Yellowstone wolf in autumn. Oct. 2014. This was my wolf photo for the year -- in YNP, but not on the northern range.

Yellowstone wolf in autumn. Oct. 2014. This was my wolf photo for the year — in YNP, but not on the northern range. 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 (Sept. 30) “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.

570 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife related news? Oct. 25, 2014 edition

  1. Oliver Starr says:

    Wonderful shot, Ralph. The autumn colors are spectacular.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      +1 Ralph Maughan: Before you go off to another page, I too want to echo the compliments about this wonderful photo — the color is amazingly soft and ethereal, and the wolf looks so at home. I look at this photo and admire it every time I open this page — Thank you.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Nancy: While I applaud the Forest Service for removing some old timber roads in the Louis & Clark Nat Forest (at taxpayer expense), there are a couple of things that are still irritating me about this. 1) These 1,200 miles of “non-roads” should have been returned to their natural state by the logging companies as part of the timber-sales in the first place. And 2) This is the same Louis & Clark Forest that under its 2007 Travel Plan has correctly banned motor-bikes and ATVs from the part of the Forest adjacent to Glacier Nat Park and the Blackfeet Indian Reservation that is sacred to the Blackfeet. At the same time, however, with the go-ahead from the Dept. of Interior, the government is proposing to allow oil/gas drilling in this same area, complete with heavy trucks and bull-dozers. More than irritating actually!!

  2. Yvette says:

    Here is a paper (not peer reviewed) by Smith and Molde (2014) on conservation spending. They’ve reviewed money spent on wildlife conservation, where the funds were derived and have come up with novel results. It may be that that took too much leeway with the way they allocated percentages of revenue from Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Acts. I think I could have more confidence in the percentages if I knew how they derived them. They did admit it is complex and imprecise. However, it makes sense to look at the nature of the purchase and how likely that purchase to be used for hunting.

    • topher says:

      I would be interested what JB thinks of this paper. I noticed they cite one of his papers as a source.

      • JB says:

        Rork’s critique hits the mark pretty squarely. I would add that there are other issues (e.g., hunters also contribute to land trusts/NGOs) that complicate the type of distinction they’re trying to make.

        I do support the effort–if for no other reason than it helps us understand where the barriers to more effective conservation are–but the accounting needs to be improved.

        • Louise Kane says:

          don’t you think the bias has swung the other way (hunters provide the majority of conservation dollars) for quite some time without challenge? So how would you revise the methodology to correct?

    • rork says:

      They don’t count anglers in with the hunters.
      They seem to count all the expenditures of the BLM, National parks, and US Forest Service as being spent on conservation (bahaha – am I reading that right?) yet discount all state expenditures. Many other biases.
      The thesis seems that my DNR is catering to hunters and anglers based on misconceptions. But altering their tactics does not obviously lead to extra millions from non-hunting people.

      • Louise Kane says:

        I think it will help for the authors to publish the paper and for it to be peer reviewed. Regardless of the quips about flaws in methodology, this kind of paper is long overdue and opens up an important dialogue.
        I don’t believe for one minute the traditional claim by hunters that they fund the majority of conservation. This paper illustrates some of the biases/considerations that are often overlooked in that contention. But what I am most content with seeing is the discussion about how wildlife resources are being mismanaged without public consent and knowledge.

        Modern wildlife management has wandered far from the original path of the Public Trust Doctrine and the North American Wildlife Conservation Model from which it flows (SCOUS, 1842; Horner, 2000). Smith (1980) identified three criteria that need to be met for the Public Trust Doctrine to be effective:
        1. The general public must be aware of their legal standing with respect to public ownership of wildlife;
        2. This standing and the rights associated with it must be enforceable against the government so that the public can hold it accountable; and,
        3. Interpretation of these rights must be adaptable to contemporary concerns, such as biodiversity and species extinction.
        All three are impaired when the basis of public debate is a myth. It’s time that we call for honest dialog from our state and federal agencies and transparency in wildlife policy making.

        “Modern wildlife management has wandered far from the original path of the Public Trust Doctrine and the North American Wildlife Conservation Model from which it flows (SCOUS, 1842; Horner, 2000). Smith (1980) identified three criteria that need to be met for the Public Trust Doctrine to be effective:
        1. The general public must be aware of their legal standing with respect to public ownership of wildlife;
        2. This standing and the rights associated with it must be enforceable against the government so that the public can hold it accountable; and,
        3. Interpretation of these rights must be adaptable to contemporary concerns, such as biodiversity and species extinction.
        All three are impaired when the basis of public debate is a myth. It’s time that we call for honest dialog from our state and federal agencies and transparency in wildlife policy making.”

  3. topher says:

    I have purchased both firearms and ammunition that they’ve categorized as non hunting. Not every purchase a hunter makes is for hunting.

  4. rork says:
    Here’s the thing that makes me mad – deer are still being transported some places. “The ODA quarantined 43 of Ohio’s 539 licensed captive deer operations for receiving about 125 deer from Pennsylvania deer farms that later tested positive for CWD.” 10 deer farms in PA have already had cases. CWD has escaped to the wild there. If we let folks move lots of deer around, this is completely predictable. I think it’s illegal to move them in from out-of-state some places now (WI), but they already have problems. Last farm there with a case had 370 deer on a 351 acre site called a shooting preserve – I imagine they have parasite and infectious disease worries, and lots of drugs for them.

  5. Gary Humbard says:

    Grizzlies are not the “poster child” for a species affected by climate change.

    Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative doesn’t make the headlines like lawsuits do, but look at the accomplishments of Y2Y: Habitat protection increased from 12% of the landscape in 1993 to 52% in 2013. A great reason to financilly support conservation organizations that are working to protect and preserve private land from development.

    Karsten Heuer and his future wife hiked the length and wrote a good book (Walking the Big Wild) on what they encountered.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Dan Ashe (Director U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) seems to be trying to show that he somehow cares for endangered wildlife by putting in measures to protect species that live anywhere but the USA, like Elephants and African Lions…Too bad Dan Ashe and his boss Sally Jewell, and their boss Pres. Obama are choosing not to put in the same effort into protecting and conserving U.S. species like the wolf, grizzly bear, bison, wolverine, sage grouse, lynx, etc. etc… You are certainly right Louise – Dan Ashe is no Bruce Babbitt.

      • Gary Humbard says:

        Sage grouse conservation in Wyoming.

        • Ed Loosli says:

          Yes, I saw this “photo op” with Sally Jewell and her livestock industry pals. Most of these taxpayer funded projects are sort of tinkering around the edges of the main solution to declining greater sage grouse numbers — and that is GETTING THE CATTLE OFF OUR PUBLIC LANDS – in the case of the greater sage grouse, that means getting the cattle off what is mostly BLM sage brush/grouse habitat.

          • Gary Humbard says:

            The attached study lists numerous factors affecting greater sage grouse with the removal of cheatgrass as one of the leading factors (which the BLM is working on). The last page lists numerous recommendations for the conservation of sage grouse, of which the REMOVAL of cattle is not listed.

            Wild horses do an incredible amount of destruction (especially in Nevada) due to their over population. They are not native, essentially have no predators to control their numbers and because of lawsuits and budget restraints, the BLM has a very limited ability to control their populations. They are eating the range to death, but generally seem to get a “free pass” from conservation organizations.


            • Ed Loosli says:

              Gary Humbard; I think perhaps you should talk to the folks with the Western Watersheds Project about the negative effects of livestock grazing on the Western public lands. About the report you sited, first, it is 10 years old and a lot of research has been done since. Second, even this 2004 report, which takes livestock grazing as a “given” on the public ranges, still does not have nice things to say about the effects of grazing of sheep and cattle in sage brush county. For Example: “Grazing by livestock has occurred over virtually the entire range of sage-grouse (Braun 1998); thus its influence on sage-grouse habitat is perhaps the most pervasive of any land management practice. Predation rates on sage-grouse nests in Oregon were negatively related to percent cover of tall grass and medium-height shrubs, and suggested that practices, such as livestock grazing, that remove grass cover may negatively affect nesting sage-grouse (DeLong et al. 1995).
              Management Recommendations – Manage livestock grazing through stocking rates and season of use on all seasonal ranges of sage-grouse to avoid habitat degradation (Paige and Ritter 1999, Beck and Mitchell 2000, Wisdom et al. 2000). In nesting and brood-rearing habitats, ensure that grazing does not reduce herbaceous understory cover below levels that serve as a deterrent to potential predators of eggs and chicks (Connelly et al. 2000b, Hockett 2002). Riparian areas and wet meadows used for brood rearing are especially sensitive to grazing by livestock; in these habitats, removal of livestock before the nesting season may be prudent (Beck and Mitchell 2000, Hockett 2002). Avoid development of livestock-watering structures in sage-grouse habitat (Connelly et al. 2000b).” As you know Gary, unfortunately, livestock on our BLM lands are not managed and are basically just turned loose.

  6. Louise Kane says:

    sound familiar? shades of Bridges
    what kind of person could deliberately run over another being?
    I remember reading one time about people running over turtles in their cars when thinking they were not observed

    Humans seem to act like lab rats when overpopulated. Medical advances that keep more people alive are incredible but you have to wonder what the effects are when the weak, ill, and generally ill prepared to survive do just that… and survive against all odds in a world where life is prolonged and or allowed because of technological advances. i wonder sometimes if our tinkering created some evolutionary abnormalities that manifests itself in deviant, cruel, violent and criminal human behaviors that are so rampant and widespread.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I have wondered the same thing, if whether our technological advances, or perhaps pollution and chemicals, have created human beings without souls. Or the way we educate about morality – emotion or empathy (derided as ‘drama’) is about the worst thing you can express. Or maybe now because there are so much more of us the percentage is larger.

      • Mark L says:

        I don’t think it’s just when overpopulated, I think it’s cultural….kind of an egotopia (to steal the phrase from a good book). For most people, wildlife…or anything other than humans and their pets…has no significance. TV, radio, internet…all overwhelmingly about ‘human’ stuff. We mostly talk about each other. Heck, look at our president. Most of our wildlife problems are sociology problems.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          I know, I’m always shocked to read how surprised people are that anything would intrude into their perfect little worlds from outside, like a coyote. I find that human dominated everything is very dull and boring. I don’t want more of the same.

        • Yvette says:

          “Most of our wildlife problems are sociology problems.”

          +1 Mark L

          I’ve begun to believe that successful conservation of ecosystems and wildlife needs more than biological based degrees. We need a firm grasp on the social sciences too.

    • Yvette says:

      “i wonder sometimes if our tinkering created some evolutionary abnormalities that manifests itself in deviant, cruel, violent and criminal human behaviors that are so rampant and widespread.”

      I doubt it is evolutionary abnormalities. On a broad scale view of our species, we’ve always been deviant, cruel, and violent. Think of some of the past explorers and leaders like Genghis Khan, Columbus, Cortez, and others. It has always been with us and in past eras may have helped our species survive. Even in the modern era we have our monster; Pol Pot, Baby Doc, and many others. There are other ways to be deviant and cruel and we see it with our acceptance of business practices that prey on people. Wall Street? The actions that led to the 2008 bank failures? We seem to be quite willing to accept deviant behavior if it is wrapped in the cloak of capitalism and we pass it off as ‘just business’. Maybe this stems from the flight or fight syndrome. We humans no longer have a need to escape from an attacking smilidon, but maybe those huge Canadian wolves?) but we have not yet evolved away from the ‘deviant and cruel’ behavior that helped us survive as a species. From an evolutionary standpoint, ‘individuals don’t matter; it’s the populations that matter’. Where have we heard that one before? Actually, it is true, but we don’t like to hear it about our own species.

      I don’t believe we humans are any more deviant than we’ve ever been. We simply have been more successful than other species due to our type of intelligence. And in my opinion, it is that type of intelligence (short-term vision vs. long-term vision that has led to our technological advances and dominance over all other living creatures) that will be our downfall or ‘the reset’. When our success leads to the collapse of large ecosystems we will soon follow.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Good points. We can be successful, but way can’t we be compassionate and benevolent? We claim to value these qualities, but we don’t, really. Why do we need to control everything?

      • Louise Kane says:

        good points Yvette but much of the historical mayhem was accomplished during the quest to conquer, to colonize and obtain rescources. Not that this is a justification for the sordid history of humanity but there is a deep lack of emotional empathy and sadistic behavior that seems so prevalent sometimes, its hard to comprehend. As you suggest, I too think sociology is an important field of study in wildlife management that is often overlooked. Fortunately people like JB provide valuable studies like the one just published about attitudes towards wolves in Wisconsin, post delisting. A great study to debunk the oft used justification for hunting wolves as a social tolerance tool.

  7. Yvette says:

    More bad news, but it isn’t surprising news. It’s yet another example of where our specie’s success is to the detriment of another species.

    The cougar population of the Santa Ana Mountains have bottlenecked. It is recent and significant.

  8. Peter Kiermeir says:

    US: African lion heads toward extinction in near future – See more at:

    US Fish and Wildlife service mentioned that the African lions are facing threat of extinction. The department has suggested declaring the African lion under endangered species to provide maximum protection.

  9. Yvette says:

    What a waste. If someone is going to poach deer why also waste the meat? Those two bucks could have people that actually needed the meat. I doubt ODWC will find the culprits.

  10. Yvette says:

    “could have fed people’. (darn typos)

  11. Louise Kane says:

    56,000 prior to open comment period now 38,000 formal comments. I despise how the agencies negate the value of comments submitted/signed by people on NGO websites. Not everyone has the time to submit individual comments. This does not mean that the intent, concern, and voice should be ignored or lessened. Its a neat way of saying that voice does not really count.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Louise: The comment by the BLM Public Affairs Specialist, Sarah Wheeler shows the BLM’s total lack of understanding science including knowing the meaning of the word ENVIRONMENT: article “I think people need to step back and realize we are a land management agency, so we’re not looking at the actual action. What we’re looking at is, is it going to impact the environment.”

      Wildlife, including wolves and coyotes are a big part of the So.East Idaho BLM EVIRONMENT, so the killing of these animals is going to have a negative impact on the ENVIRONMENT. Can the BLM really be this disingenuous and out of touch of their own mission??

      • rork says:

        Your argument is opposing the predator killing itself, the legality of which is not questioned. It might be discounted as non-responsive to the request.
        Louise is always big on the number of comments, as if it’s a popularity contest, but I don’t think it usually is. Invoking arguments from popularity is often a sign that you’ve got nothing better – in science it’s considered a fallacy. The question is how convincing, good, or true a statement was.
        I think fighting predator derbies paints folks as hypocritical and illogical, since there’s no line I see between that and being against taking kids fishing. Change predator management by direct means instead, ones that actually might involve popularity. Take aim at your actual target. Has any state other than my own (MI) even tried to alter management via referendum or initiative? (We stopped mourning dove hunting in 2006 – not that I think that very important ecologically.) If our wolf referendums show that many voters oppose sport hunts of wolves, new initiatives may follow to make that the law.

        • Mark L says:

          rork says,
          “I think fighting predator derbies paints folks as hypocritical and illogical, since there’s no line I see between that and being against taking kids fishing.”

          I’ve never seen a wolf ‘volunteer’ to be shot. Every fish I’ve ever caught ‘volunteered’ to be on the line. I see a HUGE (diametric?) difference in the two, though you may not. I would argue you are following a kind of fallacy also. In my view you are following the same logic as trappers are when they say they are ‘with’ the hunters…and they aren’t to many of us. Am I ‘taking aim at the actual target’? Who knows?

          • rork says:

            I think you are finding hairs to split, but did trapped wolves volunteer? If I bait or call them before shooting is it more acceptable? (I speak fairly fluent white-tail, and it’s handy, but don’t bait.)

            • Mark L says:

              I thought you were kind of splitting hairs too with the popularity point. To you it very well may be splitting hairs, but to some it changes everything. Remember Louise’s point that an agency really doesn’t have any motivation to listen to the large number of voices (that don’t have the time to personally write), especially if those voices don’t agree philosophically with their own. They will only get it if they are displaced from office.

              As far as volunteering, we shape the kind of wolf we have with our actions every time we hunt them…this is unavoidable. Even not hunting them shapes them eventually. Other large predators have had the same happen (some become nocturnal, etc. over time)
              A wolf that knows how to avoid traps is different from a wolf that avoids hunters (and also avoids traps).

              • Immer Treue says:

                “A wolf that knows how to avoid traps is different from a wolf that avoids hunters (and also avoids traps).”

                As long as wolf hunting and trapping, (with sensible quotas)there is little worry about wolves becoming too smart, as close to 50% of the wolves are pups. How many of these pups would not have survived the winter must also be figured in to the compensatory stats…

                Let me conclude that this comment has nothing to do with favoring or sanctioning wolf hunting and trapping. It has more to do with wolves “learning”. As the average wolf will live 5-6 years in the wild, I still hold that it is impossible for a dead wolf to learn.

      • WM says:

        Ed Loosli,

        ++ Can the BLM really be this disingenuous and out of touch of their own mission??++

        Do you even know the “mission” of the BLM?

        Perhaps a short, and carefully read, history would be in order. This from the website of the agency itself:

        The thing most folks, especially on this forum, don’t get is that BLM manages the land for multiple use/sustained yield (sometimes poorly), but has VERY LITTLE RESPONSIBILITY for WILDLIFE (states do that).

        That is why it is likely this predator derby will go forward, with maybe some directions on where to put a port-a-potty and some road signs. Everything else is really a state matter regarding killing of predators unless otherwise protected by federal law.

        Not pretty, but nonetheless, likely the way it will be, as long as no direct activity of the event occurs on federal land, like selling tickets, giving awards or holding sanctioned formal gatherings; people can otherwise hunt, walk, camp and gather and poop where they like on their own as long as they follow other federal management rules of travel and activity.

        It is unlikely an environmental assessment with public comment under NEPA will stop this. It is all to complete the process, which is what many environmental advocacy suits are about – lack of process. Agencies are otherwise pretty much free to do what they want.

        • Nancy says:

          So the mission statement varies state to state but its still BLM right WM?

          “BLM New Mexico manages wildlife habitat on over 13 million acres of public land. These lands are incredibly rich and diverse, providing essential habitat for our states fish, wildlife, and special status species of plants and animals.

          **Explore some of the tools we use to balance our multiple land use mandate while also protecting and restoring important wildlife”


          • WM says:


            The underlying premise is that states ultimately manage the wildlife, while BLM manages the land/habitat; the BLM may work toward that effort with direction from the state under the concept of “cooperative federalism.”

            In this instance ID has remained silent except to say we don’t like derbies (but they are not prohibited by law), so expect BLM to mostly be silent for the Salmon Predator Derby (my prediction anyway).

        • Gary Humbard says:

          The EA addressed economics, social/cultural, recreation and habitat impacts. I addressed my argument against the “derby” on the basis that it would violate the North American Wildlife Conservation Model (socially accepted policy) which includes non-frivolous use of wildlife resources and sound science based management of wildlife habitat.

          The derby would negatively impact recreation opportunities (wildlife viewing was the leading activity) and the negative economic impacts (EA included economical analysis).

          The EA also addressed cultural impacts which included opposition from the native american tribes.

          My final argument was there is no need for the BLM to issue a special recreation permit as there are ample opportunities for the applicant to conduct the derby on private lands.

          You are probably correct in your assessment that the BLM will issue the permit, but the more public opposition to these events, maybe less applications will be initiated to public agencies.

      • Louise Kane says:


        You wrote that I am aways “big on the number of comments as if its a popularity contest”. That statement ignores the fact that solicitations for public comments are generally part of a rule making process and the reason this is so is because the agencies seeking comments are managing public trust resources and are required by law to review and consider the comments. They often have a legal obligation to consider comments.

        For federal actions this is governed by the administrative procedure act which requires, the agency to give a notice of a proposed rulemaking, published in the Federal Register. After notice is given, the agency is required to solicit and accept public comments on the rule. Most comment periods last between 30 and 60 days, and some are re-opened if the agency believes that there was insufficient time for the public to respond or that the agency did not receive as much feedback as it would like. The agency must then consider all of the comments that are submitted in passing the final rule.
        For states it varies…..

        What I object to is that the state and federal agencies are ignoring public comment. The USFWS receives well over a million comments on delisting wolves. I believe 90% were against delisting.
        Similarly, MI solicited comments and the DNR trashed them. I/we discovered after organizing a volunteer effort to catalogue the comments as part of the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected Campaign. In that solicitation only 13 comments were for hunting while more than 7000 were against. Far from being a popularity contest, the effort and work of cataloging those comments provides proof that the majority of respondents were not in favor of wolf hunting. This is important data.
        I do have a particular interest in comments and how they do or do not affect reule making because public comment is legally required to be considered. Yet time and again in wildlife rule making the comments seem to be ignored. This is wrong.

        Please don’t trivialize solicitations for comments and mischaracterize my interest in them. I don’t suggest that management actions must be based on popular opinion, but I do strongly argue that the agency has a legal duty to consider these comments and that its wrong for agencies to disregard and ignore their constituents, and to cherry pick facts that favor hunters, trappers and trophy hunters especially when many of the comments submitted against wolf hunting and or predator derbies have been based on facts, science and legal and biological considerations.
        My take on wolf hunting is that it does not achieve any valid management objective other than allowing people that want to kill wolves for fun to do so and many scientists agree.

        Finally, I’m not sure how you see fighting predator derbies as hypocritical. These events commercialize wildlife killing, they devalue wildlife and legitimize predator hatred and bias. To kill as many beings as you can within a defined period of time is indefensible and I’ve yet to read one scientist defend these events.

        • rork says:

          “Far from being a popularity contest, the effort and work of cataloging those comments provides proof that the majority of respondents were not in favor of wolf hunting.”
          Your irony meters are broken.

          I’m saying how many people said something might be irrelevant – it’s what they said, not how many said it. My comment is pretty clear about that I thought.
          I’m not trying to trivialize comments, I write and speak often, never with a form letter – if I bother it’s careful, and takes me hours to prepare. I think that’s what might work, like Gary says. When I write my fisheries people – they write me back, in pretty great detail. If one million comments all say the same thing, and it’s not a very good thing, who cares?

          • Louise Kane says:

            Rork you ignored the point I was making in the last post.

            solicitations for public comments are generally part of a rule making process that are required by law to be reviewed and considered. Of course the content is relevant but so too are the general tenor and tone of the response and public opinion.

            I commend the effort you make to personalize comments and I’ve read many of them in relation to MI. They are good.

            Yet how many of us are guilty of the heinous crime of signing an online petition or comment crafted by an NGO staff member paid and devoted to researching and positing a position that is in line with our own?

            Many people are interested in numerous issues. Yet they do not have the time to comment on each issue the way that you choose to.

            Does choosing to comment in whatever way you have the time to lessen the value of the response? I don’t think so.

            Every day I receive a mountainous amount of e mail related to issues I care about. When it comes to wildlife or wilderness issues, I almost always try to write a personal response.

            But I often receive mail asking for a signature on an issue that I care about but don’t have the time to respond to . I try and stay informed enough to know how I stand on many issues but I don’t have the time to write an individual response for every issue that comes across my computer. I think many people experience this.

            Often the best I can do is to try and keep up with classes of issues that are most important to me to and lend support however I can

            I guess I am guilty, like hundreds of thousands of others, of signing onto some NGO generated letters or petitions. I wish I knew more about mountaintop mining, clear cutting rain forests, proposed fracking sites, domestic dog or pet abuse, NEPA, keeping clean air and water regs intact, a local maple forest that was slated for development in my area, the EPAs green lighting of Monsanto’s and Bayer’s GMO food products, and a myriad of other issues. I usually know enough to have a clear sense of whether or not I support the petition but I just can’t respond to each issue as carefully or precisely as I’d like.

            If you can more power to you.

