Yellowstonee: Late autumnn.  The backside of Specimen Ridge with Absaroka Mtns. in the distance. Photo copyright Ralph Maughan

Yellowstone: Late autumn. The backside of Specimen Ridge with Absaroka Mtns. in the distance. Photo copyright Ralph Maughan

It is time for another new page for 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 (Dec. 1) “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.

491 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife related news? Dec. 19, 2014 edition

  1. Jim Onstott says:

    From Detroit Free Press:
    Federal judge: Great Lakes wolves return to endangered list
    Unless it’s overturned, the decision will ban further wolf hunting and trapping in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

  2. Barb Rupers says:

    Jim Onstott, thanks for the good news! I feel there would be a lot less controversy if states did not allow trapping as part of their management policy.

    The lighting in your picture is dramatic, Ralph. Beautiful as usual.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Thanks Barb Rupers,

      However, I haven’t quite settled on this early winter YNP photo yet. It isn’t as sharp looking as I would like.

  3. Elk375 says:

    This was an interesting article in today’s Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Maybe it is worth it’s own thread.

  4. Ida Lupines says:

    said the judge ruled the Fish and Wildlife Service failed to explain how the “virtually unregulated” killing of wolves in Minnesota and Wisconsin does not constitute a continued threat to the species.

    This is something we all wonder. I’m so thrilled I can’t stop reading. And summary judgment to boot. What a turn of events.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Ida Lupines,

      Offhand, it seems like a total legal victory in favor of wolf protection.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Yes! Sorry for all the italics and some gloating posts, but wolf advocates are thrilled about this, after all we’ve had to put up with.

    • Amre says:

      Wisconsin is/was the worse of the three great lakes states when it comes to wolves. Minnesota was a little better, but still could’ve been much better.

  5. WM says:

    RE: WGL wolf relisting

    ++U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C., ruled Friday that the removal was “arbitrary and capricious” and violated the federal Endangered Species Act.++

    Judge Howell has been a US District Court judge for less than 4 years, and is a former US Attorney whose expertise is law enforcement and narcotics. She is an Obama appointee, and East Coaster with under grad from hoity tiody Bryn Mawr college (very expensive small liberal arts school) and law degree from Columbia (very good school). The DC District circuit is well repected, as are most of its sitting judges.

    It will be interesting to see this lengthy opinion, and read/understand the reasoning which supports her decision. I don’t know about WI and MI’s handling of their wolves (which some have said is irresponsible in regard to their hunts), but MN has been very deliberate, even stoic in reaching its opportunity to managing its +/- 2,400-3,100 wolves. MN wolves could separately be delisted, and I believe there is still a petition to do so before FWS, if they want to go it alone. HSUS with its string of litigation has jammed up MN for over a decade AFTER their delisting goal was met, and that is why they implemented their hunting season (instead of waiting for the 5 years after delisting as their plan contemplates for hunting). So, we have a judge who has just maybe never stepped off pavement, making a decision for the Upper Midwest.

    Could be some of these Congressional types will join in with the pissed off Western states to do dumb things with the ESA. For example 5/8 House Reps. are R’s, including Paul Ryan, and 1/2 Senators is an R.

    It would not surprise me in the least to see a Congressional rider delisting WGL wolves via adoption of the federal FWS regulation which is the subject of the litigation. A rider, which some folks don’t want to understand would be, in effect, a de facto change to the ESA, just as it was in the ID/MT delisting rider, without really saying it is). Or even more Draconian, this would be another data point for the R’s to gut the ESA, which seems to be gathering momentum by the day in the West.

    Waiting for the next shoe to drop……will the DC Court of Appeals be the next stop?

    • timz says:

      One a the strongest proponents for de-listing is MN senator Al Franken, who btw is a Democrat.

    • Amre says:

      WM, I do believe MN was very good when it came to maintaining a stable wolf population( in terms of size)…

    • rork says:

      ESA isn’t a constitutional amendment, and can be fine tuned or circumvented anyway legislators want?
      You’re harshing my buzz man.

  6. WM says:


    I very much enjoy the high quality photos you and Ken put up here. To me, this landscape is especially stunning. The color, texture and composition are awesome, and I particularly like the way the light snow interspersed with the vegetation brings out the subtle bedding planes of the geologic formations.

    • Nancy says:

      I agree WM. Looks more like an oil painting than a photograph. Perhaps limited addition prints available thru WN or WWP websites? Or a calendar perhaps?

      Does anyone remember the photograph Ralph posted what about a year ago, of a lake at sunset? Took my breath away and I was sorry when the new page/photo for wildlife news, replaced it.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        Thanks for speaking favorably about my photos.

        The one with the lake at sunset is, I believe, the one that went on the cover of my new “eshort” book about the establishment of the River of No Return (Frank Church) Wilderness: Charles Manson was an Environmentalist.

        • Barb Rupers says:

          While I travel on Google Earth I am always amazed at the many remote locations at which you have taken remarkable pictures.

          • skyrim says:

            I concur with Barb. I found a Google image of yours from Central Utah (I assume from Skyline Drive) The location of the image is only about 3 miles directly east from my mountain hideaway at 7400 feet.

  7. Ida Lupine says:

    Wolf Hunting and Trapping Banned


    Immediate implications of this ruling include the following:

    · Permits which allow lethal removal of wolves issued to landowners experiencing wolf conflicts are no longer valid. The department will contact permit holders to alert them.

    · The department is not authorized to use lethal control as part of its conflict management program. Non-lethal tools and depredation compensation remain available. Those experiencing conflicts with wolves should contact the United States Department of Agriculture – Wildlife Service for conflict investigation and management assistance. USDA Wildlife Services can be reached at 800-228-1368 in northern Wisconsin or 800-433-0663 in southern Wisconsin.

    · Wisconsin’s law allowing landowners or occupants of the land to shoot wolves that are in the act of depredating domestic animals on private property is no longer in force. Landowners may not kill wolves in the act of attacking domestic animals.

    · Under Federal Law, you cannot use dogs to track and train on wolves.

    · Wisconsin is not authorized to implement a wolf harvest season.

  8. Gary Humbard says:

    When I opened the link to ELK375s’ post on the re-introduction of grizzlies into the Bitterroots, the story wouldn’t open (only comments) so here is another link for the info.

  9. this link has been updated…December 2014

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

    Parelaphostrongylus (Brainworm) Infection in Deer and Elk and the potential for CWD TSE prion consumption and spreading there from ?

    Greetings everyone et al, and Merry Christmas,

    I am hoping, and praying, that 2014 will bring forth much needed funding for the TSE prion scientist around the globe.

    I brought up a concern for a worm long ago, that gets in the brains of cervids, and then the worm gets excreted via feces, and then deer forage and eat that worm. if the host cervid of this worm has CWD, could this later transmit CWD?

    I was concerned about this long ago, still am. I was curious what any else might think about this potential mode of transmission with cwd ?

    there is much cwd risk factor now with soil, and now the potential exists via plants, so I was just pondering out loud here, is it possible that some cwd is being spread, by the Parelaphostrongylus (Brainworm), after sucking up on a CWD infected cervids brain, and then being discarding via feces by that same CWD infected cervid, soaking up the prions via the feces, laying in wait, for a CWD free cervid to come scoop up and eat that Parelaphostrongylus (Brainworm), that has been extremely exposed to the TSE prion ?

    kind regards, terry


    SEAC 97/2

    Annex 2



    Other organisms

    Transmission of TSEs through ectoparasites has been postulated by Lupi5. Post et al6 fed larvae of meat eating and myiasis causing flies with brain material from scrapie infected hamsters. Two days after eating infected material, the larvae showed high amounts of PrPSc by Western blot. In further studies, the inner organs of larvae, which had been fed with scrapie brain, were extracted and fed to hamsters. Six out of eight hamsters developed scrapie. Two out of four hamsters fed on scrapie infected pupae subsequently developed scrapie.

    I AGAIN raise the possibility of that damn brain eating worm in elk and CWD transmission via elk, deer, and other critters eating that worm. …tss

    Saturday, December 21, 2013

    Parelaphostrongylus (Brainworm) Infection in Deer and Elk and the potential for CWD TSE prion consumption and spreading there from ?

    see updated December 2014 section…

    Terry S. Singeltary Sr.

    • rork says:

      Grant: Maybe propose to assay prion in feces of brainworm infected vs uninfected deer (or whatever species). Second, assay excreted brainworm at several times after excretion (how long can they maintain any prion – I’d guess not too long cause their PrP is likely too different, but who knows?). For third aim simulate cropping of plants by deer and assay, comparing areas inhabited by brainworm infected vs uninfected ungulates. Note: I haven’t studied quality of assays enough.
      Perhaps alter the structure of you blog, to chop into units, and permit commenting (= ideas), or point to (and participate in) better places with discussions.

  10. skyrim says:

    Wyoming’s missing Elk can be found here this morning:
    A live link to the refuge stopped working last week, but an easy search will yield a still image. Lots of other cool cams around town here as well.

  11. Yvette says:

    I heard this on NPR during my morning commute today. It’s sort of cool that these ranching nuns use llamas to fend off predators on their grass fed cattle operation.

    To keep the baby cows safe from the region’s numerous predators, the nuns employ a set of unorthodox security guards — the aforementioned llamas.

    “We have seen them chase a mountain lion off the property,” Schortemeyer says. “Llamas have various weaponry. One of them is their breath. They also kill with their front feet. They try to disembowel you — if they were upset with you.”

  12. Mareks Vilkins says:


    as related to your favourite theme (poaching aspect in wildlife management):

    African Swine Fever is taking toll of wild boar population (mortality ~ 90%) which is the major game species by far.

    Wild boar (2013) – 74K
    Elk – 51K
    Deer – 136K
    Moose – 21K

    beaver ~80K

    wolves after the hunting season is closed on April 1 – 200… 300 (that is, before pups are born)

    lynxes – 300…400 (before kittens are born)

    so how that disappearance of wild boar from hunting menu could affect wolf poaching trend? and what should be appropriate measures taken by State agency / European Commissar for Environment to curb that thing getting out of control?

    P.S. no snow yet in the current season

  13. WM says:

    Here is the link to the WGL relisting decision by Judge Howell from the DC US District Court. Lots to chew on, and ultimately try to digest in this 111 page Opinion.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Thanks WM!

      • bret says:

        Why wolves should continue to wear radio collars: Guest opinion

        Some wolf activity in new areas of the state.

        A new pair in upper Tucannon in SE WA.

        the eastern slopes of the Cascades, wolf tracks were spotted in Coleman Creek drainage north of Ellensburg.

        A female outcast of the Lookout Pack was reported to be in the “western part of the Pasayten Wilderness.

        WDFW also recently received a report of another pair of wolves, these two near the Okanogan-Chelan County line.

        • WM says:



          Is there a primary published source for the information you provide?

          And, do you have a (personal) estimate of the minimum net number of wolves in WA for the upcoming census date of 12/31/14, with all these reported expanded range sightings? My WAG guessestimate is a net increase from the 12/31/13 count of 52, up to about 65 (which would mean there are realistically closer to 70-75 out there).

          • bret says:

            WM, Starting in 2008 the number of packs has grown by more than 30% per year, similar with NRM states.

            Between 2012-2013 the number of packs grew from 9 to 13 and yet the known wolf population only grew by 1 – 51-52 ?. I think the 2013 population was low and probably in the range of 65-68 and the 2014 count will be just under 100. The known wolf population will be an under-count so my guesstimate is 131 ??

  14. Ed Loosli says:

    “Complaint Demands Restoration of Data Quantifying and Qualifying Grazing Effects”

    Thanks go to Jon Marvel for passing this along.

    • Gary Humbard says:

      Any member of the public can buy a map showing BLM managed land and hike onto that land and if they see what they believe is environmental degradation, they can report it to the local BLM office. If the issue is not resolved, they can take it to the next highest level, until the issue is resolved.

      This group should cite specific cases of environmental degradation, report it and follow up. That’s how conditions improve, not making generalized accusations on paper.

      • Ed Loosli says:

        Gary Humbard:
        Please read about the PEER complaint again… It is the government that is supposed to rate its own level of grazing success or failure on each allotment…This last report leaves out this data, so private citizens cannot review it, which violates their the government’s own procedures.

  15. Ida Lupine says:

    I haven’t quite finished reading the entire decision, but I wondered about this myself. Be still my heart!

    Federal Judge’s Ruling Could Have National Impact

    • WM says:

      Wolf poop is going to hit the fan, so to speak, shortly. And, I think Dr. Mech accurately predicts some of what is likely to happen, once states weigh in, especially with both houses of Congress now held by the R’s, and even some smart sympathetic D’s, like MN’s Al Franken (who is a common sense guy).

      This court decision could simply go away with another distasteful rider (by making the WGL wolf delisting regulation of FWS, that this judge didn’t like, a statute). The up side of this approach is that it would avoid a wholesale gutting of the ESA. I don’t think HSUS thought this through, but they rarely do…think…, that is.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I wonder though if avoiding a wholesale gutting of the ESA isn’t going to be enough – they’ve got quite a few things to be concerned about coming up, sage grouse, grizzlies, and they can’t keep making up legislation on the fly and sneaking in unchallengeable riders without creating a ruckus. I hope that Democrats won’t continue to allow it.

    • Louise Kane says:

      From the story in the Minn Tribune quoting Mech,

      “I think there’s going to be more illegal taking” of wolves, said L. David Mech, a renowned wolf researcher for the U.S. Interior Department.”

      “State natural resource agencies have been managing wolves well the last three years, Mech said, and while the populations may have dropped some because of hunting, the animal is in no danger of falling back to truly endangered conditions.”

      Somebody please explain to me what is it with Mech?
      After a lifetime of researching wolves, Mech sounds more like a lobbyist for people like Big Game Forever than an independent researcher or creator of the International Wolf Center.

      As a scientist, Mech has the unique opportunity to advance the most informed and considered research about wolves. That research is clearly illustrating that public hunting of wolves serves little to no value in managing wolves to lessen depredations or other potential threats to humans. Likewise research is also illustrating that hunting decreases tolerance for wolves. Other research is showing that public hunting creates disruption, raises the the potential for increased predation, and creates pack instability. Historically wolves are persecuted for all number of reasons that are increasingly being disproved as justification for hunting them.

      Mech would be in the unique position to advance a better world for the wolves. After spending a lifetime studying wolves, why choose to constantly reinforce status quo game management policies that aren’t working and they perpetuate ill informed stereotypes? In 2014, surely we can do better than to tear apart families of closely bonded individuals, to allow the super intelligent cousins to our domesticated dogs to languish in traps, be beaten, shot and arrowed for trophies?

      If anyone might feel compassion, why not Mech?

      You can’t have it both ways. You can’t demand legitimacy and respect for being a distanced impartial scientist but yet form very determined opinions about public policy that are really derived from social science and politics and have nothing to do with biology. what separates Mech then from all the rest of us with our educated opinions?

      When reporters are looking to write a piece they typically look for both sides…interesting to note how Mech’s quotes are now consistently used.

      “When asked if wolves were truly endangered in Minnesota, as the judge’s decision rules, Mech said he needed only a one-word answer.


      Phillips said he agreed, but added that there’s a difference between biologically endangered and legally endangered and that wolves clearly still remain “legally endangered.”

      Will wolves continue to live in a world where they are allowed only to hover just above endangered or threatened species status (using population numbers to define their health) or will we move forward?

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I have to wonder as well – I’ve tried to give the benefit of the doubt, but – I just have to wonder.

        There’s a government eradication program being touted over at one of our friendly neighborhood wolf hating blogs. Date: 1907.

        Sadly, 2015 is fast approaching and yet the mindsets are still set in the distant past.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Or defer to his knowledge, and experience, I guess I should say. But I wonder why he seems to have become such a hunting proponent.

          Wow, I didn’t think I’d get jumped so quickly about my post of the hystericalhistorical government wolf eradication policy document! My point was, that nothing seems to have changed regarding tolerance for wolves in more than 100 years. Had them dumped in our laps, we have to live with them, blah, blah, blah. The wolves were here before us, so we are the ones who should be adapting.

          I love the Great Felidae post, btw!

      • Ed Loosli says:

        We will know in the coming future who is correct, Louise Kane or David Mech regarding whether the total wolves killed are less or more after the Endangered Species Act was reinstated in the Great Lakes region states. My educated guess goes with already known research, which David Mech, should be aware of, but for some reason is choosing to ignore, and that is as Louise states: “Research is illustrating that hunting decreases tolerance for wolves.” Therefore, while “listed”, wolves will suffer less than when their was hunting/trapping allowed.

