      From USGS:

      “We’ve statistically analyzed the recent earthquake rate changes and found that they do not seem to be due to typical, random fluctuations in natural seismicity rates,” said Bill Leith, USGS seismologist. “These analyses require significant changes in both the background rate of events and earthquake triggering properties needed to have occurred to be consistent with the observed increases in seismicity. This is in contrast to what is typically found when modeling natural earthquake swarms.”

      “The Oklahoma analysis suggests that a contributing factor to the increase in earthquakes occurrence may be from injection-induced seismicity from activities such as wastewater disposal. The OGS has examined the behavior of the seismicity through the state assessing the optimal fault orientations and stresses within the region of increased seismicity, particularly the unusual behavior of the swarm just east of Oklahoma City.”

  60. Nancy says:

    In the rush to become independent of foreign oil, big business is totally overlooking the dangers. But what the hey! Its only people, the environment and wildlife that’s gonna suffer the consequences, right?

  61. Yvette says:

    Conditions for wildlife, and human actions that are detrimental to wildlife continue to worsen. It gets more and more depressing. We will eventually pay a hefty price.

  62. Ida Lupine says:

    “We can’t solve the problem of eagle mortality at wind farms overnight,” Ashe said in a (under)statement.”

    California Wind Farm Will Become First To Avoid Prosecution for Eagle Deaths

  63. Jeff N. says:

    Well I guess we chalk up this x-dog owner as not one of the brighter people living in Alaska.

    • Immer Treue says:

      “”He didn’t hear his dog run away,” one of the hikers said. “He had headphones in. He didn’t even hear his dog barking.”

      Alaska wildlife biologists and others have been warning for years about the dangers of running in the wilds while listening to music on…”

      Been a pet peeve of mine over the years, in particular within areas of wildlife and sight restriction among runners and hikers; and a big no-no for cyclists, each of whom qualify for a potential Darwin Award.

      • Yvette says:

        Running a train with headphones AND his dog off leash. He not only is ignorant, but his wife is a snit…or maybe she’s just super peeO’d with her husband.

        “Neither my husband nor I want to talk about the incident any further. Fish and Game has all the details and they have already been contacted and spoken to reporters. It is not a day I would like to relive as it was traumatizing for my family. If you continue to contact me, I will consider contacting the police due to harassment.”

        • Yvette says:

          ‘train’should be trail, but I’m sure you know that.
          running a train will get you killed.

        • ma'iingan says:

          “…but his wife is a snit…”

          Seriously? The husband F’d up, resulting in the death of their dog, the story’s been reported, and she’s supposed to welcome more reporters with open arms???

          • Yvette says:

            Yes, threatening to contact police over harassment after such an ignorant mistake is a bit snitty, but I did add, “maybe she’s just super pissed at her husband”.

            • ma'iingan says:

              “…but I did add, “maybe she’s just super pissed at her husband”.”

              Or maybe she’s grieving the death of the dog and maybe she WAS getting harassed by reporters… but hey, don’t let those possibilities cloud your judgment.

              • SAP says:

                Having to re-visit a traumatic event over and over — especially for the entertainment of strangers!! — sucks. Good for her for establishing a clear boundary and getting on with the healing.

                Myself, I’m willing to talk about traumatic events if I think it will help the listener avoid my mistakes. In the case of this event, though, the lesson is super clear and doesn’t require elaboration: keep your dog close and don’t turn off your senses in wild country.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        Unfortunately Candice Berner, a school teacher in Alaska, was killed while jogging as she listened to ear phones.

  64. Nancy says:

    A good read and good comments, if our species can just wake up to the facts 🙂

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I have to wonder why humans get a ‘carrying capacity’ of 10 billion, but for wolves and bison, they start breaking open the gun cabinets when they get larger than 6000? To call it ‘carrying capacity’ when we take habitat we want to the detriment of other living things is disingenuous. It’s too late now for any kind of message to be received.