    • Gary Humbard says:

      Personally when I get a “form letter” from senators/congress members, or state and federal agencies, I do not put nearly as much value as with a personal letter or phone call.

      However with that said, I worked for the BLM and we did not ignore or lessen the value of form letters. We differentiated the number of “form letters” from personal letters in the decision record and then categorized public comments with BLM responses.

    • Gary Humbard says:

      Louise, I worked for the BLM and in my experience, the BLM did not negate the value of comments submitted on NGO sites. We would categorize and address the comments in regards to issues (i.e. social, economic, cultural, habitat impacts) and provide appropriate responses in a “record of decision” (forthcoming). For informational purposes, we would how many total comment letters were received in favor of the issuance of the SRP and how many were in opposition.

      I’m not aware of the content of the “form letters” sent on NGO sites but they tend to be “generic” in nature, whereas personal letters with substantive comments and informational links are the most valuable in helping the “decision maker” decide whether to issue the SRP or not.

      The decision maker is looking for information to help make his/her decision and the more information the better.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Gary I worked at NOAA and we did looked at comments the same way. And when we received a huge number of comments for or against a proposed action, it did indeed make a difference. Yet the comments, regardless of content, received about wolves and predator killing contests seem like they are regularly ignored. I just read 40,000 comments were received against the Idaho derby and 16 were in favor. Rork I bet of those 40K at least some of them were written with a great deal of thought.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      SEAK Mossback used to comment on this wolf on TWN. Good review, Immer.

      • Immer Treue says:

        Thanks Barb. I’ll confess that I knew nothing of Romeo until after his death. I was not a participant on TWN at that time. It would be worth it to dig up Seak’s perspectives of what transpired over the years. Worth the read, keeping Beston’s quote in mind throughout.

    • Louise Kane says:

      excellent review
      I’ve wanted to read this book but the story is so damn sad

      • Immer Treue says:

        Yes and no. A friend, who knew if my interest in wolves, left it at my door. I think the Beston quote resonates through the book, as well as the question, why do that black wolf do what it did. The ending if so many tales and sagas is known. The journey to the end, interspersed with Jan’s philosophical dialogue inject life rather than gloom. Worth th read.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Until you close the book cover and realize what’s still happening in reality to wolves in the 21st century. Humans are pretty much hopeless.

          Sorry, I don’t have much of a sense of humor or bright Pollyanna outlook these days, what with the grisly situation for wolves.

        • Louise Kane says:

          I get your point Immer
          I just wish I did not know that the black wolf trusted and found companionship with humans and was killed as a result of that trust. My Dad used to feed a seagull that could not fly. It was injured somehow and every day he went to the pier to feed it. Others did too. One day he went and the gull was keeled over shot through with an arrow. I remember how bitter and sad he was. My sister and I were really young and I remember not being able to comprehend that kind of cruelty. It just sucks to know that every time we have contact with wild animals we put them at risk because there are so many creeps about. I felt heartbroken reading about Romeo when I used to follow the stories about him. I’m finishing an excellent mystery written by a fresh writer and when I am done, I’l pick that up on your recommendation. I’ve often see you note books that I loved so I’ll take a chance on this one. Thanks

          • Louise Kane says:

            french writer! not fresh lol

          • Immer Treue says:


            Tres bien! The way Jans writes, one wonders if the habituation led to the wolf’s death, or conversely it’s celebrity kept him alive. As you, I had no real intention to read the book, and a friend, just out of the blue, dropped it off while I wasn’t at home. I’m glad he did.

          • Yvette says:

            Sounds like your dad was a great role model and you acquired his apparent love and compassion for animals.

            Your story reminded me of the Falkland Island wolves that were friendly and tame. In the mid-1800’s when Darwin and others went to the island they wolves were so friendly they were easy pickins’ and it wasn’t long before they extinct because they were all killed.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          This is a book that I’ve been wanting to read also. I had heard about what happened to him, the typical cowardly act, even more monstrous when an animal has begin to trust us (at his peril), at another wolf/wildlife blog I read.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Louise just reminded me of a wildlife story I had:

            One day my hubs and I were taking a walk by a pond near us. Returning to our car, a Canada goose followed us, noisily running up to us, in some kind of distress? It was cold and rainy.

            We went home and grabbed some cracked corn that we feed our wild birds, and came back to feed him or her. I’m gonna say she. She was very hungry!

            Many times she’d want us to hang around after we fed her, just for our company it appeared. She’d go about her business, but if we got up to leave she’d honk loudly! When we came to visit we’d find her waiting for us, or if she saw us across the lake she’d make a beeline for us honking all the way. She’d be very enthusiastic about eating, and she could really pack a wallop! Her feathers were gorgeous. We loved to see her bathing and preening, ducking under the water, swimming and doing the back stroke, we called it. Over that summer, we saw her shoulder muscles get broader and broader, and she’d make attempts at flying, and then one day – she did it! We saw her fly for the first time.

            One man out walking his Labrador stopped and said “my dog wants that bird.” I thought to myself ‘over my dead body’ but just left it as his attempt at making conversation. 🙂

            Another woman said that ‘it won’t be able to make it through the winter, so Animal Control should take him away, there’s a farm that takes in injured ducks and geese’. So much for the theory that the goose couldn’t fly!

            I worried while we were away on vacation, that someone might try to harm her, but when we got back, there she was, waiting. But one evening in late fall I left her, and never saw her again after that. I hope she flew south. I can’t bear to think that somebody might have harmed her. She wasn’t trusing of everyone, and especially if there were dogs around!

            • Kathleen says:

              I would choose to believe that she heard the call (“… gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear…” Henry Beston from The Outermost House) and flew south. Connecting with wild animals on even a superficial level can be so bittersweet.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                I hope so! Every spring when I hear the loudest goose on the pond with its mate and little ones, I wonder if it is him or her. He or she could become airborne at a moment’s notice once learned to fly, and with a large wing span it was quite impressive! 🙂

  12. Nancy says:

    Nice review Immer. And nice to see over 70% of the reviews were positive with regard to Jan’s book.

    “They are not brethren, they are not underlings, they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time.”

    Love that quote! Brought back memories of my old dog Molly, since passed, who spent a few minutes, one afternoon, playing with a couple of mule deer fawns.

    A yard fence separated them but she raced up and down like a puppy, while the fawns dashed up to and away from the fence line, over and over again. Their mom grazed a few yards away, not at all concerned. She’d come to know Molly over the years.

  13. Nancy says:

    “It is when people submit to Allah. Allah is merciful and forgives those who follow him”

    Not exactly wildlife news but perhaps a clue as to why there is so much unrest in the world, not to mention a disconnect to wildlife and wild places.

    Got the same mentality in my neck of the woods when it comes to “God Thumpers” 🙂

    • Immer Treue says:

      There is the Taliban, and the evolving American Taliban. You know g/God is on my side.

  14. Larry Keeney says:

    An informational sidebar to the recent tragic school shooting is the history of conduct with some probable members of the shooter’s family with regard to empathy at least to wildlife, We can shoot holes in my far reaching nexus here but as discussed above, I find myself asking how much does hunting, when it becomes the predominant family activity in the present day when it is not needed for subsistence, lessen the teaching of empathy? If it does it may have an adverse role in decision making about what will be our conduct within society. I don’t think it is a stretch however, to say, the lack of empathy, whatever brings it on, can be a factor that tips the scale to a wrong decision. Empathy just may be the most important quality we can teach to our children. With empathy comes a different view of all aspects of our lives.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Louise: This story you linked us to reminds me of an even wilder story from South Africa…A few years ago lions were killing people at night in a village near Kruger Nat. Park. The wildlife-rangers wanted to kill all the suspected lions, but the villages strongly protested the proposed killing of the lions. Why? Because it turns out, the lions were killing burglars who were stealing the solar panels from the villager’s roofs at night. The villages said they never felt safer with the lions on night patrol. And, apparently the lions slept all day, and left the homeowners alone.

      • Louise Kane says:

        wow that is a wild story
        I guess the parents in those villages requested an early curfew for their kids and the kids paid attention! Too bad the lions can’t get the poachers.

      • COWild says:

        Was in South Africa when these events were happening (my wife is South African), and the truth is even more admirable; those people in that village understand they have made conscious decisions to live in close proximity to the Kruger wildlife; and did not want lions killed for their conscious decisions. Yes, it was usually burglars killed by the lions, that much is true, but their position was about taking responsibility for their own actions, and an admirable recognition that we are part of this amazing ecosystem, not the masters of it to exploit and tame.

  15. Yvette says:

    Here is a link to a documentary that I think most everyone on this blog will find interesting. I think it has something for everyone. I’ve been saying quite a few of these things for quite a few years, but these guys put it in a well done documentary about extinction.

  16. Study proves non hunting public funds more than hunters

    I hope you give this some attention. How many times have I read in articles comments hunters saying “hunters are the ones funding conservation”. Well, I’d like to force feed them this study!

    • rork says:

      Alteration to actions of my state DNR from these claims – probably none, since what reasonable changes would secure them substantial additional funding from people who don’t hunt or fish?

    • Ed Loosli says:

      LINK: “KEEPING IT WILD” — There seems to be a split appearing in wildlife conservation circles between the purists/activists and the “new greens”/”post-wild” groups, who are all into compromising the environment away slowly but surely. Unfortunately, the authors writing about this split are reluctant to name the groups that are selling out to “go along to get along”. Who are these “new greens/post-wild” groups?? I am guessing The Wilderness Society and the Sierra Club, but it is just a guess on my part from watching their actions of late, compared to their talk.

      • timz says:

        “Once-formidable conservation powerhouses that used to go to the mat to protect what remains of untrammeled wild country, the authors say, now embrace consensus because that’s what their conflict-averse funders are telling them to do.
        The result has been a loss of effectiveness and votes of no confidence from formerly loyal members.”

        Great article and this says it all. Read and heed all ye here who are constantly talking about the need to compromise.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Great article. Thanks!

        Nature now should be approached as a “rambunctious garden” guided by our astute husbandry.

        I’ll bite my tongue on this one, for the benefit of our readers. 😉

      • Nancy says:

        Ed – have you watched the documentary (link) Yvette posted above? Some good insight as to why various environmental groups seem at odds.

    • timz says:

      Fewer are dying until they get de-listed and end up like the wolf.

  17. bret says:

    The $49 million deal announced Monday includes all of the timber company’s holdings from Snoqualmie Pass to Cle Elum — about 75 square miles — along both sides of the Interstate 90 corridor

    Very good news indeed.

  18. Louise Kane says:

    Survey put forth by Wisconsin DNR for anyone interested in participating. A good opportunity to suggest better management of wolves and to suggest curbing of trapping, snaring, baiting, hounding and predator calling.

  19. Nancy says:

    OUCH! Some obviously just don’t see the big picture when it comes to human over population.

    “I love being pregnant,” Kateri said. “I’ve spent half of my life being pregnant”

    Someone hit a cow last week up the road from me (she and her calf were coming off public lands, where they had been grazing for the past few months) The gates had been left open for any stragglers. Dark cows, unattended, on a dark road. The cow died from her injuries, her calf suffered a broken leg and had to be put down.

    Someone recounting the incident, mentioned this cow was in her “prime” if she’d lived. Had another 6-8 years of popping out babies. It’s all relative 🙂

  20. Ed Loosli says:

    Inspiringly beautiful Wilderness photos:

  21. Peter Kiermeir says:
    A female grizzly was shot and killed Monday after she charged two elk hunters when they apparently surprised her and her cubs feeding on a (poached) cow moose carcass.

    • Elk375 says:


      Where does it say in the Great Fall Tribune article that the moose was poached? The article say that the grizzly was feeding on a mostly consumed moose carcass and after the dead bear was found a male grizzly was feeding on the carcass. Grizzlies are capable of killing a moose by it self and there were two grizzles.

      • Nancy says:

        “Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks is seeking information in the death of two moose east of Marias Pass that led to the shooting death Monday of a grizzly bear”

        Elk – would MFWP be looking into the incident if they didn’t think the moose were poached?

        • Elk375 says:

          You are making an assumption. If the moose has been mostly consumed without some very nasty forensics work how is the MT FWP going to determine the cause of death. Now they may have already done an post mortem exam and determined he cause but lets not jump to conclusions.

      • Peter Kiermeir says:

        the word “poaching” appears only in the link. It is not explicitly mentioned in the article. Anway the feds smell foul play, that´s obvious

  22. Peter Kiermeir says:

    According to Catron County Wildlife Investigator Jess Carey, the results have been devastating to local ranchers. In a report titled Mexican Wolf Recovery Collateral Damage Identification in Catron County alone, he noted that of five ranches he studied, two went out of business and a third did not restock cattle after 2009. Over the course of the study, the five ranches lost a total of 651 head of cattle valued at more than $382,000.

    • Nancy says:

      Peter – seems like there may be other factors at play here, the least of them wolf depredation:

      “Kerr says it’s a myth that supporting the livestock industry will stop ranchers from selling their lands for subdivision because properties will inevitably be sold or handed down to new owners who may sell to developers”

      Or –

    • Mark L says:

      ….from the article “The report notes that in one instance, a wolf bit the head off of a kitten in front of a group of children”

      Hmm, how’d that happen? (dogs would NEVER do that)

      • Ida Lupines says:

        How did the wolf have access to a kitten, and why were children there? So desperate, these comments aren’t anywhere near reasonable. But yet they are taken seriously.

        I think this ‘account’ was grabbed from news reports, and they substituted ‘wolf’ for ‘human’. This sounds like something a human did, and there are plenty of links to abuses of kittens, animals and children by many more humans than wolves.

    • Yvette says:

      I’ve not read the report yet but I bet there are quite a few other factors affecting the ranches that went out of business. The wolf is always a great scapegoat for liars.

      There are what? 86 Mexican wolves left? My BS flag just went off. We know that ranchers never lie about wolf depredation on their lifestock. I’ll have to read the report. I wonder if it factors in the severe and long term drought that has been happening?

      • Nancy says:

        Deep Roots

        “The West has seen many antigovernment movements in the past – and Catron County has often been in the vanguard. In the 1890s, people here
        torched tens of thousands of acres to protest the government’s original plan to set aside national forests”


        “Jess Carey , past Sheriff of Catron County and ‘present’ Wolf Incident Investigator for Catron County”

        • Immer Treue says:

          “Jess Carey , past Sheriff of Catron County and ‘present’ Wolf Incident Investigator for Catron County”

          And also a contributor to the Lyon/Graves “book” The Real Wolf. While wolves might have impact on certain ranchers, it goes without saying, that when complaints such as those made by Carey, the litany of problems that befall cattle are never mentioned. Carey’s stats may include the for every confirmed depredation, as many as seven more may have been killed.

          • Nancy says:

            “In the Carey report, it is impossible to tell which year or years the cattle loss figure of 651 refers to or how it was arrived at. The figure of 651 does appear to be highly inflated since the Cattle Death Loss from wolf depredation compiled by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is 238 for the entire state of New Mexico in 2011. According to NASS, in 2011 wolf depredation represents 2.4 percent of total cattle deaths compared to 27.6 percent from dog and coyote depredation”


        • Yvette says:

          Yep, I just did a search for the actual report. Won’t have time to read until tonight (for however much I can stomach). It is full of pictures of supposed wolf kills and looks to be about as biased and hyperbolic as they come.

          This Jess Carey dude seems to be full of it.

          Another interesting site,

          • Yvette says:

            As I suspected, this region is currently in a D2 (severe) level drought. A quick look at the U.S. Drought Monitor and it shows Catron County, NM has had drought conditions since September, 2009. The drought started with DO, (abnormally dry) and moved all the way to D4 (exceptional drought). It’s fluctuated but they’ve been in an extended drought.

            I mean, by God, 83 Mexican wolves can drive a ranch out of business faster than an extended and extreme drought.


      • Louise Kane says:

        The wolf is always a great scapegoat for liars. +1

        • WM says:

          No doubt this former County Sheriff is trying to make some points as a “wolf investigator.”

          But, equally important is that some wolf advocates don’t want to recognize wolves can and do become attuned to living near people and preying on domestic livestock with regularity.

          Do recall this from 2010 in MT – 4 miniature horses killed near St. Regis.

          ++Sime says the decision to kill the wolves was made based on the fact that the wolves have been spending more time at lower elevations, closer to people and livestock. Past depredations by the Superior pack include cattle, a colt and several domestic dogs. A domestic mink farm has also reported wolf activity and FWP has received reports of wolves chewing on irrigation hoses.++

          • Nancy says:

            WM – I have to wonder if a lot of these encounters are because some of these ranches are close to the recovery area?
            “The Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area comprises 4.4 million acres (twice the size of Yellowstone National Park), which support an extraordinary array of wildlife and vegetation types”

            And its always interesting (especially in this day and age with cell phones, etc.) that no pictures seem to surface of these problem wolves hanging out around ranches, grabbing livestock and pets out of yards, sitting on porches etc.

            Check out the latest losses in Montana for livestock & pets:


            • WM says:

              Wolf – livestock/pet encounters are events of opportunity. So, the question of them being in recovery areas in AZ/NM is a pretty obvious answer.

              The Western MT wolves getting into trouble are almost certainly ones repopulating from Canada, rather than the reintroduced ones in the Eastern part of MT and the GYE.


              Let’s think about the cell phone, etc., pictures for a moment. Most wolf-livestock/pet encounters are at night or early morning, so not so easy to take. Also, a cell phone with a wide angle lens (equivalent to a 28mm on a conventional camera) are mostly worthless for a long distance photo. But, if conditions are otherwise good for photography/videography, with adequate light, there are lots of folks with cameras that should be getting some of these alleged events recorded and published somewhere.

              An absence of imagery doesn’t mean the encounters don’t happen. And, let’s recall unless there is a “kill” attributed to wolves an event doesn’t show up on a report. So, the “almost” gotten animals don’t get reported, for example if some horses/cows/sheep get run around a bit but no injuries to report. Doesn’t mean there wasn’t a stressful event for the animals, or that a wolf didn’t get a hoof to the chops or a horn to the belly, either.

    • Louise Kane says:

      wow 86 wolves created that much havoc
      too bad they will get some people to listen to this BS

      • Jeff N. says:

        You need to remember that a little less than half of these 86 wolves live in AZ. So per Jess Carey, all the devastation, porch sitting, kitty snatching, kid harassing, taking place in NM is being done by 52 wolves (NM year end population at end of 2013 per USFW).

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        This latest Caton County “atrocity” doesn’t pass the smell test.

        There are far too many said-to-be-wolf-caused depredations for this smallish wolf with only 86 wolves in the entire recovery area. How many are in Catron County?

        Catron County has from the beginning been the site of hard to believe stories such as wolves threatening children at rural bus stops so badly that special wolf protections structures were built.

        Of course, no child was ever bitten, much less killed. What has happened to these structures today? The last I heard (and photos taken of them), they were abandoned.

        Why is it always Catron County where the wolves are so badly behaved.

        Catron County is one of “those counties” that has always been restive against government and the outside world in general.

        Applying Occam’s Razor, the better explanation is that this stuff is mostly exaggeration by people with a cultural agenda.

  23. WM says:

    I just returned from my annual elk hunt in N. Central ID (5 hunters this year instead of 4 in an area we have hunted for 25 plus years, with constant habitat change, so no maturing forest issues overall).

    I have given reports on our experience here before. This year was both interesting and disappointing from a hunt perspective. Wolves had been in the area all summer. Lots of scat, some older and some recent. Newer elk sign was absent for the most part. We scouted for 3 days and hunted for 10, so that would make a total of 65 experienced hunter days in the field. Lots of hiking and sitting, morning and evening, along with mid-day hunts. We saw a total of 15 elk, which is not many for that level of effort. Three were bulls, and only one was harvested (the other two were flashes of hide and horns). Not a good showing, but remarkably similar to experiences of other hunters who stopped by our camp. One guy who visited our camp on his ATV just shook his head and said, “We know if you guys aren’t getting elk, they aren’t to be had around here.” This was followed shortly by, “G__ damn wolves!”
    There is some logging in the area, and the guys we spoke with said there were wolves around, as they had seen a lot of tracks and scat on the roads. Elk were skittish and few seen on the roads or in any meadows visible logging roads, before season. These trucks run from before dawn to dusk, so there would be some evidence of elk presence. Howling wolves were heard throughout summer.
    It was warm and there was a full moon, which always adversely affects hunting, since elk come out to feed at night, IF they ever leave the brush. No bulls bugling and no cow talk, either, suggesting the elk did not want to give away their positions to waiting wolves. So, whether it is an accurate conclusion or not, the perception is wolves seem to be having an impact locally on elk, here and it is strongly affecting hunting success, to this point in the season. Whether it is temporary, and after the wolves cycle thru, the elk come out of the brush and steep ground, who knows? It could be weeks. But, the impression here with a number of hunters is that wolves were having an impact (and by the way, to hell with the partial conclusions of Yellowstone researcher Arthur Middleton – his findings are being challenged by Dr. Scott Creel et al.).
    Even my hunting partners, with science, law and law enforcement backgrounds and a new guy with hunting experience in Alaska where wolves were present, concluded that elk numbers and behavior were impacted by wolves to the point they would shoot a wolf. I was surprised to hear that comment come out one night at dinner, after a very long day of crawling around on steep and slick slopes of over 100%, in the brush, with all of it in the rain (after the dry weather left us). By the way, in past years only 1 wolf tag was purchased; this year 3 guys in our group had wolf tags (though I still suspect only 1 would actually shoot a wolf). So, in this part of ID, and in our hunter group, the tolerance level for wolves is dropping even further. And, for those who think the wolf population in ID is going down dramatically, I call bullshit!

    Interesting phenomenon observed. I came across a series of scat piles that we could not confirm on visual inspection as wolf or bear.

    Description: 6 piles of poop, each about the size of a dinner plate in an area no larger than a circle of 8 feet in diameter. The individual piles were about 3 inches high, and the dimension of the stool was about 1 ½ -2 inches (very wolf like, but they were of greater volume, and full of elk hair, and several weeks old). Expanding the circle diameter to about 15 feet included another 4 piles of similar poop. It would take about 2- 3 feet of colon to produce this much with each bowel movement. Whether it was one or multiple animals, it (they) had been gorging on elk, and not all of it was meat – as there was a lot of hair.

    Anybody venture to guess if it was bear or wolf, and give reasons for your opinion?

    • Larry Keeney says:

      Personally I don’t care if it was wolf or bear, just the fact that the predator was alive when it pooped is good. I seemed to pick up from your post that an unsuccessful elk hunt is blamed on wolves. I don’t know if that is fact or fiction but so what?? Hunting is supposed to be a sport not a right. So what if wolves are better at it than we are and they don’t even shop at Cabelas. My point is with all due respect, we are not entitled to an elk in every pot and I’m thankful for an earth that still has places that we can be at awe over the complexities of a wild ecosystem. If we find we are not on par with the natural inhabitants and therefore come up short when we compete I just say, “We did our best but came up short”. Kind of like there has to be a loser and a winner at every superbowl. I know hunters’ unsuccessful hunts are taken personally. It is also true that hunters who are successful do not reflect on whether their success was the benefit of the state funded predator control operations which compensated for their lack of expertise. This hatred of a truly wild ecosystem unadulterated by game department predator control is a cancer that manifests itself by a feeling of personal failure if an ungulate is not bagged. Viewpoint, viewpoint, it’s all in which pair of glasses we look through.

      • WM says:


        ++ Hunting is supposed to be a sport not a right. ++

        In ID and several other states hunting/fishing is actually a Constitutionally protected “right,” and the issue comes up in state constitutional amendment form nearly every year somewhere.

        I was (mostly) relaying the message from the locals we spoke with. They believe an elk in the pot makes winter a little easier. They believe wolves are responsible for poor hunter success, and they don’t like it. Perfectly natural reaction/rationalization.