        • Ed Loosli says:

          edit correction:

          Therefore, while “listed”, wolves will suffer less than when there was hunting/trapping allowed.

      • timz says:

        “Somebody please explain to me what is it with Mech”

        He’s 77, wonder how long it’s been since he has been in the field.

      • JB says:

        “Somebody please explain to me what is it with Mech?”

        It’s very simple, actually. Mech is an ‘old school’ wildlife ecologist. For folks like him the only ‘should’ (ethical) rule was: you must maintain a viable population. Old school wildlife folks still think in terms of populations. Communities don’t matter; no animals (besides humans) deserve moral consideration; ANY management action is acceptable, so long as it does not jeopardize the population. Because no state came anywhere near reducing wolf abundance to the point that Mech (and many others) believe the population is jeopardized, therefore states did a ‘good job’ managing wolves.

        The key difference, Louise, is that for many of these ‘old school’ types, HOW animals die, and WHY they die make absolutely no difference–the only thing that matters is population viability.

        When you understand this, Mech’s views (and many of the hunters’ here whom you engage with) will make sense–even if you disagree with them.

        • Louise Kane says:

          JB, my question was of course rhetorical but thank you for the response because it’s very accurate and I think demonstrates very clearly a big problem. These old school philosophies persist and must be challenged if they are to change. I do believe we can do much better in 2014, that we owe it ourselves to our progeny and to other beings.

          • Immer Treue says:

            The thing is, it was not just Mech, but Phillips and Thiel also were adamant about biologically recovered wolf populations in MN, WI, and MI. Sure all the antis look at this, but it’s the truth.

            Perhaps the tin foil boys and girls should also look at the comment made on the NRM subspecies “controversy”.

            • Louise Kane says:

              perhaps the use of tin foil boys and girls is a little dismissive. I think some good examples of conspiracy against wolves exist from removing them from the ESA with a rider, to the Michigan legislators involvement in overturning a citizen’s initiative, to the amount of money spent lobbying against wolves and other carnivores. Anyhow, there is much to debate about what constitutes biologically recovered and whether it applies in the legal or biological context and how scientists interpret it, as mandated by law or as examined in a historical context. The “truth” is highly subjective. What I object to most strenuously is the disingenuous way that recovery goals were arrived at, at how current data does not reinvigorate policy, and at how Mech and others use biological observations to make policy statements. If this were a court of law they would be challenged as the experts, at least when it comes to making calls that concern social science analysis. That was my original bitch. I don’t need to repeat the rest of my post to reiterate others. I hope you have been able to see evidence of your wolves lately. I like thinking that perhaps, at least for a couple of years, you may see evidence of them as unmolested families.

              I know you are a big fan of Mech. I almost always agree with all of your posts and admire your depth of knowledge. On the Mech issue, I can’t help feeling that old cliche, with friends like this….

              • Immer Treue says:

                It’s not just Mech. Phillips and Thiel both voiced the wolves of the WGLS are biologically recovered and in no danger.

                Wolves will never reoccupy all of the remaining 85% of their original range, of course unless man disappears.

                Biologically, in the WGLS,there is not much more room for expansion. There are a number of locales where wolves could be successful, but reintroduction would probably be necessary. This is the most probable fault the rationale for relisting.

                I’d honestly prefer to see a bit more social acceptance prior to further wolf expansion. I’m weary of the illegal killing, as little can be done to prevent it.

                • Immer Treue says:

                  Reason for relisting

                • Louise Kane says:

                  agreed that they will never inhabit all of their former range but where they do exist must they be so tormented? Its unnatural and unnecessary. It’s holocaust like to me…how much can they take and still persist? is that a way to “manage” intelligent sentient beings that you study? I can;t understand how one could so closely study the intimate lives of wild animals and express such cold blooded apathetic reasoning for their management. Of course I am much more aligned with the philosophies expressed by people like Haber or the Dutchers that produced Living with Wolves and actually did for many years.

                  granted there may not be more carrying capacity for wolves in MN but they were not making unreasonable demands of the habitat either. wasn’t that population stable for 10 years or so? at 3000

                  can’t we afford more privacy and respect for individuals that take so little from us and give so much? I actually know you agree so that too is rhetorical.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  Noone is asking that they be brought back to all of their former range – that of course and obviously is impossible! We all know that this is just hyperbole designed to discourage any kind of further wolf reintroduction, and even to reduce/remove them from lands they presently do occupy.

                  But also, the ridiculously small amount of range on the map that we have deemed allowable for them isn’t that much of an improvement and untruthful, because there realistically is more range that they could still occupy.

                  This fancy footwork by the USF&W about subspecies and where grey wolves’ original range is/was might not be that fancy, and seems to be crumbling under scrutiny.

                • Immer Treue says:

                  The population was ” stable” at 3,000+/-. However, recall that 300 wolves were removed for livestock depredation in 2012. Mange infection was high, and one DNR CO told me in private conversation said as many as 400 wolves illegally killed.

                  Not until the illegal take is dealt with, in my opinion, will any of what you mention be solved

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  The way to deal with illegal take is to remove/reduce legal take. There is no other way.

                • Louise Kane says:

                  Immer been thinking about this “re listing” a lot lately because I fear the repercussions. I too would like to see more social acceptance. Isn’t one route to that to keep them legally protected and to make it illegal to kill wolves? The other is a shift in wildlife policy with a greater focus on biodiversity principles coupled with education. It’s a big thorny situation. I have not had a chance to read the decision yet, but I believe the judge’s rationale included a position that will be helpful for wolves and their advocates. I thought I read that she argued wolves in the WGLS should not have been deemed a separate population. I’m hoping to get some time to read the decision soon. If you have any have further thoughts would like to hear them.

                • Immer Treue says:

                  It’s easier to manage wildlife than it is to manage people. I really don’t know how one might put a crimp in illegal take.

                  Wolves live in areas where there aren’t a lot of people. Unless one witnesses the act, which is very rare (the witnessing)very little one can do. Wolves will be illegally killed post relisting, just as they had been during legal hunting seasons, and prior to their delisting.

                • Louise Kane says:

                  at least Immer the killing will not be additive to any “legal” harvest and if given enough time and education the possibility exists to increase tolerance.

  16. Nancy says:

    Not exactly wildlife news but frightening when you think about the endless scenarios…road rage comes to mind.

    “NASHVILLE – Under a new law that quietly took effect last week, many Tennessee gun owners may now legally keep loaded firearms in their vehicles even if they don’t have a state-issued handgun-carry permit”

  17. Nancy says:

    Happy Holidays Everyone 🙂

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Awwww, very cute! Happy holidays to you and your loved ones also, Nancy!

      I had 5 deer (including a couple of this year’s fawns) stroll through my backyard for a late night snack the other night. 🙂

  18. skyrim says:

    Cute Clip Nancy. Thanks, and The Best of the Holiday season to you and yours.

  19. Nancy says:

    An interesting documentary I’d not seen – A Wolf Called Storm/BBC/Turner:

    • Barb Rupers says:

      Thanks, Nancy, I had not seen it either.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Wow!! What an amazing film – beautifully photographed and edited. Thank you for the Christmas treat. May the wolves and bison thrive.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I think I have seen this – it sounds familiar. It is beautiful

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing it again. I always watch Christmas in Yellowstone too.

        I’ve got to be careful about my posts, because I am still under gag order. I wonder if I can bank the ones I don’t use for future use? Oh well. lol 🙂

  20. Yvette says:

    This clip for an upcoming BBC program is stunning. Enjoy.

    • Yvette says:

      I didn’t realize Nancy had already posted the link. I only posted the trailer. Yeah! I get to watch the entire program.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        Are these for the same video or two different ones? Nancy’s is in Wood Buffalo Park, the other on Ellesmere Island to air later this season, perhaps.

        • Yvette says:

          They are different; both BBC. I didn’t realize until I got a few minutes in to the one Nancy posted. It looks like the one I posted will air on the 29th and 30th.

  21. sleepy says:

    There are efforts afoot in New Zealand to rid the nation of all of its mammalian predators, mostly rats, stoats, and possums. Prior to human settlement in the 1300s, there were apparently no such animals. Of course, there is one predator mammal will be allowed to continue to exist.

    • Nancy says:

      “Of course, there is one predator mammal will be allowed to continue to exist”

      You are right. Fascinating read Sleepy.

      “Even taking the long view—the very long view—the threat posed to New Zealand’s fauna by invasive species is extraordinary. It may be unprecedented in the eighty million years that New Zealand has existed. But we live in an age of unprecedented crises. We’re all aware of them, and mostly we just feel paralyzed, incapable of responding. New Zealanders aren’t just wringing their hands, nor are they are telling themselves consolatory tales about the birth of “novel ecosystems.” They’re dividing their neighborhoods into grids and building better possum traps—ones that deliver CO2 directly to the brain”

      • Elk375 says:

        New Zealand is the largest user of 1080 in the world. It is used to kill all sort of animals and is spread on the ground from helicopters. I was hunting in New Zealand several years ago and got into a mild discussion with a farmer about the use of 1080; he was all for using 1080.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Ugh. Just the thought of these beautiful, unspoiled places being treated this way, right from their European discovery – is awful to think about.

        • Louise Kane says:

          New Zealand and Australia both use compound 1080 excessively. It is terrible

  22. Barb Rupers says:

    I finally found a source for the answer to a question I have had for a number of years: why is the winter solstice not the day of latest sunrise and earliest sunset over all the northern hemisphere?

    The sequence in both hemispheres is: “earliest sunset before the winter solstice, the winter solstice itself, latest sunrise after the winter solstice”.

    Hope you all enjoy your solstice season.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Todd Wilkinson has written an amazing 20 articles about this in the Jackson Hole News and Guide newspaper this year.

      I wish I had a copy of every one. All of them are good, and certainly dissect in great detail what is wrong with elk and bison management in Montana and Wyoming (and the Park too).

  23. Immer Treue says:

    Warm and Safe Wishes to everyone today, and throughout the Holiday Season!

  24. JB says:

    Happy holidays to all of you wildlife nuts!

  25. Gary Humbard says:

    Merry Christmas and a healthy and optimistic new year to everyone.

    • Ida Lupines says:


      My goodness, that was a beautiful video. Thanks Gary, best wishes to you and yours also.

  26. rork says:
    Covers some other deer control tactics near DC, and another article today told of 55 deer killed in Rock Creek park.
    Visited Mason Neck (VA) today – thousands of waterfowl and their predators, just as we’d ask of Santa.

    • Nancy says:

      Rork – get this message “We’re unable to locate the page you requested”

      Will try Barb’s link.

    • Nancy says:

      Hunters love deer for obvious reasons and wildlife enthusiasts love seeing deer. (The comments below the article pretty much cover it 🙂

      No easy solutions. Our species created the problem, encroaching on their habitat.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        To me, it’s appallingly unethical, and creepy in the Josef Mengele sense. How is it better than hunting? Shallow too, to think that a shiny operating suite makes it acceptable, because it is better that a quick and dirty, ‘unsterile’ fix in the field.

        Something that humans would find abhorrent and a human rights violation for other humans, so how do we justify inflicting forced sterilization on another living creature, that cannot give informed consent? With our domestic pets, we’ve created an unnatural situation, and cats and dogs have larger litters. Deer only produce one fawn, and sometimes two.

        Meanwhile, our numbers continue to grow and encroach.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Monkey Saves Pal in India

          I thought this was amazing. Science is continuing to ‘evolve’ as to just how much other animals do have empathy and awareness of others, and showing that we are not quite as unique as we think we are.

  27. Nancy says:

    An FYI and it is wildlife news:

    Earthquake Activity
    City Distance Mag. Time & Date
    Challis, Idaho 80 mi 3.4 9:10 PM MST 2014-12-23
    Challis, Idaho 81 mi 2.5 8:21 AM MST 2014-12-23
    Challis, Idaho 81 mi 2.7 7:42 AM MST 2014-12-23
    Challis, Idaho 81 mi 2.5 7:33 AM MST 2014-12-23
    Challis, Idaho 80 mi 3.5 6:52 AM MST 2014-12-23

    • topher says:

      Not much evidence to support his theory. Maybe none.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      There has been an earthquake swarm near Challis. They come every other year or so, but Challis is no where near where some fracking is taking place in Idaho, not only in distance but in geology.

      The article linked to is angry nonsense as it refers to Idaho.

      • Nancy says:

        Thanks for clarifying Ralph 🙂

        • Yvette says:

          There is considerable research being done to test whether hydraulic fracturing is linked to the 50 fold increase in earthquakes in OK, TX, AR,CO,and OH.

          The results, so far, are kind of interesting and can be a bit confusing. Depending on who is reporting and where you read the results it may read like a link has been established. So far, I think USGS research has only linked injection wells to the earthquakes, and not the rate and magnitude of earthquakes to fraking.

          We’re over the San Madras fault, so I would think that contributes. I don’t know enough about geology to base an opinion. Is there a major or minor fault line in a region of ID that could be linked to the earthquakes?

          There are plenty of reasons to be seriously concerned with fraking operations. The amount of water needed, the disposal of the flowback water and production water, the potential for groundwater contamination, and thanks to Dick Cheney, proprietary protection on chemicals used in the fracking process. Good ole’ Dick made sure that the SDWA was excluded from fraking operations.

          On the injection wells and their potential for danger: Arkansas passed a law preventing any more injection wells in their state. Oklahoma, being run by those that are friends and allies of the O&G industry decided to accept AR’s waste water. Now that waste is travelling on the highways and rails to OK to be put in injection wells here.

          There is plenty to be concerned about with fracking.

  28. Yvette says:

    Great write up on Camilla Fox of Project Coyote.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Besides helping to stop California’s predator killing contests, Camilla Fox and her Project Coyote were also instrumental in getting the gray wolf put on California’s Endangered Species list, as was another powerful woman in California – Amaroq Weiss with the Center For Biological Diversity.

    • jon says:

      Camilla is a true conservationist in every sense of the word. Protecting wildlife is conservation. Destroying wildlife is not conservation nor will it ever be,

  29. Yvette says:

    For a bit of good news on wildlife. The Dutch have placed a GPS collar on a female European wildcat.

    More good news. This European wildcat (Felis sylvestris) was declared extinct in the wild in the Netherlands, but alas, it had been spotted. With conservation work this cat is making a fast return. This link provides more information. Damn, it’s good to hear some good news on wild life. Especially cats since I love felines so much.

    I’ve only recently begun reading about the different breeds of small wild cats, like the margay, the bay cat, the sand cat, the palla’s cat and probably my favorite, the Fishing cat. A wild cat that fishes and lives in wetlands? What more could someone want?

    I find these small wildcats fascinating.

  30. Louise Kane says:
    Marc Bekoff on compassion in the new year, working together to achieve change, and recommended reading.

    There are few that advocate for compassion for other beings as passionately and with such determined and convincing conviction.

  31. Louise Kane says:

    anyone know anything about this organization
    I wish every conservation organization had a chapter dedicated to reducing human populations

    • WM says:

      And now let us overlay on this map the most politically and economically troubled parts of the world. See any correlation? Africa, by the way, is the seat of the highest population growth rates in the world in the coming 50 years.

      And now let us drill a little deeper WITHIN the country maps? Illegal immigrants from Mexico with a fertility rate of 2.36+ is 15-20% higher than the US rate which already has some of the higher Mexico fertility rate built in as a result of illegal in-migration. One of Mexico’s (and some Central American countries) largest exports is human population.

      So, where to start, Louise?

      • JB says:

        “…let us overlay on this map the most politically and economically troubled parts of the world. See any correlation?”

        WM: The bivariate correlation between GDP/capita and total fertility rate is 0.03 (near zero). Just an FYI.

        • WM says:

          ++WM: The bivariate correlation between GDP/capita and total fertility rate is 0.03 (near zero). Just an FYI.++

          Not sure how relevant that statistic is JB, because Mexico’s top 5-10 percent holds most of the wealth, AND importantly, if a country exports population the per capita of the remaining becomes higher, while the receiving country it becomes lower. I think you get the math to which I refer, because otherwise the illegal 10 million in-migrants from a country of 117 million population of (Mexico) might just have a lower per capita GDP by maybe as much as 10 percent if those folks and their future progeny had STAYED in their country of origin.