      Adding more people to the planet as ‘replacements’ for ourselves and for those who die young? With billions of people on the planet, we’ve all been replaced many times over.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Also, people who might have died from disease are living longer lives or are cured altogether due to advances in medicine, including advances in reproductive technology resulting in multiple births for infertile couples, who might not otherwise have reproduced. So anyone who ‘died young’ I think has been accounted for several-fold.

        Unless we lived in the times of WWI and the Spanish Flu, nobody needs to ‘replace themselves’ today.

  65. Louise Kane says:

    excellent comments on definition of significant portion of range

    they would address the USFWS policy on wolves and their idea that wolves don’t deserve protections in their former ranges because they are now extirpated from those rnages

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Great! The USFWS’ ‘creative’ interpretations for conservation of wildlife are the worst, and soon wolves may be extirpated in Idaho too, the Southwest, and the South. Thanks, Louise.

    • Amre says:

      It’s quite obvious the NC wildlife commission does not like this program. Their not even following their own rules, because their state policy is that any federally listed species occurring in their state is also placed on the sate list. They have yet to do this with red wolves and their not likely to do it anytime soon.

      Its yet another example of state wildlife agencies saving “special treatment” for predators. Their proposal to not allow biologist to sterilize coyotes on private property just show’s they have resentment for the federal government. This reminds me of state agencies in the northern rockies and NC is headed in that direction. If the red wolf is to ever be a recovered species FWS needs to follow the recovery plan and reintroduce red wolves to 2 other sites. Same thing with the mexican wolf program.

      All these wildlife agencies, both state and federal are coming under big pressure from “sportsmen”, ranchers, and others to stop recovering wolves. The only way to stop the slaughter of wolves in the northern rockies is to relist them under the ESA.

      Off course, the wolves were never meant to only stay on federal lands, after all, they can’t see an invisible line created by humans. So i’m tired of these idiots in NC and in the rockies acting like all their rights are being taken away just because a wild animal has gone on to their property. (there is much more private land in the east than in the west).

      In the end, its just sad to see state departments cave in to hunters who want all wild area’s to be elk and deer farms.

  66. Ida Lupines says:

    These incidents just highlight the nature disconnect so prevalent in our modern world. Both of these people were from out of state and probably unfamiliar with their territories, and probably come from more populated areas where there are no wildlife. They are unfortunate accidents, and wild animals shouldn’t be penalized for human cluelessness and carelessness. Two packs of wolves were wiped out around the time of the teacher’s death – 9 were killed for ‘hanging around’ too close to the village, and then 8 more were killed in connection with the death, although only one appears to have actual DNA linkage to the death. If areas are too dangerous, perhaps humans shouldn’t live there or take precautions. It all reads like a medieval fairy tale; and our minds haven’t progressed much further when it comes to wildlife and human entitlement.

    We just can’t go ‘out for a jog’ in wild areas, especially wearing headphones, with our valuable senses to protect ourselves otherwise engaged. This man didn’t even have any idea where his dog was, from the news report.

    I wouldn’t, at certain times of day, go ‘out for a jog’ in cities either, without carrying a sidearm these days. A woman was sexually assaulted and robbed near a city park I was walking at the other day. Shootings have become so prevalent that I think for your own protection you can’t stand on principle any longer.

    But somehow, human attackers and killers don’t have to pay the ultimate price.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        It took a long time (over a few months) but I finally finished watching most of this broadcast yesterday. In my opinion Bill Nye was the only “guy” at the debate. I do like the carnivores have pointy teeth argument – if they were to lie down with the lamb why were they so equipped initially?

        Several of the comments by viewers were informative.

        • bret says:

          WDFW confirms that tracks recently photographed near Whitman County’s western end are indeed from a wolf or wolves and trail cams have been hung in the area to try and photograph any animals.

          An image of two wolves together would most likely lead the agency to officially confirm and name the pack.

          The tracks were probably laid down by a pair of wolves using the coulee country between Ewan, near St. John and Rock Lake, and Washtucna.

          going to be a tough for wolves in this area of the State, almost all private farm and ranch land. low density mule deer as prey base.

          • WM says:


            Can you point to a written source confirming these sightings?

