Nameless Creek on the south boundary of the Frank Church Wilderness. Copyright Ralph Maughan

Nameless Creek on the south boundary of the Frank Church Wilderness. Copyright Ralph Maughan

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, or post copyrighted materials unless you own the copyright. Here is the link to the most recent — “old” news.

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.

412 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife related news? August 22, 2014 edition

  1. Jerry Black says:

    Effort to Restore Grizzlies in North Cascades Gets Rolling

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Wow, fantastic!

    • Amre says:


      • bret says:

        With the law preventing them transporting or introducing bears, this recovery will take some time.
        Dams and logging have destroyed salmon runs that I’m sure were a significant portion of their diet.
        There are four individual bears in the NE corner and the “wedge”, and a couple in the north cascade NP
        200-400 bears seems like an optimistic goal given that habitat will likely shrink not grow over the next 20-30 years ?

  2. David Rohm says:

    Initial planning phase for a film documentary of the 2010 Soda Butte campground grizzly attacks. Not to highlight the tragedy for the man and bear that died but to bring about understanding, education and tolerance about recreating in our wild places. Will be releasing more info soon.
    Looking forward to working with local experts in and around Cooke City. You do great work Dr Maughan, would like to get your advice on the project.

  3. Elk375 says:

    Nameless Creek on the south boundary of the Frank Church Wilderness, a number 12 hopper fly should be the ticket for an evening meal of trout.

  4. Amre says:

    Ok, might be a little bias, but otherwise offers a good in-deph look at the controversy in South Florida over the panthers.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      The 36,700 acres in the Stillwater State Forest is managed as secure core habitat for grizzlies, with restrictions such as a ban on roads closer than a third of a mile away.


      And from the article about reintroduction of grizzlies to WA:

      “It may not be universally agreed upon at the end, but at least people will know it’s not something that was cooked up in a backroom,” he said.

      There is good news, but the other cooked-up, backroom deal, delisting wolves, has certainly been demoralizing. It isn’t the impartial, scientific management we were promised, but savagery.

  5. I would like to see an article on wolf hunters myths especially the one that says wolves kill for fun

  6. Ed Loosli says:

    On the surface, this is great news that the US Fish & Wildlife Service is going to “look into” restoring grizzlies to the Northern Cascades…However, with Dan Ashe as U.S.F&WS Director, who seems to have lost any interest in assisting endangered species like wolves and grizzlies (which is his job), and with Chris Servheen, grizzly-bear recovery coordinator for the U.S.F&WS, who is calling for the de-listing of the grizzly bear in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem against the best scientific advice, I am not holding my breath that grizzly numbers will be increasing in the North Cascades or anywhere else in grizzly country until these two officials retire.

  7. Nancy says:

    “The copper and gold mine’s tailings dam burst on Aug. 4, spilling billions of gallons of sludge down waterways, including a lake that is a popular fishing spot and important salmon habitat”

  8. Kathleen says:

    This is perhaps not directly wildlife-related, but in the end, the effects could be so far-ranging that we’re all affected. USDA/APHIS is proposing to import fresh apples from China. A ‘pest risk assessment’ has identified “21 pests of quarantine significance present in China that could be introduced into the continental United States” but not to worry–the apples will be treated with “fumigation.” What could possibly go wrong?!?

    For documents and to comment (only 50-some comments posted thus far),!documentDetail;D=APHIS-2014-0003-0001

    “China does not have a reliable track record when it comes to preventing the export of exotic pests and diseases. Devastating insects like the Asian Longhorned Beetle, the Emerald Ash Borer and Brown Marmorated Stink Bug all are native to China, according to USApple.”

    “…the way these apples are grown in China is not regulated. Many Chinese apple orchards are located on sites with detectable arsenic in the groundwater and the long-outlawed arsenic-based pesticide spray is still in use there, leading to the discovery of arsenic levels in some samples of Chinese apple juice exceeding federal US drinking-water standards.”

    This post also points out that exotic pests/diseases will make growing organic fruit more difficult.

    • WM says:

      Gee I wonder if the Chinese use ALAR, a chemical compound that keeps apples on the tree longer? Some years back NRDC came out in objection to that and without scientific evidence put the US apple industry into a turmoil sending some producers out of business. Actress Meryl Streep even stumped for NRDC. Turns out NRDC and Streep were dead wrong on the use of ALAR.

      As for the Chinese dumping their apples on the US market – well we taught them how to grow apples (seriously we sent teams of agronomists to China for this purpose). Now they are doing it cheaper, and want to send some back, depressing the market for US grown (manufactured) products. Gee, have we ever seen that model fail before. Cheap shit from China everywhere… and now we may be adding substandard apples, and raising risk of diseases and chemical contamination (anyone recall the poisonous melanine in dog food issue?).

  9. Ida Lupines says:

    Wildlife report: I have never seen more fledgling birds of every kind in my yard this year. I’m not sure if it’s because there’s a lot more development going on my street (and formerly rural area) or what, but there’s been so many – fledgling cardinals, goldfinches, mourning doves, blue jays, towhees, humming birds, chipping sparrows, etc. It’s really adorable seeing a nearly grown bird buzzing their wings and crying to be fed by harried parents.

    Have a good day, all! 🙂

  10. Gary Humbard says:

    Here are some of my favorite non-fiction conservation books. They tend to be less “technical” in nature and more true life stories that were hard to put down. Some have practical information that I use in arguing for conservation successes while others inspired me to read more.

    Grizzly Years by Doug Peacock
    The Man who Lives with Wolves by Shaun Ellis
    The Last Rhinos, Bablyons Ark and Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony
    Wolves in the Land of Salmon by David Moskowitz and
    The Wolverine Way by Douglas H. Chadwick

  11. Yvette says:

    Bad news in WA State. Washington Dept. of Wildlife has reneged on their word of using non-lethal methods to deter the Huckleberry Pack from sheep killing.

    At a Fish and Wildlife Commission hearing on Aug. 15, department officials told the commission they had a range rider and multiple staff at the site to create a human presence that would scare wolves away. Department officials also said the band of 1,800 sheep would be moved to a new location. However, staff subsequently went home for a night or two and the sheep were not moved – nor were sheep carcasses removed – and there were subsequently four more sheep deaths on Aug 18 and 19. As of today, the sheep band still has not been moved and sheep carcasses, which could draw in wolves, still remain.

    • Amre says:


    • Ida Lupine says:

      I was rather surprised to read they would even try non-lethal methods. Leaving out dead livestock is baiting the wolves, and I always have to wonder how they know it was a wolf kill, or the wolves coming upon an animal that was already dead. It appears this guy refuses to remove dead livestock, and must not feel he has to take any precautionary measures on his own at all. After all, he’s a rancher of course.

      I wonder if the WDW will have crocodile tears for the press, like they did when they gunned down the Wedge pack. Tell the public you are going to use non-lethal methods, and then gun them down secretly without the public’s knowledge.

      • WM says:


        Probably more honest not to rewrite the facts.

        There were 4 incidents investigated and confirmed wolf kills of 18 sheep. Efforts to relocate the sheep were under way.

        Then within the next day or two yet another incident for a total of 5.

        It strikes me WDFW is following their wolf management plan, according to its Director, and the evidence is very clear (remember the investigators in WA and OR have gone thru training to confirm wolf kills). So, it would seem there is substantial and continuing evidence of wolf kills, and it doesn’t appear to be a veil of secrecy over the effort, though I don’t know they actually need to make some public announcement they are engaging in a control action. From the article:

        ++“As of Friday (8/22), we had confirmed that 17 sheep had been killed by wolves in five separate incidents, and we continue to find more dead and wounded sheep from the flock,” said Bruce Botka, agency spokesman.

        Today crews found five dead and three injured sheep that were attacked last night, Botka said. Investigators confirmed that wolves were responsible for all of the latest attacks, despite night patrols and use of four guard dogs.

        Botka said the situation meets the state’s conditions for lethal removal of wolves, which are protected in Eastern Washington by state endangered species laws. The pack is one of about a dozen wolf packs confirmed in Eastern Washington.

        “There have been repeated, documented wolf kills; non-lethal methods have not stopped the predation; the attacks are likely to continue, and the livestock owner has not done anything to attract the wolves,” he said.++

        OK, so there have been guard dogs and a rider, along with an apparently tolerant and cooperative rancher – paid for by WA taxpayers and maybe an NGO or two. These sheep were being grazing on private land if I recall correctly.

        And a little more on the initial investigation – the rancher first thought it was a cougar, but it was later confirmed to be wolves, GPS data and all.

        And if these wolves hit livestock on the Spokane or the Colville Indian Reservation, they will likely take them out, and there won’t be any “public announcement.” They don’t have to follow anybody’s plan.

        • WM says:

          And, this all began a little less than two weeks ago, according to one source:

          • Ida Lupine says:

            I just read that their herder quit and left the sheep unattended for a length of time. All those sheep killed in a little less than two weeks sounds hard to believe. Who knows what initially killed some of them, and maybe wolves came along after the fact.

            I know the rancher wants to recoup his losses, but just give him some money and leave the wolves alone! Don’t blame them for human neglect.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I’m not rewriting facts, I’m questioning them to see if they are indeed factual. WM, now you be honest – do you really believe the government is being truthful here?

          • WM says:

            WDFW has one of the best well thought out wolf management plans in the country (though some of us think they can never achieve the wolf density and numbers they have as a goal).

            And, they are following the plan their Wildlife Commission adopted. Truthfulness, even in the fog of gathering and adjusting facts as more information comes in is a part of that – So are they being truthful? I would say, yes.

            Wolf advocacy and anti-wolf interests (livestock) have vested positions they are trying to advance, which often involves spin or distortion of facts, or bold assertions unsupported by facts. Truthfulness of CBD and a couple other groups signing the letter to WDFW Anderson, I often doubt. I especially like the part where they don’t give a rip about whether the rancher can find alternative pasturing, but then they don’t have capital at risk, or have to be concerned about operating costs of a business.

            And here is their collective letter criticizing WDFW – always easy to do, if you don’t have skin in the game, so to speak, or if somebody says, will you just sign the letter, we have done the fact-finding for you already. 😉


            • Ida Lupines says:

              I don’t have a problem with a rancher taking steps to protect livestock – but aerial gunning is wrong – first they were going to take out two, now it’s four – and any parentless pups could harm the pack quite a bit.

              It’s just like the Frank Church killings – go ahead and do it on the QT, get slapped down, apologize and say that you won’t or don’t need to do it again. But still several wolves were picked off. It’s getting tiresome. Every chance they get a killing is snuck in, since delisting. And we’re not even counting a delisting in the lower 48 when the poor Southwest wolves are going to get it.

              Why not save the trouble of lawsuits and just get rid of all of our wildlife, in favor of human interests. It appears that’s what our country wants, at least be honest about it. People who care about wildlife don’t really have much say in the matter anymore.

            • Louise Kane says:

              Washington incorporated a great deal of public input into crafting their wolf plan but the actions that the agency took against the Wedge Pack and are contemplating against the Huckleberry Pack are not inline with their constituent’s expressed support of wolves and desire to see non lethal options exhausted. if you look at it strictly from a financial perspective I read that the aerial actions cost 75K and the sheep worth 5K. There is no shortage of cattle or sheep anywhere but wolf populations in Washington are very low. Wiping out entire wolf packs is dismal policy.

              Below is a link to write to Phil Andersen

              • WM says:

                “According to the letter…”

                Sorry, Yvette, I didn’t see your post from two days ago.

                Forgive my cynicism, but I believe little that comes from the pen, computer, or any press releases or interviews with CDB. I have had a long running battle with the stuff that spews forth from Michal Robinson. The new voice on wolves is Amaroq Weiss, equally abrasive and often fact challenged, but skilled at half truths and innuendo.

                If you read the letter carefully (with an analytical eye and mind), you will see that much is their conclusions and commentary interwoven with what THEY BELIEVE to be the facts (supportive to their view that lethal means are unnecessary). In other words, it’s got spin, designed to generate rage from wolf advocates.

                They love to throw up big smoke screens, while simultaneously peeing on whatever agency is involved in managing a problem. It is just part and parcel of their model for this sort of thing.

            • Yvette says:

              WM, are you saying you don’t believe any of the bulleted points in the letter? If not, why?

              If the points in the letter are factual then there the rancher faced a predicament when his sheepherder quit. Understandable. According to the letter, that seemed to coincide with when the trouble began. Additionally, WDFW seemed to drop the ball on their own plan by not getting a range rider out there soon enough and by allowing staff to leave and go home.

              WDFW seems to have a progressive plan to protect wolves so I commend WA. They are doing better than most other states from what little information I know. We need to remember that when we criticize them. If the points in the letter you linked are true, I hope WDFW will improve on the timeliness of acting and by repairing any breaches in implementation of the wolf plan.

              My biggest problem is this scenario will likely keep repeating until we change our philosophy on how we manage and respond to the ag industry. The ag industry seems to get special treatment.

              – If I have a shop that had a poor security system, and thus, get robbed, who’s fault is it? Do state or federal agencies pay for my losses as happens in the ag industry?

              – If I have a store then I know that X percentage of inventory will be lost to shoplifters. I believe most stores calculate in a certain amount when they price products. That accounts for some of the losses of inventory. It is a business. Owners and corporate chains expect there will be losses, even though they institute loss prevention measures whether it be shoplifters, breakage, or waste. There will still be losses and as a business they plan and prepare for those losses. It’s part of doing business.

              It may be a hard battle, but shouldn’t ranchers be held to the same business principles? Mr. Dashiell sounds reasonable and he was willing to try non-lethal methods. However, when his sheepherder quit and he subsequently lost stock how much is his responsibility to his business? The store owner doesn’t get reimbursed if I go in and steal product and don’t get caught. Why does the rancher or sheepman get reimbursed? Why is the WDFW responsible for the wolves that took advantage of his failure to protect his sheep?

              Granted, I do believe it’s a good thing to assist the ranchers if they are willing to work for co-existing with predators. But I also think they know the risks, the business risks of their chosen profession. It’s not my or anyone else’s responsibility to pay for their lost livestock, especially with a species whose population is not healthy or that has been nearly eradicated. It’s not as if they are invasive feral hogs. I bet if the feds stopped paying for their business losses they would get much better at managing, and protecting their livestock.

              • Elk375 says:

                Not many years ago did a rancher have to protect his livestock from wolves. The wolf was eradicated from the landscape nearly 100 years ago. Today that rancher has to occur additional expenses because wolves have reoccupied the area. Once again this is private property not federal grazing leases. These are additional expenses that were not there twenty years ago. Who pays for these additional expenses because there are individual who want wolves on private property.

                Where does one get a header the next day or a range rider. A range rider working cattle can go through five horses a day sheep not so many. Herders come from South America and it takes months to get one here.

                A shop keeper puts in a security system but that shop keeper, at least in Montana, can shot a burglar on sight. Why can not a rancher shot a wolf on sight.

              • Yvette says:

                “Today that rancher has to occur additional expenses because wolves have reoccupied the area.”

                It’s his decision to be in that particular business or to get out that business.

                “Herders come from South America and it takes months to get one here.”

                That is a hard one and it makes me wonder what the sheep owners do for a back up? Do the herders never get sick? Die? Get injured? Who’s on back up? I agree that is a hard call and I doubt many Americans are willing to do that job.

                “Why can not a rancher shot a wolf on sight.”

                Isn’t that what got us into this mess? The philosophy since the first arrival of the English settlers was to kill off every last predator. They nearly succeeded with the wolf. Examples of ugliness toward wolves stained every period of American history. It marked John Josselyn in the seventeenth century as well as the sport hunters who shot wolves from Piper Cubs in the 1950’s. Euro-Americans fractured wolf skulls and shot-gunned wolf puppies. They set the animals on fire and dragged them to pieces behind horses. They destroyed wolves for a host of pragmatic reasons: to safeguard livestock, to knit local ecosystems into global capitalist markets, to collect state-sponsored bounties, and to rid the world of beasts they considered evil, wild, corrupt, and duplicitous. Their motives appear as blunt as a gunshot to the head, but wolves’death were neither that quick not that straightforward. They died with fractured spines and severed hamstrings, gifts from a predator dissatisfied with mere annihilation. The brutality of wolf killing transformed bloody-but-understandable acts of agriculture pacification into deeds as inexplicable as they were horrendous. Why did Euro-Americans terrorize wolves? Why was death not enough? (Holt, ‘The Great American Wolf’ as cited in, Coleman, ‘Vicious: Men and Wolves in America)

                A good portion of Americans now want to give this species a chance to survive and thrive. Given the history, I think we owe them that. We have to find a way to help sheep survive without killing all the wolves that we think may had killed a lamb or a cow.