        I suppose some of you living in urban environments might get irritated at some guy yelling down the street at 3AM in the morning, and seek a solution for that because it disrupts your life and inconveniences you. It is an analogous situation for a rural resident who has his/her life impacted by wolves. It is change they don’t like and they seek a redress for it.

        Some of these folks still live pretty close to the land, and I suspect there are a few poachers among them, who take more than their share, mostly deer I expect.

        As for my group, the fall camping trip with good friends has always been the real attraction, though we would like to fill our expensive non-resident tags and the freezer. One bull elk for 5 guys with families doesn’t go far, especially for so much effort. Call me greedy, but honestly I would like to have a better chance at half an elk or more for winter. And, we usually get 2 to 3 elk for 4 hunters. Clearly, not this year.

        The funny thing about wolves, which the research seems to consistently support world-wide, is that the further you are away from the daily impacts of wolves (whether it is pursuit of wild game, livestock or pet related) the higher your tolerance level. JB, of course, can give us the citations to support this assertion.

        See, that is the problem, you can’t intelligently discuss some of these complicated science/socio-economic issues with folks that have high emotions.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          The high emotions are on both sides. I still can’t understand why folks in wolf country can’t live with a natural part of the landscape. Scapegoating isn’t rational. Only now, what was once based in fear and superstition, only based on economics, playing upon (what they assume to be) people’s fears and superstitions. Devious.

          As for someone yelling down the street, that’s part of urban living. Can’t do much about it.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Actually, the finger pointing to the wolf advocates as being ’emotional’ isn’t even true. Anti-wolf advocates are more dangerously emotional than the wolf advocates. Case in point: Toby Bridges. Talk about being a non-native creature on the landscape, he’s not even from Montana! And he’s not the only one.

            My comment above should read: ‘only now what was once based on fear and superstition is now only based in economics’…

        • Larry says:

          I appreciate your softened attempt at telling me I have no experience with “boots on the ground” in your description of your Idaho hunting experiences. However, I believe I can qualify as “my dog CAN hunt”. Idaho is my home state, educated there (U of ID) and employed in various levels of law enforcement with IF&G. My view point has developed over decades of having boots on the ground, hearing first hand complaints, “where’s all the fish and where’s all the elk”? Not to mention development from earning my degree, reading, observations and listening, etc., etc. So yes I now live in a more populous state but my ears dried out a long time ago. I am not opposed to hunting, never have been, conducted under the umbrella of science and in accordance with philosophies in general from the Aldo Leopold/Bob Marshall/Theodore Roosevelt camp. I do think there are very limited rational criteria that predators need be hunted. With that summary of my viewpoint, I know what it is to sit around a campfire or inside a wall tent with a warm sheepherder’s stove roaring and bitch about no elk sign. My first elk was at age 14 just under Pistol Rock near Chilcoot Peak. At that age I didn’t like going back to school in a few days because all my friends were going to ask if I got an elk. When a hunting buddy had to say no, it was almost embarrassing. Well I’ve matured a little since then and have come around to thinking as described to you earlier. People can try to make it a right for an elk in every pot but that is as artificial as it gets. You can pass laws making hunting a constitutional right, spend tax money on artificial feed and try to control an ecosystem and if that makes a hunter happy then maybe the future is one big game farm. Run by computer where the hunter put in the parameters of his chosen animal and it saunters by a chosen meadow. Extreme but illustrating what it is to lose the experience of unfiltered nature. Like so many priceless things we don’t know what we have until we don’t have it.

          • WM says:


            I was not referring to you specifically in the example of the urbanite. I know very well your background from your posting here. I think we have agreed on a number of occasions.

            My point was to some in the broader group that read/comments here, and thus the “yelling urbanite” example. In the city, of course, laws are passed that deal with the guy who yells at 3 in the AM, to deter that conduct. The police come and cart the guy off to jail or otherwise deal with him.

            ID’s Constitutional Amendment was broadly an effort to assure certain rights continue in the face of new competing/conflicting values. Some asserted by new folks moving in. Maybe restoring large numbers of wolves/predators is a conflicting value which takes away from a baseline status quo belief that has existed for nearly a century.

            Forgive the candor, here, but the “game farm” label is an oversimplification that only gullible urbanites and Easterners believe.

            • Ed Loosli says:

              WM: To imply that certain states like ID, WY and MT are not “managing” elk to increase their numbers at the expense of other native species like wolves, mountain lions and coyotes is ludicrous – The “game farm” label is actually getting closer to reality every day within the governments of ID, WY and MT. In fact, besides elk, much of our public lands are being managed not for native species other than elk, but for the benefit of non-native, exotic, privately owned cattle and sheep. And, your justification for the “status quo” in certain states is equally ludicrous — Slavery was once justified to not interfere with the “status quo”, so,the “status quo” is not necessarily a good thing. Regarding new comers to a state; they have exactly the same speech and voting rights as those who have lived in that state for a longer time.

            • Louise Kane says:

              “Forgive the candor, here, but the “game farm” label is an oversimplification that only gullible urbanites and Easterners believe.”

              quite the stereotype

              • Ida Lupines says:

                I don’t think WM has quite recovered yet from the wolves being relisted in Wyoming.

              • Elk375 says:

                Long before the wolves, I never heard the word “game/elk farm” where did it come from? Elk have always been difficult to hunt whether it was “only gullible urbanites and Easterners” I will never know. Me think it was wolf lovers who invented another phrase in the lexicon.

        • MAD says:

          WM – c’mon, stop with the semantics. You know perfectly well that Larry meant that bagging game “every” year, or guaranteed success every outing. He didn’t mean hunting as a recreation in toto. But yet again, you sling hyperbole like it’s angel dust to make your point, even though it’s quite far from what was originally stated by Larry.

          Yes, yes – Montana in 2004 amended it’s Constitution to protect the OPPORTUNITY to fish and hunt – it does not guarantee success at either of these 2 endeavors. Bears and mountain lions take far more elk than wolves do, and more livestock also.

          Additionally, from a biological standpoint – elk and deer are adaptive animals when they are subject to stressors (be it animal, human or environmental). Just because your little group did not encounter many ungulates does not “prove” that there are smaller numbers overall, only that there were less than previously observed in a particular location, at a particular time of year.

          A proposal was recently made to ID Fish & Game (in Boise) to develop a neural network GIS model which would have incorporated dozens of individual “stressors” on elk to determine movement patterns, population estimates, hunting management strategies and a host of other things. This model could easily have been adapted to any species to assist in management. F & G tipped their hand by stating that the #1 stressor for THEM was WOLVES and wanted to exclude things like logging activities, roads, agriculture and some other human activities. They adamantly refused to allow any and all impacts on elk which would have created a valid model. The kicker was when they rejected funding the research for a 1-2 year period and countered with a 3 month offer of funding, and then wanted results (but they specifically wanted results related to wolf-elk impacts). So that’s a little professional wildlife biology reality to consider when you hear the F&G folks talking.

    • timz says:

      Funny, one of my closest friends went 4/4 on their annual hunt, right in the middle of wolf country. Great news for me because he gives me a lot of the meat.:)

    • Immer Treue says:

      Based upon wolf scat around here…was the scat more cylindrical or amorphous? I’ve seen wolf scat here in NE MN that was huge. Got to remember that wolves don’t eat every day, and may equate to an enormous pile of scat. Only bear scat I’ve seen around here are amorphous. That said, the earlier a wolf has a movement after a fresh kill can be soupier and darker, yet still a bit on the cylindrical. Just my observation, in particular with the recent road kill numbers and wounded deer from archery season not found. Perhaps too much infowar ion for some, but just recent observation.

      • timz says:

        “fresh kill can be soupier and darker”
        That scat is usually credited to the higher ranking members of the pack because they get to eat all the good stuff. (organs) The scat with bones wrapped in hide or fur can mean a pack member lower in rank.

    • Ralph Maughan says:


      The presence of wolf and bear scat with elk hair in it is only partial evidence of wolves actively killing elk, much less depleting their numbers.

      The elk hunt is of great benefit to both wolves and bear, as long as they are not shot.

      They quickly learn about it, namely that it is an easy source of high quality food for themselves — remains after the field dressing.

      Past observations I have posted tell that in some areas, wolves almost stop hunting elk and deer during the human hunt. They also take down wounded elk.

      So what do you think based on what you saw?

      • WM says:

        Ralph & Immer,

        Of course, nothing of nutritional value goes to waste in nature, eventually. In our experience, coyotes and wolves, and occasionally bears, have slicked up entrails from a harvested animal overnight and most certainly within a couple days.

        The remains in the feces certainly would have been from an elk that died before the fall hunt started, because it looked to be several weeks old at the time of viewing. My partners saw it too, as it was in a location we had all walked to. I was tempted to bag some up, and send it off to IDFG to see if they could give more information.

        Immer, it was cylindrical in cross-section, and tightly compacted though significantly dehydrated at the time of my viewing. As I stated before, lots in each large symmetrical pile.

        Two aspects of this were puzzling. First the shear volume in each pile, leading me to believe it was bear. The usual wolf poop pile from my experiences is 2 or 3 segments, just like a dog, but larger in diameter and often darker in color because of content of the meal. In contrast, this was tightly coiled and neat round pile, though the round cross section was evident.

        Second, was the close proximity of piles to each other. Obviously a behavioral thing. We have had dogs that like to poop in a small portion of our yard. Does an individual wolf do this too in their own private potty, or is this several wolves doing communal marking, or some other behavior? I simply don’t know.

        In the end, I tentatively concluded bear (based on volume alone), but my hunting partners, also uncertain, were leaning more toward wolf.

        So, which is it, and why?

        • Immer Treue says:

          Pictures? The gravel road off which I live looks to be part of a wolf pack highway, as well as a few trails I maintain for gathering firewood. On the road, wolf scat appears frequently, and fairly consistently in the same areas. Once as I was walking down the road, I thought a large chunk of spruce had fallen…nope. Probably largest scat I’ve seen. The few vehicles that use the road run it over, and infrequently an addition is made. I’ve got scat on my place approaching two years old. My guess, if wolf,what you saw is a place they/or one periodically make their “deposits”.

        • Larry says:

          I ran your poop story by some friends here in the city and they all said it was Abominable Snowman based on the loose circle. 🙂

        • Cobra says:

          I would say more than likely it was wolf scat. Up here in unit 4 in North Idaho all the bear scat we’ve found has still had some berries in it. The only time I’ve found bear scat like you mentioned was when a guy I know shot a cow right at dark and couldn’t find her so I went up the next morning with him to track. I tracked her down but she had been chewed on quite a bit by a sow and cub and there was bear crap everywhere from their feeding all night. The crap we found from them was similar to what you’ve described.
          We did manage to salvage a good portion of the meat that they hadn’t gotten to yet and he had to practically stand guard while I skinned, quartered and put the meat in game bags to pack out of there but all went well. Thankfully it was cold enough to keep her cool and with the sow rolling the carcass around it probably helped cool the meat all the way around.
          I might add that she was a black bear and not a grizzly. If she would of been a grizzly she could of had all she wanted. No way I’d step in to that trap.

    • Yvette says:

      Of course, I’m not sure where in ID you were hunting. Maybe you and your compadres might try a new area.

      A family member in OR, (actually family of close family) just got his annual elk. It was a huge, nice buck. This was in the Blue Mountains somewhere. He had been out a couple of times and stalked a different elk that was even bigger, but he didn’t get that one. I told him I was glad he let that one go so he could contribute to the gene pool. He told me he at least thought he had taught that elk bull a few things on how to avoid and respond to hunters.

      I can’t compare to your experience since it’s probably apples and oranges, but there are wolves in that region.

      We already know wolves can affect behavior change in prey like elk. We also know correlation does not imply causation. Likely, and you are quite intelligent enough to know this, that there are multiple factors acting on the results of your hunt. You mentioned at least two in your post. Did any of your compadres swear to chain themselves to a tree to stop the logging or did the blaming stop with the wolves?

    • Louise Kane says:

      WM i wondered where you had gone…

      My comment won’t surprise you I’m sure

      I find it interesting that humans feel entitled to blame wolves and other predators for reducing populations of wild animals or for eating food they would like themselves. The predator has only his teeth, claws and speed. The hunters have horses, trucks, ammunition, scopes, are well fed and have no other predators to content with daily. Conversely, wild animals like wolves risk death by trapping, snaring, bullet, bow and arrow and must contend with aging and other issues that affect their ability to hunt. They must constantly contend with humans that want to shoot them because they need to eat.

      i wonder if the wolves watch hidden as hunting season begins and think “damn those hunters are at it again killing all the elk”. And the wise old alpha says ” and once they are done killing the elk they’ll be after us”

      Where wolves and humans differ, wolves sure don’t have the predictable, retaliatory, hateful response that humans have when humans encroach on their territory – 1 possibly two humans killed in North American in the last 100 years by wolves, and one of the humans was acting a lot like prey.
      How many wolves killed, millions for doing what they do.

      I can hear that you feel badly about your trip but wonder that your friends instead of wanting to shoot wolves might think of how much it cost a wolf to get his dinner, might reflect on the impact humans have on other species when they take out food sources without understanding the consequences.

      I think being able to spend that time together in a wild and beautiful place might be enough. That it might temper the itchy finger to kill a wolf because it competes for a food source you don’t actually need to survive. I don’t get the impression you or your lawyer, science and law enforcement friends will starve without the elk, the wolves on the other hand……. probably will. Those that make it through the gauntlet that is set out for them every year.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I wonder why wolves bring out the most primitive violent killing instinct of mankind – even those who are (or who think they are)civilized white-collar professionals for 360 days of the year?

    • Nancy says:

      “We know if you guys aren’t getting elk, they aren’t to be had around here.” This was followed shortly by, “G__ damn wolves!”

      Reminded often on this site (according to some) that wolves eat elk, main part of their diet. So I’ve got to ask WM, why would there be fresh wolf scat, tracks, etc. if there were no longer any elk around?

      Every hunting season for decades and decades, hunters just assume elk are gonna be where they’ve suppose to be. Tags are distributed on that information right?

      Curious as to why the whining in some parts of the state “no elk” yet other parts of the state are overwhelmed by them? Agencies just can’t get their act together?

      The “big picture” is never very clear, is it?

      • WM says:


        I didn’t say “fresh.” I said “some recent.” There was little of what one might consider “fresh.” The impression left with some hunters was that wolves moved thru during the last few months/weeks, perhaps on a circuit, where they stay until they get the easy elk, then gradually move on. Effect is the same: they kill some elk, including young of the year, and scare a bunch into the steep ground and brush, until it gets tougher then the wolves gradually expand their area and move on to where they can get the new easy elk. This makes sense.

        We did hear some howling, some distance (a mile or two) away from where we were hunting mostly, and yes there was more recent scat and “fresher tracks,” nearer that location.

        Interestingly, there was plenty of coyote crap around, too. Some of it even “fresh.” So, that pours cold water on the trendy “wolves kill coyotes in abundance theory,” something that Dr. Mech has asserted as well, contra to a couple Yellowstone NP wolf researchers. Or, maybe it suggests the coyotes just try to avoid wolves, and come back as soon as they leave.

        • rork says:

          Thanks for your reports, and I liked the impression of the wolves getting some elk and then moving on. From stories I hear from upper MI this might be the pattern there too. It creates losers and winners for folks hunting their own (modest sized) land or pet public spots. I actually feel fairly claustrophobic on the private land I hunt, cause I’m used to choosing among at least 10s of thousands of acres where I might have 50 pet spots. However access in MI is easy, just by driving down the road. Also, this is just deer, that transport easy.
          My personal hunting story: Once you’ve used your only tag for a smallish buck, the other young bucks, and nothing else, flock to your location.

    • Larry says:

      Sorry about belaboring your posts but I just have to point out your comment about your friends beginning to lose their tolerant level for wolves because of the competition for elk. You know of course that in your post, if it were 1970 or even earlier, you could replace the word ‘wolves’ with Californians. Back then if an Idaho native went home elkless it was because of all the Californians and ‘out of staters’. You would often see bumper stickers on camper/pickups that read ‘Don’t Californicate Idaho’. You see it is all about competition. You see Idaho hunters were notorious then about not tolerating out of staters. That was often the main topic at commission meetings much like wolves are today. So I’m back to the answer that most hunters just want a game farm with a money back guarantee. They just don’t want to admit they have the government helping them bag the elk. Just like ranchers don’t admit they are a welfare recipient. If all the wolves were gone again who would the hunters complain about? It sure wouldn’t be their fault they didn’t bag an elk. I’m done now, see ya’.

      • Ed Loosli says:

        Larry; a big +1

      • WM says:

        Sorry, Larry, I can’t resist a reply. I remember those “Don’t Californicate [fill in state]” bumper stickers. I was living in CO at that time. Saw them in WY, WA and OR, too. Had less to do with competition for hunting than it did people from CA coming in and buying up land, developing it and taking advantage of sometimes naïve locals. Of course, with those new folks came a different set of values, not all of them good. I was right in the middle of some of that in areas of CO, where ski area and condo/vacation home expansion was taking place from Vail to Aspen to Steamboat, and along the Front Range, where Fort Collins-Loveland was that second fastest growing area in the entire country, according to the US Census.

        And, yeah, I get the rationalization/competition whining thing too. But the point you miss – and maybe I wasn’t clear in this particular post on hunting. We have hunted this area for 25 plus years, the habitat is constantly being replaced with logging and reforestation, so the food supply for elk is good. These elk don’t migrate with weather this time of year. But in the presence of wolves elk occupy the land differently, and there are fewer of them because some get eaten by wolves/bears, especially young of the year. We have seen the age structure AND behavior change over the last 8 years or so. This was the worst for hunter success this year, followed by a similar event 4 years ago.

        I get the “competition” part. What I don’t like, and what is not scientifically supportable, is the blindly FALSE assertion that wolves don’t affect elk populations, elk behavior when present, or ultimately hunter success in certain situations. At least have the intellectual honesty to acknowledge that.

        • Nancy says:

          “The IDFG also voted to allow road-kill and salvaged wildlife as wolf bait and moved the opening of wolf-trapping season from Nov. 15 to Oct 10 in several units so trappers can take advantage of milder weather and have an easier time reaching trap lines in areas where elk numbers aren’t doing well”

          WM – is it possible with “liberal” hunting and trapping seasons now on wolves in Idaho, wolf hunters are the cause for elk disappearing in some units? Just a though….

        • Larry says:

          I hope I didn’t say that wolves don’t affect elk populations. For Pete Sake they affect cutthroat trout. And they affect hunters by eliminating some success and giving cowboy natives something to bitch about. Again my point is, for the greater good we need a fully staffed ecosystem. Predators are the ecosystem police, they conduct patrols to make sure everyone is keeping up on their skill levels and they fire anyone that is a slackard. Trout and song birds vote for them because they enjoy the benefit of patrols keeping browsers from trampling and eating down the flat meadows. So you see if I still hunted (too old) I would not be blaming wolves on my unsuccessful hunt. I would know that I just wasn’t on par with better trained elk that now clamber through steep canyon slopes and dense timber. And lower elk numbers (jury still out on that) just means to me that the eco-police found there were too many on staff and were eating away at the profit (browse, soil, water clarity) so they reduced the payroll. Maybe they will find they went too far, if so they may have to find a new market and move. Hunters are the sidebar entrepreneur trying to muscle in on a fulltime eco business. Unless he has a lot of help from his hitmen in knocking off his competitors (operating against the natural law) the cards are stacked against hunters. Bitching will continue until the hitmen muscle in and eliminate the original business owners. All I ask for is a natural eco-law playing field. Sometimes I might get lucky and bring home a profit (elk), other times not so much.

          It boils down to what we don’t know doesn’t matter, it’s what we don’t know what we know, that in the end really makes a difference in what we know. Know what I mean? Have a good hunt next year.

          • Ed Loosli says:

            Larry: Well said!!

          • WM says:

            ++Trout and song birds vote for them because they enjoy the benefit of patrols keeping browsers from trampling and eating down the flat meadows.++

            Ah, come on Larry, the jury is still out on this conclusion, especially in the real world outside Yellowstone, where most of the limited studies have been done by just a couple scientists, top down/bottom up trophic cascade and all. Dr. Mech and others have even said predators, wolves at least, will never be allowed to reach densities outside a national park to make this work on the ground, anyway. The greater risk to riparian habitat in many places in the West is not keeping water in the stream, due to prior appropriation water doctrine operating in many states. And there are lots of places elk or other wild ungulates roam that don’t have ANY riparian problems from their presence.

            And, as we give the “ecosystem police” applause, remember that everything dies sooner or later. I tend to believe those older/injured/weakened animals in nature expire pretty readily anyway, many sooner. There are also a lot of young of the year elk/deer/antelope that just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, when a predator swings thru. Sorry, I’m not buying it, and for example the state of WA has suggested a reduction in elk population nearing 10% with their desired self-sustaining wolf population (why they need that with connectivity to Canada, ID and eventually OR, is a mystery to some folks). It will necessitate downward adjustments to elk harvest by humans when they approach the larger numbers, apparently.

            • Larry says:


              • Ed Loosli says:

                WM- You wrote; “the state of WA has suggested a reduction in elk population nearing 10% with their desired self-sustaining wolf population …It will necessitate downward adjustments to elk harvest by humans when they approach the larger numbers, apparently.”

                Exactly!! You are now getting the idea that it is all about trying to have a balanced ecosystem and that human hunters are not required in all cases. The country of Kenya banned hunting in 1989 and its wildlife is thriving where humans don’t get in the way.

            • Nancy says:

              “The greater risk to riparian habitat in many places in the West is not keeping water in the stream, due to prior appropriation water doctrine operating in many states”


          • Yvette says:

            Larry, you do not know how much I loved reading that post. The writing skills you used are superb. ^^^^ That post should be published and credited. I hope you don’t mind if I copy and save it so I can read it in the future. I promise I will never plagiarize. I just want to be able to read it from time to time.

            Not only do I agree with the tenet, but I am enthralled by your skill in the use of metaphor. Simply magnificent.

            Seriously, put a stamp on it.

  24. Ida Lupines says:

    Who in the heck came up with the idea that increased hunting/blame/persecution would increase tolerance? These animals need to have protection again ASAP.

    What’s scary is that WM’s otherwise educated friends still have that blind spot when it comes to wolves. Nevermind that WM say there was another hunter in his group this year, and that perhaps that implies there is more hunting overall – and nevermind the fact that elk are escaping humans as well as other predators, and nevermind the fact that their habitat is going to hell, by further development and fragmentation.

    • Elk375 says:


      If this is so important to you why don’t you move out west and spend some time with wildlife watchers, biologist and hunters. You might have a different attitude six months later, open you eyes lady. Try to learn what is happening on the ground instead of a keyboard.

  25. Ed Loosli says:

    Isn’t it time that ranchers and rural property owners took responsibility for their own pets and livestock by building fences that wolves cannot climb over, keeping cats inside – and ranchers use range riders, bunch herding, night corrals, fenced birthing sheds, big guard dogs, etc.?? Do you think a Maasai livestock owner in Kenya would ever consider leaving his cattle, sheep and goats unprotected either during the day or night?? NO!!

    • Elk375 says:


      Do you want to pay for it. Do you want to hire out has a range rider, I doubt if you could ride hot blooded horses all day long. Why should a man who owns thousands of acres of property have to have increased expenses because of those who want a balance eco system on another man’s land.

      • Yvette says:

        “Do you want to pay for it.” No, I want the ranchers to stop expecting the federal government to provide them with grazing land at welfare prices that come from the rest of us.