            Used to be there were also a bunch of sheep in that country, too, run by a family named McGregor, if my memory serves correct. I think the were based out of Hooper, just east of Washtucna on the way to Pullman. With so few mule deer, it would seem sheep could also be on the menu before long – and from private land, too.

            • bret says:

              WM, Yes the McGregor family got its start in sheep
              many years ago, now the family runs the McGregor Co.
              a fertilizer / farm supply company with many locations
              in the region.

              region 1


              • WM says:

                Is McGregor still running sheep in that area, or is it mostly cattle now?

                I haven’t been in that country in years, except for a camping trip to Palouse Falls (to the south), where a bunch of undocumented immigrants were illegally fishing in the plunge pool below the falls (WDFW or State Parks enforcement runs them off but they keep coming back, and they don’t bother to pay the entrance fee, buy fishing licenses or observe creel limits, and enforcement doesn’t even write them up anymore because the local County judge throws out the citations – because violators say they can’t read English or read at all. They do drive, but often without a license.).

              • bret says:

                WM, Primarily cattle in the draws and canyons, winter – spring wheat, garbanzo beans and lentils on the farm ground on top.

                don’t get me started on the undocumented/illegals the WDFW had to close down a recreation area due to gang activity, tagging and vandalism, county Sheriff and WDFW enforcement stayed there until it was safe for families to use once again.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        To me, whichever side of the debate people fall on, it’s all based on human conceit. The Creationists think God made man in his image and that man is the highest form of life and achievement, with the entire creation given to him to do with as he wishes. The Evolutionists think the same thing, all roads leading to the ultimate achievement, mankind, and that we can do with the Earth’s ‘resources’ as we wish and ‘manage’ them. Both sides have their devout followers and zealots.

        Me, I’m a De-Evolutionist. I know the regression is still considered evolution, but putting the De- in front of is so much more accurate of degenerates.

        • Immer Treue says:

          ” The Evolutionists think the same thing, all roads leading to the ultimate achievement, mankind, and that we can do with the Earth’s ‘resources’ as we wish and ‘manage’ them.”

          Absolutely Not!

          • Barb Rupers says:

            I agree, Immer.

            Many of those who accept the reality of evolution support conservation because they know extinction is forever and Earth’s resources are finite.

            An interesting book which I have not yet finished reading speaks about the impact billions of people have on Earth: Countdown by Alan Weisman.

            • Immer Treue says:


              I’ll put that on my list if you can assure it’s better than “Collapse” by Diamond.

              • Nancy says:

                One of many jokes I can still recall 🙂 when it comes to “waiting for God”


              • Barb Rupers says:

                I haven’t read Diamond’s book.

                The main points of this book is that there are far too many people on Earth, the need to reduce the population if there is to be a reasonable future for mankind, and some means of accomplishing such goals.

              • WM says:

                The problem with all this is, that to a large degree, the control of world population is out of our [US or Europe] hands. One in four people on the earth is Chinese; one in three is Chinese or Indian. And, the largest future increase is expected to occur on the African continent, as well-meaning US groups like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and PATH (a privately funded world health group) do things like improve water supplies, health practices, infant survival and other stuff.

                Of course, with a larger middle class in India and China (partly the result of out-sourcing manufacturing from Europe and the US) these groups will be consuming more and more.

                So, how do we fix this growing human population problem that was identified long ago? It has been written about quite a bit since the 1960’s, but other than that little has been done (well maybe the UN runs another set of time series population projections).

            • Immer Treue says:

              Ahhh, the name was familiar. Read his “The World Without Us” an number if years ago. If I remember correctly, I found the first half of the book very interesting, and the second half not quite as captivating.

        • Jake Jenson says:

          Not all evolutionists think that Ida.

        • JB says:

          “The Evolutionists think the same thing…”

          No they don’t.