              • guepardo lento says:

                In reply to Elk375:

                A) If the public wants wolves (and wants to eat beef and sheep products), then we the public should subsidize a trained range rider program and non-lethal interventions. We are already subsidizing ranching by extra-low grazing fees on public land.

                B) Range riding program would locally employ folks in rural areas. There are plenty of rodeo riders that have down time when not on the circuit (for example).

                C) What “extra” expenses are you referring to? Are these in any way related to “extra expenses” incurred by livestock killed by: lighting, disease, broken legs, black and grizzly bear predation, and cougars, or cattle killed by rustling by humans (yes, it happens in WA and ID). So how many please clarify the “extra expenses” incurred by wolves on ranchers.

                C) Range riders can use not only horses, but ATV and mountain bikes and actually get out and walk occasionally if need be. It’s big country out there and horses and mules have a clear advantage, but given how most cattle seem to stick closer to FS roads you may have to actually have to get creative and not rely soley on a horse/mule. Believe me it can be done..

                D) Finally, the rancher who had 22 sheep killed by the Huckleberry pack was originally approached by WDFW and Washington State University to participate in a non-lethal program aimed at preventing and investigating depredations, but they declined not wanting to be seen as supporting wolf conservation efforts. WDFW placed range riders AFTER the depredation occurred. I’m sorry, but 4 guard dogs to cover 1800 sheep spread all over the hill is ridiculous. But now we have dead sheep and dead wolves due to a rancher who wants to do it their way and inefficient or non-existent range riders before the depredation occurred.

  12. Ida Lupine says:

    A little ironic humor for a Sunday morning:

    A witless remark by a single bureaucrat may be dooming America’s remaining wolverines to extinction.

    I was reading that Dan ‘There’s Plenty in Canada’ Ashe has said he is ‘proud’ of this decision. He shouldn’t be, and he may be right that it isn’t climate change that is going to drive them into extinction. He’s abandoned the last remaining 250-300 wolverines in the lower 48 to trapping. You notice he and others completely sidestep the trapping issue. You’d think there would be something they could do to protect these last remaining animals.

  13. Ida Lupine says:

    Something about the very high number of sheep alleged to be killed doesn’t sound true. Why would they have allowed the number to climb so high if it were true? Why wait to employ non-lethal measures until now, and then not do it, and have a secretive aerial shooting before anyone can intervene (sort of like what happened in the Frank? Something is rotten in WA, and it stinks of wolf haters trying to push for delisting. Timing is everything:

  14. Gary Humbard says:

    Its easy to critisize the FWS for its decision but assuming humans are influencing climate change, the future of the wolverine lies in our individual hands. Each of us has the ability to make it a top priority to reduce our “footprint” on the environment.

    Since wolverines are caught in traps, we can support anti-trapping organizations and condemn the fur industry.

    Although no listed species has gone extinct, very few listed species (ie. gray wolves, bald eagle, gray and humpback whales) have recovered. Once recovered, state agencies will take over management and we have all seen how gray wolves have been managed.

    Probably the greatest benefit of the ESA is the designation and protection of a species critical habitat, but even then there is no guarantee for the species recovery (ie. northern spotted owl).

    Ultimately a species fate is decided by what “value” it provides to us.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Each of us has the ability to make it a top priority to reduce our “footprint” on the environment.

      If we’re going to wait for humanity to inconvenience itself, we can kiss the wolverine and other species goodbye today. We’re never going to be able to turn around climate change to any great degree. This administration believes that the effects of climate change are only important for people, and wildlife is not even considered.

      And despite decades of condemning the fur industry, it seems to be undergoing a resurgence. No, we need the help of the government who were hired to do this. Some of us go to great lengths to reduce our carbon footprint, but it all means nothing if others gobble up Pac-man style the share of what we’ve reduced!

      • Ida Lupine says:

        The U.S. Navy predicts summer Arctic sea ice will be gone by 2016.

        Here’s a glaring example from the article I posted by Doug Peacock in The Daily Beast – any chance of turning this around? We’ll probably just make it a new oil shipping route!

        Have a good day, all –

    • Yvette says:

      “Ultimately a species fate is decided by what “value” it provides to us.”

      Which is one of the reasons we need to reevaluate our wildlife management paradigm. As we enter into the age of climate chaos it is imperative that we examine where we are, how we arrived, and where our children and future generations are headed. Placing private property and financial value as the priority in all we do may well be our downfall. The global spread of colonialism led to the spread of capitalism. Because of those two things the collapse, annihilation or attempted annihilation of all other people and systems was largely justified by Christianity. The three Cs, colonialism, capitalism, and Christianity have led to our biosphere being totally out of whack. We are so far out of balance that now it isn’t only wildlife and a few tribes in North America, South America or Africa that pay the price. Nothing comes for free. We all will pay a price.

    • aves says:

      “Although no listed species has gone extinct..”

      Not true. Bachman’s warbler, Eskimo curlew, dusky seaside sparrow, and eastern cougar are all listed species that went extinct while under ESA protections. That’s just off the top of my head. There are surely more.

  15. Ida Lupine says:

    Chandie has posted a letter to the editor from someone who doesn’t like the way wolves take down prey. It’s also about how hard wolves made it for our ancestors. It’s about ‘hamstringing’.

    What they don’t seem to realize is that our ancestors did this to runaway slaves, horses and probably disobedient wives too! 🙁

  16. Louise Kane says:

    plans to capture and recollar OR7, his pups or mate or all of them

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Oh FF’sS, just leave these poor creatures alone for once!!!! The irrational persecution of the wolf continues into the 21st century….

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      It is a pretty good short book. Chad McKittrick was a real “work of art” — more so than even his detractors believed.

  17. Ida Lupine says:

    I’d like to read this – lots of good suggestions for reading here.

    And more evil wolf killing, here we go – Sunday is no day of rest anymore for the godless killers at WFWD:

    “But wildlife officials said the situation will be re-evaluated on a daily basis as to whether more or less than four wolves will be killed.”

    • Ida Lupines says:

      What was the point of killing wolves early on a Sunday morning?

      1) Trying to avoid an injunction or other restraint by being secretive? What’s the rush? Couldn’t it wait till Monday morning?

      2) Trying to demoralize the public with a time-honored war technique by hitting them on a holiday or Sunday?

      But probably most likely:

      3) Getting time-and-a-half courtesy of the taxpayers, who do not want their money used in this way.

      • jon says:

        they like to be secretive about it because they know many people in their state will disagree with what they are doing.

      • jon says:

        And I suspect eventually, the whole pack will be murdered. Last time, WDFW said they would kill a few wolves from the wedge pack, but ended up killing just about all of them. Many of the wolves in the huckleberry wolf pack are pups. There will be a big backlash if WDFW wipes out this whole pack because they said they were never going to do this again. These wolves are being killed just for being wolves. Wolves can’t tell the difference between sheep and elk. Its not the wolf’s fault. It’s the humans.

    • jon says:

      They murdered another wolf for nothing besides doing what comes naturally for them. Who are watching over these sheep when predators attack them?

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I don’t believe a word of it. I don’t think these wolves have done anything. The pack was only discovered in 2012, and probably some, not all, ranchers have been scheming to get rid of them. The livestock industry is the boss of WFWD, and we won’t know how many wolves have been killed, or if livestock predation actually occurred and the extent of it. Just a story put out there for a reason to kill them, and an apathetic public won’t bother to question it or give it more than a passing look.

        I’m sure they are pushing as hard as they can for a delisting in the lower 48.

        • JB says:

          [sigh.] Does it suck that Washington choose to kill a wolf pack? Yep. Is there more that they could’ve done to prevent depredations? Probably. However, these wolves had apparently learned to kill sheep, and had gone back for seconds. The state needs to BALANCE the interests involved (i.e., robust wolf population, v. continued depredations). The latter has the potential to erode public support for wolves, as does the continued name-calling and hyperbole directed ranchers and the state.

          The state has a system, and so far it is working (wolf populations increasing), and is certainly more predator-friendly than its neighbor to the east. Lots to smile about here, folks. But, per usual, the shrill cries have been raised by those who seem to enjoy snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            We’re not anywhere near balanced. Things are still very much weighted in favor of ranching interests, and the public, far from having their support eroded, has yet to be really engaged.

            Sneaking around in the early morning hours like thieves of the public trust, doesn’t do much to win support. Before we starting cheering victory, let’s see what the rancher actually did to prevent depredation, instead of just another imperious call for execution. Maybe if the ranching kingdom is feeling magnanimous, they’ll only call for four wolves to be killed. I’m not grateful for that.

            • JB says:

              “We’re not anywhere near balanced.”

              How to put this tactfully…? You may not be aware of this, but your views are about 3 standard deviations removed from the mean on wildlife issues (which means you might not be the best person to judge what is ‘balanced’ management).

              A suggestion: try taking your wolf ‘shoes’ off for a moment and attempt to walk in the shoes of the rancher, hunter and the folks that have to reconcile all of these competing interests.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Flattery will get you nowhere.

                I admit that for the fish & wildlife people, it’s not an easy position to be in. I don’t begrudge the skilled, decent hunter a chance to hunt for an elk or deer.

                Ranchers get reimbursed by the taxpayers for (minimal) losses due to wolves and predators, and get to graze on public lands for pennies. I do not and will not support removal of predators from the landscape to suit them – it’s the cost of doing the business that they are in, they might as well shake their fist at the sky to curse the weather, to expect that predators can be kept away from their livestock. They’ve created an unnatural condition.

                The news articles say ‘an array’ of methods have been employed by the WA rancher – but they don’t say what that actually is. Now it’s up to 22 sheep killed and several more injured.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                But that said, there may be rare instances when a predator has to be removed, but every effort should be taken to use non-lethal methods. In this case, I have read where the herder deserted the flock by quitting – that’s probably contributed greatly.

                Trophy hunting I can never support – unless the trophy was kept as part of the animal being utilized entirely, for food, etc. as was done in ages past. They are quite beautiful actually, especially some of the older ones, something from the past. Today, it isn’t the same. Today, the elk rack is taken with the rest left to rot in the field.

                The non-consumptive users have no voice in these issues (it’s only hunting, ranching and energy extraction, with a little bit of motorized vehicles thrown in), and we are actively kept out, so I think I am qualified to judge whether there is balance or not. I have no idea where you are coming from with that, JB. And depending upon what your statistical sample is, it’s probably a good thing.

                We have in excess of over 300,000,000 people, and wildlife is just a small fraction of that, and dwindling every day.

              • Elk375 says:


                ++Today, the elk rack is taken with the rest left to rot in the field.++

                Where are you getting you facts (with the rest left to rot in the field)? I have hunted 51 years and I have never seen an elk killed and the meat left in the field. I know it has happen in the past and maybe it will happen again.

                It is illegal to waste meat of an elk, deer, moose, etc. It is a big find if one gets caught. Please, please try to understand what really is happening. Elk meat is in very high demand.

              • WM says:


                Forgive the candor, but you (and jon) come very close to being the posterchildren for the definition of “armchair quarterback.” Just sayin’ based on this dialog for the last couple days.

                Just let WDFW do their job. They wrote their wolf plan; their Commission approved it, and we WA taxpayers are paying for it. Could be WA knows as much or more, than the arrogant wolf coordinator at CBC, Amaroq Weiss, who wants everything the state does cleared by them ahead of time. My suggestion is for CBD to just bugger off.

            • Elk375 says:

              Ida those sheep were killed on private land. If the sheep moves his sheep the lessor is going to lose rental income. If wolves continue to kill sheep the sheep rancher is going to lose money. You mentioned just pay the rancher for the cost of the sheep. The cost of the sheep is more than there cost on the hoof. The ranch has to find additional sheep, purchase them and integrate the new ewes into the excising flock. All takes time and money.

              • Nancy says:

                “It is a big find, fine/fee? Fact is, seldom do “they” fine anyone when it comes to poaching wildlife. It’s been a way of life for many families 🙂 whether they need the extra protein or not.


              • topher says:

                Who knew these clowns had their own web site? Ski masks and the whole bit.

              • Louise Kane says:

                it cost 76,000 to kill the wedge pack

                these sheep are valued at 5K
                why should the state spend that much money to kill a pack of wolves to benefit a sheep rancher/

                just saying if its all about money then lets keep it real
                killing because the wolves cost a rancher money does not make sense either.

              • WM says:

                I think the counter to that Louise, is that it is expensive to have wolves on the landscape, and even more expensive the more wolves that are there. Nobody has tallied all that, but should, including all the indirect costs for the agencies including the monitoring/field studies and attendance at meetings and preparing plans and reports, and livestock interests wherever they are asked to implement non-lethal means that involves capital expenditures and increased operating costs.

                $76k (if it was additional costs not otherwise a part of the program) is a mere drop in the bucket.

          • Louise Kane says:

            well its not exactly fair to say that the state has a system that is thus far working. I guess its working if you consider that when complaints are made by the livestock producers the state’s response is to eradicate the pack.

            Washington might at the least follow Oregon’s example and allow multiple parties to come to agreement to define at what point lethal actions will be taken, for what offenses, and under what conditions…..

            I read the WA plan and clearly remember that 76% of the polled population supported wolves and wolf recovery in WA. I wonder would those same 76% of support immediate lethal action against wolves, including pups, when nonlethal deterrents were not exhausted?

            Wouldn’t a more “balanced’ approach require the state to actually work with all interested parties to come to some agreement about when lethal action would be an acceptable last resort?

            • WM says:


              I have said this before. I think WA DFW staff is working within the framework of the adopted plan. I also bet Director Anderson is in communication with the Commission Members for whom he works.

              What is this crap about consulting with the public all the time? It is an attempt at added leverage and spin. One can be in favor of recovery, and still support lethal control when and where it is warranted.

              • Louise Kane says:

                WM really…
                “What is this crap about consulting with the public all the time? ”
                as far as I remember state employees work for the public.

                anyhow this from the WA plan
                “Three recovery regions were delineated for the state: (1) Eastern Washington, (2) Northern Cascades, and (3) Southern Cascades and Northwest Coast. Target numbers and distribution for downlisting and delisting within the three recovery regions are:

                To reclassify from state endangered to state threatened status: 6 successful breeding pairs present for 3 consecutive years, with 2 successful breeding pairs in each of the three recovery regions.
                To reclassify from state threatened to state sensitive status: 12 successful breeding pairs present for 3 consecutive years, with 4 successful breeding pairs in each of the three recovery regions.
                To delist from state sensitive status: 15 successful breeding pairs present for 3 consecutive years, with 4 successful breeding pairs in each of the three recovery regions and 3 successful breeding pairs anywhere in the state.
                In addition to the delisting objective of 15 successful breeding pairs distributed in the three geographic regions for 3 consecutive years, an alternative delisting objective is also established whereby the gray wolf will be considered for delisting when 18 successful breeding pairs are present, with 4 successful breeding pairs in the Eastern Washington region, 4 successful breeding pairs in the Northern Cascades region, 4 successful breeding pairs distributed in the Southern Cascades and Northwest Coast region, and 6 anywhere in the state.”

                Under this definition wolves are still considered to be in recovery under the WA plan

                This too from the plan
                “The plan outlines a range of management options to address wolf-livestock conflicts. These include both proactive, non-lethal (e.g., modified husbandry methods and non-lethal deterrents) and lethal management options. Implementation of these will be based on the status of wolves to ensure that recovery objectives are met. Non-lethal management will be emphasized while the species is recovering and will transition to more flexible approaches as wolf recovery advances toward a delisted status.”

                Non lethal management is not being emphasized at all. if you choose to disregard all other legitimate considerations, Director Andersen is not complying with the state plan.

              • WM says:


                I have read the plan, including the Draft preceding it. Most of what you state from it is not really relevant to the presently pressing issue – problem depredation that allows/requires lethal removal at WDFW professional discretion (they are the managers of the plan). The proof is there – 5 (or is it 6 now?) attacks, previous use of non-lethal measures by the rancher (on private land by the way) and apparently no contributory fault with bad husbandry practices.