          • JB says:


            True. Assuming, of course, that in migration would stay the same if out migration were curtailed (that may be a dubious assumption). But of course, we’ve gone from discussing trends across nations to one specific case, which is a misuse of statistics (there are always individual cases that break the rule). We’ve also added a third variable (i.e., inequality) which is really the result of a fourth (corruption). I am willing to bet that both out migration and GDP are negatively associated with inequality and corruption, though I’m not sure these are easily quantified.

            In any case, there is no statistical relationship between economic output (per capita) and total fertility (which, I readily admit, I find surprising). BTW: I pulled the data from World Bank’s database ’12 for TFR, ’13 for GDP/capita.

            • Louise Kane says:

              I am willing to bet that both out migration and GDP are negatively associated with inequality and corruption, though I’m not sure these are easily quantified.


      • Louise Kane says:

        I had one idea a while back that was hoping you would comment on, but did not.

        for US whether immigrant, black, white, rich or poor. One child gets current tax exemptions. Families with over one child pay a higher tax rate and disqualify for assistance. Some grandfathering would need to be factored in, as well as exceptions to the rule for rape or any forced pregnancies. Would it be hard to implement yup. Would it be a strong disincentive, yes. Probably not very popular but if being utterly pragmatic all new mouths are a drain on public resources. Those having multiple children should pay for the drain on resources. If they can’t afford the children and can not get assistance eventually the births will slow down. For the wealthy that want more children then let them pay more, significantly more…..

        • Louise Kane says:

          to add
          its a tough stance and I am not suggesting that those getting aid now be cut off. I think a phase in period would be necessary. I can hear the Democrats howl but I guess I am more of a conservationist at heart than a Democrat. We have a relatively modest population by world standards, I’d like to see it stay that way.

        • JB says:

          Louise: I agree that a sliding tax policy would be ideal. The problem is that such tax policy would be regressive; that is it would end up disproportionately punishing the poor.

          • WM says:

            …and, as Draconian as it is, who says there is no logical case for sterilization laws? After number 2 child, and if you can’t pay for them, sterilization should become a very real option, say in exchange for a small cash payment.

            Maybe the Pope ought to consider that option, while chiming in on other complex and sensitive sociopolitical topics.

            • Yvette says:

              I’ve always thought sterilization should be an option, should be easy to access, and should be free for those who cannot pay…..even at a young age. Birth control should be free for women that are below the median income level, and that should be a no brainer. Some women are very fertile and need the sterilization.

              Not everyone wants children, or more than one child. You’d be surprised how controversial sterilization is when the one requesting it is young. If it is in a government health facility, like Indian Health Service, I’ve known them to flat out refuse to do it if she has no children. Problem is the liability. IHS had a policy of sterilizing women without their consent and/or coercion by threats of taking the children they had. This happened up to about 1977-78. It’s well documented. Of course, there was the problem of the sterilization without consent that happened in NC to low income Black women, too.

              So, given America’s history with targeting low income women of color I highly doubt any agency will ever offer government paid sterilizations. Having a hard enough time even getting politicians and churches to back off of Planned Parenthood and PP isn’t all that cheap if you’re poor. Everything is relative.

              I wonder what demographics are in America based on # of kids correlated with income levels. My guess is their is a correlation with low income to higher number of kids per woman. (per woman b/c it is usually the female that ends up with the kids or bears the greater burden of raising them…though not always).

              “After number 2 child, and if you can’t pay for them, sterilization should become a very real option, say in exchange for a small cash payment.”

              IF we’re going to force sterilization why stop with those who can’t afford kids? It should be across the board regardless of income, race, etc.

              ‘in exchange for a small cash payment’. LOL, just how much is a poor kid’s value vs. a middle class or rich kid? Do we pay the sperm donor or the woman? This is too much like selling organs to the rich people who need transplants and can afford to pay some bloke for his kidney.

              • Yvette says:

                Given the goofiness of this topic, can we please start the sterilizations with the Duggar’s? And their offspring. What are they up to, 19 kids? That is nuts.

          • Louise Kane says:

            unfortunately that might be a problem without extremely careful planning and implementation. Still I think there is merit in a tax system.

            • WM says:

              Which part of the tax system, Louise – the part that pays for dependents, or that part that wants/needs the subsidy? See, that’s the problem for some of the middle class – watching dollars they believe are theirs and which might go for other uses, going to pay for welfare, food stamps, medical care, SSI, school lunches, and needs based school subsidies for college, or ultimately costs of prosecution and incarceration of those unaffordable kids who wind up somewhere “in the system” and eventually in prison, or if not caught breaking into your house, car or buying drugs with what they steal from others.

              • Louise Kane says:

                I understand that
                its a complex issue for sure
                I have no problem using tax dollars for welfare, school lunches, food stamps, medical care or subsidies for college. Contributing to those needs feels right to me. Some are worse off than others. I’d rather tax money go to helping people than war mongering. I am primarily interested in seeing human populations decrease wherever and whenever possible. I’d like to see a financial incentive program work.

                • Louise Kane says:

                  I should have added how do you break the vicious cycle? Having said I am for social welfare, I am also for social responsibility and population control. How to mesh those ideas is the issue!

  32. Ida Lupines says:

    Some awesome news from my local bird and wildlife sanctuary, that I was pleased to read in their end-of-year newsletter. Thought I’d share:

    Conservation Practices

    • A record year for the Coastal Waterbird Program, a total of 30 piping plover chicks were fledged from Allens Pond.

    • Wildlife Intern learned to identify grassland birds, monitored bobolink pairs, and delved into our 10-year dataset to reveal the steady rise of our breeding bobolink population along with the habitat management practices that appear to drive it.

    • Barn Swallow Project, scouring barns and similar structures across the region to assess nesting sites while educating property owners.

    •Volunteers helped Sanctuary Director monitor an impressively-successful cohort of ospreys that fledged 136 young at 80 nests! Over one-hundred hours of repair work brought the platforms back up to snuff as well.

  33. Ida Lupines says:

    Wolves could still be removed for livestock depredation, and we’ve said over and over that generalized hunting doesn’t really help this. A targeted approach would be better, and there’s already a mechanism in place to assist livestock owners. If wolves have mange, surely trappers aren’t going to want unhealthy pelts? So trophy hunting/trapping isn’t going to do anything to address that either.

    Generalized hunting was a mistake, let’s face it.

    And thanks Larry and Mak for your words of encouragement.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Wolf hunting isn’t sustainable, as we can see by the extremely short seasons now, and going over quota legally. Instead of letting hunters get away with this, the DNR ought to have reduced quotas, or build poaching/ignoring quotas into next year’s numbers. They did seem to shut down the zones as soon as they possibly could, I’ll give them that – but the genie is out of the bottle now. I give next year’s season a week at this rate. We are a dumb species.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        ^^Or reduced the numbers in the remaining zones, I should have written.

        But for now, there isn’t going to be a wolf season next year – because hunters have abused the privilege, and have shown they are incapable of ‘managing’ them in the way we were assured by the USF&W.

        We’ll see how long that lasts; we’ll see an uptick in dog and livestock attacks, and ‘creative’ ways of making the numbers appear large (one such report went back about 50 years or so!) children at bus stops, etc.

  34. Louise Kane says:

    Indonesia is experiencing a wildlife crisis due to overhunting. Humans are going to have to alter their behavior. Hunting is not sustainable as it is being conducted whether by locals or wealthy elites. I am not talking ungulates in our game park like public lands

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Oh that photo – to think of that poor vulnerable, endangered orangutan (only 6000 or less left in the entire world) at the mercy of thuggish humans is upsetting. There was one account of one being tormented by a group of people, until someone stepped up to put a stop to it.

      There is much less wildlife than there ever was, and too many people to expect hunting to ever be sustainable anymore, and because of that, it’s a preposterous idea for conservation in modern times.

    • Elk375 says:

      There is no such thing as wealthy foreigners hunting in Indonesia or anywhere in Southeast Asia that I am aware of. There is some hunting in Nepal.

      • Ed Loosli says:

        I might have missed some comment here, but as far as I can see, no-one wrote anything about wealthy “foreigners” hunting in Indonesia or Southeast Asia. It looks like this wildlife self-destruction from hunting is an inside job.

    • Yvette says:

      I’m skeptical about the tone in that article, Louise. There are a lot of variables affecting the wildlife and their habitats in Indonesia, and I think many are directly related to Western policies and principles, i.e., resource extraction. So, I’m hesitant to place the full load on the Indonesians. I’m not saying that hunting or over hunting isn’t having a horrific effect on their wildlife, but there are just so many other factors to consider in the mix. Plus, the author of that article pulled the worn out “the tragedy of the commons” reference. Their entire thesis gets flushed down the commode when they reference that misquoted, mis-interpreted manifesto that has been given far too much legitimacy and credit.

      If we researched it, I’m positive we would find many things the Indonesians have done wrong, but I doubt that is the full story. Follow the money and my bet is it leads right back to Western banks and corporations. We get the riches and leave them the spoils.

      Are you familiar with Willie Smits? He has accomplished amazing work in Indonesia. He also included the local’s input in the conservation work; considered their needs for income (and poverty is one of the huge problems) and he did it with respect.

      • Yvette says:

        A bit on Willie Smits and be sure to watch his Ted talk. He has accomplished some serious and amazing work.

      • Louise Kane says:

        I don’t know Yvette
        I’m usually with you
        but take a look at the writer’s publications maybe that will persuade you he knows what he is talking about

        • Yvette says:

          I will definitely read more from that author. I noticed the initial post was from Mongobay website, which I pop into occasionally and I read Rhett Butler’s blog sometimes. He’s been passionate about the rainforest for a long time.

          • Louise Kane says:

            interesting I looked at the Ted talks you posted about last night and did a search for Smitts and Meijaard. It appears the latter was Smitt’s graduate student. Meijaard critiqued some aspect of Smitt’s work. I’m going to follow up on it because I am now curious. I also just read something by Paul Watson about Dian Fossey that had me thinking about how ineffective traditional NGOs are and just how and where does one even start toward working out any conservation goal. A bit of a non sequitur but here is the link to the Fossey tribute. There are crusaders and there are conformists. Smitt definitely seems like a crusader, it would be interesting to hear what he thinks about Meijaard’s piece. Thanks for posting the info about Smitts.
            Good to know 2 such hard working and dedicated scientists are in the trenches for Indonesian wildlife. My friends usually spend 4 months a year there surfing and they are troubled by the development and radical changes they see as the travel to the outer islands.

            Tribute to Fossey

  35. Ida Lupines says:

    I think our bad treatment of other living things we ‘share’ the planet with (we don’t) is a human thing – it’s cross-cultural and crosses all socio-economic strata. Then add the influence of religions telling us how great we are into the mix. Sometimes following the money trail leads right back to corrupt (and very rich) governments who are all too happy to cater to Western interests if it means they’ll get rich too.

    If poverty is the rationale for bad treatment of our fellow creatures, then the future looks very grim indeed, as the struggle for resources and survival is only going to get worse in the future. Poverty is part of the human condition; it has been with us since the dawn of humanity; we’ve never been able to fix it in the past, and if we think we can eliminate it with more people than the earth has ever seen by 2050 and beyond, then hope really does spring eternal. Prosperity will also harm wildlife and more and more resources and habitat are taken up to sustain our numbers.

    The problem is, there are just too many of us across the boards. It’s the root of every last one of our problems.

    I’m at or near my posting limit, so good night everyone!

  36. Ed Loosli says:

    “The Future of the Clouded Leopard Looks a Little Less Cloudy”
    The clouded leopard disappeared from Taiwan decades ago, but conservation efforts have made the island habitable once again.
    John R. Platt, Scientific American

    • Ida Lupines says:

      <But where would the leopards come from?

      I don’t understand this article at all. ‘Disappeared’ seems to mean extinct, but using a more benign term for it that seems to imply humans had nothing to do with it and they just vanished into thin air. And then they say that the species may not have been a unique species at all, and leopards can be ‘imported’ from the elsewhere to take their place, even though they and their prey species are also endangered. The vegetation has made a comeback and it might support all of it, even though habitat encroachment and hunting is still putting pressure on the entire thing. ?????

      It’s one of those articles that does more harm than good because it is overly optimistic and implies that everything we do to the environment can be fixed. It can’t.

      • Ed Loosli says:

        Did you read the article – it is quite clear?? The clouded leopard on Taiwan island became locally extinct decades ago. The clouded leopard as a species is NOT extinct. Because Taiwan banned commercial hunting in 1973 and stopped logging its natural forests in 1991, the clouded leopard’s prey species have made a big comeback as have the Taiwan forests. Therefore, scientists think it will be possible to reintroduce the clouded leopard (from nearby Asia mainlands) back to Taiwan. Ida; do you think it was not a good idea for Taiwan to ban commercial hunting and logging?? And, are you against the return of the clouded leopard to Taiwan?? Yes, it would have been better if Taiwan had not screwed up it’s forests and wildlife in the first place, but it also seems to be a good news story that their wildlife including the clouded leopard might be able to make a nice comeback.

        • Nancy says:

          It is a good news story, Ed. Attempts are being made to right a wrong.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Yes, of course I read it. It sounds like a bit of species cloudiness we see here in the US with the grey wolf. Is it a subspecies, or not? Used to be a separate species, now there’s debate.

          We should try not to let our hopes and dreams cloud our judgment. With wolves, we’ve had many studies and there is still debate and public resistance and intolerance, and conflicting scientific studies. I won’t let this one have me shouting hallelujah just yet.

          I’m happy that Taiwan is trying to bring back the countries wild areas by limiting logging and I’ll leave it at that. I don’t find that something to cheer about. Speculating on repopulating the island with former species is a bit too much for now.

          There are many wrongs that we cannot make right, but we can improve. This piece is one of those over-simplified, feel-good articles that isn’t very realistic. We can pat ourselves on the back for a little while.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Let’s hope the attempts aren’t as bungling as this one:


            And I’m not singling out any particular country. It isn’t much better for animals here either. As I said, it’s a human thing.

            Costa Rica is about the only place I’m ecstatic about.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            I see a lot of ‘coulds’ maybes’, ‘mights’ and nothing definitive with this one study. The leopards that would be brought in ‘possibly could make good candidates’, but it doesn’t sound like they are the same species. The original animal went extinct due to overhunting. This sounds like government propaganda to me. I’m tired of humans making ecosystems their own personal experiments.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              Oh, and ‘probablys’ too.

              Genetic studies published in 2006 and 2011 indicate that the cats on Taiwan probably weren’t a unique subspecies after all, so mainland clouded leopards would not exactly be aliens to the island.

              It sounds like a child’s fairy tale to me – ‘the clouded leopard of days of old ‘disappeared’ one day, but if you look behind the right blade of grass, you still may find them out there somewhere.’

          • Nancy says:

            “This piece is one of those over-simplified, feel-good articles that isn’t very realistic”

            In the words of someone who use to post here:

            “Ida, get off your high horse!”

            I soundly applaud this country’s (or any country) efforts to hang on to what’s left of wilderness and return their predators to it.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              Well, yes, it goes without saying that any progress is good progress, and restoration of Taiwan’s forests is a wonderful thing. But let’s not make it more of it than it is. Sometimes we need to delve in a little deeper, not be naïve and take things strictly at face value.

              This article seems to say that the cats would be brought in to help farmers with overpopulated smaller mammals that are supposedly depredating farmland – is restoration of the ecosystem really the goal in and of itself?

              I don’t care who used to post here, or why they left, especially if it was before my time. Don’t try to lay that on me. I’m only interested in wildlife and protecting what’s left of them and their environment, not making people feel good.

            • skyrim says:

              “Ida, get off your high horse!”
              Nancy I would bet that to be a comment by Savebears (for my freezer).
              Without taking sides on any posts or authors of same let me just say that this entity is not who/what they appear to be.
              Some internet posters appear to be moderates when they are anything but.
              IMO this poster fits every description of same.
              I’ve followed his antics ever since he threatened me many years ago.
              BTW Thanks for the referral on the Childs book. A very good read.

              • Nancy says:

                Skyrim, glad you found Childs interesting.

                And thank you for posting the Jackson Hole site (elk refuge) Mind boggling the elk stacked up there.

                Do you know if any of the funds (assuming there’s a fee from the wagon loads of people, hauled thru the refuge, viewing these elk like cattle) go to off set the cost of feeding them?