          • JB says:


            Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace (the co-founder of evolutionary theory) parted ways over this topic. Wallace believed that “intelligent evolution”, (a precursor in some respects to today’s “intelligent design”). Essentially, Wallace believed that evolution was directed by a superior being and humans were the culmination of evolution. Wallace’s ideas were hotly debated, but most rejected them–even in the late 1800s. Few (if any?) in the scientific community subscribe to this idea today. Simply put: evolution by natural selection favors organisms that are best suited to their environment at that time; because our environment changes, often in unpredictable ways, the idea that any type organism is the ‘ultimate product’ of evolution simply doesn’t make sense.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              Yes, we have descended from lower life forms to the primate group, and diverged millions of years ago. You know as well as I do that in reality, it doesn’t stop humanity from thinking themselves superior. Everything science has done benefits mankind only, without concern for the consequences to the environment or other creatures, with little exception – DDT, atom bombs, even something as trivial as cosmetics are now polluting the Great Lakes. Oppenheimer’s dilemma comes to mind.

              It has improved somewhat today, but the average person you would discuss this with believes ‘human needs are more important’ than anything else on the planet. You yourself have said as much.

              So you are saying that as humans we do not think we are superior to other beings? I don’t believe there is much ‘natural selection’ anymore. We have taken ourselves completely out of the equation. Humans simply have too much influence on the environment and populations of animal life. Our environment isn’t changing in unpredictable ways now – it is becoming quite predictable. Climate change anyone?

              • Immer Treue says:

                “Yes, we have descended from lower life forms to the primate group, and diverged millions of years ago…

                So you are saying that as humans we do not think we are superior to other beings? I don’t believe there is much ‘natural selection’ anymore. ”

                “Lower life forms” itself is a misconception, as those life forms fill environmental niches that would be intolerable to us and other species. A true understanding of evolution and natural selection all but vacates any conception/misconception of species superiority. As conditions change, so do those niches. You don’t adapt, you cease to exist.

                Humans have shown great adaptability, but our species has benefited greatly from the recession of the last period if glaciation.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                Technically Immer, yes. On paper. But I’m talking about real world interpretation. People number in the billions, everything else is going to cease to exist. We can’t stop ourselves, and it will eventually effect us too; unfortunately, everything else will be taken down before us – elephants and expected to go extinct within 12 years. 12 years!

                All anyone can do is watch in horror.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                I don’t mean ‘lower’ life forms literally speaking. I realize everything has it’s important niche, I think how we’ve destroyed the wolves is perfect evidence of it. They will never recover.

                Using knitpicking and pedantics to discredit people isn’t facing reality, and is very divisive. I’m just trying to jot down my thoughts quickly, not writing a f’kn dissertation. 🙂

                I guess what I’m saying is I have no use for either side – because the results we’re having to stand by and watch unfold are not pretty.

              • JB says:


                Just ‘jotting down’ thoughts isn’t going to cut it if you can’t articulate them clearly. At the very least, you shouldn’t bite people’s heads off for disagreeing with you when a premise you articulate is factually inaccurate.

                You wrote: “The Creationists think God made man in his image and that man is the highest form of life and achievement, with the entire creation given to him to do with as he wishes. The Evolutionists think the same thing…”

                This statement is simply untrue.


                Likewise, premises in your response to my post are also inaccurate. For example, the idea that “everything science has done benefits mankind only.” Not true! Science has been applied to understanding the habitat requirements of species, population viability, and factors that impact a species probability of survival. This science (often from the field of conservation biology) has been and is being used by policy-makers to protect unique habitats and improve conditions for a variety of species.

                You ask: “So you are saying that as humans we do not think we are superior to other beings?” Believing that humans are “superior” to other species (presumably, intellectually?) is a far cry from believing that they are the “highest form of life and achievement, with the entire creation given to him to do with as he wishes.” I do think most people believe that human beings are, on the whole, superior intellectually to other organisms (don’t you?). In any case, it does not follow that because I believe that people are superior that therefore “human needs are more important’ than anything else on the planet”. In fact, I would suggest to you that if one believes that humans are superior to other organisms then it follows that we have a responsibility to “manage” our environment and conserve resources in such a way that it leaves natural processes and ecosystems intact–else we risk our own skins as well as those of other organisms.


                ” I don’t believe there is much ‘natural selection’ anymore. We have taken ourselves completely out of the equation.”