                WDFW is taking care of it in a manner consistent with their plan, just as any other state with a growing but protected wolf population, whether in the NRM or the WGL. They don’t need to consult with CBD or some local wolf advocacy group (it is a stretch to think they are representative of “the public” anyway, though they would sure try to convince us they are) telling WDFW how to do its job.

                Why? Because we already know what they are going to say….just like you. They want to interfere, obstruct or otherwise cast aspersions on WDFW, possibly contrary to the provisions of the plan (aint’ that ironic?). I don’t see anywhere in the Plan where Amroq Weiss or CBD has any roles or responsibilities.

                If the NGO’s believe WA is not following their plan, then they should consider and seek a legal remedy, if warranted. But, then be prepared because the plan will likely change for more “flexibility,” if they are successful in a legal challenge. WA had the benefit of learning from the OR wolf plan fiasco, and I think has taken steps to protect themselves from repeating the mistakes there.

                I predicted before this plan was adopted that it would be like sticking a size 12 foot into a size 8 shoe. It is proving to be true earlier than expected – a very painful fit, and walking forward into the future it will continue to be painful, with each step. Just wait until those two packs outside Ellensburg get a little larger and their offspring start working on the elk in the Teanaway, or some make their way to the Yakama Reservation, where there are sheep, cows AND one of the largest elk herds in the state, a new population of just reintroduced pronghorns, now in the presence of a low tolerance tribal population of about 10,000 humans trying to make a living and utilizing communal tribal resources for subsistence, like those elk.

                Louise, by the way, next time you visit your public library, or see a police officer or garbage collector – comment on something you don’t like about how these individuals are doing their job and do be specific. Also, emphasize your disdain, and be sure to tell them “you are a public servant, and you work for me.” Report back on the reaction.

                And, I just have to say this. Let WA residents worry about their tax dollars are spent.

              • Louise Kane says:

                oh that argument again, stay out of (insert whatever town, state, or county you don’t live in) business .

                thought that wolves are still listed in parts of Washington and as such us outsiders actually have a legitimate interest in whether or not an endangered species is killed for sheep deaths in a forested area that is good wolf habitat.

                or is that my mistake also…

                And am I hearing you correctly are you arguing that the courts should sort this out, I have heard you rant numerous times about NGO’s bringing excessive or frivilous lawsuits.

                Which is it should the NGOs bring a lawsuit to make the agencies comply with their plans/administrative rules or should the agencies at least try and comply with the spirit, if not letter of the plan?

                Your argument, to me, is as predictable as mine is to you.

                I want to see huge revisions to wildlife policy and you think the anti predator bias/policies are working.

                the disappointing part with Washington is that the plan was looking so promising, if only the director and agency would heed the intent of its citizens.

              • Immer Treue says:

                “oh that argument again, stay out of (insert whatever town, state, or county you don’t live in) business.”
                I remember a “sparring” session I once had with a virulent anti-wolf individual who went by the name Jesse James. As we were both from Minnesota, and I could see where the discussion was going quickly, I thought I’d throw in a bit of historical MN humors and suggested he steer clear of Northfield, MN. The shit then proceed to hit the fan
                As he took it as a threat. If Barb Rupers is around, I think she can attest to that scrimmage.

              • WM says:


                The point about a suit to sort things out legally, was intended to emphasize that if WDFW was not following their plan (your very strongly emphasized assertion), CBD and some other NGO’s would already have filed suit to seek an injunction to stop this control action, even if they had a remote chance of winning. Well, the fact they have not is telling in and of itself, don’t you think?

                Regardless of whether wolves are federally listed in a part of the state, the terms of a state plan still govern. So, don’t think you made much headway there, and the feds want to support a state crafted plan (that is the way the cooperative federalism of the ESA works by the way).

                I think all the control actions thus far are in the area of WA where wolves are FEDERALLY DELISTED (eastern third of the state). So, interpreting this, it seems reasonable to conclude it is WA taxpayer dollars paying for the helicopters and field crews. Perhaps someone can help on that point, if I am incorrect.

                WDFW also understands that if they don’t show some smarts on the front end of this plan, wolves will have a harder recovery in the long run across the state. Think I already mentioned the Colville Tribe has a hunting season for the last two years. Won’t be long (3-4 years?) before the Yakamas weigh in, along with WA elk hunters. It’s just the sheep folks in the NE corner that are feeling impacts now. Again, you want to see scorched earth wait until the Yakama Reservation elk herd become a food source, or the migratory herd over Bethel Ridge between Hiway 12 and Hiway 410 are impacted. When that happens (natural food source for wolves/not livestock)? WDFW will end up doing translocations, possibly to the west side of the Cascades or further south, instead of control actions, which will get even more interest, and I predict, rural resistance. Of course, to be consistent, CBD should support letting everyone know where those translocation releases occur so the “public” can weigh in. Bet you a beer, or a glass of fine WA wine they don’t.

              • WM says:


                See pdf page 7/25 for boundary of the DELISTED area. This coincides with the “Eastern WA” Area 1 of the 3 geographically defined management areas in the state, which you referenced. The control actions have occurred and are occurring so far only within this area, I believe. So, again, it is most likely WA taxpayer money being expended.


    • rork says:

      Maybe they acted quickly so nobody had a chance to meddle. Anderson said “he had been contacted by people who said the staffers in the field were in danger” (quoting from the article).
      “godless” is common insult, but a bit offensive (unintended, I know). Biologists are often godless, but can be OK people.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        What you call ‘meddling’ is the public’s right to know. Where does it say that staffers in the field were in danger in the article? I’m no scientist, so I must have missed it? Trying to be quick on their feet in the face of deserved criticism, but not quick enough.

        We’re always getting vague reports of these types of things, but nothing ever materializes, or is ever proven. Prove them. The only proven killers are hunting & ranching, wolf-haters, and fish and wildlife departments.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          For example, for a rabid wolf-hating group to be publishing information on how to poison wolves on the internet and not be arrested or at least ordered to cease and desist is beyond me.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Sorry, there was an update to the SR article:

        An “unofficial” source says WDFW Director Phil Anderson told staff to avoid talking about the operation through the weekend because he had been contacted by “people who said” the staffers in the field were in danger.

        This I hope the WFWD intends to follow through on, and would go the extra mile to reassure the public, although it is also vague:

        “Unofficial” sources report that Anderson said the goal is to maintain the pack integrity. The adults are black and the juveniles are light-colored so wildlife biologists think they can avoid harming the breeding pair.

    • Nancy says:

      “the agency tries to strike a balance between the survival of the species and minimizing stock and game species losses to the predators”

      Strike a balance? Elk numbers are up and depredation on “stock” is barely worth a mention on their site since the middle of June:

      • Elk375 says:

        That is the way the hunters and ranchers want it and that is way it will be. You have lived in Montana for 20 years and you know that.

        Whether hunter number are down, stabile or increasing the intensity of hunters and hunting increases every year.
        Every one who hunts elk wants an elk.

        • Nancy says:

          “That is the way the hunters and ranchers want it and that is way it will be.”


          From the same article:

          “It’s worth noting that Gallatin County led the state in tourist traffic last year, with tourism responsible for nearly a billion dollars in economic activity that supported some 9,000 jobs. It’s a safe bet that a lot of those tourists were drawn here by Yellowstone Park and the possibility of seeing wild wolves”

          And that’s just Gallatin County.

          • Elk375 says:

            Does everyone of those tourist wants to see a wolf outside of the Yellowstone National Park. I use to teach fly fishing and guided fishermen in Big Sky, Montana. What did these tourist do? The big thing was going horse back riding, tennis, hanging around their condo, golf, a day trip to Yellowstone National Park and of course a fly fishing trip.

            Seeing wolves and bears in Yellowstone is a highlight but that was only one small thing. After several years of guiding, I coined the term “Another Carnival Ride in Wilderness”.

            The really is how many people are going to see wolves outside of Yellowstone Park during there summer vacation.

            • JB says:


              Your logic applies to hunting-based tourism as well. The question is–what would person x do if the tourist opportunity was not available to him/her? Would that individual still spend their ‘extra’ money? Yep, more than likely. Would it still be spent in the same state? Depends on what other opportunities are available.

              Note, the Duffield study (the one commonly cited here) carefully controlled for wolf-based tourism. So they’re estimate represents what wolves bring in, over and above, what YNP would normally generate.

              The issue (related with hunting) is that one form of recreation (i.e., hunting) brings in conservation dollars to the state (and the state agency, in particular) where the other form of tourism (wildlife watching) doesn’t.

            • Barb Rupers says:

              “how many people are going to see wolves outside of Yellowstone Park during there summer vacation”

              Not many, considering how wolves are being thinned out in the northern Rockies.

              How would hunters respond to state game management if elk, deer, antelope, . . . were managed at what biologists consider a viable population to sustain those species.

              • Amre says:

                Or imagine if Idaho said “lets kill lots of elk until the population goes down from 100,000 to 20,000.

              • Barb Rupers says:

                And 20,000 is probably more elk than was in Idaho at the time of Clark and Lewis or Teddy Roosevelt.

            • Nancy says:

              “The big thing was going horse back riding, tennis, hanging around their condo, golf, a day trip to Yellowstone National Park and of course a fly fishing trip”

              Gotta love those 1 percenters Elk 🙂 But that’s a poor example of the average tourists who come thru Montana and other western states.

              • Elk375 says:

                Whatever. I will bet you that a dedicated wolf watcher coming out west has more money than the average tourist since they supposedly contribute over 36 million a year to the local economy.

                I have seen the wolf watchers in the Lamar Valley viewing wolves in the distance. Not all but a large number of watchers love their Leica and Swarovski glass and their long range camera lenses.

              • WM says:


                Those big lens spotting scopes you note go for about, what, $3-4K a piece, then add a Canon 5D Mark III, and a 1000mm L Series lens with carbon fiber tripod and you are over $10K easy. Then the Mac and an external hard drive, maybe Photoshop software. Throw in a car rental and few nights lodging and it makes for a pretty expensive holiday, pushing $15-18K, and that doesn’t even include the plane tickets to get there.

              • Elk375 says:

                Every year Shed Horn Sports in Ennis Montana has a pre hunting season sale that is turning into a large event, this last weekend was the sale. I was there yesterday talking with the Swarovski sale rep from Salt Lake. Swarovski has a component spotting scope with a sight lens, angle lens, a 65 milliliter objective lens and a 95 milliliter $9,000 plus a $500 tripod. Then one needs a pair of “Big Eyes” 15 x 56 binoculars with an additional tripod plus a normal 10 x 43 binoculars that is another $5,000.

              • Elk375 says:

                Straight lens and straight and angle eye piece.

              • Nancy says:

                Talk about 1 percenters, their disposable income and the ability to just waste money – this incredibly expensive, 4 to 5 bite meal, will be history and flushed away, come the next morning 🙂


              • JB says:

                This thread is hilarious. When we’re talking about who should get a say, then hunters spend gobs more than wildlife watchers, but when we’re attempting to ostracize the so-called “one-percenters” then the wildlife watchers are rich as hell.

                I’m willing to bet that both the out-of-state elk hunters and wolf-watchers generally have expendable incomes well beyond your average American. But what do I know.

              • DB says:

                JB, still keeping it real 🙂

              • WM says:

                JB, would the argument make more sense to you if it were couched in terms of per capita expenditure, and importantly where that money is spent, and whether it stays in the local economy?

                My thoughts are that wolf watchers in Yellowstone benefit a small sector of the economy, in a small geographic area, with much of that money going out of state, and not staying in the GYE. In contrast, many hunter expenditures which are over a much larger area, often use local services or purchase goods locally, AND the money stays instead of going to some corporates stockholders out of state (though even that can’t be avoided when shopping at a large grocery store chain).

                And, I think you will find it rare that a hunter has a $5-9K spotting scope, which seems to be common with some well-heeled wolf watchers. And, I bet most wolf watchers and hunters make their big purchases in the state/country of origin before they leave home for their respective destination. As for myself, I have an old Bushnell 16-30 power spotting scope (which I rarely use) that is about 30 years old, and probably didn’t cost $200. They sell for about half that on Ebay, today. My camera gear is more expensive however, and I really like my little Canon T5i, that was about $1K, and does most of the stuff the more expensive gear does, but with smaller digital files. 😉

  18. aves says:

    “Environmental Health News” has started a series on threats to birds:

    • Barb Rupers says:


    • Ida Lupine says:

      Wow, fantastic.

      WM (and JB), no need to worry about tact and candor with me, you all can say whatever you like, be as candid as you wish. I’ll either consider what you say, or pay no attention, as I see fit.

  19. Ida Lupine says:

    Why did Euro-Americans terrorize wolves? Why was death not enough? (Holt, ‘The Great American Wolf’ as cited in, Coleman, ‘Vicious: Men and Wolves in America)

    Great post, Yvette. You have courage to read this one; I don’t know if I can. IMO, this all stems from self-serving, twisted interpretations of religion. Killing was not enough; they had to be ‘punished’ with inquisitional tortures.

    I often wonder what the original peoples of this country thought of the plague of white devils that came to this country and defiled it. It’s cringeworthy and shameful. I was thrilled when the wolf was reintroduced, because it was a way to try and make amends for our past wrongs, and I’m dismayed that in modern times we have forgotten or no longer care about the harm and destruction we have caused. In my liberal state, if you shot a burglar on sight, you could be the one going to jail. You’re supposed to ask him to leave nicely, put down his weapon, and give you back your belongings. However, you cannot hold an animal to human morals and laws, an animal who has just as much right if not more right to live here as we do.

    Immer never has answered my question about humans being inherently violent, except with a hypothetical – and I’m sure things like what he holds as an unsupported exampe are a rare exception to the rule.

  20. Ida Lupine says:

    Here’s an update from the SR – they won’t be sparing the breeding pair (how dare we be skeptical), the ranching royalty must have put the kibosh on that. So it’s deja vu all over again:

  21. Ida Lupine says:

    This might be an opportunity for drone surveillance – if a rancher can’t keep a herder on the job, and only has four guard dogs – perhaps this new technology can assist him, and the WDFW in confirming attacks on livestock.

    • guepardo lento says:

      Drones may be worth experimenting with, but it’s big country out there and cows and sheep invariably end up in many nasty overgrown ravines that would be nearly impossible to fly down low into. I can only imagine having to spend half a day to bushwhack down into a remote ravine to locate a broken drone.

      Worth a try, but I would expect like fladry, to work as a tool in the tool bag, with limited success.

      What we need are more (efficient and non-lazy) range riders as a much larger program. Along with states implementing other real non-lethal techniques, range riders should be a “new” paradigm in range husbandry.

  22. timz says:

    The last thing I would do is report a wolf sighting to IDF&G

    • Amre says:

      Hmmm, I wonder what they’ll use that information for…. Probably not for any good.

  23. Louise Kane says:

    The same POS That killed the coyote with his hunting dogs while laughing is found to have run over a coyote while his pals filmed it and again laughed while sit lay dying before “dispatching” it. The state is looking at felony charges for animal cruelty. Laws really needs to change, coyotes and carnivores need protection. This is the tip of the iceberg.

    • Nancy says:

      Kind of answers Ida’s question about some humans being “inherently violent” The sad problem is they keep breeding……

      • Louise Kane says:

        The sad problem is they keep breeding…
        and teaching hate and sadism toward wild animals

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Can’t this truly a POS get arrested, fined, or beaten the crap out of in a remote location somewhere?

    • Barb Rupers says:

      The shooter calls it a “beautiful, beautiful coyote” just before he encourages the dogs to kill it. I certainly don’t understand how people can call that a sport.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        It’s a very bizarre mindset, isn’t it. Why do people want to kill something beautiful? It’s weird.

  24. Nancy says:

    Wonder what it run$ them to harass bison each year?

  25. Kathleen says:

    Groups petition for monarch listing (apologies if already posted:

    The Center for Biological Diversity, the Center for Food Safety, the Xerces Society and entomologist Lincoln Brower filed a petition with the Fish and Wildlife Service to have the butterfly listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.


    • Ida Lupines says:

      If it’s come to putting Monarchs on the Endangered List, we’re in serious trouble. I truly can’t imagine a world without them, or wolves, grizzlies, wolverines, salmon. A world of nothing but cement monuments to ourselves and endless restaurants, hotels, etc. Boring. Even our buildings don’t have the craftsmanship and fine materials of ages past. 🙁

      I took a long hike the other day, lots of downed trees, and tree roots and changes in elevation. There were hoofprints (and other! 😉 ) evidence that people had taken their horses out riding for the day. You can easily see that hikers and riders, who travel at a much slower pace than mountain bikers, would be able to step over these minor obstacles and leave much less of a trace. Other people left trash.