        “Do you want to hire out has a range rider, I doubt if you could ride hot blooded horses all day long.” I’ve helped herd open range cattle in eastern MT (Northern Cheyenne Reservation). That was a long time ago, but I can still manage to ride a hot blooded horse all day…..especially in a Montana summer. Try it in July or August in Oklahoma. 105 in the shade with humidity high enough to choke a poke. Oh, and it doesn’t cool off at night like it does in Montana. I can do it. Can you hang?

        • WM says:


          ++No, I want the ranchers to stop expecting the federal government to provide them with grazing land at welfare prices that come from the rest of us.++

          So how do you feel about federal farm/crop subsidies in your home state of OK? Same issue, really.

          • Elk375 says:


            I was not talking about federal land; I was talking about fee simple land “private land”.

            I have a friend whose family owns over 7000 acres in the Madison Valley with no federal lands on the ranch and no federal lands lease. They do not want wolves on their property. Nor do they want the expense or time to have range riders, night penning, corrals or other expenses.

            In my younger years I cowboy at the insistence of my father, didn’t like it , but learn to ride a horse well. Horses/mules are a method of transportation as I get older.

            • Ed Loosli says:

              Elk and WM: Wolves and coyotes are an integral part of nature and if a private land owner on their own private property (like your friends with 7,000 private acres in Montana) want to keep nature out, they can pay for a roof and walls on their house, pay for their car to be in a garage, and they can also pay for building a fence to keep nature like wolves and coyotes out. It is not the responsibility of the citizens of the Untied States to pay for a your friend’s roof or his property fence. And, NO, I do not believe in “crop subsidies” any more than I support “subsidized public land grazing fees”.

              • Elk375 says:

                Ed you want to build a wolf proof fence then look at the effects on other wildlife, deer, antelope and elk. Wolves were an integral part of the local landscape but were eradiated by the 1920’s so they would not affect agricultural interest.

                Wolves are an integral part of the nature and have a right to exist but I believe that the state not the federal government should develop the regulations to control them.

              • WM says:


                If you are going to pee on the concept of grazing subsidies, well you might just might look a little closer to home for some of the same thing. This from your own state of Florida(if I recall correctly). If the grazing fees are adjusted to market in the 17 Western states, expect some retribution in states with big agricultural subsidies. I would expect it would have to be an across the board reduction or elimination. The Ag lobby is to big and powerful for this to happen. And, predator control for lack of a convincing and PROVEN alternative is likely be as it is, though some don’t like it, including agreed numbers of wolves on the landscape to meet minimum ESA obligations. You don’t see CO, or any other state for that matter, asking for its own wolves, do you?

                1 Disaster Payments
                20,490 $982,152,122
                2 Cotton Subsidies**
                2,451** $215,635,326
                3 Peanut Subsidies
                4,926** $203,638,211
                4 Env. Quality Incentive Program
                4,032 $83,686,796
                5 Livestock Subsidies
                8,604** $82,629,345
                6 Conservation Reserve Program
                3,887 $60,171,604
                7 Corn Subsidies**
                6,817** $50,628,764
                8 Tree Subsidies
                2,443** $45,072,006
                9 Dairy Program Subsidies
                443** $42,367,586
                10 Tobacco Subsidies
                495** $15,506,655


              • JB says:


                I’m unclear about the point of your response to Ed; your post seems to suggest that all subsidies are created equally? I am not opposed to subsidies for agriculture in the least. In many circumstances, these subsidies make good sense. For example, it makes sense for the government to pay agricultural producers to plant cover crops for wildlife (CRP); here the government is asking a private individual to give up something (profit) for the collective good. Likewise, I think subsidies for fruits and especially vegetables that help keep these healthy (and often expensive) food sources relatively cheap benefit us as a society. In contrast, I see no benefit in artificially reducing the costs of beef through the use of subsidies. The production of beef is energetically and environmentally costly, and we (as a society) consume too much as it is, which is leading to health problems that are costing all of us. If beef were more expensive, we would produce less (which would be good for the environment), and eat less, which would be good for us (both as individuals and collectively).

                I guess my point is this: we need not throw out the baby with the bathwater. We should be supporting subsidies for agricultural practices/products when the benefits of such practices/products clearly and consistently outweigh the costs. When they don’t, I would argue that our money is better spent elsewhere.

              • WM says:


                Indeed, I can see where my comment was not clear. I was thinking, but not writing clearly, about the political realities of how states might align for votes involving revisiting or eliminating subsidies for the various agricultural activities in their states. Not so much equality/equivalency of subsidies, but a recognition that if you start messing with some agricultural subsidies like whether public lands grazing should continue, there will be pressure for an across-the board examination, regardless of whether they originate in the Department of Agriculture or Interior. Western states with public grazing, which see this at risk, will say, if the intent is to cut us off from subsidized grazing, then parity suggests maybe we cut back on what funds are available for various farming activities in the Midwest and elsewhere. Recognizing, of course, that some states get both types, I just don’t think the discussion will go very far, and there won’t likely be any on healthy lifestyle/environmental improvement by reducing beef production/consumption (that then also raises the issues of pork/chickens and the environmental bads of those industries). It’s politically complicated in my view.

                That being said, I still think there is room to close the gap some with a little increase in public grazing fees, but the activity itself is likely not to be curtailed completely, even if AUM’s are reduced on specific chunks of ground to reduce negative environmental impacts.

                Also, something to think about, if subsidies are maintained on corn, oats and other grain crops that go into finish feeding of beef or other livestock, there is still a subsidy there.

            • Yvette says:

              I see. That would be expensive for a large, private ranch. Are there not any ag subsidies to defray costs?

              I always loved having a reason to ride, but didn’t get enough of it as a youth. I was lucky to get to spend those summers in MT, but was in the city during school year. Mom didn’t have money to buy me a horse and board it, so I lost out there. I was just thankful for those summers out of the city. My sister and former brother-in-law introduced me to a wide range of activities when I was with them in MT, and I was able to pass those experiences to my daughter. I made sure we had horses, at least for a while. Definitely grateful for those years.

          • Yvette says:

            “So how do you feel about federal farm/crop subsidies in your home state of OK? Same issue, really.”

            There is a place for it. I’m not against all subsidies. USDA NRCS county conservation districts do a pretty good job, IMO. There are quite a few programs to assist and help ag producers. I have a lot of respect for our NRCS county conservation districts and they seem willing to assist wherever they can. These guys also seem pretty easy to work with.

            Like most things, the guidelines and protocols probably need to be reviewed and revised from time to time. I do believe 1.35/head or 1.35 /heifer and calf is way under cost. Bar the rates set for grazing fees, I assume the federal regs are in place to protect land and habitat, but they may not be implemented as prudently as need be. Cliven Bundy comes to mind. That one infuriates me. Another one that comes to mind is paying a rancher for their livestock losses to wildlife depredation. I read on this blog that WY pays for 7 losses for every one confirmed loss. Seems like WY ranchers are getting good deal, but I think it’s a racket. I do believe that some unscrupulous farmers and ranchers work the system quite well, but not all of them.

            Balance in everything seems to be what I tend to work toward. 1.35/head and paying out 7X for one loss is not what I see as a balanced approach. That’s more like racketeering.

            Good to see you back, btw, and sorry you didn’t get an elk this year. [no sarcasm]

  26. Louise Kane says:

    I hope they take away this guys hunting license
    it frightens me that people behaving like this literally have a license to kill.

  27. Ralph Maughan says:

    Here is the story on the Grand Canyon (apparent) Rocky Mountain gray wolf

    In Reuters by Laura Zuckerman.

  28. Ed Loosli says:

    Ralph Maughan: This new wolf self reintroducing itself to Northern Arizona is fantastic news!! What I question is, “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service sending a team to try to capture the animal in question in order to verify the sighting.” I don’t trust the US Fish and Wildlife Service to get anywhere near this wolf — Just leave it alone and hope it finds a mate like OR7 did in Oregon.

    • skyrim says:

      You mean like another Macho B episode? I’m stilled pissed over that one…

      • Barb Rupers says:

        I agree with both Ed and skyrim.

        Since USFWS is trying to shed their responsibility for wolves why spend time, money, and possible injury to the wolf in a capture effort.

  29. Peter Kiermeir says:

    “Airport staff shot and killed a 275-pound sow bear and her three 2-year-old cubs on Oct. 20 after the bears burrowed their way under the airport’s perimeter fencing”
    “Everything was done the way it should be,” said Phillip White, wildlife conservation officer for the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
    “News of the bears shot this month was never meant to reach the public”
    “an unknown person, possibly an airport employee, took a picture of the black bears’ bodies and posted it online. He accused the poster of “inflaming the community,” and said airport officials will consult a lawyer on any legal action available to them”

    • Nancy says:

      “In wild management unit 2B, which surrounds Pittsburgh, and the three units surrounding Philadelphia, the commission gave **properly licensed hunters the green light to shoot bears just about any time when they might also be chasing deer**

      Black bear are capable of helping curb deer over population BUT that might interfere with hunting opportunities. Sound familiar?

        • WM says:

          So, I’m confused. Is it the presence of an invasive plant (garlic mustard) that is the problem, or the fact that wildlife management policy for the general area under study allows too many deer, at a population up to 10 times the historic density? Is it because some folks don’t want deer killed period, or that the hunter constituency is advocating densities at higher levels. I doubt it is the case here, but white-tail deer have expanded territory dramatically over the last 200 years, because they are a highly adaptable (invasive) species. Solution: thump more deer in PA and NY. I don’t think either study mentioned the word wolves, yet it was in the author’s story on these two studies. Amazing.

      • Louise Kane says:

        here in the NE we have just as many terrible regs, as much, if not worse, bad policy, the same favor hunter over other constituents dominated agencies and as many cretins out there with guns, traps and bow and arrow jumping on the killing contest bandwagon. a whole new approach and policy shift is greatly needed.

      • WM says:

        I thought this was a salient point of the article too, Nancy.

        ++“We get over 1,000 bear complaints a year, and it’s always tied to one of three things: bird feeders, pet food or garbage. Bears go where the living is easiest, and if they can find food around people, they aren’t shy about taking advantage of it,” Ryan said.++

        So, which is it that will do in the bears – getting into trouble at the urban fringe, or because hunters want more deer?

        • Yvette says:

          So, which is it that will do in the bears – getting into trouble at the urban fringe, or because hunters want more deer?

          Your question implies there is an ‘either/or’ or a ‘yes/no’ answer, and rarely, if ever, is that the case with anything in our world, especially our natural world.

          In an earlier comment, And, predator control for lack of a convincing and PROVEN alternative is likely be as it is, though some don’t like it, including agreed numbers of wolves on the landscape to meet minimum ESA obligations.

          ‘Proof’ is another one of those words that is tossed around with little thought to whatever the subject someone is referencing. Proof is not shown. It is some degree of probability of occurrence or lack of occurrence that is shown. You are a smart guy and I’m fairly confident that you know this, but I hope to see you apply that knowledge in your discourse here. Maybe it’s your background in law rather than science, but even though in the American legal system we are required to ‘prove X beyond a reasonable doubt’ that still is not proof, because ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ is the caveat that shows it truly just probability and not proof.

          • Barb Rupers says:

            It is similar in science. Theories are not proven but rather accepted on a preponderance of evidence by a community at large then used and modified as more information comes available. For instance, genetics as a science was not known when Darwin first formulated his theory of evolution but it is certainly incorporated in the theory of today.

      • rork says:

        It’s the humans that are chasing deer in that sentence by the reporter (“any time they might also be chasing deer”). The bear season is simply longer, and includes all of deer season, to increase opportunity.

        In MI we had an article where biologist are surprised that more bears ARE NOT coming to southern MI. Maybe our wild lands come more in disconnected pockets compared to PA and WV.

      • Amre says:

        +1 Nancy.

  30. Nancy says:

    “Most supply meat and medicine markets in Asia where native turtle populations have been ravaged to meet growing demand, wildlife experts say”

  31. Ed Loosli says:

    *Executing Poachers*
    Smugglers of turtles to China, abalone being poached in California, black bears being poached for their gall-bladders, elephants killed for ivory, rhinos killed for their horn, wolves killed in states where they are supposed to be protected by law under the Endangered Species Act… At what point are U.S. officials going to adopt the rules of Kenya, Tanzania and other African nations where poachers caught in the act are killed on the spot?? I think the time has come.

    • rork says:

      For states that don’t mind executions for murder of people, death for killing griz would seem logical. They are worth much more than people.
      But I’m against – in MI execution has be illegal since 1846, and I’m proud of that.

    • W. Hong says:

      I grew up in China, I don’t recommend this action.

      • W. Hong says:

        “At what point are U.S. officials going to adopt the rules of Kenya, Tanzania and other African nations where poachers caught in the act are killed on the spot?? I think the time has come.”

        I hope they never do, this is one of the reasons I left China, because of no trials, no one but the one with the gun has the say, again, I hope I never see this action happening in my new home country, I lived through the Tiananmen Square protests and lost many friends, I hope this never happens in the United States.

      • Ed Loosli says:

        W.Hong: I am curious — when was the last time China killed an ivory trader/pangolin trader/rhino-horn trader/shark-fin trader/tiger-part trader/rare-turtle trader ????

        • W. Hong says:

          Mr Loosli, I don’t know, I have been in the United States for almost two year now. Please explain, what this has to do with the mesage I posted to?

          • Ed Loosli says:

            What I am saying is that China has never enforced international wildlife laws, including putting ivory traders, pangolin traders, rhino-horn traders, shark-fin traders, tiger-part traders, rare-turtle traders out of business by killing them or any other reason for that matter.

            • Mark L says:

              I think public shaming is a lot more effective than shooting them on the spot, in the case of poaching. Shooting someone for shooting something seems counterproductive…make them suffer for a while or longer.

  32. rork says:
    It’s Utah coyote killing money again, complete with a repeat of my favorite quote
    “Sustained harvest over multiple years has to have some effect (on mule deer populations).”
    12,564 killed, 2605 by wildlife services. Is that treatment homeopathic? Don’t know, and neither do they. It seems like they aren’t even attempting to estimate the population, nor is there any control designed into the experiment. It made me wonder if it’s part of the craft: if deer go up, we the managers get the credit (rather than the weather or such), and if not, you hunters just failed to kill enough coyotes. Quack human doctors are expert at this method.

  33. Nancy says:

    “It’s a shame that geopolitical interests are overriding genuine efforts to protect large areas of the ocean for future generations.”

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Nancy: This is such terrible and typical news resulting especially from China – an outlaw nation as far as wildlife protection goes.

      article: “China challenged almost every conservation mandate that was presented” during the two weeks of talks, Andrea Kavanagh, a delegate and director of the pro-conservation Pew Charitable Trusts told Reuters. China was “an across the board conservation-spoiler” to the plan, she added.

    • Yvette says:

      Nancy, your post reminded me of another issue from China. They, along with a few other countries, were allowed ‘observer status’ on the Arctic Council.

      Salivating in the wings…..

  34. Ida Lupine says:

    For the GSD fans among us (myself included):

    Too Cute for Words

  35. Nancy says:

    “In short, this suit is an indictment of the Fish & Wildlife Service for biological malpractice,” added Dumais. “The Service’s treatment of the double-crested cormorant epitomizes the growing militarization of American wildlife management, taking us back a few centuries to reestablish lethal take on a mass scale as the default posture.”.

    • Louise Kane says:

      + 1
      great comment

    • Louise Kane says:

      the biological malpractice charge applies to the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of wild animals killed each year in the misdirected, biologically destructive, disturbing predator killing, programs that the USDA and USFWS practice every year. God squads

  36. Louise Kane says:

    Not wildlife news exactly but saw this and it reminded me of many discussions here on pros and cons of adopting a dog. Some of my good friends have GSD rescues, and they are all adamant about the ability to get a purebred pup, adolescent, middle age or older GSD that will fit any lifestyle. Many of their dogs have been adopted out to local police stations that put them through the same rigorous training that a fancy expensive bought dog would get. Many of the rescues are from fancy breeders who have owners that don’t know a bit about how to raise and care for a companion or one as smart, loyal and wonderful as most dogs are and especially gsd dogs. Anyhow this is a story about a man who risked his retirement savings to make a statement about shelter dogs dying at the rate 0of 5500 a day. I always hope people that see this kind of statistic will think of adopting instead of fueling a dog breeding business. You can find any purebred breed in abundance on pet finder. excuse my indulgence i was moved by this project

    • Nancy says:

      Not wildlife news exactly either Louise but read your link and minutes later in my inbox was this article from a friend in Boston:

      Greed, ignorance and a lack of government regulations, keep puppy mills (and backyard breeders) thriving and kill shelters busy, in this country.

      My non-humans (4 – two stray cats, two dogs) that I share my home with, came to live with me because they were all close to being considered a waste in our world of “disposable” items.

  37. Louise Kane says:

    The worst part of this is the part about hiding funds so that the funding can not be publicly scrutinized. Creepy tactics and people. Good to see a whistleblower among the executives.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Everyone should read the article you linked too, Louise. “Hard-Nosed Advice From Veteran Lobbyist: ‘Win Ugly or Lose Pretty’ Richard Berman Energy Industry Talk Secretly Taped.” By Eric Lipton. OCT. 30, 2014. Slime like Berman often unconsciously hate themselves because they know what they are. This might explain his “brass tactics” talk. It’s a confessional.

      • Louise Kane says:


        I was surprised to see that someone from the group decided they did not like the tactics or strategy and recorded it and called the Times. I’d love to know the story behind that.

        but this caught my attention because I continue to be frustrated that the SC handed down the two most disturbing/corrupted decisions (McCutheon and Citizen’s United) in the history of the US, perhaps. I think those decisions emboldened people like this. along similar lines Stephen Capra just wrote something that I wanted to share as well

      • Kathleen says:

        He’s been around for a long time, a huge opponent of animal welfare/animal rights. Just watch the first 3 minutes of Rachel Maddow immediately below (bermanexposed):

        One of his front groups was HumaneWatch.

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        great book on this topic is :

        “Secrets and Lies: The Anatomy of an Anti-Environmental PR Campaign” by Nicky Hager / Bob Burton

        The book documents the public relations information put out by Timberlands West Coast Limited in order to win public support for logging of native forests on the West Coast of New Zealand.

        The material is based on a large amount of documentation leaked by a staff member from the local branch of Shandwick (now Weber Shandwick Worldwide), a global public relations company, which had been hired by Timberlands to run a secret campaign against environmental groups such as Native Forest Action between 1997 and 1999.

        The book describes its tactics of surveillance of meetings, monitoring the press and responding to every letter to the editor, greenwashing, the use of SLAPPs, cleaning anti-logging graffiti and blotting out campaign posters in public places, and managing to install its pro-logging educational materials into schools.

        The book alleges that almost every pro-logging letter or article was organized by this campaign.

        “An invaluable study of how PR is used by corporations to manipulate public opinion and subvert democracy. It is about events in New Zealand, but the PR firm behind the dirty work is now US-based, illustrating the globalization of dirty tricks.”

        – Edward S. Herman, author of The Myth of the Liberal Media: An Edward Herman Reader.

        “What Secrets and Lies describes is happening every day, in similar ways, on every controversial and political issue…. One of the most important political exposés you will ever read.”

        – John Stauber, editor of PR Watch

  38. Ida Lupines says:

    “I get up every morning and I try to figure out how to screw with the labor unions — that’s my offense,” Mr. Berman said in his speech to the Western Energy Alliance. “I am just trying to figure out how I am going to reduce their brand.”

    This is what the anti-wolf crowd does, I am convinced.

    Appealing to humankind’s better nature and trying to reason with people who are unreasonable isn’t going to work, I’m also convinced. You can see that the situation keeps getting worse and worse, despite everything. Sometime you have to use the only language they understand – and hammer them right back(in the courtroom, of course.).

  39. Nancy says:

    Did everyone remember to set clocks back?

  40. Louise Kane says:

    in addition to their amazing echolocation capabilities bats perform impressive mosquito control and are skilled pollinators. A video is attached of a baby bat (lil drac) that is being rehabilitated after its mother abandoned it during a stress zoo move. really interesting video and text. I once worked with a BBC producer who completed his PhD in bat echolocation, he was fascinating as are bats.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Awwww, I love bats. I had some work done on my home’s A/C awhile back and one of the workmen asked me to take a look at something – there was a little bat sleeping in the attic vent. So cute! I usually see them at dusk. 🙂

  41. Louise Kane says:

    Dan Ashe with his head up his ass again. Lists lion as threatened but then allows importation of lion trophies and worse yet ignores evidence that lion trophy hunting helps to escalate the lion bone trade. This man is a disaster in that office. Interesting as well that the service finds lions threatened with population levels at 40-50 K but in US wolf populations in lower states are maybe less than 8K although its hard to say anymore.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I happened to read this on another website. I thought it was some kind of April Fool’s joke when I first read it, because I had been watching a program on CNN the night before about Tanzania and its wildlife paradise, where the country is trying to use non-lethal means to protect livestock from predators. That kind of ‘management’ isn’t on the priority list of the US. Countries are realizing their wildlife is, I hate to use this term, more valuable to them alive than dead. And it is theirs, not the United States’. Just look at some of the lobbyists. Notice it is described as ‘intensive’:

      Kenya banned all sport hunting in 1977. The ban has been under almost constant political attack from Safari Club International, the African Wildlife Federation, and other pro-hunting organizations ever since. Botswana suspended lion hunting from 2001 to 2005, but lifted the suspension for two years after intensive lobbying by former U.S. President George H. Bush, former U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle, and retired U.S. Army General Norman Schwarzkopf, on behalf of Safari Club International. Lion hunting in Botswana was again suspended in 2008.

      I thought imperialism and colonialism were things of the past. (Get) Out of Africa!

      • Yvette says:

        “I thought imperialism and colonialism were things of the past.”

        Oh hell no. Alive and well across the globe. If any country has even the tiniest of ‘resources’ you can bet they’ve been colonized and controlled by Western imperialism. If the Western civilization thinks there is a dime to be made from another country then that country will be furtively controlled. It doesn’t matter whether the resource is trophy hunting for thousands of dollars a hunt, or energy resources.

        The only country I can think of that basically told us to shove it and stood their ground is Cuba. LOL, and we wonder why we hate Cuba so much.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Well said, Louise and Ida: If I knew how to go about creating a petition to REMOVE DAN ASHE FROM THE POSITION OF DIRECTOR OF THE U.S.FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, I would do it. Can any petition expert out there create one? …and I will happily review the wording and then happily sign it.

      • Yvette says:

        I don’t think those petitions have an effect, Ed.

        You would probably have better luck with a massive snail mail campaign to the President Obama.

        • Ed Loosli says:

          That’s too bad Yvette; for unfortunately, I think that the “lame duck” Pres. Obama has even less interest in wildlife conservation than he previously had, which is basically VERY LITTLE.

  42. Immer Treue says:

    Ae wolves to blame for fewer moose in NE MN?

    I suggest this be read as one would read a work in science. The correlation is there, but as per a presentation by MNDNR on moose last week at the IWC there are still other variables that might be contributing factors. For example, the moose of NW MN are all but gone, and wolves were a none factor in that part of the state.

    I do have a copy of the paper as presented by Mech and Fieberg.

    • JB says:

      I hate the framing. “Are wolves to blame for fewer moose…”? What? Is corn to blame for more deer? Is rain to blame for erosion and sedimentation? Are earthquakes to blame for tsunamis?

      How about we stop blaming nature and look inward for a bit?

      • Ed Loosli says:

        To Immer’s well pointed advise: It looks like David Mech is literally jumping gun by unscientifically approving of increased wolf killing way before the real facts are in… Why are moose really dying in NE Minn where wolves have increased, while in NW Minn where moose numbers have collapsed, wolves are a non-factor??