                On the contrary, the proliferation of across the globe means we play a greater part in the “equation” (i.e., selection). We might quibble over whether such selection is “natural”, but that doesn’t change the fact that people are exerting strong pressure on the environment, which is impacting selection pressure. So for example, the ocean is becoming more acidic because of increases CO2 in the atmosphere, which are being absorbed by the ocean. This increase in acidity will create pressure on a variety of species (especially those sensitive to ph).

                “Our environment isn’t changing in unpredictable ways now – it is becoming quite predictable. Climate change anyone?”

                Geologic time, Ida. (And do you really think that the effects of climate change are entirely predictable?! Oh my!)

              • JB says:


                You might be interested in the Society for Conservation Biology — a scientific society.


                The Society for Conservation Biology advances the science and practice of conserving Earth’s biological diversity.
                Organizational Values

                The Society for Conservation Biology holds these values:

                —There is intrinsic value in the natural diversity of organisms, the complexity of ecological systems, and the resilience created by evolutionary processes.
                —Human-caused extinctions and the destruction and loss of function of natural ecosystems are unacceptable.
                —Maintaining and restoring biological diversity are individual and collective responsibilities of humans.
                —Science is critical for understanding how the natural world operates and how human actions affect nature.
                —Collaboration among scientists, managers, and policy-makers is vital to incorporate high-quality science into policies and management decisions affecting biological diversity.”

              • Ida Lupines says:

                I very much appreciate that, JB. Maybe not pure science, but the politicizing or misuse of it, is what I’m referring to. You’re right, I’m not that great at articulating what I mean.

  67. Jeff N. says:

    Anyone from WI, or someone familiar with this development, care to share your insight?

  68. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Oregon: Ranchers, researchers test European dog breeds against wolves

    • WM says:

      I saw a Turkish Kangal yesterday morning at the dog water park at the old Sandpoint NAS in Seattle. Big bruiser, a neutered male pushing a 110 pounds, was in command of all dogs, as many as 30 or so, as they entered the water. He was running back and forth along the shore, barking (very loud and deep tone) and keeping them there. He had a Bernese Mountain Dog cowering in about 8 inches of water (submissive pose, exposing belly), and he did the same with a Malamute Husky. These dog owners were not happy. On the other hand, my 70 pound Golden Retriever was free to come and go as he pleased, as were a couple spaniels and some other smaller dogs of various types, while the Kangal kept the bigger dogs confined to the water. Interesting dynamics to watch, but no fights resulted, possibly because all dogs were neutered. A couple cookies offered to the Kangal changed his focus and everything was then fine.

      Also saw a long tail mocking bird, indigenous to Peru and Ecuador (it supposedly does not migrate). The birders present were ecstatic, everyone wondering why it was there. Conclusion was that it was possibly an escapee from a nearby home.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        My husband pointed out to me this beautiful architectural wonder of a bird’s nest under our deck – it’s this most perfectly formed cup-shaped nest made of twigs.

        I’ve had a lot of Eastern phoebes singing around my roof and deck over the spring, but it doesn’t look like one of their nests from pictures I’ve seen? Any ideas?

        • Mark L says:

          what kind of vireos do you have around you?

          • Ida Lupines says:

            I’m not sure – I’ve seen yellow/olive green type birds. They’re a group that always keep me guessing.

            I’m trying to identify more birds by sound as well as appearance – sometimes you never know what will pop right there in front of you. I have a vague sense of vireos and warblers, so I try to identify them when I get home – a chat came right out into the path I was walking on yesterday, and I was only able to identify him by his wren-like tail. There are yellowthroats too. 🙂

            • Immer Treue says:


              Good guide book: either Tory Peterson’s “A Field Guide To The Birds East of The Rockies”

              And/or The National Geographic “Field Guide to the Birds of North America”


              Songs and calls: Stokes Field Guide to Bird Songs: Eastern Region;


              And Cornell’s free app Merlin.

              A bit late in season now, but a few Id’s can still be made with patience. Good time to get ready with next Spring in mind.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Also, I forgot to mention red-eyed vireos.