      • Kathleen says:

        “If it’s come to putting Monarchs on the Endangered List, we’re in serious trouble.”

        Yes indeed– they’re the most memorable butterfly of my childhood…and certainly the most beautiful butterfly. Don’t get to see them here in western MT–the eastern population doesn’t cross the divide, and the western population apparently doesn’t come quite this far–have never seen a single one in nearly 15 years. When I spent 4 months on the Appalachian Trail (’83) I encountered part of their spring migration in the southern Appalachians–it was magical. So one wonders: Will they be listed? Found “warranted but precluded”? Not listed because “other conservation measures” are working? or because “there are plenty of them in (fill in the blank)”? Will we have to import Canadian (or Mexican) monarchs (bigger and meaner) for reintroduction? Ha ha.

  26. Kathleen says:

    Moving Back Home Together:
    Rarest Native Animals Find Haven on Tribal Lands

    Dateline: Fort Belknap Agency, MT

    • Nancy says:

      “when it teemed with wildlife” Love that phrase. A phrase seldom heard anymore in remote areas of this country,

      • Kathleen says:

        True. I still think of Yellowstone that way–“teeming” with wildlife. Unfortunately, many of them are wearing clunky radio collars! The unbroken prairie of the past must have been an amazing sight to behold. Here’s a fun, interactive site where you can build a tall grass or short grass prairie:

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Unfortunately, many of them are wearing clunky radio collars!

          Ugh. Who wants to lug those things around?

          Thanks, Kathleen.

          • Yvette says:

            I don’t like the collars either but where would we, and the wildlife, be if we didn’t have the information we’ve learned by collaring them?

            Perhaps a smart, techy 12 year old will develop something small and non-invasive that can be used to track them and gather information. I’m surprised this hasn’t yet been done. Let the kids know what is needed and someone will develop it.

    • Ida Lupines says:


  27. rork says:

    MI House expected to vote on “wolf initiative” today, folks from both sides to hold rallies in Lansing. Many articles in local rags in last 24 hours. Here’s just one, chosen cause it talks about the process more (our initiative law is screwy, and I have repeatedly asked and studied what motivated it – still don’t know):
    Expect lots of coverage today. I don’t see any reason it won’t pass. *sigh*

  28. Makuye says:

    “Do you have some interesting wildlife related news?” is the intended subject of the comment column.

    Instead it has turned into the usual opinion and repartee’ we too often see in unmoderated local newspapers.

    I recognize some of the names, and I applaud their intermittend efforts to actually POST ‘interesting wildlife news.”

    HOWEVER, a very small intro to human social psychology:
    It is unlikely atbest that adversarial hijacking of comment columns to introduce quasi-personal interaction is going to effect ANY CHANGE WHATSOEVER.

    Please get one another’s email, and keep your dispute off a column intended to add to news and information.

    Here is some info published quite a while ago, which will help understand that living wild animals have some rather intrinsic values:

    Unrecognized Values of Wildlife and the Consequences of Ignoring Them
    Michael R. Conover, Denise O. Conover
    Wildlife Society Bulletin, Vol. 31, No. 3 (Autumn, 2003), pp. 843-848

    With this, you can form strategies and tactics to overcome “consumptive use” – killing.

    First and foremost, it removes the capacity of others to experience wolves, and this issue, although normally dealt with in an economic fashion, has been insufficiently addressed, especially by those nations, states, and other entities which act to eradicate wolves – for ny reason.

    On the issue of changing the perceptions of those who so impoverish North America, the future, and ourselves:

    While there has been some literature on fear of predators in those who desire their eradication, and in active intent to hunt and kill wolves and other predators, the processes of social fear/anxiety and predator fear are mediated in separate areas of the brain. This assertion is backed by fMRI and means that no social interaction is highly likely to assuage the fears of those who have been taught either early in life or by their culture to fear predators.

    We also see disgust expressed by those who attempt to rationalize their antipathy toward wolves. This, however is a socially-mediated emotion. (since I lived intimately with at least one wolf, and met a few others, and was a subject of their intentional instruction in their own culture – culture is an accurate word, as it means behavior learned and passed down through social means – i don’t have either the fear or antipathy responses seemingly so automatically indulged in by the target group. Thus I have an extreme gulf between experience and their emotional and imaginative responses).

    The problem is extremely difficult in nature, as $ -economic/social status value is the commonly cited reason for killing wolves. Some states, and an increasing number of NGOs are involved in financial remuneration of those economically affected by native species.
    Unfortunately, as in the mentioned Stevens County WA sheepowner, it was clear that the owner refused to participate in conflict reduction, so as not to be seen collaborating with any group wishing to avoid outright lethal response toward wolves.
    Social psychology tells us rather strongly, that ingrouping/outgrouping coalition causes even more implacability against individual belief change.

    Look to ALL possible tools for social and cognitive change.

    • WM says:


      Quite a few of us have been posting here for years. This is the “open topic thread” for TWN, where wide ranging dialog including opinion comment occurs, INTENTIONALLY. Ralph and the moderators designed it that way, after substantial input, and it seems to be doing just fine. Sorry you don’t like the format. It is moderated, by the way, so rest assured the wacko types that visit newspaper blogs of which you speak are soon gone, sometimes after a good verbal lashing, especially if they don’t know what they are talking about.

      Some of the best discussions occur on this “open thread,” so fire away and express yourself. Don’t be surprised if you find supporters and detractors, and be prepared to back-up/defend what you say, maybe even with links to authoritative source materials.

  29. Louise Kane says:

    Michigan legislators passed the law today that will allow a wolf hunt unless….

    this is a good summary of whats happened. Its confusing unless you followed it carefully. anyhow this is a fairly good explanation and also what the counter move will be.

    • JB says:

      This paragraph caught my attention:

      “In addition to campaigning to win the two referendums – by urging “no” votes on each — we’ll be filing a lawsuit to challenge the unconstitutional Scientific Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act. The measure that the legislature acted on today bundled together three unrelated measures – wolf hunting, Asian carp control, and free hunting licenses for veterans – to push the wolf hunt over the finish line. In the process, they violated Michigan’s single-issue law requirement, stipulating that a law not contain multiple, unrelated subjects. We’re confident that Michigan courts will reject the legislature’s unconstitutional act and instead respect the results of the vote this November.”

      • WM says:

        …single issue…. Well, I don’t know about MI courts, but I expect they have some good common-sense judges.

        Could it be that all three topics have some commonality to by-pass a multiple issue test? Wildlife, hunting/fishing, management, predator/invasive species control/ and free licenses. Apparently all matters are regulated within the MI DNR pursuing common wildlife management objectives. How are these matters NOT related in a legislative sense? Separate bills for each? That strikes me as non-sense, and legislatively inefficient. HSUS once again laying it on thick.

  30. Salle says:

    Grizzly bear killed in Idaho livestock incident (not far from the Sheep Experiment Station that should be closing)


  31. Ed Loosli says:

    All I can say after reading the back and forth between people who would rather have our wildlife alive as opposed to those who would rather have wildlife used for target practice, is that I am thankful for Amaroq Weiss with the Center For Biological Diversity, and Louise Kane for their well considered and un-ending advocacy on behalf of wildlife conservation, including that of predators.

    • WM says:


      Ah, yes. Reducing the dialog to a polarity will improve the situation. CBD is already targeted (sorry for the symbolism), as the poster child for the R’s to seek legislative changes to the ESA because of their constant stream of litigation (They are even specifically named in a Congressional Report from House leadership on needed changes to the ESA

      The R’s, who control the House, and may after this fall election control the Senate if the dominoes fall badly. They will rally to change the ESA under pressure from the Governors and Congressional contingents from the 18 Western states (even some D’s will rally with them). And, if you think there is a safety valve, Obama would be a fool to veto amendments to the ESA and risk losing the White House in two years. The CBD’s, HSUS and even the type of advocacy of Louise (who I mostly adore for her tenacity), will get the job done—-change the ESA for the worse, I mean, as protections for wildlife are reduced further.

      • timz says:

        You got to love those that continue to carp about “dialog”. The wolf is being “dialoged” to death, literally. If it were not for the courts and litigation the country would be nothing but polluted rivers, oil wells, strip mines and clear-cut forests. Not to worry though, when the right wing takes over they, with the help of some Democrats will just attach a rider to some obscure bill eliminating the word “dialog” from the English language.

  32. Nancy says:

    On the “lighter side” of wildlife news….kinda.

    The wild, wild west, still, when it comes to elected officials in office.

  33. Ed Loosli says:

    Below is a link illustrating one of the many examples of “wolf tourism” and how wolves are worth so much more alive, as opposed to dead:

  34. Kathleen says:

    The perfect antidote to all the coyote persecution…compassion in action and a happy ending.

  35. Louise Kane says:

    a very well done (despite being low budget) documentary on canned hunting revolving around a woman’s fight to save a lion cub. This woman, Alex, was duped into thinking that she was volunteering at a conservation facility and instead found out that she was helping a canned lion hunting facility. When she learned that one of the cubs she was raising would be shot in a canned hunt she raised money to buy it and send it to a sanctuary and to produce a documentary about the industry. Kudos, somebody who actually acted instead of sitting on the sidelines bitching. It’s refreshing. Chris Mercer of Campaign Against Canned Hunting is also to be commended for his tireless work in exposing canned hunting as the tawdry, cruel industry it is and of how it is decimating wild lion populations. Over 50% of the lions killed each year are killed by American hunters! What can you do, write to ask the USFWS to list lions as endangered. That way these hunters can not bring their trophies home. And share this video widely.

  36. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Hunters speak out against proposed refuge brown bear closure

    …..and even a non-hunter (but this guy would be better advised to move his cosy porch to a nice little suburb with manicured lawn and without wildlife anyway)

  37. Peter Kiermeir says:

    One Week Old Orphaned Bear Cubs, Jammy and Donut, Will Melt Your Heart

  38. Immer Treue says:

    Small as it may be, majority of Wisconsinites (remember we do loves in a democracy, favor wolf numbers maintained at current numbers. Even those in wolf country support current wolf numbers. Those most opposed are deer hunters and farmers.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Over a thousand antlerless permits are given out to hunters to help Wisconsin farmers control agricultural damage by deer. This is in wolf country, and not during the deer hunting season. CAme up with the over a thousand by looking at county by county basis of wolf territory map.

      Odd, how much agricultural and forest damage for which deer are responsible, plus collisions with autos with resulting monetary losses, injury, and death; yet, the toleration of deer vs wolves.

      • Nancy says:

        Just because some think our species is superior to all other living species, it doesn’t, IMHO, equate to intelligence. And why insurance agents are probably more prevalent than lawyers 🙂

  39. jon says:

    Wolf hunt unlikely in Michigan this fall.

    • rork says:
      Another link to that story (miningjournal can sometimes hassle you).
      Bill doesn’t take effect until 91 days after legislative term ends is the rub. We may still “pass” one or both of the two laws up for voting in referendums though (it’ll be worded so that “no” means you oppose the laws passed by the legislators it seems), which could mean wolves will be game animals after the election, but that doesn’t give DNR much time to organize a hunt, and I’m not sure they can plan much for it since wolves are currently not game animals. Do I have an idea how voters will vote? Nope, but folks being scared is easy to understand, and that those commie wolf-pimping bunny-huggers are against is easy to understand, and that wolves are decimating the deer and everything else is simple to understand (even if false), but why sports hunts might be unneeded or even counterproductive (I won’t mention ethics) is harder to understand.

      • Immer Treue says:

        You forgot econazi.

        • rork says:

          🙂 Yeah, I’m overusing bunny-hugger too lately.

          • Louise Kane says:

            and then there are those of us out of staters working for wildlife that don’t know shit, never get off their asses, and have never been into the woods or anywhere much that matter except the city, it would seem.

  40. aves says:

    3 ways to make your voice heard on the red wolf recovery program review:

  41. Louise Kane says:

    Living with Wolves new ad campaign

  42. Louise Kane says:

    new excellent ad campaign

  43. Louise Kane says:

    ever need an argument against killing wolves
    this is it! keep it in your files

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Thanks Louise,

      I’m sorry if I’ve been short with everyone, but this deja vu in WA, Michigan undercutting democracy, the DOO (Defenders of Overpopulation) and that monstrosity in Ivanpah had me pissed. 🙂

      Have a good weekend, all

    • Immer Treue says:


      I’ll approach this from both directions. There will most certainly be those who will drone, “if there were no wolves, there would have been no expenditure. However, we know wolves are here to stay for the foreseeable future. That money could have gone to all sorts of control, both lethal and non-lethal.

      As with the Huckleberry pack, evidence seems to indicate the packs presence for several years. Why were sheep moved into that particular area. Little sense, and what has the expense been response to the depredations. Shivik’s “Predator Paradox” makes more and more sense every day.

  44. Ida Lupines says:

    I’d love it, but you know that some would be up in arms about what they would interpret as violations of freedom and rights. 🙁

  45. Ida Lupine says:

    One of my pet peeves (trash!) – California and Hawaii, two of the best states in the Nation! Hawaii is especially protective of her beautiful environment:

  46. Ida Lupines says:

    Fast food empires destroying rain forests for palm oil:

  47. Ida Lupines says:

    There is no such thing as sustainable palm oil:

    The Indonesian government plans to convert 44 million acres of rainforest — a land area the size of Missouri — into palm oil plantations by 2020, according to a report by the Rainforest Action Network. By 2022, the U.N. Environment Program estimates that 98 percent of forests in the country could be destroyed.

    And all for trivial crap.

  48. Nancy says:

    The latest livestock/wolf conflicts for Montana:

  49. Jeff N. says:

    Well, it now appears that wolves have found another place to hang out……hotel parking lots.

  50. Louise Kane says:

    The Will to Change
    Thanks Stephen Capra

    and I would add the need to change

    • Yvette says:

      Steve Capra writes passionate articles, and I’ve only recently become aware of him. That was an excellent article. There were multiple passages that garnered my attention: the name dropping of politicians from the big multi-million dollar NGOs; the lack of support to band together; the wolf being a fund raising bonanza for the large NGOs. “The food chain of conservation”…was a good one.

      Most of us have been trained that we must compromise; we must negotiate; we must work to move toward the middle. I wonder.

      I’ve noticed these things before, but Capra had a way of bringing it to point for me. Still, I wonder where his NGO fits? I don’t think things will change much yet.

      Thanks for sharing, Louise. It’s given me much to think about.

  51. Nancy says:

    Louise, this is a very emotionally packed article/ plea? for wolves (many of the same thoughts run thru my mind) but I was thrown sideways by this statement:

    “We must create a vision for people to gravitate to, not a science filled glossary”

    Is Capra referring to Wildlife agencies and their years of ignorance when it comes to the killing of any and all predators that interfere with mankind or, just ignoring all science period?

    • Louise Kane says:

      I think, Nancy, he may referencing at least a couple of ideas. 1) wolves are killed relentlessly while there is endless debate about “the science”. Both sides use science to argue their points. It’s like climate change. The debate is absurd. If you deny climate change you have your head in the sand. I think he is saying how much science do we need to understand wolves, and that killing them indiscriminately through public hunting is wrong, and that allowing public lands to be debased by livestock and to trade wildlife to the highest bidder is unconscionable. I think its a call to look at the existing body of work to fight the status quo. 2) Clearly he is advocating for a new strategy (advertising campaign if you will) and dialogue to defend wolves, one that lay people can relate to. Some of the best work has come from people that are scientists but they frame issues in ways that people can relate to, Silent Spring, In the Shadow of Man, A Whale for the Killing, An Inconvenient Truth. And countless others like Edward Abbey, Carl Hiaason, Peter Matthiessen, Thoreau , and even TIm Cahill all use their writing as a platform. They don’t rely on heavy science to underscore their beliefs or subtle or not so subtle positions.

    • JB says:

      I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but I pretty much agree with this post (though they might be surprised by the WMI).

      • Mark L says:

        suprised in what way, JB?

        • JB says:

          I suspect WMI will give the program a fair shake (the author/blogger implied otherwise).

          • Mark L says:

            I’m going to go out on a limb and agree with DeLene on this one…WMI leaves me hollow from what I’ve found on them.