        • Immer Treue says:

          Not at all. Correlation does not necessarily represent cause, and these very words were echoed by Mech and two others at the IWC about a month ago. There are many dynamics associated with Northeastern MN moose decline. The wolf population increase during the 2005 and onward is just one correlation.

          • Ed Loosli says:

            Immer: Exactly, it seems you are arguing against yourself, as it is David Mech who is showing a premature unscientific bias toward wolves in his study area without recognizing the other factors that you rightly point out. To quote you, “There are many dynamics associated with Northeastern MN moose decline. The wolf population increase during the 2005 and onward is just one correlation.” Too bad David Mech did not use these same balanced words.

      • Louise Kane says:

        +1 to JB I hate the framing….

      • Immer Treue says:

        As per my reply to Ed. There are many variables associated with NE MN moose decline. One of those variables is an increase in wolves in the study zone. I believe, without looking at the papers graph, that the wolf population has decreased a bit the past two years in the moose zone.

        It does not explain the moose collapse in NW MN. The MN DNR presentation last Thursday said time will tell, and no one as yet should jump to any conclusions.

        I surmise that the anti-wolf faction will look at this and say I told you so without critically looking at all factors involved. That is one of the faults with this article, and how it was presented.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Immer know you are a big fan of Mech and I always appreciate your side of things but what is the story with Mech lately. I think it was very shortsighted and irresponsible to argue that hunting wolves would act as a pressure valve to reduce hate and increase tolerance. Never mind Mech is a biologist and not a social scientist. Also wondering why after studying wolves for so many years you might look at them so cold heartedly and ignore their sociality and what pulling the trigger randomly might have on the pack as well as the individual. I respect the Dutchers of spending the time to collect and document data that shows the nuances, intricacies and sociality of wolves.

      • Immer Treue says:

        One of the things that seperate Mech from some like Bergerud. He looks at things without bias. He’s not afraid to look at all possible variables. When I spoke with one of the biologists last week, who works with Mech, I said its amazing the vitriol eh generated at the two extremes of the wolf debate directed at Mech. The reply was, with a knowing smile, “he must be doing something right.”

        • JB says:

          “He looks at things without bias…”

          I sat on this a while without replying. It has been my policy here never to discuss the motivations, biases, etc. of other scholars. Anyway, bias is irrelevant — the best argument, backed by the best data, should carry the day regardless of bias.

          With those caveats, I think it is important to note that ALL science that takes an opinion on an issue (beyond an issue of fact) is biased by the “should” assumptions that scholars make. Mech has always assumed that because we CAN hunt wolves, and HAVE hunted them, that therefore we SHOULD hunt them. I would only point out that there are lots of things that we can and have done that are today considered unethical.

          I think an ‘unbiased’ perspective would be one that started by asking: what is the justification for hunting [species x]? [And] Does the scientific evidence support that rationale/justification?

          • Nancy says:

            “Does the scientific evidence support that rationale/justification”

            + 1 JB.

          • Immer Treue says:

            The Mech/Fieberg paper is on my computer cue for downloading. I saw the graph of the results at last Thursday’s moose presentation. There is a correlation between moose decrease and wolf population increase. To the best of my knowledge, it does not imply CAUSE.

            There are a number of variables during the length of the wolf/moose study that could explain the dynamics rather than the conclusion that the wolves are killing all the moose that so many will jump to.

            Once I read the paper, to see if certain variables which were phenomena of 1999 and the early to mid 2000’s, I will address the wolf biologist who works with Mech and await feedback. She is usually quite good about quick and thorough replies. When they come, I will report them here.

            • JB says:

              Immer– for clarity, it isn’t Mech’s science I question. Rather, it’s his continued advocacy for wolf hunting and trapping.

              • Louise Kane says:

                +1 that is what disturbs me

              • Immer Treue says:

                “I think an ‘unbiased’ perspective would be one that started by asking: what is the justification for hunting [species x]? [And] Does the scientific evidence support that rationale/justification?”

                If management of wolves require hunting and trapping, then I guess he advocates or supports said control measures.

                I think the sobering thing in MN is three years ago, almost 300 wolves were removed for livestock depredation. Over 400 were “harvested” during hunting and trapping season. That’s 700 legally taken. This year, depredation removal is down, and the harvest quota is 250.

                When wolves were removed for depredation, there was little complaining about their management. Mech has also supported overall populations vs individual wolves. He does not make policy, but has supported management.

              • JB says:

                “If management of wolves require hunting and trapping, then I guess he advocates or supports said control measures.”

                With respect, I would argue that you can’t get around drawing a policy conclusion without a “should” (ethical) premise. Science tells us we can hunt wolves sustainably, not that we should. We could “manage” wolves totally through human management if we chose to (though that would be extremely impractical, and I don’t ever see that happening).

                The problem here is that Mech is telling people we SHOULD hunt/trap wolves because we CAN (based upon the scientific premises: (a) the population can support harvest, and (b) harvest will help prevent conflicts). Avoiding for a moment whether (b) is true (and there is currently some debate about that), you still cannot reach the conclusion that that we SHOULD implement a hunting or trapping season without first dealing with the ethical question: under what conditions is it acceptable to hunt/trap wolves?

                I don’t bring this up as a condemnation of Mech (or any other scientist); but rather, because it is now clear that this is the CENTRAL question in the debate, and avoiding this question has caused us to ‘spin our wheels’ collecting more and more data without addressing the 800lb gorilla…er…wolf in the room (must be a “Canadian wolf”).

              • Immer Treue says:

                Let me assure you there is no rancor here. The further I peel the onion of all things wolf, the more objective I have become. I still remember a round table discussion at an International Wolf Symposia where stockmen and hunters were assured that once wolves “recovered” their populations would be managed.

                Discussions on this blog have gone round robin on that topic. Great delays in wolf management spilled into what many consider draconian measures. Might it have been better to have limited seasons, control areas of no hunting/trapping, compare and contrast, gather data and see what is effective. I just don’t believe wolves can be managed like deer, elk, or moose.

                I must also emphasize, personally, I wish there was no wolf hunting or trapping, yet I also recognize that neither I nor the world in which I live is perfect. I have 3-4 wolves that make forays on the land around my cabin. I keep an eye on my dog at all times. Wolf hunting and trapping begins next weekend. Subjectively, Life would become a bit more empty if these wolves do not survive the season.

              • WM says:


                I have not looked at Dr. Mech’s writings or verbal advices with the specific focus on the “can” or “should” distinction you call out. However, my recollection is that he has been pretty careful to frame his advices in ways that say if a policy maker wants to do certain things [reduce wolf populations/raise prey populations/reduce livestock conflicts] then certain things will likely follow, based on his best scientific advice.

                I am not sure he has directly said wolf populations “should be reduced because we can” or something to that effect. Again, I have found his comments usually very carefully worded, giving decision makers the likely consequences of a particular course of action, WITHOUT saying they should take that particular path. Do I have this wrong, and can you give some examples?

                In contrast, I have seen several examples of some scientists boldly saying policy makers SHOULD NOT take certain actions, sometimes not qualified by any consequences of what happens if they do, because they CAN. Among these individuals are Pacquet, Vucetich, Treves and others who have signed letters or made statements along the same lines. To some degree the MOTIVATIONS of those individuals seems apparent.

              • JB says:


                From my recollection, he’s been pretty careful in public forums not to openly advocate for hunting, but rather, has tacitly supported hunting and trapping by calling hunts ‘biologically inconsequential’. He openly supported Minnesota’s plan when called in front of a state congressional committee, for example.

                My point is, you cannot come to the conclusion that a hunt is justified without both types of premises (i.e., we can hunt wolves, and we should hunt wolves). I think one of the big reasons we’re still debating this is because folks still seem to want to argue about the “can” premise (I think you and I, at least, agree that this has been settled). I would argue that the underlying debate is really about the “should” premise, but it keeps getting pushed to the side.

                I think the science tells us what we need to know. It is time to turn to the thornier question.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                Yes, that may or may not Dr. Mech’s intent, but his opinions do carry a lot of weight –

            • Immer Treue says:


              ” He openly supported Minnesota’s plan when called in front of a state congressional committee, for example.”

              He may have supported MN’s plan, but to the best of my knowledge, never said the plan ‘should’ be instituted. Also, when the 1600 number was brought up, he in interjected that the speaker did not even want to approach that number…

              It’s just so odd, when a man such as Mech, who’s life work has been just about everything about wolves, gives an expert unbiased opinion that draws from his 50+ years experience, that there are those who suggest he should not be so truthful.

              • JB says:


                With respect, I’m not sure I understand the difference? I would not openly support policy that I did not think should be enacted.

                I hesitated to bring up this question because I was sure folks would see it as a critique/attack of Mech; it isn’t. It’s a critique of the idea that one can come to policy conclusions without addressing the “should” question; and perhaps more importantly, that science gives us all the tools we need to address such policy questions.

                I don’t fault Mech at all for having an opinion (which I know he does), nor for supporting any particular policy. However, I think we should be transparent in both our science and our ethics. If you’re going to support policy–even tacitly–then tell us why you think that policy is justified (be transparent about the “should” question). This would allow us to move beyond the stagnated debate on the science of depredation and predator x prey relationships, to a more meaningful debate.

                For more than a decade, I’ve observed a very predictable pattern: (a) new science is produced; (b) groups who feel this science supports their position hold it up as gospel and suggest it has all sorts of implications (well beyond what the authors suggest); (c) groups who feel the science is in opposition to the position attack the methods, attack the scientists’ integrity, and in some cases, call for their removal; and finally, (d) the science is ‘recorded’ in an extremely biased fashion in the minds of these individuals such that it confirms their existing ideas.

                The result is that new science has become meaningless for changing any individual’s mind — it simply reinforces existing views. This observation leads me to conclude that it might be time to move beyond the science into a realm where debate might be more meaningful (not that I expect it to be any less rancorous, or fallacious).

              • Immer Treue says:

                I don’t archive statements for future use, and my “morning mind” already forgot how I go to this particular posting.

                JB says:
                March 12, 2014 at 5:41 pm
                “Here’s my read on this bill: (1) If the DNR wants to conduct hunts with the potential to reduce the population by 25%, then they should be collecting yearly data (not necessarily censuses) on wolf populations. However, (2) once you require yearly data collection you impose a significant cost on the state/DNR which will inevitably be used as a justification for continuing to hunt and trap wolves. I don’t have a problem with hunting or trapping of wolves, so long as it is sustainable. However, those that are pushing for this bill thinking it will somehow slow hunting or trapping are mistaken–and in fact, it could have the opposite effect.”

                Is your comment about” not having a problem with wolf hunting/trapping as long as it’s sustainable” really any different than that of Mech? There is no ethical dilemma contained in the comment about should.

                The can and should terms are nothing more than pedestrian shortcuts of looking at the wolf situation either objectively or subjectively. I can’t speak for Mech, but I’ll go out on a long narrow limb and suggest his objectivity exceeds his subjectivity on the topic. To put that perspective in align with mine, subjectively, I don’t want wolves hunted or trapped. Objectively, I know wolves are going to be hunted/trapped. So, what can I do to make this as fair as possible for all involved on the issue, most importantly the wolves.

              • rork says:

                We try to be open-minded, able to change. I’d rather not have wolf hunts, maybe more cause I want “the experiment” to continue, to see how things will change. I hope for some positive changes, and unexpected things both good and bad, and depending on who you are. In debate I always try to say I can live with hunts, and I could, but it’s almost beside the point – we want to know what is good and bad about it for ecosystems and economics. Want to know what’s ethical – then sit down comrade and let us compute. The cost of the animals being killed or not is smaller in my calculation, though it’s certainly not nothing. For others it’s almost everything it seems.
                I’m not a professional wildlife biologist, so it’s easy for me to add that the smarter the animals, the sadder it is to kill them. I don’t find that fits in with my Vulcan ideals, but it takes more justification for some animals for me. I’ve grown accustom to killing deer and a few other species, and lots of farm animals, but won’t be hunting bears for example. Killing chickens is easier than rabbits. Rareness or importance to ecosystem matter too (think bluefin – less cute but almost gods). It’s not like I don’t admire deer, but their overabundance and destruction has made me tougher about killing them – someone’s gotta do it, and I want my share of their meat. Woodchuck pain me too. Like some folks feel about wolves, rightly or not.

              • JB says:


                Good questions. My prior comments and judgment were based upon my own ethical perspective, and while given publicly, were given in a relatively innocuous setting (that is, nobody is taking my opinion and arguing that it is the gold standard for wolf-related decision-making). Last week I spoke at the Pacific Wolf Coalition meeting in Seattle, and there I chose my words a bit more carefully (I chose not to express my views on wolf hunting/trapping at all). Here’s where the rubber meets the road: When you sit in judgment over a policy option, then you have the obligation to be transparent about your own ethics. (Note, in a way I attempted to do this when I said wrote: “…so long as it is sustainable”, though I could’ve been more explicit. Again, it’s a blog…)

                Second, I’ll admit my thinking on this issue has shifted relatively recently. I look around and I can’t point to a single instance where science has helped resolve the wolf policy debate; likely, this is a function of motivated cognition (see my prior comment, and Yvette’s below). I believe now that another reason for the continued rancor is that we have widely divergent ethical perspectives that are largely *hidden* and they are viewed as irrelevant to the discussion. The reason for the latter is that we (scientists, wildlife professionals, and even advocates) expect too much from science; or put another way, we’re looking for a techno-rational, science-based solution to a problem that arises not because of science, but because of divergent views about how nature (or more specifically, wolves) should be ‘managed’.

                So, as I said, we continue to ‘spin our wheels’ debating the merits of science and the biases of scientists when we should be discussing the ethics of management–something wildlife professionals and scientists are generally ill-equipped to do!

              • JB says:

                “Killing chickens is easier than rabbits.”

                I know–of all the quotes to pick out of your statement…

                This caught my attention because of a recent conversation I had with a group of hunter-conservationists who gave up hunting. Four out of five did so because of their experience killing or injuring a rabbit.

              • Mark L says:

                Yes, JB, a lot of ‘confirmation bias’ going on regarding this subject.

              • Immer Treue says:


                “When you sit in judgment over a policy option, then you have the obligation to be transparent about your own ethics. (Note, in a way I attempted to do this when I said wrote: “…so long as it is sustainable”, though I could’ve been more explicit. Again, it’s a blog…)”

                Has Mech done anything less? From his experience, he has established what he would classify as ‘sustainable’.

                ” or put another way, we’re looking for a techno-rational, science-based solution to a problem that arises not because of science, but because of divergent views about how nature (or more specifically, wolves) should be ‘managed’.”

                I agree with what you write here, with a bit of a proviso. Techno-rational science based solutions will likely never work in regard to man-made superstitions. We can clump these superstitions from the super natural all the way to the twisted fairy tales along with the conspiracy buffs who believe wolves are a tool to end hunting ‘rights’ and weapon confiscation.

                That said, early in Mech’s career, we can find his voice in the wolf advocates must outspend outshout… That was done, wolves have been reestablished, but perhaps science was NOT listened to in regard to state management, and here I do not refer to the recovery goal of 10×100 for three consecutive years in the NRM states. It has also been his stance that perhaps we would have more wolves in more areas had the lawsuits not consistently delayed management of wolves.

                Please allow me to insert here, for one who may be new to the blog, or others who think my stance in wolves has changed. No, it hasn’t. We are three days from the beginning of MN’s third consecutive hunt, and I have at least four wolves around my place. I hope they’re still here after the season.

                That said, If allowed, I will post the Mech/Fieberg paper that initiated this chain of responses as a new thread, with a few comments about it.

                JB. Any consideration or movement towards a new pup?

              • JB says:

                Oh I think he’s been quite coy about his own opinions and not at all transparent about the ethical premises underlying his conclusions (to support/oppose plans mgmt actions). Then again, he has also been constrained by his status as a government (USGS) scientist.

                I could provide more examples here, but I don’t think that would serve anyone’s purpose–as I already mentioned, my intent isn’t to single out Mech, but to call for an open and transparent debate about the ethics involved in managing wolves. Heck, the Wildlife Society (and even the RMEF) have fully bought into this “North American Model of Wildlife Management”, which tells us that “wildlife should only be killed for a legitimate purpose” then fails to define or in any way specify what constitutes a legitimate purpose.

                Is hanging a pelt on a wall a legitimate purpose? What about killing a wolf out of contempt or hatred? What about killing wolves to increase the opportunity for elk harvest–is that a legitimate purpose?

                This is the crux of the issue, from my perspective.


                Re: GSDs- I can’t take on a puppy right now, and can’t seem to talk my wife into a rescue. Always looking, though. Was thinking of a berger blanc suisse (dog breeding is much more highly regulated in Europe, and the BBS’s aren’t nearly as angulated as the American GSDs).

              • Immer Treue says:

                “Re: GSDs- I can’t take on a puppy right now, and can’t seem to talk my wife into a rescue. Always looking, though. Was thinking of a berger blanc suisse (dog breeding is much more highly regulated in Europe, and the BBS’s aren’t nearly as angulated as the American GSDs).”

                I don’t know why, but I thought you had a golden retriever. I agree on angulation and GSD. I’ve begun a search, and expect it to take some time, looking for the working line GSD that don’t have that angulation. One can never be too careful.

                Looked up the Berger Blanc Suisse. Nice looking dogs with interesting characteristics, and then I saw what folks are asking for them. Wooooosh!

              • JB says:

                You hit the nail on the head, Immer. The price is astronomical (one reason why I’m not itching to pull the trigger). And as much as I love puppies, I’d also like to help get an adult dog out of ‘jail’. Anyway, there’s a breeder in Washington State who mixes GSDs, BBS, and White Shepherd lines, and her dogs are relatively affordable. I’ve spoken with her before, and like her philosophy. I think the kennel name is “SureFire Shepherds”.

          • Amre says:

            +1 JB

            • Yvette says:

              Agreed. ++ JB.

              Most of you will probably find this paper interesting. Many of you will already be familiar with the Cultural Cognition Project conducted by the Yale Law School. If not, please explore their work.

              This paper is called “Cultural Cognition of Scientific Consensus” and it explores the reasons behind the very thing that JB mentioned. While this paper mainly looks at the reasons of the public division on climate change, I believe it is transferable to most dichotomous issues.


        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          I said its amazing the vitriol eh generated at the two extremes of the wolf debate directed at Mech. The reply was, with a knowing smile, “he must be doing something right.”

          few classic quotes from the centrists:

          “They were wolves, so they weren’t innocent, but they were wolves, so they weren’t guilty.” – Shivik

          “Wolves are neither saints nor sinners, except for those who would make them so.” – Mech

          “A little blood satisfies a lot of anger.” – Ed Bangs

          “I would say there’s a polarity that comes with wolves, either you like them or you really dislike them,” said Mike Jimenez “Try to imagine what the other side is thinking as strongly There is the positive image of wolves running free in the wild —and there is the negative image of wolves killing livestock, pets and diminishing big-game hunting So I would say the whole context of managing wolves and resolving these kind of conflicts is hitting a balance point where you can hit and balance both those opinions and have a viable population of wolves that has minimal impacts on different parts of the public

          „Wolves’ past, present and uncertain future”

          • Mareks Vilkins says:

            ok, let’s focus on the group for whose members wolf is neither saint or sinner – that is, wolf biologists and wildlife managers.

            Basically we have policy options which range from 0% to 43% annual wolf killing / harvesting.

            At the one end of spectrum we have Poland where since 1998 wolf killing is forbidden and on the other end of the spectrum we have Latvia where since 1998 the wolf outtake is ~43%.

            In Poland one can frame the whole legit discussion around UNGULATE compensatory mortality (and in Poland the ungulate numbers are steadily increasing).

            In Latvia (or NRM, Alaska, Canada, Russia etc) the conventional way how to frame discussion is about WOLF’s compensatory mortality.

            And derivative from this is Mike Jimenez’s remark – ” to have a viable population of wolves that has minimal (!) impacts on different parts of the public” in the region where millions of cows roam freely and unprotected.

            The only question is: did Mr. Mike Jimenez say it with a straight face or was he chuckling?

            Remark about mainstream hunters in NRM / GLA – if they are in favor to kill 35% of wolf population annually then to me they are anti-wolf crowd and wolf biologist sermon [that ‘the wolf is neither saint or sinner’etc.] do not even register on their radar (after 20 years of outreach / educational efforts).
            And remember, I’m talking about the ‘mainstream hunter community’, not the ones at the ‘fringes’.

          • Yvette says:

            + 1 Mareks. Great quotes.

            It is mostly humans that make me want to bang my head into a brick wall. Humans are the most difficult species to contend with, IMO.

    • Nancy says:


      An older article about stopping the moose hunt in Minnesota:

      Went thru a few of the comments and no one mentioned wolves as being a contributing factor to the decline in moose numbers. The word “wolf” doesn’t come up in the article either as a reason for declining moose numbers.

      Is it possible that all the ills now being associated with climate change, ticks, disease, mystery disease, etc. is the reason for moose numbers declining and wolves are naturally taking advantage of the sick and dying from those other causes?

      • Nancy says:

        “I want to continue to see moose and see other people enjoy seeing moose on the Gunflint Trail. Can you please sign my petition so people have a better chance of seeing a live moose in Minnesota instead of a dead one in the back of a pick-up truck?”

        Oh and that comment kind of rang true simply because a pickup truck passed by my place this morning with what could of only have been a pair of moose legs sticking off the tail end of the pickup truck….
        Someone’s “wet dream” come true since most hunters wait years to get a moose tag in this area.

        • Nancy says:

          More moose info:

          “Lacking funds for moose research and thorough population monitoring, biologists know far less about moose than they do elk and deer. For instance, it is still unclear why moose calf survival dipped in the 1990s. Scientists do know that moose naturally exist at much lower densities than other Montana big game. Moose have adapted to the cold North Woods and evolved to reproduce slowly to prevent overwhelming the limits of their habitat”

          • rork says:

            “evolved to reproduce slowly to prevent overwhelming the limits of their habitat”
            Some interest in that article but this quoted part seems anti-Darwinian. Imagine a gene arising that makes the animal reproduce more slowly, and then try to imagine how it would get selected for in the population in anything like the manner described.
            I’ll add that I thought Thompson mentions moose a few times, perhaps just not in Montana – maybe the environments holding more moose in mountains are not where you take your canoes. I’m very open to other reasons.

            • Louise Kane says:

              imagine though organisms reproducing earlier and more frequently in response to extreme human over harvesting pressure. It happens cod and coyotes are two that come to mind. Why not the opposite?

              • Mark L says:

                Louise Kane,
                Are you implying in an epigenetic sense, or through generations of isolation with a limited food supply?

              • rork says:

                Having a gene that makes you have more offspring could easily be selected for, in fact if there’s no down-side it would be selected for. Having less kids does not give an advantage though, though it could if it was good for some other reason (more of them survive cause of better care – which is actually ending up with more kids actually), but that’s not “to prevent overwhelming” anything. They are thinking about some “good of the species” thing, which is rubbish (there are special situations where group selection may obtain in theory, but it’s a messy discussion, and perhaps hardly ever observed, and not what they seem to be thinking about).

      • Immer Treue says:

        Just got back from a jaunt in the woods, and spent quite a bit of thought on the issue. In the conversation with Dr. Mech’s cohort, I cites Heiko Wittmers 2007 study on predator impact on woodland caribou due to seral forests, and the influx of deer and moose which has in a sense buffered predator populations, and even though caribou are few in numbers, and have become secondary prey, the increase in predator numbers is squeezing woodland caribou into possible extinction within study areas.

        My question was, are deer serving the same menu in NE MN moose country. I was informed probably not for a couple reasons…I’ll share those once I get a reply from Mech’s associate, but there are a number of things that have happened in NE MN over the past 15 years that would have contributed to influx of deer into prime moose habitat. At this time I think it unwise to discount deer migration into moose habitat with a corresponding increase of wolves, which would put more pressure on moose. Oh, and E granulosis has a long history up here.