            This is a subject you could spend an entire lifetime on. So the degreed need not worry about sharing information, we’ll never catch up. 🙂

        • aves says:

          Lots of birds have cup shaped nests so you may want to focus on those that tend to nest near people:

          American robin, Carolina wren, house finch, mourning dove, etc.

          This site from Cornell may help:

          They have a ton of photos of open cup nests that may help too:

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Thanks Aves,

            I thought American Robin too. The phoebe nests I have seen have mud, resembling a swallow’s nest, up under eaves. This one was all twigs and beautifully shaped and strong, on one of the crossbeams under the deck.

    • Amre says:

      An interesting thing to note is that in Oregon, where ranchers are required to use nonlethal methods and the wolf population is increasing, attacks on livestock have gone down. Meanwhile in Idaho, where there’s so much hunting and trapping and “lethal control” of wolves, and the wolf population is decreasing, attacks on livestock have gone up. This is even more evidence that killing a bunch of wolves only disrupts their social order, especially when alpha’s are killed, and the surviving pack members go after easy prey (livestock).

  69. Ida Lupines says:

    Oops, make that ‘nitpicking’.

    While we’re at it – I should mention something that I’ve been thinking about, since topher’s lament about the decline of the discourse here lately (what his or her credentials are to make such a judgement are a mystery, of course).

    Is the blog to be restricted to a small esoteric few, or do we want to reach out to a lot of ordinary people, or box them into political sides? The important thing is learning how to save our increasingly diminishing wildlife, not ‘entertaining’ a select few.

  70. Jeff N. says:

    Here we go again……

    “Steen mentioned that in Wallowa County wolves have been seen hanging out near school bus stops”

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Gee, what happened to the American Prairie Reserve and the Assiniboine and Lakota tribes? Are any of these places a symbiotic grassland for bison and has any long-term planning gone into their well-being for the future (so we don’t end up with a mess like the BLM ‘management’ of wild horses?)

      I see one place in North Dakota is a “game preserve” (read hunting), and one could be near the Bakken Shale hell-holes at Theodore Roosevelt National Park (who must be turning in his grave). Another obsession with ranchers, besides wolves, is bison and phantom brucellosis and people are fed up with ranchers.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        The Bakken’s output, along with surges in Texas and elsewhere, has the U.S. poised to overtake Saudi Arabia next year as the world’s biggest source of crude. Where Teddy Roosevelt once hunted bison, drilling rigs and work camps now crowd the horizon.

        Breaking Bad Meets Fargo At Bakken

    • Kathleen says:

      “Bison may have a place to roam after all!

      Bison DO have a place to roam–the public land and welcoming private tracts outside of Yellowstone, were it not for the powerful hold the MT Dept. of Livestock has on spineless bureaucrats. Watch as one agent brazenly trespasses on private property despite Gov. Bullock’s recent action de-authorizing DOL from entering private property without permission unless “imminent threat” of brucellosis transmission is present.

      • W.Hong says:

        From all of the different things I have read and seen about Bison, I would think that any step forward would be a good step, is that wrong?

        • Ida Lupines says:

          No, you aren’t wrong. I think I just have my heart set on that gorgeous idea of the American Prairie Reserve. 🙂

      • WM says:

        Now here is one of those situations that, in my opinion, calls for some creative lawyering to stop MT DOL harassment of bison and trespassing on private property.

        The directive from the Governor seems pretty clear in its intent, and this incident would appear to fall squarely within it absent any verifiable information that these particular bison were infected.

        The incident is audio and video recorded, and all parties, it would appear,are aware of this. And, importantly, there are witnesses. It is clear this asshole DOL was repeatedly asked to leave, and would not. Maybe he even lied about “talking to the Governor.” The plaintiffs seem like nice, and very knowledgeable, people, who understood exactly what was going on, and tried to stop it.

        Love to see what would happen with a suit, maybe even name this jerk personally as a defendant(can’t be too tough to find out who he is), personally, as he may be acting outside his scope of employment.

        Go for it BFC, and homeowners, and don’t wait. This is fresh news and maybe you can get an injunction, and some favorable press out of it.