            • JB says:

              I may have to retract my prior comments. The more I learn about this review, the more it looks like a thinly-veiled effort to walk away from red wolf recovery.

              • Jon Way says:

                JB and others,
                I think that DeLene (the author) is spot on… I have completely lost faith in science and especially science when managing predators, especially canids. This is based on what we have seen with wolves as well as personal experience simply trying to study the same animals that are legally slaughtered. It gets me to wonder why I got into this profession when pre-determined decisions are already made and I have no doubt that WMI and their NC hunting buddies already have a pre-determined decision made to end the program. Brace yourselves…

          • JB says:

            I don’t think you’re out on a limb at all. At this point, I think its anyone’s guess as to whether WMI will give them a fair and adequate review. Rumors I hear from folks close to the program suggest other things are afoot that don’t bode well.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Thanks for posting this Aves
      if you have not already there is a survey you might want to respond to and a link to leave comments
      The USFWS on wolves – not to be trusted as with state agencies.
      90 individuals left in the wild and they sit by while the state issues a night hunting season on coyotes and USFWS proposed rules on Mexican wolves increased ability to kill for percieved livestock threats. How many Mexican wolves – less than a hundred? Wyoming “shoot on sight” state management plan approved and they sit by without the slightest indication that they will monitor the populations in Idaho or Montana as that relentless slaughter continues, and ignore Wisconsin’s dog/wolf fighting and the scientists that argue the “harvest” is unsustainable. Supposedly the ESA is designed to keep species protected until the species is recovered and threats are abated. I think not but who could have guessed how low they would sink.

      what is going on

  52. Ida Lupines says:

    The worst example of convenient think ever. People complain about bears coming too close to ‘civilization’, and then too-lazy-for-fair-chase hunters want to bait them. Doesn’t baiting them habituate them to humans? The poor bears don’t stand a prayer. Warning for a picture that might be upsettling for some. 🙁

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I had to smile (wryly) at one of the comments:

      “Weekend warriors sitting in trees shooting bears. Brave. How about we compromise. You can bear bait, you just have to (1) rub the jelly doughnuts all over your body and (2) get rid of your gun. If you are a REAL man as you are trying to show the world, that will make it a fair fight. What, you’re chicken? Well, yes, in a way you would be.” }:)

      • Ida Lupines says:

        One of them, shot by a man in Alabama who has a blind niece, will be mounted at a taxidermist and sent to a school for the blind so that the students can feel a bear.

        Why does a bear have to be killed so that blind kids can feel it? *eyeroll* If someone is handicapped, there are just some things that they are not going to be able to do. Nobody said life was fair.

        • Kathleen says:

          “…A conversation, he says, that is about respect for the woods, for the food chain, for this animal that will give its life so that he can have meat.”

          Bullshit. That bear didn’t “give” his life–his life was stolen from him with violence and base trickery. I just love (not) how these knuckle-draggers drag “respect” into their feeble attempts to put a good spin on something so outrageously immoral.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            The full bear hunting season runs from Aug. 25 to Nov. 29, but the state only allows hunting over bait during the first four weeks (hunters can start putting out the bait 30 days before that to habituate the bears).

            Dumping garbage in the woods by the truckload used to called littering and illegal dumping. They freely call it habituating the bears. This is not hunting, and stopping it isn’t any kind of threat to hunting, as they are making it out to be. I should have called the link Dumpin’ Donuts!

            I don’t think we should presume that schoolchildren would want to touch the bear, they might be horrified to know how it was acquired! And there are plenty of bearskins and taxidermists’ specimens around already if they do. 🙁

            • Gary Humbard says:

              I sure hope this ballot passes and thus returns the true meaning of hunting. Baiting or hunting with dogs is not “hunting”, its no different than herding cows to the slaughter house. Hunting is using your personal knowledge, skills and abilities, one on one with an animal and only then can you call yourself a hunter.

              The biologist who is an opponent trys to justify its defeat by saying it will reduce bear deaths due to starving and diseases. Sure glad he can determine which bears are going to starve and die of disease and by the way that is exactly how nature works (its called carrying capacity and as a biologist he should know that is how nature regulates itself).

              Everyone knows that bear habituation is the #1 cause for increasing human-bear conflicts, yet its OK as long as someone is going to make a profit.

    • Yvette says:

      I can’t get that link to work, Ida. Is this about Martha, the last passenger pigeon?

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Yes it is, sorry, I’ll try again:

        Remembering the Largest Human-Caused Extinction in History

        We need to imagine Martha asking us, “Have you learned anything from my passing?”

        Answer: No, or very little. We’re still using the same arguments against protecting wildlife as we did in Teddy Roosevelt’s day!

        • Amre says:

          When you look at the poaching of elephants and rhinos and the decline of lions in Africa, the killing of tigers in southeast Asia, shark culling in west Australia, wolf hunts in the northern rockies and great lakes, overfishing, climate change, bycatch, destruction of rainforest for palm oil plantations, and the damaging affects of public land ranching (and those are just a few of the environmental issues i can think of) it seems that we humans have learned absolutely nothing from martha’s death.

          • Yvette says:

            +++ Amre. Every last large ecosystem on the planet is in decline. Rivers, oceans, mountains, boreal forests, rain forests, prairies, deserts and on and on.

            There was a time when passenger pigeons were so numerous that people surely thought they would never kill all of them. It is estimated that passenger pigeons were in the billions when Europeans first arrived to this continent. Their flocks were witnessed to be a mile wide and up to 300 miles long; flocks were so dense that they darkened the sky for hours and days as they passed. Now think of how we kill animals that are numerous; crows, coyotes, red-winged blackbirds, etc. Anything that gets in the way of humans. How many times have we heard the professionals and academics say we’ll ‘never kill all the coyotes’. Apparently, no level of education seems to teach us to prevent the mistakes of the past.

            I say never underestimate the power of mankind for destruction and annihilation. Factor in the possibility of unforeseen events, or our changing climate and we really don’t know how everything will come together—-or fall apart.

            • Louise Kane says:

              “Now think of how we kill animals that are numerous; crows, coyotes, red-winged blackbirds, etc. Anything that gets in the way of humans. How many times have we heard the professionals and academics say we’ll ‘never kill all the coyotes’. Apparently, no level of education seems to teach us to prevent the mistakes of the past.

              I say never underestimate the power of mankind for destruction and annihilation. ”

              +1 Its dangerous to say animals like coyotes do not need protection against the relentless killing and persecution. Humans can accomplish anything, including extinction, annihilation, and climate change that may end the ability to inhabit our home.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          This is a dream of mine, since the bird went extinct so recently in history:

          Century After Extinction, Passenger Pigeons Remains Iconic – and Scientists Hope to Bring Them Back

  53. WM says:

    With 64 days to go before the mid-term elections here is how things seem to be stacking up for projected changes in the Senate . Don’t know who these folks are, but they are suggesting, based on polls they review, the Senate swings to the R side by a margin of +2. That is a net loss of 6 seats, even if Mark Udall holds on in CO. Sure hope these predictions have a big margin of error and it does not happen.

    And for those of you who love to pee on the D’s not doing enough for the environment (particularly dissing the Obama Administration with the FWS interpretation of the ESA, this ought to be a wake-up call that it just might get worse. And, IMHO, you can, if you have some insight, blame CDB and HSUS for what may be coming in the way of bad ESA changes.

    • JB says:


      Check out He’s been spot on in recent election.s Right now they’re predicting a 50-50 split for the senate, though 5 races show a 1% pt. margin (3 leaning Dem, 2 leaning Rep).

      • WM says:


        I hope for the best on this, and a split won’t do it. A very scary prospect which the R’s (especially the teabaggers) don’t understand is the future of the EX-IM bank. Most folks don’t know what it is, especially many who post here. If the R’s can stop it with their simpleton thinking, the economy will suffer and the balance of trade worsen (Boeing and with its aviation component vendors is the US largest exporter by the way, and EX-IM is a finance arm of the government that allows some purchasers of our exported products to buy them when they can’t get financing on the open market, so it does carry risk, but it does so while creating US jobs that otherwise would not exist, as would-be purchasers buy from other countries, ALL OF WHICH have their own ex-im banks that do exactly the same thing, also taking the same risks).

        Election year politics mid-term.

    • jon says:

      Sam Wang predicts the democrats have a better than 70% chance of keeping the senate. Sam Wang even did better than Nate Silver in 2012.

      You also have to remember that even if the republicans take the senate, they will most certainly lose it in 2016 where the map favors democrats by far. You also must remember that Obama will likely be using his veto pen a lot if the GOP take the senate as he should.

      • Yvette says:

        We simply cannot allow the ‘R’s to take the Senate. Jim Inhofe is up for reelection in Oklahoma, and although there is a good Democrat running against him this time, Inhofe gets mean in his campaigns and he hasn’t yet lost. If he wins, and the R’s win the Senate that means he will once again be Chairman of the Environmental and Public Works Committee. We need to keep him out of that Chairmanship.

        I have no hope for Oklahoma, but I do hope we can keep Inhofe out of that Chairmanship role.

      • Louise Kane says:

        from 2014 to 2016 a lot of damage can be done and its always hard to undo

  54. Nancy says:

    How pathetic & ironic……glad there’s been not only a national but an international response to this story.

    “They want to move because of the noise and traffic from the booming oil industry in the area”

    One nasty way of life – earning a living of wildlife, trying to move away from another nasty way of life – earning a living of wildland:

  55. Louise Kane says:

    Americans seem to make up the majority of trophy hunters traveling to Africa to kill off the last big mammals on earth

    what is it going to take to stop trophy hunting
    Trophy hunting is decimating populations of wildlife. It is a sport of waste, misery, and greed. Trophy hunting can not be condoned under any circumstances.

    • CodyCoyote says:

      Louise- a lot of rich or titled western Europeans still do safaris for large animals, too. I have an acquaintance who’s the NRA rep in Brussels , even though he himself is a flaming socialist liberal. He and his ilk are very ardent safari hunters, and Yves says it is still a strong tradition across the Continent. Italy , UK, Low Countries like it was in the Victorian time

  56. Louise Kane says:

    something to think about as hunting seasons starts.
    Soon are the last days for many intact families of wildlife like bears, wolves, and coyotes. To think of bears or wolves hunted for sport leaving their cubs and pups orphaned is very very disturbing and wrong.

  57. Nancy says:

    And a good (but dated article) for those just tuning into the Wildlife News, to read Louise, by Bob Ferris:

  58. WM says:

    Interesting report:

    Scientists say West Coast bottom fish recovery is successful, and encourages folks to catch and eat more:

    ….except, of course, sablefish (black cod), a favored species appearing on some higher end restaurant menus.

    Too bad we can’t say the same about successful rcovery the East Coast Atlantic cod fishery

    • Louise Kane says:

      and now striped bass
      one of the worst years according to my son who is out there every day
      the fishery seems to have crashed again several years after they lowered the size limit and increased catch
      it was grim this year
      stupid for the fishery managers to increase take and harvest and lower size

      I will say from experience that the sports fishermen here are a big big issue. The commercial fisheries do play a role but the sportsmen are too numerous and relentless. YOu see hundreds of boats on the water, its astounding to think one fish makes it through the gauntlet.

  59. rork says:

    “so long as the outfitting is necessary”
    Made me worry what goals qualified. I’ve seen fisheries biologists have their gear hauled in on pack animals, and was OK with that.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Was she the only breeding female wolf in the West that was not radio-collared, I wonder? Idiots.

    • Nancy says:

      “Last Wednesday the Department issued an order authorizing agency staff and the sheep owner to kill any of the Huckleberry pack wolves in the vicinity, instead of using rubber bullets or other hazing tools. It has also come to light that the Department failed to accept offers of assistance from a Washington State University wolf researcher to help get sheep carcasses out, implement more nonlethal measures, and help monitor the situation. It also failed to accept an offer from a conservation group of special predator-deterrence lights used elsewhere in conflict situations. Instead, without notice to the public or even to the stakeholder advisory group the Department consults with to implement the state’s wolf plan, the Department launched a secret aerial gunning campaign over the weekend with the aim of killing up to four of the pack’s wolves. One young wolf, which may have been a pup from this spring’s litter, was killed from the air and after more unsuccessful airtime, the helicopter was grounded but efforts continue by the Department to trap and euthanize up to three more wolves”

    • Ida Lupines says:

      God we’re a stupid species. The damage is done, no amount of ‘fines’ is going to fix it. But we’ll keep drilling in new locations, and still keep taking shortcuts in the name of profits.

  60. Nancy says:

    I’m sure no one saw this coming when they passed that law 🙂

  61. Yvette says:

    WDFW killed the breeding female, and now, the sheep owner moves his sheep.

    The move came after one of the wolves – the Huckleberry Pack’s alpha female – was killed Aug. 23 by a helicopter shooter. The breeding female was small, only 66 pounds, and not easy to distinguish.

    Pamplin called the killing of the pack’s breeding female an “unfortunate development.”

    “We anticipate concerns about pack integrity;

    Ya think? An ‘unfortunate development’. How do so many educated and experienced people make such ignorant mistakes?——They don’t.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I don’t know what to say. It’s never been worse for our wildlife and wildlands, and who knows what the real story is behind this. What a clumsy, heavy-handed, bumbling mess human wolf ‘management’ is. 🙁

    • Immer Treue says:

      “The move came after one of the wolves – the Huckleberry Pack’s alpha female – was killed Aug. 23 by a helicopter shooter. The breeding female was small, only 66 pounds, and not easy to distinguish.”

      66 pounds? What happened to the 140 pound Canadian behemoths? This must be a lie! It’s a cover-up. It can’t be true.

    • WM says:


      ++WDFW killed the breeding female, and NOW, the sheep owner moves his sheep. ++

      I think there was a problem locating alternative grazing on other private property, where the sheep could be relocated before going to their winter pasture. From what I recall they tried to make that happen. Apparently they couldn’t find any (probably even some pressure from WDFW), and now the rancher is forced to move 6 or more weeks early to winter range/pasturing. That may have economic consequences AND impact the area that will now be used earlier AND LONGER than expected.

      Don’t know how that affects the rancher economically, but it surely can’t be good. I think that is why he wrote a letter complaining, and getting support from the livestock producers who at some point might find their operations in the same situation, all involving PRIVATE LAND.

      • Yvette says:

        Sure, I did think that he may of had problems find a suitable location to move them.

        You emphasize this is private land, as has been done multiple times on this incident. It is a private timber company’s land and Mr. Dashiell is leasing that land. Is there a legal reason for the emphasis on this being private land? Private land designation doesn’t always mean the landowner is allowed to do anything he wants on that land. An example is a private landowner still has to seek a permit under section 404 of the CWA if he wants to drain, dredge of fill a wetland. I don’t understand why the emphasis on this being private land vs. public land. I think it’s possible that it’s a red herring for the the anti-wolf side.

        I had to go back and listen to Bill McIrvine talk about losing cattle to the Wedge pack. McIrvine was leasing public land. Do you remember Bill McIrvine’s inflammatory language? “We have the ‘right’ to protect our property. We’re pretty upset when a rogue (emphasis mine)government agency tells us we gotta sit back and do nothing while the wolves kill our livestock.” McIrvine went on to state because he had a lease it was the government’s job to remove the threat to his cattle. We all know the outcome. The government did exactly what McIrvine wanted. They killed the Wedge pack.

        It sounds like these business owners, the ranchers, want the government to be fully responsible for eliminating everything that is a business risk, the wolves, in these two instances. I don’t see where it should matter whether it is private land owned by the rancher, private land that is leased, or public land. The results are the same. The business owner gets to offset known business risks to the government, and the costs are paid for by the lives of wolves at the public’s expense.

        • WM says:

          You raise a lot of issues in 3 paragraphs, which involve the intersection of federal law (Clean Water Act Section 404, and the concept of “navigable waters” which underlies the entire act) and some analogy to land, private land use rights (which under both common law and enacted state and federal statutes and local ordinances are not without limits), public lands in various reserve status, and the rights/duties of a state wildlife agency to manage wildlife on all lands (except only federal reserves which specifically say states don’t have the right to manage there). I’m sure there are more.

          It is not so much that ” these business owners, the ranchers, want the government to be fully responsible for eliminating everything that is a business risk,” as it is that they want the government to manage or eliminate NEW risk it has created, after nearly a century of lesser or no risk.