                • WM says:


                  Forgive the intrusion on your conversation with skyrim. If I understand correctly a private concession has the license to provide the sleigh rides thru the refuge. Normally that would mean they pay a fee to do business with the Dept. of Interior (Fish and Wildlife Service), and the federal government gets a share of the take. Kind of like the guide service(s) on Mt. Rainier, or maybe a horse wrangling outfit operating in Yellowstone or Yosemite. Probably the money goes back into the federal general fund, then if Congress feels like it, they appropriate some money back to the locale that generated the money in the first place.

                  Of course, the Elk Refuge operates because this is one more instance of no winter range for ungulates, and it appears the town of Jackson is growing in such a way as to block some of the winter migration routes to the refuge, otherwise there might be twice the elk population there (ain’t that ironic – some dentist from Hoboken retires to Jackson only to have the wildlife begin to dry up as his/her well heeled compatriots who also want to experience the West, Jackson style (polo grounds and all), consume thru changed land use what remains of winter range and corridors to lower elevations and feed.

                  Now if we could only get those wild horses and burros which are federal dependents on a piece of ground where people would be willing to brave the cold and ride around in a sleigh for $18 a piece, to help defray and pay those millions of dollars spent every year on feeding and caring for those federally protect vestages of the “Old West.” How much is that, maybe up to $500-1,000 per horse per year? How much to “manage” wolves, $5000 per wolf per year, to say nothing of the private costs for non-lethal protective measures by livestock owners?

                • WM says:

                  Forgot to mention, maybe those are “the people’s elk,” many migrating from within Yellowstone or Teton National Parks, or are they the responsibility of the state of WY once they cross a Park boundary on to state or private land (and get a little federally subsidized hay) once they go back on federal ground at the Refuge. It’s complicated.

                • Nancy says:

                  “Now if we could only get those wild horses and burros which are federal dependents on a piece of ground where people would be willing to brave the cold and ride around in a sleigh for $18 a piece, to help defray and pay those millions of dollars spent every year on feeding and caring for those federally protect vestages of the “Old West.” How much is that, maybe up to $500-1,000 per horse per year? How much to “manage” wolves, $5000 per wolf per year, to say nothing of the private costs for non-lethal protective measures by livestock owners”

                  I sense a hint of frustration in your intrusion WM.

                  What would make things right? And what would be the best way to go about that?

                  It’s 2 degrees outside my cabin right now. The low tomorrow morning is predicated to be about 15 below zero, the high for the day about 8 degrees.

                  Neither one of my dogs can stand it out there for long to do “their business” when the temps are this low even though they are conditioned to winter when it rolls around so I’m always amazed when I see any wildlife toughing it out.

                  But I’m thinking you come to hunt the season and give little thought to what wildlife actually has to endure come winter?

                • WM says:


                  ++ I’m thinking you come to hunt the season and give little thought to what wildlife actually has to endure come winter?++

                  I am aware of the consequences of cold weather and deep snow on wildlife. Mentioned before, here, that I fed elk at the Oak Creek Game Range in WA, when I was home from college on winter breaks. Also fed horses for a neighbor, and a few cows and horses of our own (tough to give them water without a stock tank heater, which requires electricity). Then I lived in CO for many years, where I did snow surveys and skied, even did some winter camping there and on Mt. Rainier in WA. Spent some time ice fishing in ID over the years as well, in -20 degree weather and some wind.

                  As for the comments on cost of aiding wildlife without winter range, or our invasive wild horses and burros, which we have made “wildlife” through an act of Congress, just trying to give an idea of the cost to keep them. As for wolves, it is the management of their range, numbers and behavior in the presence of people and livestock, in some parts of the country, well, it does have recurring economic costs. And, few of the most strident of wolf advocates want to acknowledge this aspect, including a US District Court judge in Washington DC, it would appear. That is why I think we are going to see some rather strong push back on this recent relisting decision in the WGL. I wonder if the FWS, the states and amici will even bother with an appeal, or just go straight for an end run on the ESA with a wolf rider for the WGL and WY.

  37. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Protection for struggling bats takes shape amid timber industry opposition

    Think people are passionate about protecting wolves?

    According to Tony Sullins of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, proposals to extend Endangered Species Act protections to the northern long-eared bat may have generated more public input than the issues around gray wolves — or any others he has worked on in his more than 20 years with FWS.

    Sullins is the service’s endangered species chief for the Midwest region, and also FWS’s lead manager nationally on the proposed listing of the northern long-eared bat as a threatened or endangered species, because of the devastation visited on millions of bats since white-nose syndrome emerged in the winter of 2006-2007.

  38. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Pope Francis’s edict on climate change will anger deniers and US churches

    Pontiff hopes to inspire action at next year’s UN meeting in Paris in December after visits to Philippines and New York

    But can Francis achieve a feat that has so far eluded secular powers and inspire decisive action on climate change?

    It looks as if he will give it a go. In 2015, the pope will issue a lengthy message on the subject to the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics, give an address to the UN general assembly and call a summit of the world’s main religions.

    Following a visit in March to Tacloban, the Philippine city devastated in 2012 by typhoon Haiyan, the pope will publish a rare encyclical on climate change and human ecology. Urging all Catholics to take action on moral and scientific grounds, the document will be sent to the world’s 5,000 Catholic bishops and 400,000 priests, who will distribute it to parishioners.

    According to Vatican insiders, Francis will meet other faith leaders and lobby politicians at the general assembly in New York in September, when countries will sign up to new anti-poverty and environmental goals.

    In recent months, the pope has argued for a radical new financial and economic system to avoid human inequality and ecological devastation. In October he told a meeting of Latin American and Asian landless peasants and other social movements: “An economic system centred on the god of money needs to plunder nature to sustain the frenetic rhythm of consumption that is inherent to it.

    “The system continues unchanged, since what dominates are the dynamics of an economy and a finance that are lacking in ethics. It is no longer man who commands, but money. Cash commands.

    “The monopolising of lands, deforestation, the appropriation of water, inadequate agro-toxics are some of the evils that tear man from the land of his birth. Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness,” he said.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      This is really unprecedented. Good!

      • WM says:


        After persuasion from another poster not long ago, didn’t you agree to a self-imposed limit of no more than five (5) posts per day?

        Here it is, not even 10AM in the West, and you already have something like 7 non-value added posts. Guess the keyboard diarrhea is getting worse, these days, eh?

  39. Ida Lupines says:

    A little OT, but all this talk of other countries is making me think of traveling. I was looking at some National Parks in Europe, where you can walk everywhere, cars are either prohibited or just not practical due to rugged terrain, GMOs and pesticides are prohibited in favor of organic farming. Yay!

    Cinque Terre National Park in Italy, Port-Cros in the South of France. There are others too.

    Now I’m way over my limit, so ciao! and best wishes to all for the New Year.

    • Elk375 says:


      It is summer in the Southern Hemisphere, forget Europe and get on the next plane to Santiago, Chile and then onward to Torres Del Paine. It is the greatest place on earth. There are days and days of hiking.

    • Yvette says:

      My personal opinion is if one is going to set a numerical limit then then use a numerical range rather one specific target.

      For instance, a range of posts from 0-12. (or whatever number you choose) Some days may have topics where you wish to post more than 5 posts; other days there may not be much to contribute so you post less, or post nothing.

      A set limit like 5 may be difficult to maintain and boxes yourself into a corner.

      You made the self-imposed rule. You can change the rule, if you want. 😉

      Just my opinion.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        OK, that sounds great. I do realize I am over the top a lot of the time. 🙂 I should have a self-imposed limit.

  40. skyrim says:

    5 animals traveling in close proximity to the north. Not any sign of hunting behavior and Elk did not respond accordingly.
    QUESTION: What is the status of these animals (wolves) on this ground (refuge) regarding hunting and trapping? Anyone?

    • Nancy says:

      Skyrim, if you bring up the link to the refuge, they is something going on to the right of the telephone pole. Looks like something down and activity there. A few elk passing by, frolicked or jumped away from what ever is on the ground. My DSL is too choppy to get a good look.

    • WM says:

      Unless there has been another court ruling or rule adoption of which I am not aware, WY wolves are ESA listed at this point, so it would appear they cannot be hunted or trapped in WY, for now

      The National Elk refuge does allow hunting earlier in the year, with a valid WY license and tag, for those species which are legal to hunt there, including elk.

  41. Ed Loosli says:

    Mysteries of the Unseen World.

    William Frost wrote: “We live in a world of un-see-able beauty, so subtle and delicate that it is imperceptible to the human eye.”
    To bring this invisible world to light, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg bends the boundaries of time and space with high-speed cameras, time lapses and microscopes. At
    TED2014, he shares highlights from his latest project, a 3D film titled “Mysteries of the Unseen World,” which slows down, speeds up, and magnifies the astonishing wonders of nature.

  42. Kathleen says:

    You might remember that dead coyote “ornament” hanging from a tree with a bright red Christmas bow in Sanders Co., MT–it was posted at TWN before Christmas (reminder here: ) Looks like Sanders Co. is going to do its barbaric self one better with a 1st Annual Great Montana Coyote & Wolf Hunt.

      • Louise Kane says:

        These are some actions you can take against this “event”. Thanks to Anja Heister

        John Harris, the owner of the Lakeside Motel and Resort in Trout Creek, MT is organizing the “1st Annual Great Montana Coyote and Wolf Hunt”, January 16-18 (see flier attached).
        Here is an article on this kill event;

        Please call the owner and let him know what you think about this despicable wildlife massacre.
        Please consider to:
        1. Call John, the motel owner at (406) 827-4458
        2. Write a comment on the motel’s promotional video on YouTube at:
        3. Post a message on the Lakeside Motel and Resort FB page and let him know what you think about this horrific wildlife killing contest: and then,
        4. Call or send a message to the Chamber of Commerce in Thompson Falls to complain about the motel’s involvement in the wolf and coyote killing contest: and then,
        5. Write a review on the motel on the Trout Creek chamber of commerce website (you have to register though to do it):

        Thank You for your help!


        Anja Heister
        Director, Wild and Free – Habitats Campaign
        In Defense of Animals

        • WM says:

          Is Ms. Heister is aware of this MT criminal statute, as she incites folks to consider various electronic or other communications to harass this business, or which could affect their doing business (tortious interference with contract and defamation, if statements are untrue, also come to mind as civil claims which could be made):

          Of course, claims could wind up in federal court in MT, say for example an offending phone call, internet review, etc., which originates from MA, CT or CA. Wonder what just the transportation costs might be to appear in a MT court from these locations are, or hiring a lawyer to defend? Oh, then there is the investigation part where phone numbers and email/IP addresses are identified.

          Is she really that stupid?

          • Ida Lupines says:

            There’s also libel and slander to consider.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              ^^accusing innocent parties of something they haven’t done. Does liability insurance cover that?

              • Ida Lupines says:

                For example, in the days leading up to these killing contests, expect to see a lot of smoke blowing about these big tough hunters shaking in their boots because they are getting threatening messages from the peace-drumming, kumbaya singing environmentalists! You’ll also notice nothing definite is ever written, nor are any names ever mentioned, because they would be liable. But creating that kind of questionable atmosphere is perfectly ok. Should be any day now.

          • Louise Kane says:

            OH come now you really think that statute would apply? using electronics to “incite” others to harass! Digging deep. I’ll take my chances and make my comments agains this event.

            • WM says:


              Making comments to a government agency is a whole bunch different than going after individual businesses directly. The rules of permissible conduct are not the same. I think you know this.

              You did not read my comment carefully, or apparently the statute at all. It is the harassing phone call, email or FALSE vendor review (think Yelp or BBB here) made by an individual which is prohibited conduct and a prosecutable offense under the law (might also consider the possibility your own state has such a statute).

              Some of these “bad acts” also have a civil remedy, and given the passions running high on the topic, it would not surprise me in the least that some would be dumb enough make such calls.

              It’s Montana, and I don’t know that I would want to be an out-of-state defendant in a state or federal court before a judge (or jury), accused of interfering with local businesses, telling them what they can and can’t do, especially where the underlying conduct in which they engage is perfectly legal there. As for the “inciting” part, I don’t know if it is that big a stretch to bring them in, under other state or maybe even federal statutes, if violent acts result.

              The MT/county would have to bring charges under the statute. And the civil claim would be brought by the affected individuals. And, if you think no civil claim lawyer would take such a case, I direct you to WY lawyer, Karen Budd-Falon. She is on her own nut-case mission, and might even do it for free. Doubtless there are others who feel the West is under assault from outside interests. Here is her little squeal on environmental groups and awards of attorney fees under the federal fee shifting provisions of the Equal Access to Justice Act, and the Judgment Fund:

              You really think she wouldn’t represent a pissed off business who was harassed by an animal rights group or individual?

              Go for it, Louise, then wait for the process server. The statute of limitations can’t be more than 2 or 3 years before you get some mail or a process server knocks on your door. I am guessing it would be sooner rather than later, though. 😉

              • Ida Lupines says:

                No thanks! I don’t want to mess with Westerners when they are mad. 🙂 Up to a point, I do understand – although I truly hope and pray there is something we can do to all get along – wildlife and people.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  ‘Up to a point’ meaning that I understand that ranchers need to protect their livestock, (hopefully discouraging will work before killing). But killing contests where there is no respect for life and which desensitize people to killing and life, I never will understand. I wish we all could take the high road, I really do.

              • Yvette says:

                “It is the harassing phone call, email or FALSE vendor review (think Yelp or BBB here) made by an individual which is prohibited conduct and a prosecutable offense under the law (might also consider the possibility your own state has such a statute).”

                What do you think is the probability that this motel owner will respond to all or any of the people that call him to voice their opposition (or harassment as you’ve labeled it), writing negative reviews, etc?

                How many lawsuits have been filed for making false reviews on Yelp? Who will do the legal legwork to find all of those people that call, make comments on youtube, or false reviews?

                Let’s follow this one and see what happens.

              • Louise Kane says:

                “Except as provided in 69-6-104, a person commits the offense of violating privacy in communications if the person knowingly or purposely:
                (a) with the purpose to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy, or offend, communicates with a person by electronic communication and uses obscene, lewd, or profane language, suggests a lewd or lascivious act, or threatens to inflict injury or physical harm to the person or property of the person. The use of obscene, lewd, or profane language or the making of a threat or lewd or lascivious suggestions is prima facie evidence of an intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy, or offend.” I have called and made many comments about these contests both written and oral and I never use owed or obscene language that would be prima facie evidence of harassment etc. I know Ms Heister would not either so I guess you could might say I am not particularly worried about this statute.

                • WM says:

                  Substance of phone call or email: “Mr. X, if you participate in this event, I will:
                  a. write a bad review on Yelp; b. burn your place down;
                  c. pee on your front step;
                  d. kidnap your child;
                  e. tie your phone lines up with repeated calls;
                  f. write the BBB that you are a bad business;
                  g. introduce a virus via an email

                  (many more but I don’t have the time to spin them out)

                  I would suggest each of these is a violation of the statute, and if some of the threats are actually carried out violations of other state and maybe even federal statutes. There will be a written record of the substance of the email. There will be a record of the phone number from which the call is made, whether ground or cell. Injury by the way is broader than physical injury. It could include property damage, damage to reputation and business dealings. Even if there is no record of the content, the facts could come down to a “he said, she said,” scenario. But, then an alleged defendant still might have the inconvenience, and importantly the costs, of defending such allegations.

                  Louise, again, I presume your comments and calls have been to local,state or federal agencie, and not INDIVIDUALS or BUSINESSES.

                • JB says:

                  Why is this even being debated? The first four suggestions made by Ms. Heister clearly do not apply to the statute. And #5 (“Write a review on the motel on the Trout Creek chamber of commerce website”) is clearly unethical. Frankly, it surprises me that people so concerned with the ethics of human conduct toward animals would advocate lying (unethical behavior) to further their cause. Apparently, the ends justify the means…?

                • WM says:

                  ++Why is this even being debated? The first four suggestions made by Ms. Heister clearly do not apply to the statute.++

                  Depends on the attual content of the phone call (think threat/harassment/repetitive number of calls), or any electronic written communication, JB. So, I would say they could apply, as in the examples I mention.

                • JB says:

                  Sure, WM. But I assume that the issue here is with what Ms. Heister is publicly advocating, not with what someone may or may not say in a private message?

                • WM says:

                  Fair enough. Certainly message content is a personal choice, but I tend to believe there is subliminal content here upon which some might act, when combined with the animal rights topic and an advocate element which seems, often times, to be uninformed of the rules of law or etiquette, or purposely chooses to ignore them. Again, this business is doing nothing illegal, as distasteful as its participation may be in hawking the event.