        Exasperating, but I had the Wittmer study bookmarked and it will currently not allow me to pull it up.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      That poor little moose calf in the photo looks weighed down by that collar. We also can’t forget the fact that mothers abandoned their calves that had that ‘thing’ on them.

      I keep hoping that Dr. Mech’s studies and comments are taken out of context, but it sure does give the anti’s a lot of ammo.

      • Amre says:

        The good news for wildlife in my area is that the oak trees are producing lots of acorns in my area, which are an important food source for many species. Today, I counted over 100 acorns on 1 fallen limb!

      • Ed Loosli says:

        Remember the old phrase, “It’s not nice to mess with Mother Nature”??
        Well this ill-conceived collaring and messing with two day old baby moose calves is clear evidence of the truth of that old phrase.

  43. Ida Lupines says:

    This must be it? I haven’t read it thoroughly, but I love it already.

    <a href=""Changes in Lanscape Composition Influence the Decline of a Threatened Woodland Caribou Population – Heiko U. Wittmer, Bruce N. McLellan, Robert Serrouya, and Clayton D. Apps

  44. Ed Loosli says:

    BLM and Forest Service Workers Under Attack in the West

    article: “Today’s divisive political rhetoric over public lands “does lead to animosity and increased tension,” BLM Director Bob Abbey said, “and there is a belief because of that rhetoric that it’s OK to do certain things outside the law and some people believe that they’re going to get away with it.”

    Unfortunately, Mr. Abbey, people like Cliven Bundy are getting away with it. So far, Bundy has not been arrested or made to pay any of this back or current grazing fees, and this inaction on the part of the federal government seems to give license to the law-breakers.

  45. Ida Lupines says:

    What I don’t like about hunting advocacy is it does not acknowledge the cruelty and irrational hatred directed at wolves as a variable. It seems to be an ivory-tower, cause-and-effect approach – and sure, if it were a simple matter of ‘removing’ a wolf for depredation, or if hunting were ‘simply’ about reducing a population. Is this Dr. Mech’s intent? I can’t believe it is.

    It ignores the human emotional component and takes the stance that humans always are reasonable and always approach challenges with reason (except of course for wolf and wildlife advocates ‘sanctifying’ wolves – the santifying isn’t anywhere near as prevalent as the demonizing). What some call sanctifying other would call trying to repair the damage from centuries of villifying. You still see the ‘wolves lurking at school bus stops mindset’, which is obviously an attempt at fearmongering.

    So JB post, IMO, was spot on – just because we can, is no reason that we should.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      There’s so much more to wolf hunting than simply protecting livestock or managing population. There’s politics, there’s ideology, there’s winning, there’s religion, along with superstition and myth. That’s too much for one animal to bear. After all, we all agree, and Dr. Mech has said, that the wolf is just an animal, no more, no less. I prefer that to the religious connotations of demonizing and sancitifying.

      The pictures we have to endure on social media and news say at all – these are not happy people. They are not the smiles of happy people who have enjoyed being ‘outside and communing with nature and family’. These are the gritted teeth smiles of boldy defiant people with something to prove in an agressive, in-your-face manner – and the wolf is the unfortunate victim.

      Do we really want to encourage such violence? Our so-called plans for ‘management’ refuse to acknowledge the capacity for human violence. Whoever said that a little bloodletting would be a pressure valve couldn’t be more wrong – it just leads to more of it. In our society and with our unfortunate wildlife.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I hope I’m expressing properly what it is I’m trying to say. For example – you don’t just get a photo with one animal; many times, you get someone and sometimes with their children standing over a pile of dead coyotes or wolves, or other animals, with a forced grin. So obviously there’s a whole lot more going on than just hunting. Oh, and I should add it’s about gun rights too. And unfortunately, the wolf has been the unfortunate scapegoat and victim.

        When these people carry on about what wolves do to elk calves, etc. and post pictures, it’s disingenous, and cannot be taken seriously.

        Mankind has since outpaced wolves in every way, and they are no longer any kind of serious threat to us, if they ever were. No wolf can claim to have started world wars, exterminated/enslaved their own kind based on race/ethnicity/religion/lust for land, etc.

        • Elk375 says:


          Do not take things to serious, there are things that one can change and there are things one can not change. There are people who truly enjoy hunting and have every right to have a picture taken of them smiling after successfully hunting an animal.

          Wolves in the Rocky Mountains are here to stay and wolf hunting is here to stay. I do not see anyone expressing the same emotion either way with wolves as with mountain lions.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Yes, I agree with you that there are people who do enjoy hunting and I’m not talking about them. The pictures they post are much different. I think they are more respectful.

            I can tell you why I think it’s not the same for mountain lions – you don’t have the human viciousness with mountain lions and bears as you do with wolves and coyotes; and there are more bears and lions than wolves? I do think we are generally much too free about killing wildlife though.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              My grandparents and great uncles and aunts are from the generation that did hunt for/raise and grow their own food – but my favorite photo is one where one of my great uncles is lovingly holding a spotted fawn and smiling for the camera. You don’t see that on Facebook, at least not anymore.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                ^^a living fawn. 🙂

              • Larry says:

                I always have a picture in my mind when people try to justify hunting and/or poaching because they needed the food. They usually drive a pretty stout 4X4, have a few vises that are quite costly and like a lot of us are quite wasteful. I have a story told by my grandparents who lived on a small farm in Adams Co., Idaho during the Great Depression. He tells that they saved money to buy a single shot .22 and then he would lie in the barn for quail to come to his corn bait just outside. Ammunition was so expensive to them that he always waited till the quail lined up so he could get more than one per shot. I have a photo of their farm, a weathered unpainted clapboard house and small barn, not a blade of grass on barren dirt. I don’t know how their one cow survived. I always measure someone’s whining that they shot it because they needed the food against my grandfather’s picture in my mind.

              • Ed Loosli says:

                Thanks Larry for getting us back to the present day. There are over 50,000,000 human families in the USA and if every one of those families killed (for food) just one deer or one elk or one moose in a year – guess what?? In one year there would not be one deer, there would not be one elk, and there would be not one moose left in the entire country. Thank goodness only 5% of Americans are hunters or we would have no wildlife left.

          • Ed Loosli says:

            Elk: With enough persistence and education, hopefully one day wolf hunting and mountain lion hunting will be banned in the Rocky Mountain states, just as they are in California. It took years to finally ban mountain lion hunting in California and once wolves return to California, they too are protected from hunters by law. I might also point out that wolf hunting is also banned in the states of Washington and Oregon.

            • WM says:


              ++…wolf hunting is also banned in the states of Washington and Oregon…++

              Well, only because they havent achieved their population objectives. You do realize that wolf hunting after achieving State wolf management plan goals in both OR and WA will be considered a very likely management tool. You also might wish to know the Colville Indian tribe (NW of Spokane, WA) has already had a legal wolf hunting season for the last two years. And, if wolves become established on the much larger Yakama Indian Reservation and start munching down on tribal members’cattle, sheep or their prized elk herd, they will likely be hunted (or removed by Wildlife Services) there, too. This could be even before the state of WA removes them from the state endangered species list. All of this is probably 5-7 years from happening, but it will happen when population objectives are achieved for 3 consecutive years.

              • bret says:


                The Spokane Tribe will have a wolf hunting season as well, a reservation limit of 6 I believe.

              • Ed Loosli says:

                WM: You almost sound sad that wolves cannot be hunted in Oregon and Washington (and I assume California). And, regarding your thoughts that wolf hunting in Oregon and Washington is sure to be approved; “All of this is probably 5-7 years from happening, but it will happen when population objectives are achieved for 3 consecutive years.” … Don’t be so sure!! In 5 to 7 years, hunters will make up an even smaller percentage of the population than they do now, and the wolf’s constituency will be even larger than it is now.

              • Louise Kane says:

                What Washingtonians have to do is to start thinking proactively and use arguments that show that trophy hunting wolves is not a valid management tool to prevent predation. Its just a trophy hunt and is probably more disruptive ecologically than not, may cause more potential for predation than not and is likely to decrease tolerance for wolves. You may be right that there will be wolf blood shed but hopefully Washington will be progressive enough to stop a public trophy hunt. There is just no need for a public hunt for wolves other than to allow some creeps that get a thrill out of killing them to do so. And just to be clear I think killing any animal for fun puts one in the category of creep.

              • WM says:

                Thanks, bret, your factual input is always appreciated. I haven’t been following this stuff carefully in WA recently. AND, I was in error about the Colville Tribe; this is year 3 of their wolf season.

              • Amre says:


                I heard that at first there was some controversy over the Colville tribe wolf hunt, but since then its appeared to have subsided. Last season, only 1 wolf was taken.

              • WM says:


                ++… You almost sound sad that wolves cannot be hunted in Oregon and Washington…++

                No, the wolf hunting thing is the tar baby that everyone believes it is. But I am pragmatic when it comes to long-term wolf management in the West; it will of necessity be part of the formula to control numbers and range. WA has a very ambitious self-sustaining, and bordering on unrealistic, population goal, which even contemplates moving some around in what is already dis-contiguous habitat in a state with a sizable and growing human population (on the west side of the state), and its largest population of affected elk on the east side of the state. What, we are something like a 15-20% of the population goal and there are livestock conflicts on private and public land already, which have cost a lot to attempt to resolve, with considerable tension and angst among stakeholders in the affected area(s) of the state, and a concomitant affirmative obligation on livestock owners to protect stock, mostly with capital, operations/maintenance costs at their own expense?

                California, Ed, will be an entirely different kettle of fish.

            • Elk375 says:


              Wolf and mountain lion hunting are not going to be banned in the Northern Rocky Mountain states by state governments in yours or my life time. I doubt if the federal government will be able to ban wolf or mountain lion hunting.

              • Ed Loosli says:

                From the conservation-biologists and researchers I respect, we differ on the major point you keep trying to make, and that is that wolves (and coyotes) need to be hunted for the long term health of our public lands and wildlife. This is not the case. If there is a conflict between wildlife, like wolves, grizzlies, bison and coyotes on OUR public lands – and privately owned livestock, it is the livestock that should be removed from our public lands, not the wildlife.

                The facts are that, neither wolves nor coyotes need to be hunted to have them successfully be integrated into a functioning healthy ecosystem. Hunting should not be used in wolf or coyote “management” because it is not called for by the best science available. Non-lethal methods should be used and only after non-lethal methods have been used multiple times, should a specific depredation permit be issued to a specific “problem” wolf or coyote. Many ranchers are already successfully applying non-lethal methods and its high time other ranchers get educated as to these modern/scientific ways to live with wildlife, rather than just hunting (killing) it.

              • bret says:


                The level of support for wolves has fallen in the last six years of wolf recovery.

                2008 survey –
                The large majority of Washington residents
                (75%) support allowing wolves to recover in
                Washington; meanwhile, 17% oppose.

                2014 survey –
                The most basic question about the recovery of wolves asked if residents supported or opposed it. There is much more support for (64%) than opposition to (27%) the recovery of wolves in Washington.



              • WM says:


                I have never said they “need to be hunted.” I said that they will be controlled for numbers and range. That is the crux and area of conflict in EVERY state where wolves are repopulating and/or were reintroduced.

                Your lack of understanding of the concept of tolerance level is nothing short of astounding.

                And, to be clear it is not inconsistent to support “recovery” for ESA or state endangered species act objectives and still support control of numbers and range. If you drill down on those surveys this stuff begins to come out Those are the very concepts upon which each and every state wolf management plan is built. I doubt very much you will ever find Management Plans without these features. Of course, we can all disagree about what those numbers and ranges are, and whether hunting is/should be a part, but so far my count is 6 Yes, and two almost Yes when the time comes (WA, OR). Of course, UT has already said it just doesn’t want wolves, and CO, if and when it gets them will surely say hunting is a part. .

                And, lest you get too attached to the concept of non-lethal, it has its limitations, not the least of which are cost, who bears it and whether these measures work over the long term.

          • Yvette says:

            I feel just as strongly about cougars, bobcats, beavers and other animals as I do the wolves.

            I’ll defend someone’s right to hunt for food. All people have a right to food, potable water, and a clean environment. I’m sure some of the sport hunters use the meat. Humans have hunted ever since we’ve stopped knuckle dragging, but unfortunately, today far too many hunters are in it for the game/prize. Predator hunters are a different, and particularly vile, breed of hunter. That is where the ‘right’ ends. None of us have the right to kill anything that moves just because they happen to enjoy the stalking and taking of a life. If any of the ungulate hunters or predator hunters want to pose for a picture with an idiotic grin, then go for it. They look stupid. Pay attention to the demographics of most of the ones that pose for pictures with their bloody dead kills. You will see the pattern.

            And you are correct, “there are things we can change and things we cannot change’. However, most things change over time, and the movement opposing predator hunting is growing. Wolf hunting has already fallen out of favor with most of the population, and wolf hunters will eventually become extinct.

            • Amre says:

              WM, here are the statistics for confirmed livestock losses to wolves since 2007.

              2014(so far):2

              2014(so far):33
              In response, 8 wolves have been killed. Most of the sheep deaths caused by the wolves can be attributed to the huckleberry pack, and many of the cattle losses were caused by the wedge pack. This year, only the profanity peak pack has killed cattle. To me, it appears that most wolf-casued livestock losses in WA are by just 1 or 2 packs every year. If i got something incorrect in this comment, feel free to correct me.

              • WM says:


                I think you nailed it. But, since there are only 13 confirmed packs (with an official population of 52 as of Dec. 2013), that would mean that 1/13 to 2/13 or about 7-15 percent of WA wolf packs get in trouble in this short history of wolf repopulation in the Eastern 1/3 of the state.

                They haven’t really moved into the best elk country, or where people have hobby ranches, or cattle grazing on public lands yet. When dispersers or a couple packs show up south of Ellensburg, in the Wenas, and up the Ahtanum, or the east flank of Mt. Adams on the Yakama reservation, and things might just get a little more interesting. Could even be some Oregon wolves coming up the Blue Mountains around Asotin, WA. Let’s be clear, this is a young repopulation effort so far. There might even be a bit of a delay on the period of recovery because so many were killed last year.

                What do you suppose it means when these packs expand further to the west and south as I mention in the previous paragraph? Do you think they will be conflict free, and/or the folks at risk voluntarily fork over the cash for non-lethal preventive measures in the form of additional labor or capital expenditures when the wolves show up?

              • Larry says:

                Quite often here I read how a snip of information does not make an accurate conclusion. I wish just once I could read a wolf killed livestock chart that also had columns for livestock dying from larkspur, barbed wire in the hay, falling off the loading truck, splattered on the highway by 18 wheelers or any other ways cows die during the time before they are shot at the slaughter house. One could actually form a conclusion if all the info were listed.

        • Larry says:

          Oh there you go again talking truth and logic. +2

          • Amre says:


            According to FWS, 20% of wolf packs in the west depredate on livestock. Lets assume this becomes true for washington in the future. WA’s delisting goal calls for at least 15 breeding pairs in the state, with 12 distributed across 3 regions and 3 anywhere else for 3 consecutive years, or alternatively 18 breeding pairs, with 12 distributed across 3 regions and 6 anywhere else. A bare minimum of 15 breeding packs are needed for delisting, (right now, there are 15 packs in WA, but not all of them are breeding). 3 of those packs would depredate on livestock. Not very different than the current number of packs depredating. But realistically, not all packs will be breeding pairs for various reasons, including removal of breeding animals through illegal shooting, vehicle strikes, lethal removals in response to livestock depredations, etc, and pup survival is also a factor. So WA will almost certainly need more than 15 packs to meet the BP goal, and probably more than 18.

            By the end of the 3 consecutive years needed for the BP goal to be maintained , there will probably well over 20 packs. I won’t go further with speculating on how many packs there will be. When it comes to expansion into potential “problem areas”, there will likely be some conflict. But in the end, I don’t think wolves will have a major impact on any industry’s in WA, based off of evidence from other states.

            • bret says:

              Using MT and ID, 2012 numbers, when WA has 18 successful breeding pairs for three years we may have as many as 65-67 packs of wolves and a population in the 350 range.

              WA has 4-6 times more people and half of the prey base than either ID or Mt. I believe we will have many of the same conflicts as other western states, if not more?

              • Amre says:

                Bret, lets assume we have 65 packs by the end of the 3 consecutive years. If 20% depredate on livestock, that would mean 13 packs. But, taking into account the information such as WA’s human population being the second largest in the west and half the prey base existing, lets assume 40% of packs depredate. That would be 26 packs. Based off of information from the other states, livestock losses to wolves would still be small compared to other causes.

                The average wolf will eat about 18-20 ungulates a year. With a population of 350 wolves, thats about 6300-7000 deer and elk a year. Thats less than the current number killed by hunters in WA.

              • WM says:

                **… thats about 6300-7000 deer and elk a year. Thats less than the current number killed by hunters in WA.++

                And this is a “good” statistic in what way? Some of those elk will be on Native American reservations, and their re-allocation to wolves will result in loss of hunter opportunity in a major way, wherever the wolves might be. Imagine how WDFW will have to be prophetic in how it assigns wildlife unit management prescriptions with this coursing predator eating away at the prey base in dis-contiguous habitat. And then there are the potential conflicts on hobby ranches and with pets, whether dogs/horses/lamas or some kid’s 4H project lamb or pig.

                Then what happens when the magic number of 350 is met. You think they are just going to stop breeding?

          • Amre says:

            Larry, I thunk what you said nailed it. I’ve always wondered why people pay so much attention to livestock losses caused by wolves when thousands die from birthing problems, poisonous plants, disease, weather, etc. One of the reasons I posted the information about wolf-caused livestock losses in WA since 2007 is that i’m trying to show that the number of livestock killed by wolves in WA since 2007 (a total of 45 sheep and cattle) is miniscule compared to the number that de of other causes.

            • Amre says:

              Think, not thunk*

            • Mareks Vilkins says:

              I’ve always wondered why people pay so much attention to livestock losses caused by wolves when thousands die from birthing problems, poisonous plants, disease, weather, etc.

              as usual Latvia is a role-model:

              in 2012 from 170 killed livestock (almost all of them were sheep) at least 143 were killed not by wolves but by stray dogs or the ones let loose during the night

              in 2013 from 174 at least 129 were killed by dogs.

              But one can find out such details only if going through regional / local press and doing one’s own ‘research’/ homework because Hunting department is lumping all depredations together and blaming wolves. Why? Because that would be a legitimate ‘reason’ to kill 43% wolf population.

              Livestock depredation (usually happens to the same owners due to negligence):

              2005 – 9 sheeps, 5 goats, 6 cattle
              2008 – 39 sheeps, 6 goats
              2010 – 5 cattle, 41 sheeps, 2 goats + injured 6 cattle/calves , 29 sheep

              2011 – 242 (of them 176 sheep + 25 dogs)

              2012 – 170 (of them 163 sheep)
              2013 (till 1 Oct) – 174 (of them 152 sheep)

              Average price of one sheep is ~140 euro

              But one can compare that with:

              a) in 2013 there were 660 car collusions with ungulates ( 2 dead, 40 injured)

              b) replanting costs for State Forests ~ 6 million euro (because ungulates are grazing seedlings/saplings)

              c) damages/costs of wild ungulates to farmers run into millions euro annually


              Hunters boosted the wild boar population from 12K in the 90-ties to 74K and it just happens that right now we are fighting African swine fever.

              Russia is implementing pork/meat import ban from the whole EU and LV, LT pork farms are burning their stocks + the veterinary costs + laboratory costs + prevention/ administrative costs etc etc

              When from 2004 (the date when the Baltic states accessed the EU) it would be ok if wildlife managers allowed wolves to control ungulate (wild boar included) numbers + would ban ungulate feeding –> wild boars would not spread African swine fever all around with prospects for the whole pig industry to go under water – however, it seems small potatoes for those who want to turn forest/ wildlife into a farm.

              • Yvette says:

                I like Larry’s suggestion of a chart showing the comparison of loss to wolves vs. other types of losses.

                It seems like someone would have already done the statistics and charts. If not, perhaps it should be done.

              • Larry says:

                Obviously the blame on wolves for livestock deaths comes from the ones that make the reports. They have no intent to put things in perspective. If government agencies would just stop reporting like ranchers want the reports to read showing it’s all about wolves we could get somewhere. What if government reports read more like, “Wolf livestock kill reports for the year are in and statistics show wolves were responsible for .02% of livestock losses, reports from ranchers show. Also statistics show cattle birth rate losses are still at –%, same as last year’s report.”

            • Amre says:

              WM, I never suggested that wolves would suddenly stop breeding in WA once there are 350 wolves.

              • WM says:


                It was meant as a rhetorical question. You put the numbers out there, and you just can’t do the simple math of your post and just stop there without finishing the story.

                The question begs for an answer, especially for those who think hunting or other lethal control are/were never a part of long-term wolf management wherever they are or will be in the future.

                Then there is the part where those who wanted lots of wolves -more than were agreed to between the states and FWS- who become arrogantly argumentative when that part of AGREED plans are implemented, or when some wolves get into trouble along the way to these ambitious delisting goals (for example WA) and are lethally removed.

  46. Louise Kane says:

    This is a website containing an image of a fox being killed at a fur farm. we just recently had a discussion here about permits and a fur farm proposal in Montana. Take a look at this and know why good people would never accept this kind of cruelty as permissible.

    • Elk375 says:

      I do not think that this is copyrighted as it is public notice and I do not know how to find a link to this notice. Once you read this EA there was nothing that the State of Montana could do about a fur farm.