          I don’t agree with Mr. McIrvine, if that was what you were thinking. On the other hand, the guy having a problem with the Huckleberry pack may have some valid points, if he was doing all the right things for pro-active non-lethal control in a timely manner, at additional cost incurred by him/the state and still suffering losses. It seems there is a compelling argument that weighs in favor of removing one or more wolves if, in the bigger picture, it allows for expansion of wolf population over the longer term.

          Then you have some wolf advocates who get tremendously upset by the loss of one or a few wolves. Sort of not being able to see the forest for the trees issue, IMHO.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            I don’t know, WM, Washington’s wolves migrated, were not reintroduced, or am I wrong about that? So I agree and have said that loss of livestock, as small as it is from predators, is a cost of doing business for livestock growers. Wolves do not recognize our silly local, state, national and international boundaries. They have and do move throughout their ranges, since long before we with our ridiculous concepts of ‘ownership’ came here.

            No, we’re not tremendously upset by the loss of one or a few wolves. It’s the loss of hundreds every year, for reasons other than the cloak of livestock depredation, and every chance available to remove more, and the irrational opposition to science’s attempted restoration of them to their natural and rightful ranges.

            I’m afraid to look at the bigger picture, because “if” it allows for expansion in the longer term is a very big if with the obsession we have about controlling wolves. For example, wolves are not, if some have their way, going to be restored to the Eastern forests once they are delisted in the lower 48. But perhaps our leadership will kick that can down the road for someone else to deal with also.

            Q: Who owns wildlife? A: Nobody.

            We think we do because we can, and overpowering, controling and enslaving other living things has been human’s MO since the dawn of humanity.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              What do ranchers plan to do about lighting strikes? Send out the aerial gunners again?

          • Yvette says:

            Oh no, I didn’t have any kind of opinion about whether you agree with Mr. McIrvine.

            I disagree with you about this being a ‘new risk that was created’. IMO, it doesn’t matter whether it was 100 years ago or 7 years ago. This is wolf territory. The Huckleberry pack has been in that region for at least 7 years. I just found out that the pack’s home range has been on lands with various designations; reservation (Spokane Tribe), private lands and federal lands. It was a peaceful co-existence up until Mr. Dashiell moved his sheep into this region. I’m not saying he doesn’t have the right to lease land and graze there; it’s his choice. I do think he knew he was taking a risk. He did so willingly, and it sounds like he tried to take at least some preventative measures to protect his sheep. It also sounds like things went to hell and a handbasket after his herder quit. That was a definite unfortunate turn of events.

            Unfortunately, this is likely to continue to happen. It’s not the wolf’s fault for taking easy prey; it’s not the sheep’s (or calf) fault for being easy prey. Ultimately, it’s the human’s fault for being stubborn and uncooperative. It’s the humans that tend to lack an adept skill to communicate, cooperate, and coordinate between the various interests. We have the capacity to develop those skills, but we seem to be too knotheaded to do so. It’s the animals that pay the price with their lives—both predators and livestock.

            We can do better.

        • Nancy says:

          “It sounds like these business owners, the ranchers, want the government to be fully responsible for eliminating everything that is a business risk, the wolves, in these two instances. I don’t see where it should matter whether it is private land owned by the rancher, private land that is leased, or public land. The results are the same. The business owner gets to offset known business risks to the government, and the costs are paid for by the lives of wolves at the public’s expense”

          Bingo Yvette!

          Posted a link this morning to MFWP weekly livestock/wolf report. From the first of the year til the middle of June, livestock losses were about 15 head confirmed (would bet most were young calves on “private lands”) because as most of us know who live out here, coyotes kill far more livestock but coyotes and now wolves, are routinely taken out by WS, certain times of the year.

          Close to 20 wolves killed in July and August? That seems bizarre given most wolves are far more interested in ungulates in the summer months.

          Drove by a piece of “private land” this morning and witnessed a calf struggling to keep up with its mother. His hind legs were almost useless. Not the first time I’ve seen this which makes me question how many times birth defects/illness are over looked, leaving calves at the mercy of all sorts of predators, not only on PRIVATE LANDS but PUBLIC LANDS as well when protection is reduced to the occasional rider coming thru to set out mineral blocks and check fencelines because, most public land grazing allotments are miles and miles from the ole homestead.

          Probably a hell of a lot cheaper to lose a few head (and get compensated by the government) than have to deal with hiring an extra hand or two and have to deal with payroll, taxes, workers comp etc. 🙂

  62. Elk375 says:

    Here is an interesting tidbit from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, how dumb can people get. These wolf lovers are going to try to monitor wolf hunting on foot north of Yellowstone Park starting September 15. It would take 3 or 4 people on horse back and five or so pack animals to even start any effective monitoring otherwise it is a fall back packing trip.

    • Nancy says:

      This has got to be a little bit frightening Elk – hunters terrorizing/killing wolves and non-hunters, terrorizing those hunters for terrorizing wolves.

      Kind of reminds me of an email I got from a friend this morning:

      “The Middle East explained — the FACTS”

      “Mark Hambley, who was our Ambassador to Qatar and currently travels ​ ​widely ​
      in the Middle East, has this wonderful (if sad) summary of the situation re ​ ISIS.


      18 August 2014

      There seems to be more confusion about who the various players are in
      the ​ Middle East than is really necessary. Here is one very simplistic
      explanation which might help sort out at least the part concerning the
      Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

      We support the Iraqi government in the fight against ISIS.

      We don’t like ISIS, but ISIS is supported by Saudi Arabia whom ​we do like.

      We don’t like As​sad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but
      ISIS is ​ ​​also fighting against him, and As ​sad is fighting against the terrorists we
      ​w​ant to see defeated.

      We don’t like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi government in its
      fight ​ ​against ISIS. Iraq doesn’t like Syria but Iran does. Turkey likes us and
      doesn’t like Assad but it likes Iran, doesn’t like Saudi Arabia, but likes
      ISIS which has nevertheless seized its consulate and diplomats.

      So some of our friends support our enemies, some of our enemies are
      now our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies,
      who we want to lose, but we don’t want our enemies who are fighting our
      enemies to win.

      If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they could be replaced
      by ​ people we like even less.

      And all this was started by us invading a country to drive out
      terrorists ​ who were not actually there until we went in to drive them out”

    • idalupine says:

      Is it simply a matter of protecting Yellowstone’s borders from not hunters, but ideological wolf-haters? Noone will agree to a buffer zone, so perhaps citizens can take it upon themselves to do sentry duty? I don’t know if I would call unarmed people terrorists, just concerned citizens.

      • idalupine says:

        citizens can take it upon themselves to do sentry duty?

        It is our national park, after all.

        • Nancy says:

          Ida – your user name looks odd from the two recent comments. Small caps, run together. Is the site experiencing problems again?

          • idalupine says:

            Hmmmm, I don’t know! I have seen it happen before. Maybe it was the way I typed it?

            • Ida Lupine says:

              Taking a cue from the Buffalo Field Campaign, the group of about nine people from several states intend to patrol the park boundary to monitor and document hunting activity and serve as a deterrent against hunters pursuing wolves into the park, Coronado said.

              Does this sound like terrorizing hutners? I know it would be a terrible injustice to have an opportunity to harm a wolf thwarted. But what’s that sound? Whining wolf haters and Safari Club International demanding an injunction any minute – 5….4….3….2….1….

              • Elk375 says:


                ++Whining wolf haters and Safari Club International demanding an injunction any minute – 5….4….3….2….1….++

                Whining wolf lover and wildlife advocates and the WWP and CBD demanding an injunction any Minute – 5…4…3…2…1. What goes around comes around.

      • idalupine says:

        I know it sounds like an impossible job given the size of the area – ranchers can’t even seem to do it to protect their own livestock!

    • Yvette says:

      Why not observe? If the wolf ‘hunters’ are doing what they claim to be doing who cares if someone observes. Even if they don’t have the number of people needed it may be something that builds.

      These people will be unarmed. Maybe they should don some camouflage and paint their faces with black stripes, and arm themselves like the jobless bozos that showed up Cliven Bundy’s ranch to protect his trespass cattle. If this group of observers will wave a flag, raise a rifle, and shake the bible all will be good. Just don’t forget to say, God Bless America.

  63. CodyCoyote says:

    Just a note about something that hasn’t happened yet.
    I expected we’d see a ruling by now from the US Court of Appeals in Washington D.C. on the legal challenge to Wyoming’s Wolf Plan brought by conservation groups. Honestly , I expected that ruling the last Friday of August before Labor Day. Wyo Game & Fish personnel have been saying off the record they would have a ruling in August in time to make changes to this year’s planned wolf attrition hunts if needed. But still no ruling.

    I called the office of Earthjustice in Bozeman in mid-August to ask if they had an inkling when a ruling might come down . Their attorney Tim Preso pleaded the case. They said they were on pins and needles waiting to hear. That was 3-4 weeks ago.

    So I’m wondering. Is this just another Resource/Environment can being kicked down the road past the midterm election in November ? Or what ?

    Any thoughts on the reasons behind this important case taking to darn long to air out ? Is that good , or bad, for Wolves in Wyoming ? Is somebody meddling or monkeywrenching the process ? I would’ve thought the issues were more straightforward than not. So….. ?

  64. Barb Rupers says:

    From ODFG on genetics of OR7, mate, and pups.

  65. WM says:

    A couple things on the Stevens County, WA sheep killing incidents, as the story continues to unfold.

    Alpha female was shot by WDFW, and sheep rancher now moving his stock several months early to wintering area:

    Stevens County livestock producers say it’s a bad precedent to allow sheep-eating wolves to force livestock off PRIVATE land:

    And, on another note several wolf advocacy groups petitioned Governor Inslee to intervene to keep WDFW from further using lethal control (it is a real spin document, that some think doesn’t accurately portray the facts of previous non-lethal effort, leading up to this lethal removal). Governor Inslee campaigned on being the governor for “all of Washington,” which those on the east side of the Cascades means he intends to represent their interests as well as the urban core. Here is a litmus test for honoring/breaching that promise, as viewed by the commercial livestock industry, rural livestock and pet owners, and ultimately the hunting community.

    • Nancy says:

      The only comment so far put it well, IMHO, WM –

      “Skippadoodoo • 3 days ago
      Mr. Dashiell shouldn’t have to move his sheep. They never should have been in rugged, remote, heavily forested land to begin with. Most taxpayers and voters understand and agree that it isn’t OK to allow ranchers to graze cattle and sheep in the desert or the forest. It’s bad habitat for livestock and great habitat for wild life. Zoning laws mean you can’t put a Walmart in the middle of a residential neighborhood and zoning laws should prohibit ranchers from putting livestock in places that they don’t belong. Like in the middle of the desert (Mr. Bundy) or the middle of the woods (Mr. McIrvin and Mr. Dashiell)”

      • Elk375 says:


        ++Most taxpayers and voters understand and agree that it isn’t OK to allow ranchers to graze cattle and sheep in the desert or the forest.++

        Taxpayers and voters have nothing to say about where and what type of livestock can or will be grazed on rural lands. Beaverhead County, MT is excellent wolf and wildlife habitat. Do you think that zoning laws could ever be enacted that would restrict the grazing of livestock? If and when that happens Brown Cows will be flying over the moon.

      • Louise Kane says:

        +1 Nancy

    • Ida Lupine says:

      With the breeding female killed, these ranchers have gotten their restitution because it breaks up the pack. Unless they would like no wolves on the landscape at all. Which we know is what they want.

      Do tell us all about honoring/breaching promises, WM.

    • Amre says:

      Well, we’ll just have to see how this plays out. There is a chance the pack can dissolve, but then again, the alpha female could also be replaced by another female wolf.

    • Yvette says:

      Just curious how many pet owners in WA have lost a pet to wolves?

      • WM says:

        If I recall correctly, Yvette, a couple of these guard dogs got chewed on. Not pets, exactly but somebody had to buy them, and will be accountable for vet bills. Also about 130 miles east of here, in the St. Regis country of MT, wolves got 4 or 5 miniature horses a couple years back. They were in a fenced pasture on private land near a house, by the way.

        It will happen soon enough, like somebody’s horse on private property gets run into a fence or through a cattle guard. Not a matter of if, but when. And, that is when I predict the feces hits the fan in WA.

  66. Louise Kane says:

    In the Temple of Wolves
    11 hours ago
    The Death of Huckleberry’s Alpha Can Spell Disaster—By Rick Lamplugh

    Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife has just admitted that the wolf shot by Wildlife Services was the Huckleberry Pack’s alpha female. Why WDFW took so long to tell the truth will be the subject of a future post. Today’s post is about how the death of an alpha can destroy an entire pack.

    Marybeth Holleman, along with Gordon Haber, is the author of Among Wolves: Gordon Haber’s Insights into Alaska’s Most Misunderstood Animal. She wrote an article for High Country News entitled Wolf Populations Should Be Assessed by Packs, Not Individuals. Her article describes the impact of killing wolves—especially alpha wolves—on the delicate social structure of a wolf pack. I have excerpted the article below and included a link to the entire article.

    Gordon Haber spent more than 43 years observing Alaska’s wild wolves, mostly in Denali National Park, before dying in a plane crash while tracking the predators. Few modern biologists have such unassailable experiential authority.

    “Wolves are perhaps the most social of all nonhuman vertebrates,” wrote Haber. “A ‘pack’ of wolves is not a snarling aggregation of fighting beasts, each bent on fending only for itself, but a highly organized, well-disciplined group of related individuals or family units, all working together in a remarkably amiable, efficient manner.”

    Wolves go to great lengths to stay with family; when important members are lost, families can disintegrate and remaining individuals often die. Haber knew this firsthand owing to an alpha female wolf, who, after her mate was killed in a botched government darting study, died of starvation, alone.

    Family groups develop unique and highly cooperative pup-rearing and hunting techniques that amount to cultural traditions, though these take generations to mature and can be lost forever if the family disintegrates.

    According to Haber, it’s not how many wolves you kill; it’s which wolves you kill.

    Natural losses typically take younger wolves, whereas hunting and trapping take the older and more experienced wolves. These older wolves are essential because they know the territory, prey movements, hunting techniques, denning sites, pup rearing — and because they are the breeders. Haber observed this many times: Whenever an alpha wolf was shot or trapped, it set off a cascade of events that left most of the family dead and the rest scattered, ragtag orphans.

    It happened again in April 2012. A trapper dumped his horse’s carcass along the Denali National Park boundary, surrounded it with snares, and killed the pregnant alpha female of the most-viewed wolf group in Denali. With her death, the family group had no pups, and it disintegrated, shrinking from 15 to three wolves.

    This is not unique to Alaska. In 2009, Yellowstone National Park’s Cottonwood group disappeared after losing four wolves to hunting, including both alphas. In 2013, the park’s Lamar Canyon family group splintered when the alpha female — nicknamed “Rock Star” — was shot.

    And now the alpha female of the Huckleberry Pack has been killed. At what cost to the rest of the pack?

    • Gary Humbard says:

      Louise, as Dr Haber wrote, wolves feature two unusual evolutionary strategies- cooperative breeding and cooperative hunting. While it appears the rancher could have done additional preventive measures (ie. removing the sheep from a known rendevous site) I wonder what Dr. Haber would have suggested once the depredation of livestock occurred. His studies were in Alaska where livestock depredation is not an issue and advocated for the general elimination of hunting and trapping of wolves.

      Since hunting techniques are mainly taught by the alpha pairs and sheep were being killed, does it not seem reasonable to kill one of the alpha pairs to prevent the pups from learning the skill of killing sheep in the future?

      It’s easy to blame the rancher, however, we were not in their shoes and do not know all of the circumstances. We do know that only one wolf was killed and I think there was a lot of restraint shown by WDFW.

  67. Louise Kane says:

    Moderators am sorry I thought I was posting the link and the content along with the link was posted. My apologies

  68. Yvette says:

    For those who aren’t wild about drones pestering wildlife: this is for your enjoyment.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      They sound like mosquitoes too. We just go from bad to worse. Couldn’t have said it better than the ram. 🙂

  69. Yvette says:

    There has been discussion on this blog about who pays for the conservation of wildlife. This blog article by cougar biologist, Dr. John W. Laundre presents a an effective argument over who pays for conservation, and thus, the wildlife that benefits.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Food for thought,eh?

    • Immer Treue says:

      One thing he misses, captured eloquently by Brian Ertz a while ago.