        Hope for an injunction to keep this guy and DOL generally, to stay off this parcel and maybe others if they don’t mind the bison there.

        The Directive:

        • Jake Jenson says:

          Is this a loophole for this DOL agent? This is Montana. I’ve had problems in Idaho because if improper posting.

          (1) A person enters or remains unlawfully in or upon any vehicle, occupied structure, or premises when the person is not licensed, invited, or otherwise privileged to do so. Privilege to enter or remain upon land is extended either by the explicit permission of the landowner or other authorized person or by the failure of the landowner or other authorized person to post notice denying entry onto private land. The privilege may be revoked at any time by personal communication of notice by the landowner or other authorized person to the entering person.
          (2) To provide for effective posting of private land through which the public has no right-of-way, the notice provided for in subsection (1) must satisfy the following requirements:
          (a) notice must be placed on a post, structure, or natural object by marking it with written notice or with not less than 50 square inches of fluorescent orange paint, except that when metal fenceposts are used, the entire post must be painted; and
          (b) the notice described in subsection (2)(a) must be placed at each outer gate and normal point of access to the property, including both sides of a water body crossing the property wherever the water body intersects an outer boundary line.
          (3) To provide for effective posting of private land through which or along which the public has an unfenced right-of-way by means of a public road, a landowner shall:
          (a) place a conspicuous sign no closer than 30 feet of the centerline of the roadway where it enters the private land, stating words substantially similar to “PRIVATE PROPERTY, NO TRESPASSING OFF ROAD NEXT ___ MILES”; or
          (b) place notice, as described in subsection (2)(a), no closer than 30 feet of the centerline of the roadway at regular intervals of not less than one-fourth mile along the roadway where it borders unfenced private land, except that orange markings may not be placed on posts where the public roadway enters the private land.
          (4) If property has been posted in substantial compliance with subsection (2) or (3), it is considered closed to public access unless explicit permission to enter is given by the landowner or the landowner’s authorized agent.
          (5) The department of fish, wildlife, and parks shall attempt to educate and inform all persons holding hunting, fishing, or trapping licenses or permits by including on any publication concerning the licenses or permits, in condensed form, the provisions of this section concerning entry on private land. The department shall use public media, as well as its own publications, in attempting to educate and inform other recreational users of the provisions of this section. In the interests of providing the public with clear information regarding the public nature of certain unfenced rural rights-of-way, the department may develop and distribute posting signs that satisfy the requirements of subsection (3).
          (6) For purposes of this section, “land” means land as defined in 70-15-102.
          (7) Civil liability may not be imposed upon the owner or occupier of premises by reason of any privilege created by this section.
          History: En. 94-6-201 by Sec. 1, Ch. 513, L. 1973; amd. Sec. 21, Ch. 359, L. 1977; R.C.M. 1947, 94-6-201; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 599, L. 1985; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 268, L. 1991; amd. Sec. 1663, Ch. 56, L. 2009. – See more at:

        • WM says:


          I do not think posting is an issue here. As the video commentary states, the DOL agent first approached in person and asked permission from the landowner to enter the property. The landowner said no. The DOL agent got on his horse and entered anyway. When one is asked to leave by a landowner, and does not otherwise have a legal right to be on the property without permission(see Directive and the law it references), then it would seem to be an illegal entry or trespass for which the law provides a remedy – even in MT.

          So, if this incident played out as the video representations suggest, DOL ought to be served their head (along with the head of this obstreperous agent) on a plate!

          • Jake Jenson says:

            You’re probably right. I guess when the case is available to us we’ll see what this DOL mans ace in the hole ends up being.

            I should read more on this imminent threat” of brucellosis transmission thing to better understand the states argument there.

        • JB says:

          Hmm… Anyone know if MT DOL are considered law enforcement officers? Most states have regulations that allow law enforcement officers (including game officers) to be on private property so long as they stay out of the curtilage — the area immediately surrounding the home. Not sure what MT’s law says?