                • Louise Kane says:

                  WM I don’t make threatening phone calls and I can assure you MS Heister does not either, as for commenting on a business I see nothing whatsoever wrong with commenting that you learned that the business sponsors killing events. A true statement and allows potential visitors to determine themselves whether they want to support a business like that. Sponsoring a killing event puts the business and their actions out there, they can’t then claim their privacy is being invaded by others. They advertised the event publicly. I don’t agree with threats at all but Ms. Heister never advocated for that kind of behavior. I believe what Edmund Burke wrote, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Killing events embody evil, at least to me.

        • Ed Loosli says:

          Thanks to you for posting and Anja Heister for providing this helpful contact information about the upcoming wildlife killing contest in Sanders County, Montana. Everyone just remember WM’s admonition to keep your statement truthful otherwise you could be in legal trouble “if statements are untrue” (WM’s words). It will not be hard to give these supporters of the killing contest words filled with only truths.

  43. skyrim says:

    Wolf killed in Utah……
    (Hope this comes through ok)

  44. WM says:

    10,000 crows getting in trouble in Eastern WA – what to do? Sunnyside is about 35 miles SE of Yakima, in fruit country along the Yakima River valley before it dumps into the Columbia at the TriCities.

    • Yvette says:

      That is interesting even though it sounds like a huge nuisance for the town. It seems unusual given they have about a 50% survival rate during their first year, but if they survive beyond a year they have a lifespan of 6-10 years. At least for some species of cervids. I’ve never heard of that many crows gathering in one place. It makes me wonder what was the attraction besides the agriculture. This should be owl heaven with that many crows on which to feast.

  45. WM says:

    Comments on the DC Federal Trial Court’s ruling on WGL wolves are beginning to trickle in. This one from the editorial board of a ND newspaper:

    This one from WI:

    The judge may (or may not) have correctly interpreted the ESA, and determined the FWS acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner when delisting the WGL wolves under the ESA. But, there is common sense argument swelling beneath her technical decision, including application of the Distinct Population Segment (DPS) concept as applied to listing and delisting a species/sub-species.

    Did HSUS win the war, or just another skirmish, while the larger battle looms? Do keep in mind Western State Congressional types (even D’s) are not keen on activist federal judges generally, especially those from the East. Looks like the Midwest is weighing in too, now that WGL wolves are back on the ESA list, with nearly 4,000 wolves on the landscape, mostly where the states want them and in numbers that assure there is no danger of extinction. That is, IMHO, the overarching legal issue this Judge Howell missed – sort of a can’t see the forest for the trees issue, while she spins off technical legal defects to the FWS delisting rule for the WGL.

    • Yvette says:

      How do you define and “activist” judge? I’m curious.

      • JB says:

        “How do you define and “activist” judge?”

        Activist judge- A judge who issues an opinion that does not conform to the individual’s expectation.

      • WM says:

        “Activist” judge: May I suggest you do a Google search for “judicial + activism.”

        There are numerous law review and other articles that deal with the topic, whereby judges allow their personal bias or views to guide their judicial decisions. Also consider that federal trial court and appellate judges are appointed by the party in power (with Senate confirmation). And, let’s be clear sometimes judge bias can come into play in these appointments, which is why some are not confirmed.

        What if Robert Bork, respected conservative appellate judge and scholar who believed in judicial restraint had been appointed to the Supreme Court?

        Judicial restraint and judicial activism are bookends

        Did I mention Judge Howell(an Obama appointee and who doesn’t know squat about wildlife) is married to a National Geographic Senior Executive.

        • JB says:

          “Did I mention Judge Howell(an Obama appointee and who doesn’t know squat about wildlife) is married to a National Geographic Senior Executive.”

          Isn’t ‘guilt by association’ a form of fallacious argument? Why not stick to the judges Opinion?

          • WM says:

            Oh, I don’t know, it seems to me often an indication of how a judge gets to his/her job, and things which may influence how a decision is made, and with whom they associate with ought to be disclosed. The legal reasoning ought to stand on its own. If it is good, perhaps an appellate court will agree.

            • JB says:

              “The legal reasoning ought to stand on its own.”

              Exactly. Other facts (the judge’s race, sexual orientation, occupation of partner) are not relevant to legal reasoning, though they may be relevant to the decision. Is the fact that a justice was appointed by a conservative president reason to question that judge’s opinion? No. Not on its own. The opinion should be judged based upon the logic and rationale it provides.

              • WM says:

                ++ Is the fact that a justice was appointed by a conservative president reason to question that judge’s opinion? No. Not on its own.++

                I will try to remember these words next time we get around to talking about the SCOTUS decision in Citizens United, Bush’s appointment of Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the 5/4 majority opinion, and Justice Souter’s dissenting opinion (as he was retiring from the Court). I tend to believe there is wisdom in telling where someone is going, by where they have been (personally and politically). So, unlike you and your scientist objectivity in their profession, I tend to believe other factors continue to be at work in the and world of law and politics. Otherwise, why do we have appellate decisions often over-ruling trial courts, or even split votes on appellate courts, often along the lines of the parties that appointed them. Afterall, they are reading the same laws, and judicial logic should not vary so much. Back to Souter, who is an inigma in that regard (Bush the elder appointee in 1990), and he got in his parting shots on the conservative court as he left. I mostly liked him while on the Court.

                By the way, speaking of holding ones views close, I don’t believe a lot of what scientist Paul Pacquet writes, even based on his research. I trust the guy about as far as I could throw him. Still considering Vucetich, though there are data points which make me question his objectivity, as well. Think I have expressed that here before.

                • WM says:

                  Importantly and ironically,….Justice Suoter’s draft dissent remains under seal in his private papers and will remain so for another 45 years. Well worth 8 minutes of your time:

                • JB says:


                  I think you’re confusing the motivation (or perceived motivation) with the argument. The QUALITY of the latter is not determined by the former (though the direction may be). Nevertheless, in a rational democracy the best argument should prevail, regardless of its origins.

                • WM says:

                  JB, please explain. You lost me with your last post.

            • JB says:

              And I’ll add, the same is true about scientists. I can tell you that through repeated interactions with colleagues I have learned lots of things that impact my opinion of certain individuals. However, I don’t ever bring these up in either a private or a public forum because they are irrelevant. The quality of an argument (or of science) isn’t lessened when the person who makes the argument has moral failings (indeed, most if not all of us have moral failings). A good argument is a good argument, no matter who it comes from.

              It is unfortunate in this case that wolf relisting was promoted by HSUS, not because they made faulty arguments, but because so many people will see fault in their arguments simply because of who they are.

              • Ed Loosli says:

                You wrote: “It is unfortunate in this case that wolf relisting was promoted by HSUS, not because they made faulty arguments, but because so many people will see fault in their arguments simply because of who they are.”

                I find HSUS a high-standard organization that is justifiably pro-active in trying to obtain protections for both domestic animals and wildlife, which is unusual in humane organizations who mainly concentrate on dogs and cats. HSUS has also been instrumental in wildlife causes overseas, as well – For example, they have helped keep the hunting ban in place in Kenya for the last decade.

                I am curious about your opinion regarding HSUS – who are they?

    • rork says:

      It is indisputable that making sense (other than consistency) is not a requirement of laws, so perhaps we shouldn’t blame the judge, but the law. Plus, it’s hard sometimes – would it be OK to declare wolves outlaws in MI’s lower peninsula (or pick some other line) where they are currently extinct?

    • Louise Kane says:

      I have not had time to read the whole decision but i skimmed the last part this morning.

      I came away with this, not only did she conclude that the agency acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner in delisting the WGL population of wolves but she said the determination of the wolves as a distinct population was arbitrary and capricious.

      I think its interesting that you note that “there was a common sense argument swelling beneath her decision”. I too thought that and was very happy to see her analysis. But I don’t agree that she can’t see the forest for the trees….she hit the nail on the head when she argued that the USFWS got it wrong when they delisted and there were no protections in place for 5 of the nine states in the GL populations and that MN’s recovery plan allowed for unlimited killing in more than a third of the wolf recovery area.

      She also noted rather ironically that the USFWS stated that human mortality was the biggest factor in wolf mortality but they completely ignored the mortality rates that would accrue when wolves were unprotected.

      I need to go back and review but the common sense arguments she made were also backed up by her legal analysis and previous legal precedent. No the states won’t like it but that’s why they delsited the RM wolves using a rider. Their legal arguments were not winning. I’d like to see the rider and the RM wolf determinations equally challenged.

      This was one of the most favorable opinions I’ve read in part because the judge spanked the USFWS for not applying the most recent science in their determinations and for being the cowards they have been when its come to wolf recovery.

      • WM says:

        Well, the judge did note the reduction in wolf population AFTER delisting. She failed to mention MN’s wolves were kept on the ESA for roughly 10 years AFTER their goal was met under their plan, largely because of a string of HSUS litigation that kept the wolves listed. So, the population gets reduced below 4,000 for the WGL from the last official count. Any bets the 2014 pup crop will put it right back and substantially above that number when the official counts in the next published official count? She does not acknowledge that she has a clue about population dynamics, yet population reduction is a part of the rationale for her decision.

    • JB says:

      “…WGL wolves are back on the ESA list, with nearly 4,000 wolves on the landscape, mostly where the states want them and in numbers that assure there is no danger of extinction. That is, IMHO, the overarching legal issue this Judge Howell missed…”

      Seems like you’re arguing for a form of legal consequentialism, whereby the provisions of the statute do not matter so long as the goals of the law are being satisfied? When I took law classes, I was taught the exact opposite. That is, the ‘flowery language’ where Congress makes declarations and establishes the purpose of a law really has very little legal effect; rather, it is what the law demands that matters.

      Many a proponent of the ESA has expressed frustration that though sec.2 establishes that one of the purposes of the ESA is to “to provide a means whereby the ecosystems upon which endangered species and threatened species depend may be conserved”, there is no mechanism (no provision) for protecting ecosystems. Perhaps judges should just ignore those silly provisions altogether and attempt to determine if the actions being implemented conform with the purpose of the law…?

      • WM says:


        I agree with the words of your second paragraph. Indeed, that is the way statutes should be interpreted. Where I have problems is with the “ecosystem” language. I think there is 21st Century ambiguity there, and maybe why the law needs to be, and will likely be, revisited, if the rider concept is not applied (Disgusting as it is, I think a rider will have a less devastating effect on the ESA overall). In addition, we have discussed before some of the “technical” problems of ESA interpretation, including the DPS concept and how it is applied. Well, maybe this decision is the final straw, if an appeal does not give delisting relief.

        • Louise Kane says:

          I can’t think of a single instance where I would rather see a non germane rider override the intent of a law, usurp the role of the judiciary, or abrogate a law as the rider that delisted wolves in the RM did.

          Before laws are enacted they are debated, the public has the opportunity to review the content and there is always a veto option on passage of the law. The only rider I would ever cheer is a rider that would make all non germane riders illegal.

          Some here argue that the HSUS dragged out the delisting of wolves and hint that it was frivolous (in a legal contact). But
          judicial review is a fundamental form of relief and it is not easily granted where there is no basis for a lawsuit. It’s also a check and balance on agency determinations and a key feature of our democratic system. I don;t believe it should matter that its inconvenient or that the states will not like the decision or push back.

          Yvette, you asked about judicial activism I like what Anthony Kennedy said something along the lines of, an activist court is a court that makes a decision you don’t like. I don’t think WM likes this decision.

          Regardless, judicial activism is sometimes used as a pejorative but I tend to see judicial activism occurring where uncertainty or gaps in a law provide the opportunity for a justice to create precedent. Sometimes it is argued that judicial activism is dangerous because the judge may be influenced by personal bias or politics. I don’t think that was the case here, I think the judge looked at an area of uncertainty and used the intent of the law, prior precedent and common sense to come to a decision.

          It would not take a rocket scientist to challenge the recent USFWS fallacious argument that because wolves no longer exist in most of the US that they don’t need/merit protection under the ESA but it might take a lawsuit.

    • timz says:

      “It’s unfortunate that a special interest group can have that kind of pull,”

      Wonder if she feels the same way about those “special interest” groups pushing to hunt and trap wolves.

      Shows the stupidity and/or hypocrisy of these people.

    • Louise Kane says:

      The link to the article you posted contained this “It should be disturbing to our federal representatives that a D.C. judge with little wildlife experience is overriding bipartisan agreement and the Great Lakes states’ ability to manage their individual wolf programs,” Tiffany said. “Wisconsin has been using sound science in its management, and this judge’s decision was clearly not based in sound science.” Hah LOL it should be disturbing that a uniquely radical republican legislature in MI overturned a citizen’s initiative, that Wisconsin’s DNR ejected any independent scientists and stacked their board with predator haters and that MN ignored their own 5 year moratorium. There is much more disturbing about wolf “management” but its late and I’m tired. Just because they shake their fists doesn’t mean they have any power unless we allow them the bully pulpit. I hope that doesn’t happen again.

  46. Yvette says:

    Thirty-nine dead coyotes have been found dumped outside of Las Cruces, NM. Many had their snouts taped or wired shut and the Southwest Environmental Center believes these coyotes are from a killing contests that took place on 12/21/14.

    Not only is this total lack of respect for other living beings, but this is also a potential health concern for humans. The predator hunters continue to show just how low of character they are.

    • Nancy says:

      A group effort by humans who obviously have mislaid their moral compass.

      So much for the idea that these disgusting contests are held to harvest the furs.

    • jon says:

      you see pictures like that and you understand why me and so many others hate predator hunters.

    • Louise Kane says:

      the most disturbing part is why were their mouths taped or wired shut? i have images of a sadists who traps coyotes when he this they are “bad” because they fight back he tapes their mouths shut. I have one image of a terrified coyote with its mouth taped shut thrown on the front seat of his truck alive. Sick bastard thinks its fun to handle and harass the animals before he kills them or sells them to a penning facility. I hope these coyotes were dead before they were constrained like that but I think not more likely they were trapped and then their mouths taped or wried to prevent struggling. This kind of event defines animal cruelty and perpetuates violence. These people should be in jail for animal cruelty and wanton waste.

      • Louise Kane says:

        if anyone has the stomach to look through the images of Nick Bader you’ll find the coyote taped and bound on his truck seat along with hundreds of other examples of the sick and terrible world of commercial trappers. This is one man, I have other albums I need to post. doing so takes such a drain I can’t do it regularly. But this site exists so that when legislators or other argue that trapping and trappers have limited effect on wildlife populations, that they harmlessly dispatch animals and that abuse is isolated, I can point them to the images here.

    • Yvette says:

      I noticed the link I posted no longer works, but this one works. They updated story and removed the link. This is the new one.

  47. Ida Lupine says:

    (a) with the purpose to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy, or offend, communicates with a person by electronic communication and uses obscene, lewd, or profane language, suggests a lewd or lascivious act, or threatens to inflict injury or physical harm to the person or property of the person. The use of obscene, lewd, or profane language or the making of a threat or lewd or lascivious suggestions is prima facie evidence of an intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy, or offend.”

    This goes on routinely at the wolf/coyote hate sites, and yet nothing is done about it. They may have cleaned up their act recently, I don’t know.

    You are wrong, WM, to flat out assume/accuse that wildlife advocates are going to behave in an unethical fashion, especially when the other side routinely behaves unethically. Didn’t a hate group allegedly cause a wildlife advocate site to crash due to spamming?

    It’s unethical to lie. But the businesses that support wolf/coyote killing can’t have it both ways. Their clientele, especially out-of-staters who don’t know what goes on away from their eyes and ears, have the right to know that these businesses support wildlife killing contests, and choose accordingly whether or not they want to patronize them. That isn’t wrong.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      My feeling is I can’t do any good for wildlife in jail, and I’d probably get a hangin’ judge in the West. LOL

  48. Immer Treue says:

    Just returned from a biannual trip. Under ideal observational conditions, sun, light snow cover… Surveyed road killed deer between Eau Claire (central) Wisconsin and Superior (NW) Wisconsin. Only nine deer over in 120 miles. Perhaps I missed a few, yet during the late nineties under varied conditions, the number observed was always over twenty.

    So is your glass half full or half empty? One might believe there exists a correlation between increased wolf numbers and fewer road killed deer. Over the past few years, I have seen fewer and fewer road killed deer. If a hunter this is not good news.