      “That a few (of which I am a member) contribute resource to an agency by virtue of licenses and tags in order that we have opportunity to ‘take’ from that public trust, and in order that we may do so in a sustainable way that does not irretrievably offend the citizenry’s common interest in that public trust, should not grant those of us who buy licenses and tags greater influence, access, or representation to determine the policy question about what the citizenry’s common interest is, and how agencies’ are to manage such, than any other citizen within a given jurisdiction.”

      • WM says:


        The author of the piece to which Yvette refers, actually misses quite a few things. First he attempts to give a dichotomous classification – hunters and anti-hunters, then lumps everybody else together as if their interests do not align with the two groups already classified. Not an accurate classification, because there are livestock interests, those who care about wildlife, those who don’t, those who are ambivalent, those who never go out of an urban environment but who want a say, those who live in rural areas and are affected by predator control decisions who are neither hunters nor commercial livestock producers, and those who believe that professional wildlife managers ought to be able to “manage” for groups listed above (I’m sure I missed some), and of course there are those states that have considered and passed or rejected state Constitutional provisions that recognize a “right to hunt.”

        Then there are those who think they have a right to assert their will in states where they are not residents, when it comes to managing the “public trust” resources. For example, should my voice count as much as yours in managing the public trust resources in MN, where you are a resident and I am not?

        • Nancy says:

          “those who care about wildlife, those who don’t, those who are ambivalent, those who never go out of an urban environment but who want a say, those who live in rural areas and are affected by predator control decisions who are neither hunters nor commercial livestock producers, and those who believe that professional wildlife managers ought to be able to “manage” for groups listed above (I’m sure I missed some), and of course there are those states that have considered and passed or rejected state Constitutional provisions that recognize a “right to hunt.”

          A lot of “those people” though pay taxes right WM? And should have some say in how wildlife is treated, of course until wildlife actually has a voice in how THEY are treated by THOSE few….

          • WM says:


            That is what elected government is all about. You want to start talking about taxes, then you might consider the larger business, or even a successful small one, a proprietorship or small partnership just might pay a whole lot more taxes than someone retired, getting paid minimum wage or unemployed, and weighting of votes. I don’t think we want to go down that road.

            Representative democracy means for the most part the majority elected the folks to make decisions. Now you want another bite of the apple because you may not have gotten your way. Are you personally representative of MT voters state-wide, or even in your local area. From your comments here, I doubt it, yet you want more say and more power in policy decisions. Something to think about.

            • Nancy says:

              “You want to start talking about taxes, then you might consider the larger business, or even a successful small one, a proprietorship or small partnership just might pay a whole lot more taxes than someone retired, getting paid minimum wage or unemployed, and weighting of votes”

              WM – I pay triple what the ranch next door pays in property taxes. Most of my tiny bit of property is under sagebrush but no one is compensating me for keeping it that way like the ranch next door, even though their “compensated” land is also leased out for cattle grazing and looks like hell compared to my little ungrazed piece of property.

              Repeated how many times out here in the west?

        • Immer Treue says:

          I’m in accord with much of your critique on the “essay”, though my perspective was more of a $$$ approach to who has a say and who doesn’t, and more specifically the plight of predators. How many times have we heard that hunters pay for this and pay for that? Does that give them majority right for controlling the predators for which they have not contributed to the pot?

          You brought up MN. Long a contentious issue in regard to delisting and inevitable hunting. There were a couple farmers from north entrap MN, who were very adamant through legal means that all but assured a hunting season would directly follow delisting. I believe many in MN were aghast at the first quota of 400 wolves. In particular, the depth of wolf hunting into areas were no one lived mobilized anti hunting (for wolves) individuals. I don’t remember the exact quote, but someone from the MNDNR made some comment along the lines of we owe a season to the hunters. This did not set well either. For the life of me I don’t understand why wolf hunting was restricted to the interface of forest and farmland where most of the depredations were occurring.

          Poaching. Most wolf poaching occurs during deer season. Enough said there.

          It’s the weather stupid! MDHA, not you WM. A protracted winter two years ago, and depending on the source, last Winter was the roughest Winter in the last 50-120 years. Emergency deer feeding proceeded through most of the state. Yet a very vocal minority of deer hunters at informational meetings roared about the wolf problem…killing all the deer.

          Anti-depredation costs. Back out west. The Huckleberry pack situation, how much did it cost to shoot the wrong wolf? The Wedge pack. How much did it cost to eliminate the pack? I’m sure it exceeded the cost of the market value of livestock that were killed. This was taxpayer money, not hunter fees.

          I’ve been on record on this blog of writing that perhaps the most efficient way of eliminating a specific depredation event is eliminating an entire pack, but if it will cost more than non lethal means (enter Shivik’s The Predator Paradox), then something is wrong, and it doesn’t matter if it’s MN, WA or anywhere in between, people have a right to be heard. The agencies responsible for our wildlife must be held accountable for decisions made, and yes they are caught between a rock and a hard place.

          I guess any more would be redundant. In the transition of retreating daylight, and cooling temperatures, another Bushmills and The Killing of Wolf Number Ten.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I guess this is the flip side to WM’s argument about state control of wildlife being sacrosanct.

      • WM says:


        You might find this of interest. First read this article, related to the one Jeff E. links:

        Then read this section of ANILCA, which governs the activities of the “preserve” adjacent to Denali NP. The NPS has primacy as a matter of federal law to manage the preserve subject to the reservations left to states (which really is not that much in this instance). So, the preserve area, which is the subject of both articles, is to some degree almost a national park, without saying it.
        ++SEC. 1313. A National Preserve in Alaska shall be administered and managed as a unit of the National Park System in the same manner as a national park except as otherwise provided in this Act and except that the taking of fish and wildlife for sport purposes and subsistence uses, and trapping shall be allowed in a national preserve under applicable State and Federal law and regulation. Consistent with the provisions of section 816, within national preserves the Secretary may designate zones where and periods when no hunting, fishing, trapping, or entry may be permitted for reasons of public safety, administration, floral and faunal protection, or public use and enjoyment. Except in emergencies, any regulations prescribing such restrictions relating to hunting, fishing, or trapping shall be put into effect only after consultation with the appropriate State agency having responsibility over hunting, fishing, and trapping activities.++
        In comparison, many other federal statutes creating Wilderness or other applying to federally owned land simply do not infringe on a state’s rights/responsibilities to manage in nearly any manner fish and wildlife on federal land, by virtue of the wording of the statute.

        Preserves are not managed the same as some other federal lands. That doesn’t mean the feds and the states won’t engage in skirmishes over who gets to do what. Remember this is cooperative federalism, and if states get pushed too much there just may be a “re-set” on the balance, which could happen if the R’s take the Senate, and the 17 Western states weigh in with any force.

        • JB says:

          ” Remember this is cooperative federalism, and if states get pushed too much there just may be a “re-set” on the balance, which could happen if the R’s take the Senate, and the 17 Western states weigh in with any force.”

          This situation would be terrible for a variety of reasons, but most importantly, because global climate change, water, energy, and (to a much lesser extent) wildlife issues are exposing the need for a more centralized, ‘command and control’ approach to dealing with environmental issues (or at the very least, greater cooperation and coordination).

          The rush of some states to exploit resources to advantage their citizens (*and at the cost of citizens of other states) is exposing the same type of ‘tragedy of the commons’ Hardin described for individuals almost a half century ago. The difference is instead of the individual herders in Hardin’s metaphor, we have individual states rushing to exploit the commons (i.e., natural resources) to their advantage, but the long term detriment of all.

          What we, as a country, need now is the exact opposite of what ‘states rights’ advocates are pushing for.

          • WM says:

            ++…most importantly, because global climate change, water, energy, and (to a much lesser extent) wildlife issues are exposing the need for a more centralized, ‘command and control’ approach to dealing with environmental issues…++

            I agree, but states are going to overlay on those needs, economic arguments, jobs, self-determination at a state level and general distrust of a strong central government – a central government that has already burdened them (from their views) with “one size fits all” requirements for clean water, clean air, solid waste, transportation, immigration (which has not worked by the way for several), federal land policy, and endangered species management which as we know from our regular discussions here has some states mad enough to seek changes to the ESA and even lead with this issue.

            Open the WGA 2014 Annual Report link here:


            Western states, maybe with one or two exceptions (CA, OR?), are not going to roll over and say we surrender to a larger federal will.

            • WM says:

              And, we know from experience the “federal will” is fickle, and when Congress (an organization of elected officials from all STATES) can’t make up its mind it just might decide to CLOSE DOWN. I don’t know if any state government has ever closed down for lack of inability to make decisions for the common good of their respective citizens. And, don’t get me going on illegal immigration, which is an area where Congress has determined it is a federal issue, then does absolutely fricking nothing to encourage enforcement of existing laws, or make new ones, while affected states beg for help. Yeah, I am a real fan of a strong federal government.

              • JB says:

                “…Congress has determined it is a federal issue, then does absolutely fricking nothing to encourage enforcement of existing laws, or make new ones, while affected states beg for help. Yeah, I am a real fan of a strong federal government.”

                We could say the same thing about the EPA, FWS, and NPS (and a half dozen other federal institutions). Who is it that holds the purse strings on this government anyway…? Oh right.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          I’m impressed with Alaska’s management, they seem more progressive than we are here in the lower 48. So I guess it isn’t really the flip side, but more of the same. As much as I despise the what passes for modern Democrats, I’ll have to hold my nose and vote for them rather than the alternative.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            I don’t know why spotlighting and killng a mother bear and cubs, or wolf pups in their dens is considered hunting. It’s abuse, and I’m glad Alaska is putting a stop to it.

            I only wish we’d have the guts to put a stop to some of the undisciplined hunting in the lowere 48. Anything goes here.

  70. idalupine says:

    Couple things:

    And interesting, Mr. Dashiell isn’t just any old rancher – he’s the President of the Cattle Producers of Washington. This speaks terrible volumes to me because not only does it appear he has not put any importance on non-lethal predator controls as recommended by the WFWD, but a man in his position sets the tone for the entire state and has a lot of influence.

    • Nancy says:

      In a nutshell Ida 🙂

      “Obviously, this is an unsustainable condition. Eventually, excessive petroleum use will produce such frequent and severe climate effects that no president or energy executive would dare boast of increased petroleum output and none of us would even dream of filling up the gas tank to take a “day-cation” at a distant tourist site. Until we identify and begin treating this state of national schizophrenia, however, we will ensure that a time of mutual pain and hardship is ever more likely”

      And re: Dashiell and his predator/wolf problem:

      I’m still trying to wrap my head around turning 1,800 head of sheep loose in predator rich country and expecting one guy (sheepherder) and 4 dogs, to take care of any problems that might come up with predators or, has the landscape of Washington (Stevens County included) become as “sanitized” of predators, like areas of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming?

    • Ida Lupines says:

      They really can’t expect people to believe this. Can they? I saw a headline that said, in big letters and exclamation point, “Recovered!” I don’t think I would go that far in today’s world. What’s the rush to delist everything, as if we didn’t know.

  71. Ida Lupines says:

    Here’s the least over the top account (at least so far) that I have seen:

    The number of California blue whales killed by ships is more than three times the limit allowed by the U. S. Marine Mammal Protection Act. The researchers claim that an 11-fold increase in shipping would not harm the California blue whale population as it presently exists.

    California Blue Whale Census Shows Population Growth (and that’s all)

  72. Gary Humbard says:

    Study on bighorn sheep and mountain goats in Yellowstone NP. I was on Mount St. Helens in 1973 when mountain goats were air lifted onto the south side (blast probably killed them all) and had a up-close personal encounter with one in the Olympic Mountains. They are probably one the strongest mammal pound per pound in the world and would never want to have to take one on. He was an awesome animal.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I wish they’d come up with a means of radio monitoring that was less burdensome to the animals. They look like the only thing that matters is the data they provide, and interfering with the animal’s movements and living, hunting, etc., possibly harmfully so, isn’t given a high priority.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I think that some of the collars are interfering with mothers taking care of their young – and scientists are arrogant enough to be surprised! As if some big, cumbersome thing wouldn’t strike an animal as unusual.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Already, one of the 11 calves has been eaten by wolves.

          Wolf took one, in one year.

          Human meddling and bumbling took nearly 50 calves in over two years. Keep in mind this is a study to find out why moose are dying! This is in addition to habitat encroachment and environmental damage that may be affecting moose.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Oops that should read ‘Human meddling and bumbling took nearly 20 calves in two years’.

        • Nancy says:

          Ida – an interesting site on the subject of tracking devices. Check out the comment section 🙂 Really bright kid or what? I mean humans had the ability to track OR-7 from OR to CA and back but shelf life is the concern of a tracking device and I agree, saddling wildlife with these bulky collars has to be terribly disruptive to their lives.

          Or maybe this is where drones would be applicable. Right now planes (at a huge expense per hour) are used to track wolf and other wildlife activities for research. What if drones were programed to pick up the same signals (and information that’s stored on tiny tracking devices) in study areas?

          Just tossing some thoughts out there and also realizing that cost always seems to be a major factor here when it comes to tracking wildlife and their habits, yet funds always seem to be available though when it comes to tracking them and killing them (WS)

  73. Immer Treue says:

    A much more recent update on what’s going on with MN moose. Of course the anti wolf faction of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association (MDHA) will not necessarily rejoice in this.,11671?content_source=&category_id=6&search_filter=&event_mode=&event_ts_from=&list_type=&order_by=&order_sort=&content_class=&sub_type=&town_id=

  74. Mareks Vilkins says:

    well, this is sweet:

    ‘West Sussex isn’t Texas. It cannot become a carelessly industrialised landscape.’

    Fracking is a toxic issue for Conservative party grassroots

    From protest camps to packed-out town hall meetings, shale gas and fracking is a major issue in safe Tory seats

    “The number of anti-fracking community groups has exploded in the last year. There were roughly 40 groups this time last year, now there are over 160 with about 10 new groups forming each month”, said Sarah Mackie, a Frack Off campaigner.
    “People are really angry. They can see the devastation caused by the industry in the US where 100,000 of these wells have been drilled in the last decade and now find that their community is facing the same threat”

    “When the new licences are announced, a lot of people are going to wake up and realise fracking could be coming to their doorstep next year with all the disruption, toxic effects and massive impacts on house prices, and availability and cost of insurance associated with the fracking industry across the world. This issue has the potential to generate massive local opposition,” said Anne Patterson, of Gasfield Free Coventry

    Greenpeace UK energy campaigner Simon Clydesdale said the issue of fracking had become “politically toxic” and could cost political parties dearly at the polls. “Local support for fracking is ebbing away. Long-standing Tory voters are incandescent, comparing it to Thatcher’s poll tax or Blair’s Iraq war. This has the potential to mobilise the Tory heartlands in the same way as the hunting ban did.”

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      The End of Fracking Is Closer Than You Think

      Hughes meticulously analyzed industry data from 65,000 US shale oil and natural gas wells that use the much-ballyhooed extraction method of hydraulic fracturing, colloquially known as fracking

      Hughes found that the production rates at these wells decline, on average, 85 percent over three years.

      “Typically, in the first year there may be a 70 percent decline,” Hughes told VICE News. “Second year, maybe 40 percent; third year, 30 percent. So the decline rate is a hyperbolic curve. But nonetheless, by the time you get to three years, you’re talking 80 or 85 percent decline for most of these wells

      His conclusion calls into question the viability of developing a long-term national energy policy on the assumption that fossil fuel extraction will continue at current levels

      He says that policies being urged by politicians … are promoting a quick, profit-making bonanza for the industry rather than the growth of a maintainable national energy policy.

      “Companies always drill their best locations first,” he said. “Once you’ve run out of locations in the sweet spots, you’re forced to lower and lower quality rock. The wells don’t get any cheaper, however. They still cost the same, it’s just that you have to drill more of them to offset that fuel decline.”

      Hughes explained that more than 80 percent of the nation’s shale oil comes from just two plays, the Bakken field in North Dakota and Montana and the Eagle Ford in Texas. He estimates that production in those regions will recede back to 2012 levels in 2019. Overall production across the nation’s shale oil fields will peak in 2017.

      In just the Bakken, Hughes calculates that 1,400 new wells are needed per year to offset current production decline, which right now is 45 percent of current production rates of about a million barrels per day, or 450,000 barrels per day each year

  75. idalupine says:

    I don’t think it is very wise to take a six-year old on a hike like this. The word ‘hike’ to me implies something more strenuous and in more difficult terrain than a walk in the park. The child could have been injured in any number of ways, a fall, etc. I thought I read that there were warning signs about mountain lions?