      Proposed Action
      Fur Farms–whether for the purpose of pelting adult furbearers or selling of live furbearers–are allowed
      by Montana statute $ S7-4-1002, Montana Code Annotated (MCA), and are regulated by the laws under
      that section as well as by the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) 12.6.1702.
      Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) received an application dated June 18,2014 from Larry Schultz
      for a commercial Fur Farm License to raise and sell domestic Bobcats in the commercial fur industry. The
      proposed Fur Farm facility would be located at 5700 Romunstad Road, Roy, MT 59471.
      FWP proposes to issue a Fur Farm License toLarry Schultz and Carol Bomstad with the address of 5700
      Romunstad Road, Roy, MT 59471. The license will allow the possession of captive-reared bobcats,
      lawfully obtained from a licensed dealer, for propagation and for sale of the pelts in the commercial fur
      Prior to FWP issuing this license,Larry Schultz must be in compliance with all applicable FWP Fur Farm
      rules and regulations, as well as any applicable Fergus County regulations and licenses. It is Larry
      Schultz’s responsibility to keep current with any changes in the laws or regulations.
      Montana Environmental Policv Act
      FWP assessed the impacts of this proposalto both the human and physical environments, These effects
      were disclosed in the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) to comply with the requirements of the
      Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). The Larry Schultz Fur Farm EA was first available for
      public comment from July 24,2014 through August 29,2014. Legal notice was published once and was
      picked up by the Associated Press and published nationwide in most major media markets. FWP also
      hand delivered the EA to adjacent landowners and mailed copies to interested individuals, groups and
      agencies (County Commissioner, Fergus County Sheniff, local MT HHS, BLM, and the USFWS. The
      EA was available for public review and comment on FWP’s web site (, “Recent Public
      Notices”) from July 24,2014 through August 29,2014.
      Summarv of Public Comment
      FWP received approximately 21,185 total comments (multiple comments from the same individuals –
      either comments by petitioners and in a petition and comments from members and identified in group
      comments) representing 21,182 individual people and two groups and one petition (PETA, The Humane
      Society of the US, and a petition (900 signatures) submitted through a web link and address “Cats are
      not Crops” – Don’t Allow Bobcat Fur Farming in Montana!) . Comments were from persons
      indicating home residence from all over the world and every state in the US. There were 20 letters sent
      via postal service all opposed to the permitting of the Fur Farm and represented individuals from
      Montana, California, V/ashington, Oregon, New York, Alberta BC, Minnesota, Florida and Ohio.
      Of the total comments received, 20 comments supported this specific proposal, and the remaining
      opposed the proposal based on principle and objection to the Fur Farms and fur industry. However, there
      was no substantive opposition to the laws or regulations in Montana that reflect opposition to the permit.
      All comments may be viewed by contacting Michael Lee, Commercial Wildlife Permit Manager at
      FWP’s Enforcement office in Helena (1420F,. Sixth Ave., PO Box 200701, Helena, MT 59620-0701).
      Public Comment and FWP Responses
      Below is a summary of public comments and FWP responses. For ease of response, similar comments
      from different parties are grouped together if they expressed a similar view or posed a similar question.
      Comments: Favor the proposal related to economic development in the area.
      FIIP response; This is a business ønd the potentialfor local tax revenue and direcl revenue to other
      businesses are possible but are not under the FþTP control.
      Comment: Fur Farms are inhumane and cause harm to native animals that should be free (high% of
      comments received had some form of reference to this):
      Fl(P Response: Fur Fqrms are a legal business and are controlled and monitored under Montana code
      87-4-1007 (Inspection) to assure licensed operators comply with the law.
      Comment: The space identified in the EA that each animal will have is less that the 42 square feet the
      FWP Response: Fur Farms are not required to meet AZA criteria.
      Comment: Bobcats are wild animals and should be respected as wild animals’
      FWP Response: These bobcats are caplive bred and raised and are not under Montana lqw wild or
      wildtife but domestically raised, considered private property and can be usedfor the purpose identified as
      furbearer and induslry standards and rules.
      Comment: These animals will be inhumanly killed in methods contrary to the AVMA standards.
      FLVP Response: The methods used to dispatch these animals are up to the producer but there are industry
      standards thqt are recognized and used.
      Comment: The environmental impacts due to waste and chemical releases from fur farms is well
      documented and there will be impacts to the surrounding land, vegetation, wildlife and environment
      therefore this should not be permitted.
      FWP Response: Thefurfarm owners and operator must comply with staÍe standards set out by DEQ and
      EPA for discharge of any materials that maybe hazardous to the environment.
      Comment: Very specific theme and expressed philosophy that fur farms are not acceptable and killing
      animals for fur is barbaric and no longer acceptable in today’s world.
      FWP Response: Fur Farms are a recognized legitimate and licensed business and Montana.
      Comment: Bobcats from this can be sold in the pet trade and kittens will grow up and be dangerous to
      people because they are still wild animals.
      FWP Response: Many municipalities, counÍies and towns prohibit owning them as set by local
      ordinances. There is no state law that prohibits thefurfarmfrom selling to individuals,
      X’inal Environmental Assessment for Fur Farm
      Although minor impacts were identified, no potentially significant impacts to the human or physical
      environment were identified in the EA or through public comment. The EA and this decision notice with
      all applicable mitigation measures for licensing will serve as the final EA document.
      After thorough review of the application, it is determined that there are no significant findings of potential
      environmental impacts or credible legal challenge to the laws and regulations regulating fur farms.
      Mitisation measures included for this Fur F’arm License
      l. FWP has the right and responsibility under $ 87-4-1007, MCA, to conduct periodic inspections of Fur
      Farms. Inspections by the USDA will assure the welfare of the animals housed on site in compliance with
      the Animal Welfare Act.
      2.Fur farm operators must comply with all state statutes and administrative rules concerning fur farm
      operations. This fur farm license is subject to revocation for non-compliance of any of the aforementioned
      under 87-4-1013, MCA.
      3 . This licensee must comply with all laws and regulations in 87 -4- Part I 0 MCA “Fur Farms”.
      4. Fur Farm operators must also comply with all regulation that DEQ and EPA may have regarding use of
      chemicals and discharge of waste which are not monitored or controlled under the authority of FWP.
      Based on the information in the EA, it is FWP’s decision to proceed with the proposed action to approve
      and issue a Fur Farm License to Larry Schultz of 5700 Romunstad Road, Roy, MT 59471.
      Based on the analysis in the EA and applicable laws, regulations and policies, FWP has determined that
      this action will not have a significant effect on the human or physical environment. Therefore, FWP
      concludes that the EA is the appropriate level of analysis, and an Environmental Impact Statement is not
      necessary. If you have questions regarding this decision notice, please contact the FWP office at the
      or contact numbers in the document letterhead.
      4 Supervisor

      • Louise Kane says:

        I’ll read this later Elk and thank you for posting. Not sure whether the state could do anything but the people can make them feel damn unwelcome. Vaginally electrocuting animals for their fur. Fox are such curious, intelligent, beautiful animals. YOu have to have a deep dark twisted soul to choose to make money like that. If people that make wildlife commodities won’t self regulate then laws must. Its 2014 we know better

      • Louise Kane says:

        at a quick glance one thing sticks out the state goes along with the notion that the bobcats are domestic animals and not taken from the wild. The first one used for breeding stock was sure as hell wild. seems like the usual green light but promise to look more carefully

        • Ida Lupines says:

          The first one used for breeding stock was sure as hell wild.

          Yeah, just how did they get around that little fact? They just seem to make ‘laws’ that are convenient for themselves. These seem especially perverse. I can’t look! Even worse if a person who would covet fur so much that they wouldn’t care what a poor, living animals must suffer in order for them to have it. It’s disgusting.

      • Kathleen says:

        The link to the EA and discussion of same was posted here

        along with a link to anal electrocution video, although the fur farmer in question says he uses lethal injection. Of course, none of this is regulated in any manner by state or federal laws, so who knows what he’s injecting.

    • Amre says:

      WM, at this point the best example we have is the inter-mountain west, though it is obviously not a perfect one. Personally, as I have said previously, I prefer non-lethal methods when livestock-wolf conflicts arise, but I admit that these are not always silver bullets and that “lethal control” can sometimes be justified.

  47. Elk375 says:

    In today’s New York Times there is a Retro Video 11 minutes on wolves. Being a video I do not know how to get a link to it.

  48. Kathleen says:


    JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) — Wildlife managers in Wyoming have euthanized a young male grizzly bear that became habituated to humans.

    The bear had been a favorite of Jackson Hole wildlife photographers for the past two years.

    • WM says:


      Let’s say you are the WY Fish and Game large carnivore manager responsible for the safety issues involved here, and ultimately the fate of this young habituated male grizzly. What would you do, and please be specific?

      • Yvette says:

        Move him?

        • WM says:

          The article suggests they didn’t think that would work. History shows many relocations do not (and of course the bear is still habituated-unafraid of humans). Next solution?

          • Yvette says:

            I see they tried twice to relocate. They didn’t explain why it didn’t work.

            Next solution to to blow him to the smithereens and pose for a picture.

          • Amre says:

            Well, with grizzlies, relocation is a mixed bag. I guess it depends on the specific situation. If you have a bear thats habituated to humans, moving to another area won’t magically make it afraid of people.

            In september, a 28 year old grizzly bear was euthanized in Montana just north of yellowstone national park after attempting to break into a building. It got into trouble with livestock back in the 1980s, and was relocated to yellowstone national park where it had lived until recently.

          • Nancy says:

            “Thompson says the grizzly had not gotten into trouble in Clark, but was all too comfortable around people and seemed to seek out houses and other structures”

            Sad the double standard when it comes to wildlife. Elk and deer are tolerated and depending, appreciated (even though they can be very dangerous) yet a bear, who’s caused no harm, gets a death sentence.

            Not enough information in this article. How old was the bear? Were locals afraid to walk the streets at night? Was the bear actually “seeking out houses & other structures” or just checking out what he thought was his territory?

            Maybe the question should be, after attempts at relocation, why this young bear continued to came back?

            If someone ripped me from my home, dropped me in another location, I’d damn sure be doing my best to get back to my home 🙂

        • W. Hong says:

          I thought I read a story that this Grizzly bear had already been moved?

      • Kathleen says:

        In the first place, I’m objecting to the euphemistic use of “euthanize,” a subtle psychological ploy to make the death seem necessary, kind, and for the animal’s own good. That’s BS. A young healthy bear just entering his prime isn’t “euthanized,” he’s killed.

        Secondly, we aren’t given his age but he’s called a “young bear.” Despite his youth, he’s been “a favorite” of photographers for at least two years, so authorities knew about this bear and his interaction with humans. Why didn’t they read the handwriting on the wall two years ago? Am I the only one who can’t help but wonder if possibly “treats” were made available to help facilitate these photo ops? Of course, we don’t know that (but it isn’t outside the realm of possibilities). At any rate, now he’s too comfortable around people, but there’s no mention of hazing him away from photographers for two years. I’m skeptical that adequate preventive measures were taken until it was deemed too late.

        • Yvette says:

          This happened last year on the Colville reservation. My sister was living there at the time, and a bear (not grizzly) was in town and going through people’s trash. She saw this bear going up a hill right on my sister’s street. She and I discussed it and we were hopeful that the bear would be relocated. I told her they would kill him. I think the tribe even said they were going to relocate, but the bear got by the casino (oh no!) so they killed him. They didn’t even try to give him a chance.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Also, the word ‘euthanize’ implies a lethal injection of some sort, not being shot. It really is a dishonest, semantic way to make killing acceptable – much like population ‘management’ and ‘consumptive’ or ‘non-consumptive’ user, it’s a trend in our modern society to make the unacceptable more acceptable.

        • WM says:

          I don’t like these situations any more than most do here.

          Ok, so let’s get beyond the softened language, and the semantics. This young and apparently healthy and handsome/photogenic grizzly bear was unfortunately killed (does not say he was shot so it could have been a lethal injection) by state officials because he posed a safety risk to humans! Now that’s out of the way.

          Ah, so now it is a blame game, where wildlife managers should have done much more, maybe differently, and, of course sooner? You want them out there 24-7 keeping track of what photographers and others are doing to attract this guy for photo ops? Somebody maybe leaving a couple chicken carcasses or a nice bunch of deer/elk entrails on a log. Yeah, like that will work.

          Well, maybe they could have just run out there, got close enough and thumped him a few times with some rubber bullets from a shot gun (a technique often used on bears when released at a location site, but ya gotta be close to do it, say 30 yards). But then somebody will call that inhumane hazing and harassment (which it is sort of, but in the best interests of the bear).

          I’m going to go out on a limb here and without any scientific analysis whatsoever, say a 25-40% increase in the grizzly bear population in the GYE will likely result in a 200+ percent increase in the number of encounters that will be bad for grizzlies and/or people. This is just one example of what is coming our way, well, actually the bears’ way with more grizzlies at higher concentrations and in more places.

  49. Ida Lupines says:

    New Frog Species Discovered in the Middle of New York City

    “Though similar to the leopard frog in appearance, the new species has a discrete croak and a distinct genetic makeup, reports Discovery.”

    “The frog favors “open-canopied wetlands interspersed with upland patches,” but is apparently also fond of muddy city puddles. It also appears to be a Yankees fan. Several were located hanging out around Yankee Stadium.”

    Sorry if this has been posted before, but with all of the environmental bad news lately, this made me smile. Especially since it is said to have its own distinctive Northeastern ‘croak’. 🙂

  50. Nancy says:

    A good read for those showing up on this site 🙂

  51. Louise Kane says:
    a rally for wolves in MN

    Howling for Wolves

  52. Ed Loosli says:

    The Nez Perce people are an island of sanity surrounded by a sea of wolf haters. Here is the conclusion point of view from a Native American in the know – Curt Mack, Nez Perce Wolf Recovery Team:

  53. Peter Kiermeir says:

    New Report IDs 350,000 Square Miles of Additional Habitat for Wolves in Lower 48,
    Including Grand Canyon Area Where Wolf Recently Spotted

  54. Nancy says:

    Wasn’t aware that BLM was doing this:

    • Yvette says:

      I’m glad you posted this one, Nancy. I knew that Osage County had a large herd of wild horses. I’ve seen them when on a bike run with my brother. Osage Country abuts my county on the north. I didn’t know it was the Drummonds that were managing the herd, but should have guessed. I had kind of wondered who would take on the expense of a wildhorse herd but never gave it much thought. LOL, now I know why! The Drummonds have a huge ranch and it’s a way to diversify money. It sounds like a win-win. A side note, Osage County is also know for its large amount of oil and gas operations, but all mineral rights in that county belong to the Osage Nation.

      Another disadvantage is that they can be harder on the land than cattle.

      What? I’ve always heard just the opposite; that cows were harder on the land. Maybe Elk375 will weigh in on this one.

      • Nancy says:

        A few words from Robert Redford, just yesterday, on the subject:

        • rork says:

          “Any infringement on their legally protected right to live freely is an assault on America’s principles.”
          It’s because they are symbolic of something for some people, or some such dreck.

          One much needed reform is repeal of the horse and burro law.

          • Louise Kane says:

            “The long-term economic success of public lands lies in maintaining a bio diverse ecosystem within its boundaries. However, understanding the need for a preservation balance in thriving agricultural communities often becomes sidelined.

            The BLM needs to comply with its original “multiple use” principle in managing wild horses and burros. In light of the inequitable share of livestock on BLM land, the on going persecution of wild horses and those that value them is unacceptable and threatens the very spirit of the American West.

            THis statement could read the ongoing persecution of wolves, coyotes, prairie dogs, bison, bears etc….livestock production comes at a great cost globally.

            • rork says:

              “unacceptable and threatens the very spirit of the American West.”
              Sounds like Redford, and repeating it did not improve it one whit.
              I am not against horses cause I want cows, OK. I’m against feral horses just like I’m against feral pigs.

          • Ed Loosli says:

            rork: One needed reform is to get the thousands of privately owned cattle off our public lands ear-marked for wild horses. Thank you Robert Redford for standing up for the wild horses

            • rork says:

              I am very much in favor of reducing cattle on public lands, let’s just straight up do that without any reference to feral horses.
              Let’s remove both, and leave the twisted logic to rest.

      • Nancy says:

        Yvette – some great shots (and story) of the wild horses on Pryor Mountain. If you can find the Cloud documentaries, they are worth the watch. I’m amazed that Cloud is going on 19!!

      • Gary Humbard says:

        I’m not as good as Elk but I will give it a shot. Horses tend to rip the grasses, pulling on the roots more than cattle when they graze. This tends to cause more overall damage to the vegetation and can stunt its growth.

        Also horses have one huge stomach instead of numerous chambers that cattle have so they are basically eating 24/7, which can result in overgrazing (that’s why they are called hay burners).

        They also tend to damage the land adjacent to water sources more than cattle as they live in herds, and are willing to protect that source from other herds.

        Since wild horses are constantly moving, they are walking over more land and are typically larger in weight than typical cattle.

        The BLM is very limited to how many wild horses can be removed each year and they essentially have no predators, thus herds have over-populated much of Nevada, whereas cattle are regularly removed for sale.

        Sadly, the ranch that is caring for wild horses in the above post by Nancy is the far exception than the rule. Thousands of wild horses die a painful death every year (mainly due to starvation) on the range.

      • Gary Humbard says:

        I’m not as good as Elk but I will give it a shot. Horses tend to rip the grasses, pulling on the roots more than cattle when they graze. This tends to cause more overall damage to the vegetation and can stunt its growth.

        Also horses have one huge stomach instead of numerous chambers that cattle have so they are basically eating 24/7, which tends to result in more overgrazing than cattle (that’s why they are called hay burners).

        They also tend to damage the land adjacent to water sources more than cattle as they live in herds, and are willing to protect that source from other herds.

        Since wild horses are constantly moving, they are walking over more land and are typically larger in weight than typical cattle.

        The BLM is very limited to how many wild horses can be removed each year and they essentially have no predators, thus herds can become over-populated (herds in Nevada are twice the desire AML), whereas cattle are routinely removed for sale.

        Sadly, the ranch that is caring for wild horses in the above post by Nancy is the far exception than the rule. Thousands of wild horses die a painful death every year (mainly due to starvation) on the range.

        • Yvette says:

          Thank you, Gary.

          “Horses tend to rip the grasses, pulling on the roots more than cattle when they graze. This tends to cause more overall damage to the vegetation and can stunt its growth.”

          This is what I heard that cattle did, but again, I don’t know, so I’ll trust those who do know.

          Since I work in water resources, I do know about BMPs for surface water quality management. I have a stream (1st order) that I monitored before we put cattle on that lot and I’ve monitored it over the last several years since cattle have had access to the stream. I see the physical damage done by cattle ( and do channel assessments), I measure the chemical and biological changes since cattle have had access. I am not so certain that cattle do less damage than wild horses and think that it may be the opposite. Of course, I’m not in open range territory, so cattle confined in a grazing pasture likely intensifies the damage.

        • Nancy says:

          “Also horses have one huge stomach instead of numerous chambers that cattle have so they are basically eating 24/7, which tends to result in more overgrazing than cattle (that’s why they are called hay burners)”

          Gary – unfortunately you are forgetting the “end” result -the difference between horse and cow droppings or should I say pies, when it comes to cattle.

          Had this conversation before on TWN. Go spend some time on public lands and realize “cow patties” large, awful puddles of crap, dominate. Grasses have a hard time coming up under that kind of weight dumped on them (and FYI, one cow dumps about 80 lbs. of crap on public lands…. every day while on them)

      • Gary Humbard says:

        Yvette, see my post below, in fact my two duplicate posts below. This computer is possessed!

        • Ed Loosli says:

          Gary: I think you forgot to answer the issue of GETTING THE CATTLE OUT OF THE WILD HORSE ZONES on public lands. There are MILLIONS of cattle grazing our public lands and now they have invaded the few thousand acres supposed to be granted to wild horses. Looking forward to your reply… And, please do not respond with, “it’s multiple use”, as these wild horse allotments were originally designated for wild horses and not the private livestock industry.

      • Immer Treue says:

        I have no dog in this fight but…

        Horses have incisors top and bottom, and from what I recall (not from personal witness) they sort of co-evolved with grasses. Ie, their dentition supported browsing on prairie grasses. Incisors too and bottom would seem to me more a “clipping” tool.

        • Ed Loosli says:

          Immer: Thank you for bringing up the evolution of the horse… which took place in North America, Asia and Europe. Then our human ancestors in North America wiped out the native horses thousands of years ago, only to have them returned to North America by the Spanish in the 1500s and 1600s. Wild mustangs/horses are NOT feral horses, they are wild horses and native to North America (no matter what rork and Gary claims to the contrary).

          • Elk375 says:

            Bullshit. They are not native to North America for thousands of years, wild horses are feral.

            • Nancy says:

              When’s the cutoff date Elk?

              • Elk375 says:

                When they went extinct thousands of years ago. While we are at it I would love to see the short face bear, the saber tooth tiger and wooly mammoth return but they are not going to return.

                Not all wild horses are descendants of Spanish Horses, some are ranch horses that were turned loose or escaped. They is no romance with me and wild horses.

              • Yvette says:

                I find the conversation on whether wild horses in North America are native or feral to be a amusing in a twisted way.

                I’ve witnessed people disclaim Native Americans as being Native or Indigenous to this continent since they supposedly crossed over the Bering Strait land bridge 12,000 years ago. Seriously, when someone has to go back to the Pleistocene to support their argument of who or what is native it becomes trite. The common thesis goes like, “you’re not really indigenous because you immigrated, too”. Ironically though, the land bridge theory and the Clovis First Model are coming apart at the seams. That is a different story, though.

                So the gist on the wild horse argument is a Pleistocene horse species was here, so they were native, but they disappeared. Later the Spanish introduced a different species of horse to the continent in the 1500’s but they are feral?

                You made an excellent point, Nancy. How far back in time do we look at whether a species is native, indigenous or feral? I have wondered how much time must pass before a species of fauna or flora becomes native to a region, if ever. I know certain non-native species will naturalize, but that doesn’t necessarily make them native. Perhaps in another 12,000 years they will be native…..or not.

              • Elk375 says:

                The cutoff time is what one decides. That decision is based on that persons desired outcome.

              • Louise Kane says:

                I think the question of a cutoff time might be focused on whether or not a particular ecosystem has had the opportunity to adapt to the new species and remain relatively healthy with the addition of the non native species. Then how do you define healthy? The same question arises in habitat restoration, when does restoration become destructive because it is attempting to revert an ecosystem that is now adapted to new organisms and is thriving

              • Nancy says:

                “Not all wild horses are descendants of Spanish Horses, some are ranch horses that were turned loose or escaped”

                And how ironic is that? None of these public land grabbing ranchers would be where they are today without the help of those horses 🙂

          • Nancy says:

            Ed – hard to fathom that my little half breed dog, who I adore:) came from wolves but science says so. Got a tooth from an ice age horse (found it in Texas) somewhere in my cluttered mess of a home, that bears witness to the fact that horses were here on this continent, thousands of years ago.

            Our species, homo sapiens, tinkered with both those species to benefit us. We owe them some respect…..

            • Kathleen says:

              “Our species, homo sapiens, tinkered with both those species to benefit us. We owe them some respect…..”

              That’s also true of cattle.

            • rork says:

              Respect? There are 10 million horses on this continent Nancy. Domesticated animals that are hopefully being taken care of – just like cows are.

              • Ed Loosli says:

                rork: There are now only a tiny fraction (less than 2%) of the number of free-ranging horses that were here over a hundred years ago. In 1900 the total populations of free-ranging horses in the United States were reported to be around 2 million. Today, the BLM considers only 27,000 a “manageable number”. And yet, the cattle industry still is trying to wipe out the remaining horses from their long time home ranges. Enough is enough.

          • rork says:

            Ed: those horses are from domesticated animals. Even if they were wild, I’ll be wanting smilodon along with them, or lets start hunting them if they are wild animals. That humans caused their extinction requires more evidence. Plants have adapted to conditions in which they have been extinct.
            Here’s my summary about horse apologists – it makes otherwise sensible wildlife advocates look like irrational bunny huggers. It puts all of us in a bad light. Just like with the damn mute swans.

            • rork says:

              About human-caused extinction: I chuckle to think about people trying to regularly hunt actual wild horses in their natural habitats, cause that sounds exceedingly difficult. Bison survived here. Horse survived in Asia. Seems tricky. I’m open to evidence.

  55. Ida Lupines says:

    Good comments today – Immer I think you are giving in to easily.

    Objectively, I know wolves are going to be hunted/trapped. No we don’t. Or at least at the rate we are going now. It’s too much.

    So, what can I do to make this as fair as possible for all involved on the issue, most importantly the wolves. Right now, it isn’t fair at all right now, but heavily weighted in favor of ranchers and especially hunters. They make no effort to be fair and rational or humane. Hunting needs to be only for proven depredation. Trapping is an outdated activity which I hope will become extinct one day. Fur used to be a byproduct of hunting for food. Not a farm where animals are tortured, nearly skinned alive and tossed into a trash heap.

    • rork says:

      Fur harvest license sales have pretty much steadily increased in MI since 1993, from 10,000 to 28,000.
      About 100,000 raccoons/year, and that doesn’t even count the ones hobby farmers kill here and there, or 60,000 killed by hunting. 200,000 muskrat, 20,000 beaver, 17,000 mink, 12,000 coyotes trapped and 15,000 shot, 5,000 red fox (declining since coyote arrival, was near 30,000 in the 80s).

      • Louise Kane says:

        do these numbers seem as shocking to others as they do to me? I imagine these animals trying to live their lives with 28,000 people setting out traps. Do any species or animals live out a normal life? I find those numbers very very disturbing and tragic.