    Yet, if one is a motorist, this is good news. Add in last winters estimated deer mortality of over 120,000 deer, and the opportunity to harvest or hit a deer decrease.

    • Mark L says:

      Hmm. My winter numbers are pretty close to your numbers between 2 cities in north Alabama over the past few decades (Birmingham and Huntsville…~85 miles), with the same trends but without wolf issues (can we trade for coyotes?)
      Armadillo numbers are astronomical in the recent summers though, possums about even. I’ve been watching roadkill stuff for decades too, fun stuff.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        Have you read the book Flattened Fauna? It even has a check list in the back to keep track of your sightings along the highways.

    • JB says:


      An alternative hypothesis is that more deer carcasses are being salvaged today than in the past. When I lived in the twin cities, some of the folks with salvage permits learned they could drop a carcass off at the Wildlife Science Center and it would be used to feed carnivores.

      • Immer Treue says:

        Most deer hit along the Interstate 53 are largely mush, after impact with vehicles traveling 65+ mph.

        2006 removed by contractors or permits from Eau Claire to Superior County by county.
        Eau Claire:1247; Chippewa:1003; Barron:462; Washburn:404;
        Douglas: 160. Total 3276

        2011 removed by contractors or permits from Eau Claire to Superior County by county.
        Eau Claire:485; Chippewa:423; Barron:226; Washburn:396;
        Douglas: 198. Total 1728

        • JB says:

          Interesting. I didn’t know that the figures were available on a county basis. Where did you come across these?

        • Nancy says:

          Immer, how do these figures compare to the growth of wolf populations in those areas?

          I’ve wondered lately if deer haven’t become much more in tune with their surroundings now that there is a predator on the landscape that can run them down (which would make them more aware of vehicles? OR maybe the contractors have a little side action going on (fresh venison on the hoof 🙂 and aren’t as accurate with their salvage figures? so many variables…..

          • Immer Treue says:

            Simply put, wolf numbers have increased in Wisconsin. I believe in 1998 there were an estimated 200 wolves in Wisconsin.
            I don’t buy the deer learn to avoid cars for two reasons. One, they don’t live long enough, two, they aren’t that bright. All one has to do is look at the month of November, rut, when movement is at its peak.
            Another bonus to reduced deer numbers is less agricultural damage. Farmers in wolf country may be reluctant to admit this. One must remember that recently over 1000 deer were removed via special hunts in wolf country farm locales.

    • rork says:

      I see less roadkilled deer too, and people have been very good at snatching them up for years, if they are in reasonable shape. MI DNR uses statistics from police reports of car-deer crashes to help estimate deer density and adjust doe tags, but it’s not out as a easy-to-use state-wide data-set than I’ve ever seen (and I’ve complained to them about that). Insurance companies likely know more. BTW: have car insurance costs ever gone down after deer densities decline?
      Where I live (southern lower MI) lower deer densities are a good thing, and I am trying to make it so hunters know this more than most other people – they ought to be more educated about outdoor stuff. Yes, I know there’s much work to be done. I’ve been facing 40 deer per square mile or worse, in land that I have spent enormous amounts of time in for decades, and the effects are ghastly, but it’s unfolded slowly, and most folks can’t see very well, and hunters have been spoiled by peak deer. DNR will always be under pressure to have fairly high densities cause the money being spent is huge for the state, and funds the DNR as well, and money has a way of turning off your long-term thinking.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I don’t know how many deer per square mile in MA – but you’d think hunters would love it. I guess we urban types aren’t much for hunting. I’d rather see that than the ghastly concept of sterilization; or if birth control should be used, something reversible – you never know what wildlife will be up against in the future as far as survival vs. human interests. Wild horses too – something reversible.

        • rork says:

          In 2013 MA tagged 11566 deer on 7800 sq miles of land, while for MI it was about 385000 deer on 56538 sq miles, deer tagged per square mile being about 1.5 and 6.8. For just lower MI that would be just over 9, for southern lower it must be over 10 but I haven’t computed it exactly, cause it’s boring to compute the land areas, but over 200K were tagged. (“Tagged” is not intended as euphemism.)
          We could kill every feral horse and it would be reversible – almost all horses (around 10 million) are kept by people, not that I think it’s very wildlife friendly even then.
          Enough! Time for different company, and EtOH.

  49. Ed Loosli says:

    Another alternative hypothesis to why there seem to be less road-kill deer is that, deer (and other wildlife) are smart and they might be figuring out that highways are dangerous places for them to be, especially after they have witnessed their friends and relatives being killed by vehicles.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      They are great at hiding in plain sight. I know they’ve been around because the vegetation is being eaten, I don’t mind. But I don’t think the neighbors like it. 🙂

      I did see a small group of five the other night – how they made it through deer season is a testament. Good for them! I don’t usually feed them unless it is a very harsh winter, they’ve been eating the lawn and vegetation as it has been unseasonably warm until this week. They’ve been coming to the “Flat Rock Café” for generations; it’s a safe haven and ‘Underground Railroad’ for wildlife.

      PBS has a good program about them hiding in plain sight, The Private Life of Deer:

  50. Louise Kane says:

    USFWS resists taking meaningful action and or making a recovery plan

    the future of this species may be only as a zoo species as the tipping point for recovery has been reached and there is continued sprawling development.

    Florida was the most beautiful paradise
    it makes me want to cry when I visit most places there now

  51. Cody Coyote says:

    On New Year’s Eve day , 170 roaming Bison were ‘ dissuaded’ from entering the town of Jackson Hole via the National Elk Refuge. I’m guessing they just wanted to come to town for the New Year’s parties and whatever passes for a Ball Drop , but got whiz banged with firecrackers and pinged with rubber bullets instead.

    No fun allowed. Bison just can’t seem to catch a break in Wyoming, even though there is a big white one on the state flag.

    • Nancy says:

      There is no live cam feed from the refuge today. Wonder if they didn’t want to show the harassment going on?

  52. Cody Coyote says:

    Not exactly ” Wildlife” news per se, but the cops busted a suspected Cockfighting operation north of downtown Cheyenne Wyoming earlier this week, confiscating at least 75 roosters.

    I deduce that the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo is not the only way to exploit animals for competitive sport in Wyoming’s capital city. Habla español ?

    • Yvette says:

      Cock fighting has been on my mind lately. Oklahoma outlawed cockfighting in 2002 by a vote of the people. It was a narrow win, (56%) and I remember it was a huge battle. New Mexico banned it it 2007. Louisiana still has it, I believe. There were multiple lawsuits filed over the ban, but the law has not been overturned.

      The reason I’ve been thinking about cockfighting is because of the coyote killing contests, which in OK, also includes bobcats in some of the bigger contests. If cockfighting can get on a ballot and win in a state like Oklahoma where there were a LOT of people fighting roosters, then it may work for the killing contests. There isn’t a state legislator here that would ever try to introduce a bill against the killing contests, but I do think with the right work it could get on a ballot. It would have a chance to pass.

    • WM says:

      Yeah, well cockfighting is apparently illegal in all 50 states, but there is still enough demand for “under the radar” events. All ya have to do is ask around in Eastern WA, in Spanish for the location of an event. And there is even a guy (well was and I am confident there are many more just like him) raising the single purpose birds, filling them with steroids, not far from Seattle. It appears he is here illegally, yet one more fine upstanding border crosser who apparently doesn’t respect our laws. Wanna bet if the Immigration enforcement guys showed up at an event, they could fill a couple buses real quick? Ah, but I am sure I will catch some crap for being a racial bigot as well as one intent on bringing down the Mormon church.

      • Louise Kane says:

        “yet one more fine upstanding border crosser who apparently doesn’t respect our laws”

        those bad ass immigrants need to take a lesson in how to behave here in the USA from the good ol home grown boys like Mike Vicks.

        • WM says:

          Do the bad acts of one somehow lessen or justify the acts of another, Louise? Vick did some prision time for his dog fighting (I suspect some of the others involved in even this competitive gambling endeavor included illegals), and, of course the issue of illegal immigration never came up for Vick, personally. Whether dog fighting is illegal in Mexico or not, I couldn’t say, but bet quite a bit goes on there. Probably an Immigration enforcement bus might also get a good load at dog fight events, too, though it might rein in some Russians or Slavs, who also like the sport.

      • Yvette says:

        Oh dear gawd, I do not want to get you going on illegal immigrants. I won’t touch the religious crap on this site. I get enough flack for my aversion to all religions.

        My point was that if a state like Oklahoma could get it together enough to get cockfighting on a ballot and then actually ban it then there is a chance to take that approach with coyote killing contests. It would take research, work and lots more work and then money.

        A quick internet search showed there has been quite a few busts of illegal cockfighting ‘rings’.

        You might find this case interesting since you are an attorney.

        Another big bust had this byline, “Deleware County Officials Bust: Meth-by-Mail Cockfighing Ring”. I just had to laugh.

  53. Louise Kane says:

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Wow! Louise; This speech (Video) by the BLM’s Christopher Barns is very moving and important. Instead of the “chimes ringing at midnight”, let it help to ring in a New Year and a new 50 years of Wilderness preservation.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Brilliant, Louise. What an articulate, and passionate about wilderness, man. I think our fears that we express about worrying that thinking recreational use is conserving wilderness are shared, among other things. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Nancy says:

      Thanks Louise! Passed it on.

    • Kathleen says:

      Happy to see this speech posted at TWN, and happy to say I’m married to that courageous and inspiring guy.

      • Ida Lupines says:


        I’m definitely going to read the paper you posted too.

      • Yvette says:

        Well let him know how much we’ve all enjoyed and been inspired by his talk.

        I watched this morning and that led me to go explore other links.

      • Nancy says:

        Courageous & inspiring guy? Yep, sums it up well, Kathleen. I’d toss in a nice sense of humor too 🙂 It was a pleasure listening to Christopher speak and witness his passion with regard to wilderness concerns.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Wow Kathleen
        I had no idea
        I listened to this and was thinking back to the conversation here on TWN about the killing of the wolves in the Frank Church Wilderness. Often there is much diversion in opinion on how wolves should be managed but I remember mostly that everyone here seemed to feel similar outrage at the killing. I can’t remember now but someone wrote if wolves cant be wolves in wilderness where can they? I thought the post was appropriate for the new year with the new hostile congress coming in. And I love Shakespeare. Get thee to a nunnery, something is rotten in Denmark and all those great quotes…..
        I think you are a lucky woman, he is a keeper as they say. Thank him for speaking up!

    • Immer Treue says:

      Powerful speech, eloquently presented.

    • Kathleen says:

      I’ve passed along your kind words, many thanks. Louise, we got a big laugh out of this: “I think you are a lucky woman…” because my mom is *always* telling me the same thing. As for the Shakespeare bit, Chris’s former career was as an actor & director (Utah Shakespeare Festival, among others). He acted with Christopher Reeve in college–relevant here only because that’s why C. Reeve agreed to narrate the film C. Barns produced for the 40th anniversary of the Wilderness Act–“American Values: American Wilderness,” mentioned in the most recent wilderness/mtn. biking topic.

      From Montana PBS:

      “In American Values: American Wilderness the late Christopher Reeve introduces us to a wide variety of citizens sharing their deep love of wilderness. They include:

      *The teen-aged daughter of Cambodian refugees entering a California wilderness for the first time
      *An African-American director of a Denver-based learning center, whose life work is to introduce children to the wildernesses of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains
      *A tribal chairman from Montana, first hired as a ranger for the wilderness preserved by his people on their reservation
      *Physically, emotionally, and cognitively disabled visitors on a dog-sled trip in northern Minnesota
      *A pair of Miami-based middle school teachers who plan their school year around taking students – and their parents – on a three-day trip into the Everglades wilderness in Florida
      *A middle-aged man from New Mexico suffering from polio
      *A native Alaskan Gwich’in woman, teaching her children her culture’s traditions in the Artic wilderness”

      Continued here:

      For folks in the Missoula area, the Msla Public Library has a DVD available for loan.

  54. WM says:

    And the juggernaut takes its first steps following DC Judge Howell’s WGL wolf relisting decision. Will Congressional relief be far behind, as adjacent Midwest states like OH, IN. IA and MO begin to weigh and do a “reality check” on an apparent court-mandated obligation to have their own sustainable wolf populations roaming corn and soy bean fields, and eying cow pastures and horse paddocks before WGL wolves are ever delisted under the judge’s broad interpretation of the ESA? Wonder what OH Representative and House Speaker Boehner thinks of all this, or if it is even on his radar yet? Or the Senate’s Mitch McConnell, whose native Kentucky has not seen wolves since the early 1800’s, if “significant portion of range” extends geographically to that state.

  55. Nancy says:

    Ah, but Kentucky has seen a wolf WM. She met the same fate as the Utah wolf:

    100 yards away, not that far to realize it wasn’t a coyote. But typical to shoot first and then question.

    • WM says:

      ++It had a large amount of plaque on its teeth — a characteristic common of wolves that have been in captivity. A largely carnivorous diet requiring the crushing of bone as they eat produces much less plaque on the teeth of wild wolves, officials said.++

      Seems its origin is in question.

      Back to the WGL, if MN, MI and WI had offered up excess wolves to other states (and those states had rejected them) as ID’s Governor Otter offered wolves to other states a couple years back, I think it would have been a mitigating factor which Judge Howell might have had a difficult time ignoring. I don’t think the surrounding states which this judge believe the ESA requires to have wolves want them, either, in any numbers.

      So, it will indeed be interesting what Congress will do in response – a rider or a gutting of the ESA? Once again, an admonition to HSUS and some wolf advocacy groups using litigation as a block to common sense management, be careful what you ask for.

      • Louise Kane says:

        WM to argue that the states implemented common sense management of wolves, is mind boggling. I disagree on so many levels.

        The writing below is from Kelly Percival, its an annotation of the GL decision to reinstate protections for wolves.

        It’s very interesting to note that the courts have generally taken a dim view of the federal and state management of wolves. The courts have no political gain in considering the issues or directing a decision, they do have an obligation to interpret the statutes and implementation of those statutes. Almost without fail wolves are protected by the courts. Almost without fail the USFWS abrogates their duties and defer to industry. The states and federal government have much political pressure to overcome when implementing the law.

        Federal court holds U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated Endangered Species Act by delisting gray wolf in nine states
        Blog Endangered Species Law And Policy
        · Nossaman LLP
        · Kelly M. Percival
        · December 30 2014
        · The United States District Court for the District of Columbia recently held (pdf) that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when it issued a final rule delisting gray wolves in nine states (Final Rule) because the Service’s interpretation of the ESA, particularly its identification of a Distinct Population Segment (DPS) to support delisting, was unreasonable. Humane Society of the United States v. Jewell, Case No. 13-186 (D.D.C. Dec. 19, 2014).
        The Final Rule, which took effect in January 2012, is the Service’s fourth attempt to delist the DPS at issue in the case. The court began its decision with a discussion of the ESA’s general statutory framework and the history of efforts to protect the gray wolf, followed by an overview of previous attempts by the Service to delist the wolf population. A brief summary of the history of the Service’s treatment of the gray wolf can be found here. After multiple district courts had struck down the Service’s previous efforts to delist populations of the gray wolf, the Service tried again in 2011. The Final Rule established a DPS of gray wolves known as the “western great lakes DPS,” which encompasses Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and parts of six other states. The Service delisted the DPS on the grounds that wolves from the DPS were not facing extinction and were not likely to face extinction in the foreseeable future.

        As an initial matter, the court rejected the defendants’ procedural attack and held that the plaintiffs had standing to sue. Defendants argued that plaintiffs lacked standing because they could not demonstrate that delisting gray wolves would reduce gray wolf populations and thus wolf sightings, and thus the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate the required harm. The court disagreed, however, noting that data from Wisconsin and Michigan demonstrated that wolf populations have diminished in areas where hunting them had been made legal.

        Turning to the substantive issues, the court held that the Service’s interpretation of the ESA was unreasonable, and in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, for two reasons: (1) the structure, history, and purpose of the ESA do not permit the designation of a DPS for the purpose of delisting species that are member of the DPS, and (2) the ESA does not allow the designation of a DPS made up of species already protected under the ESA at a more general taxonomic level.