    Humans’ disconnect from nature is such that they do not seem to think they need to take any precautions whatsoever outdoors, such as protecting their pets, livestock, and even themselves from injury, and seem shocked by reality is encountered. I don’t think the mountain lion should be killed because it presents a ‘public safety concern’. We’re not talking about a crosswalk! There are too many people today to kill an animal every time it unknowingly interferes with human activity, or poor judgement by parents. The only creature that doesn’t seem to have a carrying capacity is ourselves. What is humans carrying capacity?

    • JB says:

      ” I don’t think the mountain lion should be killed because it presents a ‘public safety concern’.”

      Ida: Have you ever heard the term “search image” and do you understand how it gets applied to carnivores? Do you really think it is wise to let a large carnivore that has attacked a small child and lives near a heavily populated area go? Perhaps you missed it, but the state of Utah just lost a lawsuit when a problem bear killed a child in a campground.

      • idalupine says:

        Why did I know I’d get a response from you. Well it’s only going to get worse in the future, so do you recommend killing all wildlife that presents a danger to humans in heavily populated areas preemptively?

        • Yvette says:

          I was in the bay area last May and hadn’t been out that way in decades. SMH! There is an ungodly number of people in that region. LOL, I rented a car and drove out of Oakland Airport toward Berkeley. First thing I noticed was the filth. There was a thin layer of black carbon on all of the highway sound barriers and embankments. I noticed other little things, too. Soil impacted as hard as concrete in some areas. There are just too many people and cars. Northern Cal use to be a beautiful area, (and may have areas that still are) but California has been loved to death. Sad. It’s definitely not for me. One would have to drive for hours to simply get away from all the people. I’ll leave it to them.

          • idalupine says:

            I still love it. My hub is from there, I haven’t been out there in the past year, but there’s much to love about the area.

          • Yvette says:

            It’s hard to imagine where a mountain lion in Norther Cal. could go without bumping in to a human. We have out competed every other species———in the long term, it will be to our detriment. Just give it time.

            • idalupine says:

              I don’t know, I think there are still places – but habitat is certainly shrinking fast.

              LA’s urban sprawl is the worst, to me, although it does have its charms.

              • W. Hong says:

                I lived in SF when I first came to America, that is not N. CA, if you go further north, there is some really pretty areas, San Francisco reminded me of the big citys in China.

              • idalupine says:

                Yes, it’s beautiful.

                Further north, and in the Sierras, there is still room for wildlife, we think.

        • JB says:

          “Why did I know I’d get a response from you.”

          Consider my responses messages from your neocortex (where logic, and reason reside). Hopefully, from time to time, they will help you offset your emotional reactions.

          “Well it’s only going to get worse in the future…”

          Hmm… I disagree. Actually, I think that large carnivores are frequently occupying space near people with relatively low levels of conflicts suggests things may be getting better. 🙂

          “…so do you recommend killing all wildlife that presents a danger to humans in heavily populated areas preemptively?”

          Preemptively, no–of course not. I do, however, recommend killing large carnivores that (for whatever reason) have shown a willingness/ability to attack people. I refer to this policy as “common sense”.

          • idalupine says:

            Consider my responses messages from your neocortex (where logic, and reason reside).

            🙂 Touche!

    • Elk375 says:

      ++I don’t think it is very wise to take a six-year old on a hike like this. The word ‘hike’ to me implies something more strenuous and in more difficult terrain than a walk in the park. The child could have been injured in any number of ways, a fall, etc. I thought I read that there were warning signs about mountain lions?++

      Ida I remember hiking the Beartooths when I was 4 years old and by the time I was 10 years old I would leave our cabin and hike several miles into the wilderness alone spend the day fishing. I grew up in Billings, Mt and we lived below the Rim Rocks, when I was eleven or twelve I was walking down a trail and looked up and there was the only mountain lion I have ever scene in the wilds.

      People from your neck of the woods have some strange ideas.

      • idalupine says:

        Well that’s you, and that was, I gather, quite a long time ago. People today aren’t the same.

        • idalupine says:

          What I mean is, today’s people aren’t as connected to nature as you seem to be. I don’t see you as an ideological wolf-hater, but a traditional hunter. Am I wrong about that?

  76. WM says:

    I don’t want to steal WWP’s thunder on this, but it appears they are joining WildEarth Guardians, CBD and Friends of the Clearwater in an effort to sue USDA Wildlife Services for violating the ESA and NEPA in the animal damage control work they do annually on behalf of a number of federal agency, state and local co-operators in Idaho.

    A 60 day Notice of Intent to Sue is preliminary to the actual filing.

  77. Yvette says:

    It is unfortunate that kid got attacked. At least, the wildlife authorities will perform a DNA check (from what I’ve read) to make sure they do not kill the wrong cougar. I’ve also read the people in that area are full aware of the risks and have learned to live with it.

    I’m surprised the kid didn’t get killed, especially since he is only six years old. That seems odd. If a cougar wants to kill they can do fast. They got lucky. I wonder if this is a young cat? Either way, he is on death row now.

    • idalupine says:

      I wonder tho; I doubt these people have the budgets for this, they may just kill the first lion they get to exact their pound of flesh for any cat daring to come into contact with humans. I don’t know if it is CSI Cupertino. 🙁

      • idalupine says:

        Just like the aerial gunner exacting their pound of flesh for the Washington rancher for losing sheep. They don’t need to take out the rest of the pack, they’ve taken out any future generations this breeding female will have by killing the her. Isn’t that enough? “Another female may, perhaps, could, take her place.” Just more ‘if shit’.

        In the case of the mountain lion attack, the kid didn’t sustain life threatening injuries, and the parents should have been more careful. I’m tired of people never having to be responsible for anything they do. Leave the cat alone.

  78. bret says:

    “I don’t think it is very wise to take a six-year old on a hike like this”.
    I think it’s the perfect place to introduce young children to the outdoors, a green belt preserve with trails less than a mile from the town of Cupertino.

    “and seem shocked by reality is encountered”.

    Yes, shocked, cougar attacks are rare, good chance it was a juvenile male looking for its own territory and learning how to hunt.
    “ I read that there were warning signs about mountain lions?”

    If you spend any time outdoors in the west you have been or are in mountain lion country.

    • idalupine says:

      So what? You’re saying that people have become blasé about the lions? Not good.

      Taking children outside is a good thing; but you’ve got to be aware of the risks.

      Yes, I’ve spent time out West.

  79. Kathleen says:

    Montana governor restricts oil drilling in sage grouse habitat

    Excerpt: “But the no-occupancy zones are far smaller than the 1-mile radius recommended in January by an advisory council established by the governor. Representatives of the oil and gas industry had pushed for the smaller area.”

    • idalupine says:

      I find it really disappointing (but not surprising) that we can’t even spare a mile radius for these beautiful birds. It’s not like we don’t already occupy a major portion of the country for all of our activities. If they don’t make it a mile radius, I hope the birds do get ESA protection.

      • Nancy says:

        Ida – its not so much about protecting the bird or it’s habitat, its all about having something left to shoot at, down the road 🙂

        • idalupine says:

          🙂 I know I am harsh, but I am thoroughly disgusted with humans, and have no room in my heart for 7+ billion. I’m all about fixing what we’ve wrecked and trying to prevent more wreckage at this point in my life.

          I have never seen more blatant propaganda about the environment since I began to pay attention to politics, and it shocks me to know it is coming from liberals and Democrats.

          • Elk375 says:


            ++I know I am harsh, but I am thoroughly disgusted with humans, and have no room in my heart for 7+ billion.++

            Do you really like anyone Ida. Seven plus billion includes all of us except you. 🙁

        • Elk375 says:

          It sounds like your neck of the woods there is an abundance of critters. Got this email yesterday:

          We were in Big Sheep and Medicine Lodge. Lots of antelope and some huge elk. Also saw mountain goat, sheep, moose and 5 really nice mule deer.

          Tons of birds. Took 10 minutes for everyone to fill the their Sage Hen limit. Saw lots of birds just driving around. We took blue grouse and there were a lot of Huns, too.

          • Nancy says:

            Guns cocked and ready, right Elk?

            Early yet for most of what you listed – “Lots of antelope and some huge elk. Also saw mountain goat, sheep, moose and 5 really nice mule deer”

            • topher says:

              Deer and elk are open in Idaho. Sheep is or is pretty close.Antelope opens tomorrow. I don’t know about Moose or goat.

              • W. Hong says:

                I have a friend in Montana right now that is hunting for elk and deer, I think he told me it was bow hunting season.

              • topher says:

                Archery only for deer elk and antelope. Sheep is a rifle season but tags are pretty tough to come by. I’ll be out for antelope in the morning but my chances are slim at best. A little luck never hurts.

            • Elk375 says:

              Nancy you live in Montana and leaves turning yellow starts a three hunting season: archery, birds and big game rifle. After 20 years living here it should ingrained.

              • Nancy says:

                Worst time of the year for me Elk, especially when the road warriors are out in force, stopping in the middle of the road, gawking at anything that might look like an elk or deer.

          • Elk375 says:

            These people went bird hunting and were wildlife watchers enjoying the big game of Montana. The money they spent that weekend should it be accrued under hunting or wildlife watching? Or should we divide the amount spent by 15 minute intervals.

            I think it is so great that one can spend the day bird hunting or fishing and enjoy the all the wildlife large and small. I feel lucky where I live and the opportunities to enjoy the Rocky Mountains and the amenities.

            • Yvette says:

              “Worst time of the year for me Elk, especially when the road warriors are out in force, stopping in the middle of the road, gawking at anything that might look like an elk or deer.”

              Agreed, although it comes to Oklahoma later in the season. However, it starts to get difficult to hike or ride a horse with so many trigger happy ‘experienced’ yahoos in the woods. Once the weather cools it becomes my favorite time of year to hike. Fall and winter are my seasons. There is an area I like to hike that is private land. It’s a blackjack-post oak type of woods. (Crosstimbers ecosystem) It’s hilly and there are plenty of sandstone rock formations to climb on, but the rifles are constantly cracking.

              There are hunters and then there are those hunters that I’ve seen practically foam at the mouth and piss on themselves with glee over killing an deer. Not even exaggerating.

              • Elk375 says:

                If it is private land then the hunters and you have permission to hunt.

                I hike and ride all hunting season and rifle shots are part of being outdoors during hunting season, no big deal, never bother me. I have read where Oklahoma is 98% private land. If one does not like the sounds of gun fire and the presents of hunters then maybe find private property that does not allow hunting.

                If the private property that you hike in does not allow hunting but the adjacent private property allows hunting that is the right of the adjacent property owner.

  80. Larry says:

    If anyone is looking for a place to support environmental education programs, the Aldo Leopold Foundation has a wealthy couple that have stepped up to match all donations during the month of September. The foundation has a very strong education program and produced the video, “Green Fire”. Environmental education is their specialty and they do a great job.

  81. bret says:

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced $328 million in funding Monday to protect and restore farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across the country.

    • Louise Kane says:

      that is wild Nancy
      not so much fun for the gopher! but wild
      I just saw one fishing tonight in the Marsh its hard to reconcile that image with the BH gopher hunter!

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Ha! I never knew that either – there’s a pair near where I live, and I’ve seen them take fish or frogs, but never gophers!

    • Yvette says:

      Send that bird to my place! 😉

  82. Louise Kane says:

    This is a webpage on Howling for Wolves site that outlines MN legislators and politicians that are “pro” wolf
    it was a greta deal of work to put together for those of you wanting to support candidates that support wolves this is your site

    • Ida Lupines says:

      It’s a good thing he didn’t harm any of the wildlife watchers or a child on the trail. It doesn’t sound like a very safe thing to do. Maybe they shouldn’t have hunting in an area where people frequent.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Good! I’ll certainly be spending any tourist dollars I have in Alaska if this goes through. I’ve not been to Alaska yet and always have wanted to, but my husband has.

      These are unethical and lazy practices that do not affect hunting.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        This dumping of garbage like stale bread and bacon grease, and sweets like donuts is exactly what visitors are told not to do so as not to encourage bears and other predators to camp sites and other areas where people are. So why is it that a few ‘non-traditional’ (that’s as polite as I can call it) hunters can get away with it? It is not hunting, and attracts bears (and probably insects and rats too) to human settlements which is a safety hazard and probably a health hazard too.

  83. Ida Lupines says:

    Here’s something that will always stand out in my mind. Big Bad Warden shoots little cubs in backyard. Another ‘unfortunate accident’ by Fish & Wildlife departments. The two alleged 30 lb cougars turned out to be 13 and 14 lb. babies.

    • Yvette says:

      I have domestic cats that weight over 14lbs! Good god, this needs to stop. There are wildlife rehabilitators that could have taken them in, and quite possibly, later released them to the wild. IF not, then they could have lived in a sanctuary.

      This crap must stop. Human stupidity knows no bounds.

  84. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Wildlife energy: Survival of the fittest

    Using a wildlife version of fitness trackers, biologists can finally measure how much energy animals need to stay alive.

  85. CodyCoyote says:

    US Fish and Wildlife has moved the goalposts of allowable Grizzly mortality in western Wyoming. Formerly , wildlife ” managers” and livestock producers were allowed to take up to 11 Grizzlies across three years’ time in the Upper Green River Basin area. Now that number has been reset to 18 , including more female Griz ( 3 per year now) , and the clock reset.

    They were right up against the 11-bear quota. How convenient to be able to make new rules on the fly… for the third time since 1999

    Oh by the way…the president of the Green River Valley Cattleman’s Association is also a powerful Wyoming state legislator, representative Albert Somers of Sublette County. The political pressure from state and federal politicians to begin killing Grizzlies to reduce their numbers , and/or fully delist the bear , is going ballistic. Pun intended.

    Story at Jackson Hole news & Guide:

  86. timz says:

    The state hasn’t got the funds to fix one road to one remote community surrounded by the Boise National Forest yet they talk about the state takeover of public lands.

  87. Louise Kane says:

    OK this takes the cake
    this is what our state wildlife officials do on the job.
    The same agency that has worked to discredit, embarrass and obstruct a carnivore researcher because his views conflicted with the state agency.
    You won’t believe this.

  88. Nancy says:

    Interesting what one can run across on the internet:

    Wonder how 2014 is shaping up (in just these few counties in Montana) when it comes to sizable livestock losses that don’t appear to be because of predation? But, may be blamed on predators?

  89. Nancy says:

    We continue to identify the problems but wildlife pays the ultimate price for our ignorance in addressing them:

    “Some experts theorize that construction along an interstate highway has disturbed coyote dens and displaced their natural prey, driving coyotes into more populated areas for food. Persistent regional drought may also be a factor, Gallegos said.

    He said the city would also better enforce laws prohibiting the feeding of wildlife, requiring trash cans be covered and encouraging brush removal”

    • Nancy says:

      And as if on cue, stepped outside with my little dog a couple of minutes ago and a coyote nearby, started howling. It was answered immediately from across the meadow by a handful of other coyotes. Not to be out done, a bull elk, down the valley, let out a few musical notes of his own 🙂

    • Ida Lupines says:

      No end to the anthropomorphism, is there. First, preying on children at bus stops, now preying on old people.

      Ideally, ‘management’ should include non-lethal measures (and non-lethal measures first, and killing only as a last resort), but it practice it does not. There’s still the old fall-back of killing first, taking steps to prevent problems after.

      When there is real proof of livestock depredation, generalized hunting is not the answer. Removal should be where the depredations occurred. In the UP there are cries of ‘hunting because of livestock depredation’, but this was proven to be mostly complaints of one farmer who was working the system?

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I guess if it isn’t Little Red Riding Hood at the bus stop, it’s her grandmother at Gramma’s house.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          I think if the Seal Beach police chief wants to keep the public safe, they should concentrate on gun control, not coyote control.

          I wonder if this is in opposition to the LA trapping ban? It seems a bit over the top. How many pets are dozens? It’s sad to lose a beloved pet (how many is dozens?), but if you don’t take precautions, revenge killing of all coyotes in the vicinity by the torch-and-pitchfork crowd doesn’t seem to be the answer. Some people don’t live in the real world.

    • Larry says:

      “…and encouraging brush removal”, always irks me. Meanwhile my wrens presented me with, “Brush Pile of the Year” award! Some people think wilderness is a mall parking lot without stripes.


August 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