      • Yvette says:

        I put the blame on the fashion industry and the people that wear fur. I’ve read that fur had fallen out of vogue, but has recently gained popularity with the fashion designers.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          I think for the most part it has fallen out of vogue. But the fashion industry always tries to revive it. Another souless bunch (with few exceptions). It’s not even just hats and coats; it’s fur bikinis, fur false lashes and fur dyed bizarre colors not found in nature. Talk about entitlement, wastefulness and objectification!

          • Ida Lupines says:

            For example, Anna Wintour didn’t become the inspiration for ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ for nothing.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Hunting and angling are not as ‘outdated’ as fur trapping because there is an association with food, however far removed it may seem at times, with hunting ungulates and fishing. There is no survival need whatsoever for fur wearing in modern times; it is strictly vanity and greed. It’s hard to think of putting another living thing through captivity and unimaginable suffering so that someone like Kim Kardashian and Kanye West can wear an ostentatious bunch of animal pelts sewn together for vanity and attention grabbing.

      • rork says:

        People use “outdated” about hunting and angling too. We kill about 400,000 deer in MI. Cows, sheep, or chickens are like a simulation of being alive when compared to a deer, coyote, or beaver.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I should add – to show just how unfair it is right now:

      . After delisting, the five-year monitoring period was not observed before starting hunting. Some lame excuse was given about the five years being included following the last delisting attempt (???), but the fact remains that policy was not followed.

      . Wildlife boards such as those in WI and ID have excluded wildlife advocates outright from decision making. Even the mere suggestion of a wildlife stamp to include us in MT caused hunters to screech in opposition (and there was Safari Club Interantionalthere at the meetings)

      . There are already methods in place for livestock growers to remove predators.

      . No matter what concessions are made, anti-wolf groups want more.

  56. Ida Lupines says:

    For more than a decade, I’ve observed a very predictable pattern: (a) new science is produced; (b) groups who feel this science supports their position hold it up as gospel and suggest it has all sorts of implications (well beyond what the authors suggest); (c) groups who feel the science is in opposition to the position attack the methods, attack the scientists’ integrity, and in some cases, call for their removal; and finally, (d) the science is ‘recorded’ in an extremely biased fashion in the minds of these individuals such that it confirms their existing ideas.

    And ’round and ’round we go, and nothing really changes.

    JB, this post is outstanding (imo) as was your previous one. (uh,oh – I’m agreeing with you, what do you think of that?) 🙂

    • Ida Lupines says:

      And I should add that trying to compromise and understand the opposing view has led to the opposing side taking advantage, and being quite aggressive about it.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I know we sometimes, maybe unfairly, jump all over the F&W people, but if it wasn’t for them standing between the wolves and the wolf-haters, who knows how bad it would become.

  57. Nancy says:

    Nice live shot of elk grazing (click on North Entrance webcam) It updates every minute.

  58. Yvette says:

    If someone already posted about the Lost Creek Pack’s slaughter by Alaskan state wildlife managers, forgive me.

    John Burch spent 20 years studying a family of 11 wolves. Then one day last winter, the entire pack was shot dead.

    The wolves were called the Lost Creek pack, and they’d carved out a territory along the border of Yukon–Charley Rivers National Preserve, deep in the Alaskan interior.

    If that all sounds like bad news, sit tight: Three new developments this fall could turn things around. First, in typical plodding bureaucratic fashion, the National Park Service has started fighting back. In September, it proposed a sweeping rule that would ban baiting brown bears, killing wolves and coyotes when they have pups, and killing black bears in their dens in national preserves. It also pre-emptively prohibits any other practice “with the intent or potential to alter or manipulate natural predator-prey dynamics.”

    In other words, hunting will still be allowed in national preserves, but no matter who’s in office, the land won’t be managed like a giant game farm. The rule is up for public comment now and will probably be implemented next year.

    Take note, we’re not the only ones using the meme, ‘game farm’. Someone on here mentioned it the other day.

    I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of this type of wildlife management. It is utter BS. We need to make our public comments. I am glad to the NFS fighting back.

  59. Elk375 says:

    Here is the link to the New Times article called wolves at the door:

  60. Louise Kane says:

    I’m always vexed when people deny that wild animals are curious, intelligent, sentient beings. On seeing this, it struck me for the umpteenth time, they deserve rich lives free from the threat of trophy hunting and free from so called “fair chase” by hunters using scopes, dogs, baits, calling devices, cell phones, ATVs, 4 wheel drive trucks, suppressors, scents, traps, snares, and other technology that stacks the decks against them. Not to mention they have to survive forest fires and habitat loss while obscene numbers of people come out of their comfy homes each year to track them down and kill them for trophies or for fun in killing contests.

    • Nancy says:

      That photo is priceless Louise 🙂 Thanks for posting the link.

      • Louise Kane says:

        I love how the photographer is using the image to bring light to the issue of trophy hunting.

        whenever I see a particularly compelling image of an animal it makes me feel so damn good and then I remember what they face. Wildlife have virtually no protection from hunting, poaching and habitat loss. It makes me very very sad.

        But yes this image is priceless. Look at his stance and face so curious!

  61. Ed Loosli says:

    Coyote Killing Derby in California

    Hopefully come early December 2014 Predator Killing Contests will be banned in California!!

    • WM says:

      Leave it to the Germans to improve
      “efficiencies.” Maybe even a little improvement to cow poop, too, Nancy. Lower volatile ammonia levels in cow plop, while increasing milk production and animal longevity.;)

  62. Louise Kane says:

    For those following the question of wolf hunting in Michigan. A no vote indicates wolves should not be hunted and that the DNR will not be the sole authority to designate a game species.

    So far Michigan residents are showing the same support for wolves as they did when the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected Campaign collected enough signatures twice to bring the issue to a vote! Go Michigan! Rork this must make you happy both because you don;t agree with a hunt and also because the legislative process rolled all over the democratic process.

    Michigan – 2324 of 4877 Precincts Reporting – 48%
    Name Votes Vote %
    No 730,724 55%
    Yes 609,590 45%
    November 04, 2014 – 10:48PM ET
    Proposal – 14-2 Designate Game – Ballot Issue
    Michigan – 2349 of 4877 Precincts Reporting – 48%
    Name Votes Vote %
    No 850,872 63%
    Yes 493,882 37%

    here is the link to follow

    • Larry says:

      Well the Michigan news is good but tighten your seatbelt when the next Congress starts in on the ESA. I’m sick tonight.

      • Louise Kane says:

        yes that’s true Larry. Not a good outcome
        But this is a sweet and hard earned victory and i need to savor it. More significantly, this vote indicates to me that if similar votes were taken and battles waged in other states I believe we would see a much different wildlife policy emerge. Trophy hunting is not popular or supported save for a few special interest circles. This is the result I see when I read the comments. Great news.

        • Louise Kane says:

          I’m going to celebrate with some champagne! I can sleep better just knowing that one state will allow wolves to live without being hunted and randomly killed, trapped, snared or hounded. As Rork wrote it will also be good to see this experiment show how wolves adapt/shape their landscape. I like to think they will have someplace to remain relatively safe.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Wow, me too! Cheers, and thank you Michigan!

            Rork sounds disappointed (shaking his fist and saying ‘we will have a wolf hunt!), and should not be so condescending to the decision of Michigan’s voters. ‘false arguments such as our wolf population being fragile and that hunting seasons would imperil them’ is not a false argment, or not entirely false.

            We could say that ‘wolves have a robust population and hunting will not affect it at all’ is the false argument. Some of you have a blind spot to the behavior of wolf hunters, such as the free-for-all going on in WI. Scott Walker keeps on winning.

        • Amre says:


      • timz says:

        Yes, the new Republican majority can pick up where the Democrats left off gutting the ESA.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Don’t give up the ship yet. It’s not like the Democrats are much help anyway. Great news about MI, but I was hoping that WI had more sense.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      This is wonderful news for wolves in Michigan. Thank you for your efforts! It was a big slap to an opposition that was very willing to lie and cheat.

      Here in the West the news for the public lands is very bad. The Republicans did very well, and the party position is to support grabbing the public lands. It isn’t a big issue for all the Republican office-holders, but they will likely go along.

      However, if the new majority in Congress think this is a mandate for full scale repeal of all the conservation and environmental legislation, not just Obamacare, but Social Security and Medicare, shutting down the government, etc., I think we will have a fearful time in the near future.

      • Larry says:

        I can be very uplifted whenever good news on wildness comes out but I can’t shake the despair that comes from seemingly insurmountable bad news like this election news. I will watch for ANY good news about people like Jim Risch to try to feel better about him. I remember Johnny Plummer and I tried to take wildlife cases to him when he was a fledging Ada County assistant prosecutor. He had a very polished “brush-off” and showed his colors generally that wildlife cases were below his importance. Seemed he was a political ladder boy way back then. I believe he would sell the last bald eagle if it meant stepping up another step. Another big worry is Rand Paul and others of his ilk now that the first hole was shot through the hull of the ESA with congressional management of wolves. It’s like the stop sign on a Utah desert road after the first bullet hole through it. The next week it looks like a sieve. We have to support WWP’s court challenges on grazing allotments, lynx, wolverine and fisher and more.

    • rork says:

      It’s nice folks voted no on the wolf proposals, but the third law will still go into effect, and we will almost surely have wolf hunts in 2015. No partying here. In fact the partying is perhaps more with the folks wanting wolf hunts, who got their way despite what citizens may want.
      It might indicate referendum’s on wildlife issues have chances, not to in anyway say I think the folks who voted here did so from much knowledge about the issue. WI and MN do not even have the mechanisms we have in MI to let citizens directly vote. In MI I think we have proven we have flaws in our initiative process (3rd law passed without voter or governor’s approval – I do not understand why this mechanism was ever thought good, and it’s not like I haven’t tried to figure it out). If folks have the stomach for more efforts to reject wolf hunting in MI it probably will be by initiative. This likely requires money, and it might be HSUS pitching in, which has a down-side, cause they resort to false arguments such as our wolf population being fragile and that hunting seasons would imperil them (and people on the street believe it). That carries a cost. The press says stuff like “wildlife advocates say this and that” and it’s the worst things HSUS says that they are mentioning, not what any thoughtful people said.
      What NRC and DNR actually does will be interesting. I expect somewhat homeopathic wolf hunts to begin with, with escalation (more tags, trapping) only after the danger of new initiatives has passed, or new initiatives are made and defeated. State government is entirely in the grip of GOP, and oddly, that matters.

      • WM says:

        I have not been following this issue in MI, but understand from this article the matter may not be over, with the “victory” celebration of those who do not want wolves hunted, perhaps, premature. It appears is a non-binding vote?

        With what amounts to about a 5-10 percent margin win on a pure referral vote, with which they are not obligated by law to follow, truly be enough to sway DNR wolf policy going forward?

        • rork says:

          Na, WM, that was just terribly written. Voters essentially vetoed the first 2 laws that lead to wolf hunts being legal. But since the first 2 laws were in peril, legislature passed a third law, and that will be the one that will permit wolves to be declared game, perhaps in April or May. “amount to a non-binding referendum” was the offending phrase – slightly true in the sense that it had some of the effect of taking a poll of the voters. Third law is about the same as the second – NRC can declare species game. It has an appropriation, and in MI that means killing it with referendum is not allowed – we need work on that maybe too.

          • Louise Kane says:

            Rork put together a quick paragraph that nicely sums up the legal shenanigans over the past year and a half and its true the third law could go into effect. But the HSUS does plan to challenge the law because the law includes what amounts to several riders and its questionable whether that is legal in MI. I need to read more about that. Nut the big hurdle the legislators have to overcome is their consituents. Twice enough votes were collected to bring the issue of hunting wolves to a binding referendum. Twice the legislature conveniently bypassed that democratic tradition that people in MI use and respect. When the issue was voted on people voted to not hold a hunt. These legislators have been super sleazy, they ran a corrupt campaign and were paying vote collectors, they deceptively named their campaign to citizens for professional wildlife management to imply that citizens were less capable of deciding this decision than the DNR (which were political appointees). The HSUS did a good job here and they ran a good campaign. I worked on some of the issues and as far as I know the claims they made were true, widely supported and they exposed a great deal of corruption. It may be true hunters won’t get behind this whether or not they agree with a hunt but i see that as a big part of the problem. Hunters unwilling to speak out against corrupt wildlife management practices. Rork is in the minority, it seems.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              Louise, I can’t give him any credit. I’m sorry we feel we have to compromise.

              Rork would like to keep hunting wolves going to satisfy his curiosity. (see where the experiment goes).

              He needs years to find his ethics.

              He feels some other living creatures are easier to kill than others.

              He and Immer both, and maybe even JB, feel human beings are more ‘important’ than other living things. You can get a sense of their superiority (and in Immer’s case, idealizing human behavior by refusing to acknowledge that we are capable of selfishness and evil) I’ve been told this too, but I always wonder why this is. I’ve been fed the same bs as the rest of you, except that I don’t see it being played out in the real world.

              Enough said.

              I don’t know why I even respond to these enablers.

              Another myth: you can have your emotions fired up, and yet still use reason and compassion in making decisions. I see Rork fumbling around in the wilderness blindfolded trying to find ethics.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                ^^Another myth debunked, I meant to say.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                As I have said before, people will most always take the reasonable, negotiating approach at first – then you find it doesn’t work.

              • Immer Treue says:

                I thought you were going to ignore what I write. If not, please refrain from jumping to conclusions about interpreting how you believe I think and feel about issues, because you are absolutely clueless.

                To avoid a ‘pissing match’ as per a couple of weeks ago, I will have no more to say on this issue.

              • Louise Kane says:


                I know you are passionate and I feel similarly as you about killing beings and I appreciate your comments as I do others. But with these three men I think you are wrong. Here is why.
                1) If you look back at Rork’s comment he was arguing, when he said that he wished the experiment could continue, for wolves to be protected in MI. I believe he was referring to wanting to see wolves in MI protected because thus far, except for one short season, they have been protected and the great experiment would be to see the impact positive or negative depending on you rvalue system that wolves will have on the landscape. I have spent a great deal of time following, and volunteering for the Keep Michigan Wolves Protected campaign and Rork is a regular and faithful commenter to many publications that have posted stories about the referendum and campaign. He is without fail a voice of reason in the wolf debate and I’m always grateful to see his posts. don’t hunt or like it so we diverge on our sympathies there but if you look at what Rork has written he is extremely knowledgable about the issues and always comes down on the side of protecting wolves. The same is true for Immer. I did not read the whole debate between you and Immer but saw enough to know there is some kind of rift. I have to say Immer is one of my favorite commenters here. I always learn something from his posts and enjoy reading his writing. We disagree in our observations about Mech but so do many. I don’t find Immer anti wolf conversely I find him a staunch wildlife advocate. As for JB, if you look and read closely at what JB’s body of work is, it’s amazing. Two of his latest papers especially the one published with Treves provides significant information proving that wolf hunting has decreased tolerance for wolves at least in Wisconsin. That rebuts an important argument for wolf hunting. On a more personal level JB has been kind enough to supply some greatly considered criticism of the work that Jon Way and I did to develop the Carnivore Conservation Act and has look at other writing we have done. In fact we restructured the whole act because of comments that were provided by JB and others. It may seem a small thing but taking the time to review other’s work and provide substantive criticism is significant and I am very grateful. I say stick to your guns and keep your ideals but keep an open mind about the people that post here. They have a lot to say, are frighteningly intelligent and have a great wealth of experience. I don’t have a smily face or know how to post one but thats what I’d post.

              • WM says:


                Do not fear, just consider the source. So many of Ida’s comments/replies are practical examples of the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle from physics and quantum mechanics – where ya just never know where things are going to hit, or in her case bounce, and predicting the bounce, or the interpretation of the bounce, is even more difficult, thus uncertain. But the emotion keeps up the momentum.

              • rork says:

                Thanks Louise.
                Ida: I was saying it’s too interesting to see what happens if we just leave wolves unhunted. I’ve posted here a hundred times on such issues and never been pro-wolf-hunt I think.

                I do not think humans more important, particularly individuals – we are way too common for that. You get that I’m a missionary atheist, right?

                Quit name calling. You wouldn’t like what returns.

              • rork says:

                ” I see Rork fumbling around in the wilderness blindfolded trying to find ethics.”
                I wanted to add that this is excellent metaphor, except I hope the blindfolded part is not quite true, assuming seeing is critical in this search. Maybe “in darkness with just a few stars for light” might be better. I didn’t expect it to be easy.

              • JB says:

                “trying to find ethics.”
                “I wanted to add that this is excellent metaphor, except I hope the blindfolded part is not quite true, assuming seeing is critical in this search. Maybe “in darkness with just a few stars for light” might be better. I didn’t expect it to be easy.”

                You bet. I think one of the reasons folks are so frightened of ethics is that the people who claim to have them seem very sure of their ‘rightness’ (and righteousness). Yet I suspect I’m on safe ground when I suggest that ‘proofs’ are just as hard to come by in ethics as they are in science. Both factual and ethical premises used to justify management actions are subject to the same biases and fallacious arguments we see repeated day in and day out.

      • Mark L says:

        If only there were some organization other than HSUS that would pitch in their money (and time) and possibly aid in educating the public at the same. Maybe something a little less libby…

      • JB says:

        “his likely requires money, and it might be HSUS pitching in, which has a down-side, cause they resort to false arguments such as our wolf population being fragile and that hunting seasons would imperil them (and people on the street believe it). That carries a cost.”

        Indeed. I wish more people understood this. On the other hand, hyperbole in political rhetoric has become the norm and, despite my disgust, seems to be effective (at least in the short-term). The cost is that it further polarizes the debate and “centrist” hunters are lost because they can’t stomach supporting anything that appears to come from HSUS.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          I give them my money, and I will continue to, and probably give them more, because they are one of the few organizations who things done.

        • rork says:

          “HSUS is bad and they want to stop all hunting, just like other wolf pimps” was perhaps the #1 argument to support wolf hunts. It’s a bad argument, I know, but easily understood. #2 was probably “citizens know so little, best leave it to experts, since this should all be decided by science”, the flaws in which have been discussed to pieces here. #3 is “wolf population will rise without end unless they are hunted”, and its corollary that “deer are being or will be decimated”.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            I do support the HSUS because as I said, they are one of the few groups who get anything done.

            Hunters need to behave better when it comes to wildlife. I guess their mammas never taught ’em that if they misbehave, they get their privileges suspended or taken away.

            I understand the need for compromise, I really do. But I’m tired of it always having to come from the wildlife and wildlands advocate side, that wildlife advocates are always belittled. Hunters and ranchers are irrational also (if you don’t think going on a killing rampage isn’t irrational, I don’t know what to say).

  63. Mark L says:

    I think if y’all are looking at the invasive/feral/native issue on the specific species level, and not the niche/ecological level, you are in a losing game already. Maybe a modification of the ESA wouldn’t be such a bad thing if done by the right authority (and no, NOT politicians). At some point we have to address this as a nation.

  64. Ida Lupines says:

    Might it have been better to have limited seasons, control areas of no hunting/trapping, compare and contrast, gather data and see what is effective.

    Yes, Immer, this would have been ‘nice’. But we can see that any hope for this has come and gone. Politicians and special interests have not allowed it and have proceeded full steam ahead to eradicate wolves, not to preserve a formerly endangered species. Hundreds have been killed since the delisting. Science means nothing to them. The damage done has been too great.

    And I’m not afraid to admit that there is plenty of rancor about it from me.

  65. JB says:

    FYI: Rob Weilgus is about to publish a paper that wolf advocates will love. They’ve analyzed depredation rates relative to the prior year’s control actions (with a bunch of controls). Long story short, for every wolf you kill you get a +5% increase in livestock depredations the following year; however, kill enough wolves and the population reduction will result in fewer depredations. The real key finding, as I understand it, is that depredation rates are expected to be highest with 25-35% human offtake–precisely the levels most states want to achieve.

    Before everyone stands up and says “hooray” I would caution that in some ways, this information further dichotomizes the debate. It suggests two ways of minimizing wolf depredations: hammer wolves back to as few as you can (the ‘Idaho approach’) or leave ’em alone (nobody takes this approach).

    Paper should be out soon in PlousOne.

    • WM says:

      Weilgus’ CV does not suggest he writes very much original stuff; and the link to the Large Carnivore Lab, where he is Director doesn’t work either:

      One of his grad students doing the leg work on this depredation analysis?

      • Yvette says:

        One of his grad students doing the leg work on this depredation analysis?

        OMG, that is the way it works.

        You’re going to have to do better than that.

      • JB says:

        I don’t know, WM; I actually see a variety of novel findings coming out of his lab. In particular, their research on the interactions between cougar, deer, and human harvest have been interesting, and added to the state’s understanding of how cougars impact mule deer populations. I particularly liked this piece about cougar prey selection (

        • WM says:

          I have seen a presentation of the cougar work and its very interesting prey selection, and young male emigration/immigration conclusions. Also think he was heavily interviewed for a couple Seattle Times articles a couple years back. The cougar, of course, is the WSU mascot.

        • Louise Kane says:

          WM also here is a link to a paper about sport hunting and cougars and increased depredations. file:///Users/louisekane/Documents/Wolves%20&%20Wildlife/Cougars%20/PLOS%20ONE:%20Effects%20of%20Remedial%20Sport%20Hunting%20on%20Cougar%20Complaints%20and%20Livestock%20Depredations.webarchive

    • Louise Kane says:

      please send link when you see it
      also what are the levels of wolf population reductions that start to reduce depredations? They must be pretty low. Its not surprising to think that a 25 to 35% human kill rate would create increased depredations. That would leave 75% of the population remaining with their pack structures severely altered. who knows in what manner. It would make sense the remaining wolves would not have the same ability to provide for themselves and go looking for easier pickings. Really interested in seeing this. Perhaps this could be the start of the leave them alone debate or a change in philosophy. Mi residents seem to like this approach, if they get their way.

      • Nancy says:

        Louise – some stats from two years ago in Montana:

        63 confirmed cattle depredations – 29 sheep confirmed (thru October)

        WS – took out 90 wolves, landowners 6
        other mortalities 25 (hunting to date 45)

        Jump to same time this year:

        31 confirmed cattle depredations – 9 sheep (thru October)

        WS took out 32 wolves, landowners 10, other mortalities – 13 (not sure of hunting to date)

        • Louise Kane says:

          weird Nancy those numbers don’t jibe with the paper’s conclusions that JB posted?
          unless wot mortality is already so high in Montana from past hunting seasons?

      • JB says:

        I will post it when I see it. I don’t know what the ideal human offtake rate would be, though the paper should cover that topic. The real trick is (I hate to use this word) “balancing” the reality that increased offtake will create a higher depredation rate with the fact that this can be (at least partially) accounted for by managing for lower wolf numbers overall.

        Re Nancy’s numbers. My recollection is that they used all available states and years of NRM data. They also used NASS data (self-reported depredations on the Ag census) versus confirmed depredations, which is one of the limitations. Point is–the data are noisy (as ecological data tend to be)!

        • Louise Kane says:

          Thanks of course I am hoping that the argument no take prevents higher depredation rates and that things will swing this way. Its good to see studies coming out on this like the cougar study and the new paper you reference. Can’t wait to read it.

        • Nancy says:

          JB – could lower livestock predation numbers have to do with the fact that ranchers are paying more attention to their product? I know I’ve questioned this before, just don’t know where to look.

          For some reason, decades of livestock depredation by coyotes seemed just to be the norm, a part of livestock operations. Attitudes changed when the wolf was reintroduced even though wolf depredations are still tiny compared to coyote depredation annually.

          • Louise Kane says:

            I wonder too if some of the non lethal deterrents have worked

            also possible that the high number of wolf deaths from hunting means that there are far fewer wolves to depredate. Jerry Black and other say they see hardly a sign of wolves in Montana where they used to den and frequent.

  66. Rich says:

    Keystone and the politics involved after the election results. Hopefully it can be delayed for awhile longer.