        First, the court held that the Service’s creation of a DPS “operates as a one-way ratchet” to provide protections to a covered species. In other words, the Service cannot create a DPS and simultaneously delist that same DPS. The court reasoned that the Service’s own DPS policy, which states that the ESA “is intended to authorize listing of some entities that are not accorded the taxonomic rank of species,” necessarily implies that a prerequisite for designation of a DPS is that the potential DPS qualify for listing as endangered or threatened. Therefore, under the Service’s own requirements, if a potential DPS does not qualify as endangered or threatened, the DPS may not be designated. As such, the court found the Service cannot designate and simultaneously delist a DPS, as it had done in the Final Rule.

        Second, the court found that, because the entire western Great Lakes DPS is part of the gray wolf species (Canis lupus), a species listed throughout the United States, the protections afforded to the DPS are controlled by the listing of the gray wolf and may not be reduced below that level. The court stated that allowing the Service to use the DPS tool to delist smaller, healthy populations of a broader listed species would subvert the purposes of the ESA. The court explained that the DPS tool was incorporated into the ESA to allow the Service the flexibility to designate smaller population groups of a species in need of ESA protections when protections are not necessary throughout a species’ entire range, not to allow the Service to remove protections from a DPS of a more broadly protected species.

        Finally, the court held that, even if the Final Rule had been properly promulgated, it would still be invalid because the Service failed to adequately explain (1) why territory suitable for gray wolf population is not a significant part of the species’ range, (2) the impact of combined mortality factors such as disease and takings, (3) the adequacy of state regulatory schemes, and (4) how the presence of an unregulated killing zone in Minnesota does not constitute a threat to the species. The court found that the Service’s lack of explanations rendered the Final Rule arbitrary and capricious.

        Accordingly, the court vacated the Final Rule, thereby restoring ESA protections to the western Great Lakes DPS.

        I would like to see the agency’s separation of the RM wolves remanded back to the courts to challenge that as well.

        Wolves and other predators will not be treated fairly under state and federal agencies. There is too much regional influence, a tendency to ignore new research and a desire to adhere to cultural prejudices and stereotype predators. Its a willful and dangerous ignorance that defies revision or logic.

        I think something that George W wrote in 2009 bears revisiting

        ” Without exception, state game and fish agencies do not treat predators like other wildlife. Even though state agencies are no longer engaged in outright extermination of predators, persecution and limited acceptance of the ecological role of predators is still the dominant attitude. State wildlife agencies only tolerate predators as long as they are not permitted to play a meaningful ecological role.
        In general, they seek to hold predator populations at low numbers by providing hunters and trappers with generous “bag” limits and long hunting/trapping seasons. For some predators, like coyotes, there are often no limits on the number of animals that can be killed or trapped. The attitude of many hunters towards predators is not appreciably different than what one heard a hundred years ago, despite a huge leap in our ecological understanding of the role top predators play in the ecosystem”

        I hope you are wrong about a gutting of the ESA or another sleazy rider because I don’t believe either of those actions are condoned by the greater majority of Americans and worse yet they would represent mob mentality of a far right that is hell bent on raping and pillaging public trust resources.

        • rork says:

          If this is what the ESA demands, then new legislation to circumvent it seems inevitable. To not let MN citizens use lethal means during livestock attack until some (unknown) larger area is saturated, which may take decades, seems unlikely to be thought fair I think. Amending ESA itself instead of circumventing it piecemeal to fix it for each species, might be found to be the more general solution – maybe that is approaching obvious. Imagine if Bison get listed and Montana and Wyoming folks would have to deal with large herds until Bison covered Kansas again – I don’t think it’ll be hard to convince people that it is asking too much. Folks will resist listing species more – WM is merely stating our concerns about ESA’s wise use in future being what’s endangered.
          I am not disagreeing with the lawyerish findings, except I would note this trivia: “Wisconsin and Michigan demonstrated that wolf populations have diminished in areas where hunting them had been made legal” is approximately preposterous with regard to Michigan. Hunters tagged 23 wolves (maybe 22) in our entire recent history, and if you are near peak wolf, yes, the populations will sometimes go slightly down rather than slightly up. I expect them to be down for the 4th or 5th year in a row in UP MI, and delisted or not or hunting or not will have had exactly nothing to do with that – every knowledgeable observer knows that. Again, that’s a small matter with regard to the overall ruling, but irked me.

          • Ed Loosli says:

            Perhaps the Great Lake states could look at how the states of Washington and Oregon’s wolf management plans take the middle ground… In that before any specific lethal wolf can be killed for depredation on livestock a series of non-lethal actions must first have been put into place — And, importantly, in keeping with the Endangered Species Act, there is no sport hunting or trapping of wolves in OR or WA.

            • Immer Treue says:

              MN has +/- 2500 wolves. Wolves have always been removed by WS in the state. I’m going to almost sound like one of the antis here, but I doubt you would stand and idly watch if a wolf was actively attacking your livestock or pet. In that regard, relisting(threatened) wolves in MN was assinine. However, in regard to initial hunting season and continued issues of poaching,is another matter.

              • WM says:

                One option, Immer, is for MN to go it alone on delisting. They have had a petition before FWS since all this litigation started on the DPS technicalities. They can do this because their listing was separate to begin with. Can’t recall the details, but it seems to me they could have a decent opportunity for the separate delisting, while this other stuff plays out.

                • Immer Treue says:

                  I’d hate to see the “rider”. I believe some good things are going on here, one of them being Maureen Hackett’s Howling for Wolves. Now, prior to getting your hackles raised, I don’t believe in everything they do and post, and most of the posters on that sight are pretty clueless, sort of the clueless polar opposites one finds on the anti wolf sites. Bit as they make mistakes, they are learning. A very vocal presence in all things MN wolf.

                  The IWC on the other hand reads water on the issue of education and non advocacy as the sharks circle below them. I have always had a world of respect for David Mech, and I still do. Recent anti wolf editorials/stories in the Ely Weekly, The Echo, would invite a counter punch, but the IWC continues to hold its ground by avoiding any type of controversy.

                  We’ll see what Bach, Dill, Klobuchar, and Franken have up their sleeves.

            • rork says:

              Yup Ed. I figure you know I know, but it’s a good point. I visit lots, and it makes news. My main question in WA is not what they are doing now, but what comes after delisting. That’s true for every state that has more than a handful of wolves. In MI we haven’t been so different when the feds have our wolves listed, like now, but the bar might be lower than it was previously. We might have 10 times more wolves, so it won’t be as easy to track and give advice and material help to every person with complaints (like I’d want to be able to do). I feel most badly for tying the hands of MN, who live in the stronghold, and who we owe much. They’d have to be doing crazy stuff before I’d dare tell them what to do – so pointing out WA nice behavior does not impress me yet. Forcing MI to wait til several packs cross the straights (to the lower peninsula) I might forgive – I’ve been awaiting it, and some ugly situations.

          • Louise Kane says:


            under the ESA exemptions allowing for wolves to be killed always existed. nobody needed to wait for them to expand to their entire historical range then or under this ruling……

            • rork says:

              Don’t talk like listed or delisted doesn’t make a difference to our ability to kill wolves.

        • WM says:


          I have read this very well done summary of the case.

          As I think I stated before, one view is that Judge Howell couldn’t see the forest for the trees, with this (perhaps legally obligatory) technical ruling under the ESA. She may be right about the law, but if she is, I think some way around (rider?) or a bulldoze job through the ESA by a Republican Congress is inevitable.

          I think rork is right, and the ground swell around this issue will continue to build once the new Congress is in session, and the Western Governors, no doubt joined by the WGL and other potentially affected Midwest states are going to seek relief in many areas. The law achieved a really stupid result here, even if it is turns out to be a correct interpretation of the ESA.

          If I were a pet owner in the WGL who had a dog/horse at risk in a tight situation, I would just shoot the damn wolf(ves) and take my chances. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if some goodhearted folks would even pay attorney fees and any fine assessed oon the offender if the facts support the need to dispatch the wolves. The only glitch might be the record of a federal conviction, but maybe a jury would understand all this bunk and not find someone guilty for protecting their property (might even work with livestock, too).

      • rork says:

        If Ohio has places for wolves and wants some they should ask. Keeping such populations connected seems pretty hard though – our history of land-use practice was not so enlightened, accepting near irreversible alteration of animal (and plant/fungus) populations as a matter of destiny and progress. We have over-run the place. Insert a lecture about our fresh-water bivalves here if you like really horrible knots, to untie which would mean we’d have to live very much saintlier lives. Chesapeake is also a good example, or western basin of lake Erie (sorry, eastern examples, and about less cuddly fish or mollusks).

        • Yvette says:

          “Chesapeake is also a good example, or western basin of lake Erie (sorry, eastern examples, and about less cuddly fish or mollusks).”

          …but definitely about water quality and watershed management, which will indirectly affect the cute and and cuddly wildlife, and many other things.

        • JB says:


          I guess you haven’t heard… coyotes ate all the deer in Ohio. All of ’em. And it was planned by the Division of Wildlife. (At least that’s what many of our vocal deer hunters are saying.) [exasperated sigh]

    • Yvette says:

      Don’t know about a wolf, but here is how one Kentucky officer handled a call on a cougar a few weeks ago. It was the first wild cougar to be spotted in Kentucky since before the civil war!

      Marraccini said that the officer shot the mountain lion because it was getting late and he feared that the animal would break free and potentially threaten human lives in the nearby city of Paris.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Oh brother – so he’s saying he killed the mountain lion because he didn’t have time to do anything else?

  56. Louise Kane says:

    Nice story of man that saved fox
    gorgeous fox

  57. aves says:

    A beautiful and sad article about a love of Yellowstone and the loss of a loved one:

    • Elk375 says:


      The was no finder women than Jane Ferguson. Jane did not have a mean bone in her body, she could talk with the rich and famous and equally acknowledge and engage with those had very little. Everyone was equal.

      I knew her and her husband for many years in Red Lodge. I have been to their home and they have been to mind. The entire town on Red Lodge came to a stand still the day of her memorial service, people were visibly upset and tears flowed freely.

      I saw Gary early last month at the County Book Store in Bozeman for his reading of “Carry Home”. After he was done signing umpteen books we talked briefly and he introduced me to Doug Smith and his wife.

      Good Luck Gary.

    • Louise Kane says:

      really beautiful story, thank you for sharing. I can’t help thinking about the coyote/wolf contest that started today. One of the men that commented about how excited he was wrote how he was waiting with a fur trader so he could sell a black wolf pelt.

      I thought of a trip I took after a hard school gradation where I hiked with some girlfriends through parts of Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. We traveled through canyons, rivers, and meadows where I felt as though we were in some secret holy places. I remember feeling that possibility, hope and happiness were infinite.

      Hiking in wilderness where you don’t see people is magical. I am convicted that wild places should not be violated by guns, traps, snares and the hopelessness that a trapped or hunted animal feels when imprisoned.

      In reading this story it saddened me to think that Jane died. I thought of the wolf and coyote families traveling at night in the cold and windswept areas, nuzzling one another, curling in for sleep or howling into the night not knowing that in the morning groups of thugs would set out to kill them.

      I wish I did not but I feel hate for people that violate wild places with their greed, anger and evil intent.

    • Kathleen says:

      I finished reading “The Carry Home” last week and highly recommend it. I met the author two summers ago when he gave the keynote address at the kick-off to the annual National Wilderness Leadership Course (for federal land managers) for the Arthur Carhart Nat’l Wilderness Training Ctr. Turns out we grew up 30 or so miles from each other in extreme northern Indiana. I found a great many personal connections in his book–not just the Indiana thing–and imagine that most lovers of wild places will, too.

  58. JB says:

    From a hunter who one the world goose calling championship–twice:

    “I think wolves are, unfortunately, being demonized and that’s the attitude people have against all the large predators like wolves, cougars and bears.”

    See more at:

    • JB says:

      one = won

      • Ed Loosli says:

        Thanks JB:
        Tom Mangelsen; “I just can’t believe that someone could spend time watching wolves or cougars or bears and want to kill them. People are threatened by the competition of a wolf or bear killing an elk and there are plenty of elk. And the predator is supposed to regulate the prey, and it’s a much more natural way of regulating. We’ve got it all ass-backwards when we are killing predators and having hunts on the elk refuge and hunts in the park. It’s insanity. It’s outdated. The elk refuge is basically a farm for raising elk and there are too many, and when chronic wasting disease hits the elk refuge — which is just down the road, it’s marching this way — it’s going to be disastrous.”

        • rork says:

          Let’s count fallacies, sprinkled in with the good points:
          “I can’t believe” – the argument from personal incredulity, most infamous in biology from intelligent design folks.
          “much more natural” – the argument from nature. Infamous dreck in medicine. Examples: anti-vax folks, naturopathic quackery.
          “It’s insanity. It’s outdated.” I’ve got no phrase for that one yet. Maybe it’s just name-calling.
          CWD scare mongering is overplaying too – predators provide no guarantees, though low populations and kill-the-weak can buy time.
          I don’t mind the cause, so it pains me more.

          • Nancy says:

            So, do you think “our” species will sort it out and get it right before its too late Rork?

    • Louise Kane says:

      One of my favorite and longest running friends, Emily Nagan, champion loon caller for many years. we have been friends since we both lived in St Thomas some 25 years ago! She is also baker extraordinaire!

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Wow, she’s good!

      • Immer Treue says:

        About five mile from home.

        • Louise Kane says:

          Had you ever heard of her, she has been loon calling for years and entered many contests, and won most of them

          • Immer Treue says:

            I’ve probably read about her, but don’t really recall the name. I’ve never attended the loon call contest, but after hearing her, I’ll put it on my agenda for this summer.

  59. rork says:

    Not brand new but mute swan action last month included NY, with many articles of which this one was a pretty readable review:
    In MI we killed some more here and there, and I hope it’s catching on as more trumpeters appear. Example:
    And mute swan apologists with shameless pants-on-fire writings (I sent contradictions, but don’t expect to see them):

  60. timz says:

    Just had a little house shake, earthquake near Chablis.

  61. Nancy says:

    Chablis or Challis, Timz?

    Been pretty active there for the past week or so:

    Challis, Idaho 77 mi 4.9 10:44 AM MST 2015-01-03

  62. Louise Kane says:

    Please forgive indulgence
    someone sent this to me and I thought of many of my GSD owning friends, and Immer here. The GSD you barely need to train them they are so smart! as someone posted brave cat!
    I promise no more not wildlife related for a long time.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Hopefully that means they are the next domino to fall. How could people not see this coming.

  63. Ed Loosli says:

    Since you are in Idaho, I hope you and your colleagues can tell us if Idaho wolves are getting close to their minimum Endangered Species numbers (?)…If they are at or approaching the low limit number for wolves in Idaho, what is the next step??

    • Cobra says:

      I know your question was for Ralph but I’d like to butt in here. I live in North Idaho so I can’t tell you anything about central or southern Idaho but in North Idaho we still have good numbers of wolves. We see sign about every time we go out.
      Many of my friends ride snow machines and are finding kills and seeing sign in lots of places that they ride.
      I’m pretty sure that just the panhandle alone has more than the minimum quota for wolves.
      A friend of mine saw 17 wolves on a moose kill just a week ago. It’s hard to believe and I question the number but their are some pretty big packs in our area.

  64. Elk375 says:

    Here is an article in the Billings Gazette about a photographer following the migrating from Yellowstone to Cody.

  65. Elk375 says:

    Here is an article about a sheep rancher fighting with the BLM over grazing rights in Big Horn Sheep county.

  66. Cody Coyote says:

    A Casper Star Tribune reporter hit the field to do an up close and personal profile of one of Wyoming’s most notorious public lands ranchers, Frank Robbins of the Owl creek Mountains country west of Thermopolis Wyoming abutting the Wind River Indian Reservation.

    In his own strident way(s) , Robbins is worse than Cliven Bundy ever was or could be, because Frank Robbins knows exactly what he is doing. it is his intent to be a totally disruptive in your face bellicose rancher, and he’s got quite the resumé for just that from the past 20 years.

    Now he is purposely flooding the Owl Creek Mountains with domestic sheep at great peril to the struggling wild Bighorn popuation there , which were wiped out in the late 1800’s by rampant grazing of tens of thousands of domestic sheep. In a perverse way , those brazen sheep barons accelerated the creation of the National Forest system. Whereas Fran Robbins has been mostly a destructive element in modern ranching and the politics of public land management.

    Read on:

    • Elk375 says:

      Cody you have good knowledge about this man. Where did he get the money to purchase 75,000 acres of land? He started in the cattle business at 19 and has been in it for 40 years and came to Wyoming 20 years ago. No one makes that that type of money raising cattle, something is hazy.