          Personally, I tend to favor rather limited ‘private property rights.’ IMO – agents of the state that are acting in accordance with a compelling governmental interest should be allowed to access private property to carry out said duties. Folks here might recall the other side of this issue — when Mike Jimenez was cited for trespass and littering for retrieving and collaring a darted wolf along a road on a private ranch. Fortunately, his federal status gave him immunity.

          I wish folks could focus on the principle instead of the specific action — seems most here object to what the DOL is doing, not necessarily the violation of private property?

          • WM says:


            My issue is whether there is a “compelling state interest” for the intrusion on private property consistent with the very specific limiting direction to DOL from the Governor. There obviously is some history here or the Directive would not be in place. The agent’s initial decision to ask permission then ignore the denial, without more, such as telling the landowner that indeed there is an “eminent threat of disease transmission” from these specific bison, suggests this agent is an idiot (even if he was acting under a veil of authority).

            To me this looks like state bullying, without justification, and that is troubling, regardless of whether it involves bison, or some other reason to be on private property (and as a general rule “health authority” agents get a little more latitude than general law enforcement for this sort of thing (at least with respect to 4th Amendment issues).

            • JB says:

              WM: I agree with you. I’m simply suggesting that folks treat this for what it is — an individual choosing to violate an agency directive — as opposed to an example of some egregious violation of property rights. And yes, the question of whether the government has a compelling interest looms large in this particular case.

    • aves says:

      Several of the proposed places already have bison/cattle hybrids, including the Grand Canyon. Arizona introduced them for hunting on adjacent state and USFS land a long time ago. The bison now spend some time in the Grand Canyon where they can’t be hunted by the public but are not welcomed by the NPS (i.e. the feds sometimes kill them).

  71. Ida Lupines says:

    It’s certainly an intriguing thought – no crime, no wars, no over-exploitation of the planet’s resources, no human-caused extinctions, no artificial noise, no pollution, no politics, and no plastics! I think if I were to have to name the worst human quality, it is our capacity for war and destruction.

    Jonas Salk said that not only would the Earth survive without us, but thrive.

    The sad part is we are doing it to ourselves. I don’t even care anymore, but just will continue to do my part to try to save our wild places and wildlife, and keep my own carbon footprint as low as I can.

  72. Louise Kane says:

    Slap on the wrist
    This is nothing compared to what happens legally
    I am disgusted to see these animals in traps waiting to die for their pelts. Trappers legally take hundreds of animals. There is something really wrong with trapping, snaring and killing wild animals for commercial purposes, poached or legally.

    • rork says:

      If, in estimating cost/benefit, one ignores the benefits, there’s no surprise that the ratio is large.
      If you want to stop all trapping of mammals, but still permit lobstering, it’d be nice to have arguments that will hold water with the public. This might better be done one species at a time, showing that there’s actual economic damage. That seems possible for some species some places (bobcat, marten, at least in MI), perhaps harder for others (raccoon, muskrat, nutria), where no trapping could mean increased costs. Our muskrat kill is 200K/year, raccoon 100K/year. Convincing folks that this is bad has not worked.

  73. Ida Lupines says:

    LOL An intelligent sense of humor is one of the best of qualities. It’s hard not to get discouraged with what’s been going on with wildlife.

    I took a peek over at a certain website too, followed the link. I wish we could all get along regarding wildlife, they seem to have a few good things to say over there (excepting our differing views on wolves). I wish we could all come to a compromise or something. The girl from Nantucket? lol 🙂

    Re Creationism/Evolutionism – I have, while not a love/hate relationship with religions, lots of unanswered questions. A good religious/philosophical discussion is nice.

  74. Ida Lupines says:

    Yay for Yosemite!

    Yosemite Celebrates 150th Anniversary

  75. Ralph Maughan says:


    We are now at 420 comments on Interesting Wildlife News. I am going to put up a new page soon.


  76. Scott says:

    Wildlife watcher or hunter it doesn’t matter on this one. The Forest Access in Rural Communities Act effects everyone. In essience this bill will strip all USFS travel management plans in the nation. County commisionars will have a final say on what roads are closed or not based on the most vocal member of the community. Road closures will no longer be based on biological issues but on wether motorized users want to go there.


June 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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