      The old saying is the way one makes a million in the cattle business is the start with 2 million and end up with one million.

      • Ed Loosli says:

        Apparently (from a reliable source), Frank Robbins is the heir of a wealthy family and does not need the income from ranching to survive.

        • Leslie says:

          I can’t tell you how mad this Robbins jerk makes me. A typical egocentrist–my way or the highway and don’t give a damn about wildlife. He has no Wyoming roots. He is a southerner from Alabama.

          Although the Billings headlines says ‘Conservation’ groups, they only mention Wild Sheep Foundation which is far from a radical environmental group. Hurley was a G&F employee for most of his working career. Robbins is basically fighting Wyoming’s acknowledged priorities of protecting wild sheep and other game animals. He will lose in the end, but it might be too late for many wild sheep. People like him need to be put out to pasture.

      • Cody Coyote says:

        Frank Robbins comes from a hugely wealthy Old Deep South plantational aristocratic family in Alabama that made millions in diverse industries . He is in the One Percent of what you and I would call ” Hobby Ranchers” except he mustered one helluva lot more ground along Owl Creek ( both forks) and Cottonwood Creeks in Hot Springs Country. He bought the High Island Ranch from the well known Eastman family who ran it as one of those city slicker guest ranches for people to comple play cowboy for a week , and acquired the massive HD Ranch piece by piece , itself being six former ranches that went belly up one by one and were consolidated under one brand by Robbins and a rpedecessor. He slowly bought up Owl Creek . By contrast , his immediate neighbors are the Pennoyers—classic old timey Wyoming ranchers – and my close friends who own 160 acres at the very end of the road at a sequestered place established by famous early cowboy actor Tom Mix.

        Robbins is empirical, a cattle baronial , with family old money who nevertheless tries to pass himself off as salt of the earth and scion of sagebrush. But he’s top down all the way , not a guy who pulled himself up by bootstraps. He has always been at war with state and federal agencies, being of the Landed Aristocracy birthright and breeding. His battles with the Worland BLM district office have been legendary since that whole Sagebrush Rebellion got going with James Watt & Co. in the 80’s.

        Think ” Wyoming Cattle Plantation” and you’ve about got Frank Robbins nailed.

        I have no idea if he’s made an honest living doing cows. Your characterization my in fact be as good as any … to be a millionaire ranchers in Wyoming, start with two million.

  67. jon says:

    Update regarding the Idaho wolf/coyote derby

    no wolves killed, but two dozen coyotes killed

    very sad.

  68. Barb Rupers says:

    Just watched Bill Moyers’ last TV program. HE was interviewing Mary Wood author of a book Nature’s Trust, Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age.

  69. Mareks Vilkins says:

    ‘People in the west live squeezed together, frenzied as wasps in the nest’

    An indigenous Yanomami leader and shaman from Brazil shares his views on wealth, the environment and politics

  70. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Almost 7,000 UK properties to be sacrificed to rising seas

    Properties worth over £1bn will be lost to coastal erosion in England and Wales over the next century, with no compensation for homeowners, as it becomes too costly to protect them

  71. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Brazil’s ‘chainsaw queen’ appointed new agriculture minister

    In a controversial move, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has appointed agribusiness advocate Kátia Abreu as the country’s new agriculture minister

  72. Ed Loosli says:

    “Some plants evolve tolerance to deer”

  73. Yvette says:

    Something good from Utah! This is good to hear after the killings of the mountain lion in Kentucky and Missouri.

    I hope she survives the hunters.

  74. Immer Treue says:

    Back to the wolf reloading in the GLS, I have two things to admit. One, my feelings are mixed. Two, I have not read the 111 pages of the ruling, but digging bak through past comments in MN, there are two that sticks out like sore thumbs.
    The first:
    In an email dated April 23, 2012, obtained by an earlier Government Data Practices Act request, Dennis E. Simon, (Chief Wildlife Management) of the DNR writes “… we owe it to our primary clients, hunters and trappers, and to livestock producers as secondary clients, to do what we can to establish a legitimate harvest opportunity now that the wolf is under our management authority.”

    I submit, hunters, tappers and livestock producers are not the primary clients of the state, but all tax paying members of the state are your primary clients.

    The second: do not have the direct quote, but it went something along the lines that the hunting and trapping would be largely recreational in nature. Therefore, little to do with livestock, as has been demonstrated, nor for the fear mongers who yodeled human safety…

    The wolf population in MN is healthy and in no danger, yet the rationale for hunting and trapping was not established, other than a DNR cash flow.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Darn auto spell! Not reloading, but delisting.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      you wrote; “In an email dated April 23, 2012, obtained by an earlier Government Data Practices Act request, Dennis E. Simon, (Chief Wildlife Management) of the DNR writes “… we owe it to our primary clients, hunters and trappers, and to livestock producers as secondary clients, to do what we can to establish a legitimate harvest opportunity now that the wolf is under our management authority.”

      This statement so blatantly fails to reflect who DNR’s real clients are, it makes me ask the question, is Dennis E. Simon still employed by the State of Minnesota? And, wasn’t there an uproar when this quote came out or, is this just business as usual?
      I also wonder if the judge took this quote into account during her recent re-listing ruling?

    • Louise Kane says:

      Not only does the DNR have their “client” base mixed up but the rationale for hunting wolves as a management strategy is very flawed. If anything, newer studies of the effects of public hunting of wolves is illustrating how damaging non selective “culling” is and other studies are showing that hunted wolf populations creates greater potential for depredations. But you already know that. Thought I’d point it out again anyhow.

    • Louise Kane says:

      I don’t think that wolves should be hunted whether the population is healthy or not. Trophy hunting is a radical, egocentric sport especially given the sociality and interdependence of members of wolf and coyote packs. Given that knowledge trophy hunting them is damn barbaric.

  75. Ed Loosli says:

    Thanks Ida:
    I’ll be watching.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      You’re welcome – I’m interested too because it seems Europe is more progressive than we are in many ways. I know there are many very anti-wolf farmers and ranchers there too, but at least some countries seem to be willing to take a good hard look at and try correct the mistakes of the pasts. Should be a good program.

  76. Gary Humbard says:

    Appeal filed regarding re-listing of wolves in Wyoming.

    • Louise Kane says:

      I think there is something really wrong when state fish and wildlife agencies act like spokespersons for trophy and hunters groups. Very sad when they ally with Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation whose original founders even ended their alliance because RMEF was so anti predator which equates to anti wildlife to me. State wildlife agencies are very one-sided in their “management” of wildlife and thus in my mind not good stewards at all.

  77. Kathleen says:

    There is no end to the ways our species has messed up and continues to mess up the Earth.

    *feral cats vs. native wood rats in FL keys (both cats & rats are victims)

    *diabetes drug in Lake Michigan–harming fish?

    *companies avoid regulation by ‘editing’ plant genes

    • Ida Lupine says:

      We’re completely reckless. We just cannot do the right thing, but instead spend our energies trying to avoid doing the right thing by circumventing regulation! I hope other countries continue to keep our genetic tinkering out and not have their priceless agricultural history threatened by it – Europe, Mexico, India and many others.

      That was a great article, Nancy, about how we must appear to other cultures.

  78. Immer Treue says:

    It Begins.

    House Passes Bill that Prohibits Expert Scientific Advice to the EPA

    • Ida Lupine says:


    • Ed Loosli says:

      It is possible that this bill died in the last Congress, as it was a 2014 bill. If it wasn’t slipped into the Defense Bill as a rider, my guess is that it will probably be dredged up again in this new Congress.

      • Immer Treue says:


        Thanks for catching that. Got to remind myself at times to look at the dates.

  79. Kathleen says:

    Gold mine in Frank Church Wilderness (apologies if already posted)…

    Background, excerpt:
    “You have an opportunity to submit your comments, but remember, the question is not whether or not work on these mining claims should take place in the wilderness as that question has already been asked and answered by Congress through numerous mining laws and the passage of the Wilderness Act. You have the opportunity to provide comment on whether or not you think the Forest Service is requiring the mining company to adequately provide for the safeguarding of surface natural resources within the wilderness area.”

    Documents, how to comment – at end of document above.

  80. Yvette says:

    An interesting human/wildlife interest piece on a Navajo M.S. student’s research on mule deer scat on the Navajo rez.

  81. Ida Lupine says:

    Ugh. This is truly stomach-turning, that people need to behave in such a violent fashion. I’m sick and tired of wildlife getting the shit kicked out of them so that people can feel good about their ugly selves.

    Thank you Brian and Natalie, and others!

  82. Ed Loosli says:

    A very special video and project by the very special Wyoming Migration Ititiative

    “Wyoming Mule Deer Migration”

  83. rork says:
    Only 4 minutes interviewing Peterson and Vucetich (wolf experts in MI). Interesting but not surprising that moose do fine in winters that are deadly for deer. A bit sad they made it sound like science is just watching, as opposed to thoughtful planned measurement – not that looking is a bad way of seeing, I love “fishing expeditions” (most of all, if you can follow up with experiments). At least 19 people here could have peppered them with questions for an hour.

    • Immer Treue says:

      “Interesting but not surprising that moose do fine in winters that are deadly for deer.”

      Something many members of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association can’t get through their thick skulls. In NE MN it was never really prime deer habitat, and when we get winters like the last two, and 95/96 96/97 deer die by the 10’s of thousands.

  84. Yvette says:

    Something light and funny for all of you, but especially those of you who publish in peer reviewed journals.

    Thanks to my daughter for putting this one up on facebook.

    • Nancy says:

      Sadly off to the right of your link Yvette, this came up before the link you provided could even down load:

      “Ebola Has Left More Than 11,000 Children Orphaned In West Africa”

  85. Louise Kane says:

    Thanks to Guy and Elizabeth Dicharry for pulling this off
    no small feat

  86. Louise Kane says:

    New poll showing 10% of British Columbians opposed to trophy hunting and furring
    I think its a small sample but from what i consistently see in comments and polls people do not support killing for sport. I’d like to see some state by state polling done also. I’m betting you’d see similar results even in conservative regions if the polls were conducted correctly.

    • Louise Kane says:

      jeez do I feel silly… poll shows 90% opposed to trophy hunting and “furring”! Not making much of a case for myself!

      • Ed Loosli says:

        My guess that in California, the 10% to 15% that approve of of trophy hunting and trapping for fur in B.C. would be a high number. The Calif. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife says that now only 1% of Californians over 16 years of age are licensed hunters.

  87. Louise Kane says:

    Hey Brian and Natalie Ertz
    thank you
    I hear people bitching about these contests and predator hunts all the time

    I hardly ever see evidence that people take the time to do more than bitch.

    Thank you for being out there, for challenging, documenting and for not turning away.

  88. Louise Kane says:

    Here is the study

    And an article summarizing the study

    Study finds deer have caused extreme changes in Wisconsin ecosystem

    Nancy Warren was kind enough to send this to me…
    a good reason to allow predators more protection

  89. Louise Kane says:

    exceptional mule deer story and of man who lived among them

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Joe Hutto says, “Even though I thought very highly of mule deer and I knew they were extraordinary, I had no idea just how extraordinary they were. I had no idea how intelligent they were. I had no idea how complex their society was.” Thank you Joe for sharing your amazing experiences with us.

      Fortunately, those of us who live in the nature rich suburbs of the San Francisco Bay area also get to live close to mule deer (no, not as close as Joe), and unlike Joe’s deer, ours are not subjected to any kind of human hunting. I especially like to watch how the mule deer interact and relate to the other critters around here including wild turkeys, squirrels and the oh so cute California quails… So special.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Mule deer have such pretty faces. This is the turkey guy isn’t it, I’ll look forward to watching!

  90. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Germany: Wolf decapitator hunted by police
    Every country has it´s unique type of pervert.
    The article contains some minor mistakes. There was no “reintroduction” of wolves, they just wandered over from Poland after the Iron Curtain fell. And, there is no “hunting” of wolves in Germany and they have not become a sought after trophy by hunters. Every wolf taken was not hunted but killed illegally.

    • Louise Kane says:

      sick people everywhere
      too many people
      acting like overpopulated rats or lemmings

  91. Mareks Vilkins says:

    to read all the links included in article such as this one becomes similar [task] to reading the whole book on the topic

    As Climate Disruption Advances, 26 Percent of Mammals Face Extinction

  92. Ida Lupine says:

    No offense, but I’d like to retitle it to say “As the Human Hordes Advance, All Other Mammals Face Extinction” – it’s not like climate change is a phenomenon that is happening all by itself.

    Human overpopulation is causing climate change, and until we either stop breeding (never gonna happen) or make a big adjustment in our Western lifestyles (which is and always has been really unfair to poorer nations anyway) – alternative energies will not help and will just hasten the extinctions and other problems. Alternative energy is a good idea, but like most things, the way we are approaching it is all wrong IMO.

  93. Louise Kane says:

    Certains du peuple français qui ont été tués étaient défenseurs des droits des animaux, très triste…

  94. Yvette says:

    This is cool. Way to go, Salish and Kootenai, and Montana.

    • rork says:

      Hmm, I thought that killing cubs (and mom’s with cubs) would be illegal most places (as in MI).

  95. Cody Coyote says:

    Alberta, the Canadian province north of me beyond Montana, has a Woodland Caribou problem of their own making. The Little Smoky herd of Canadian native reindeer has seen industrial development and energy leasing on 95 percent of its range , and the sum of that has been hard on the caribou.

    So how does the Alberta provincial government propose to protect the caribou ? Why , kill more Wolves, of course ! Even when they say they are not going to do that . Problem is, documents have been found that say otherwise.

    Energy impacts caribou, so let’s kill more wolves to compensate. My god the dark cloud of the Stephen Harper administration’s ( lack of ) environmental policies is s-o-o-o choking Canada and making it think weirdly.

  96. Nancy says:

    It truly does boil down to one’s mind set, depending on where you live – fears, way of life regarding predators, especially large ones and whether the threat has 2 or 4 legs or whether the threat was real or imaginary.

    Should be an interesting trial given the man’s age.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      I guess that the Blackfeet Fish & Wildlife investigators will be able to refresh the grizzly killer’s memory:

      by Terrence Corrigan – Independent Record – November 09, 2014 – “”Everett Skunkcap, of Browning, showed no apparent remorse for allegedly shooting three grizzly bears Aug. 6, reportedly telling Blackfeet Fish and Wildlife investigators that last year he shot another grizzly bear and if “any grizzlies were on his property he would shoot them again,” according to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case Nov. 5. “Skunkcap was instructed to call the (Fish and Wildlife) office if there were bear management issues” but “Skunkcap responded that he would just shoot them anyway.””

      • Cody Coyote says:

        ” Everett Skunkcap ” ? . Even a western fiction writer who had both Ed Abbey’s and Hunter S. Thompson’s DNA could not fabricate a character’s nom de guerre like that one …

        Skunkcap. Three days in a Blackfoot sweat lodge seeking his name in a vision , and the guy emerges as Everett Skunkcap. You can’t make this stuff up.

  97. Elk375 says:

    Here is a short film clip from National Geographic about catching sea snakes in the Gulf of Thailand. Due to the large yearly catch there is concern about endangering the snake. These are some of the most poisonous snakes in the world and the fisherman handle them with bare hands and feet, if biten one dies. It makes one squirm watching the clip.

  98. rork says:
    Mech getting interviewed (in two parts), which I think is a new one. Nothing new to anyone who follows wolves. I was a bit disappointed by his summary that mostly wolf density is limited by prey – it may be true something like “on average for most areas studied”, but we might be more interested to know under what circumstances it is true. In great lakes that means prey are mostly white tail deer, sometimes fairly many. It’s not Alaska, Alberta, Idaho or Montana. Most folks will know my skepticism (but open minded still) come from upper MI wolf numbers being flat since winter of 2010-11. Not saying it’s entirely density dependent, and there’s probably an interaction (when there are many deer, wolf density might matter some, but with deer sufficiently scarce, prey abundance is almost all that matters). On moose it was too brief, though he got time to say wolves and parasites/diseases matter, but never got as far as deer density effect, or weather.
    It’s a good day for invasive bushes to die – double digit temperatures (positive ones!), and water like bone. Gotta run.

    • Louise Kane says:

      The last post got mistakenly attached to Rork’s comment and was meant as a general comment not related.

      This is, however, related to Rork’s post. As for prey density being the primary factor in limiting wolf density…I think I remember reading how important territoriality is as well. Disappointing yes

    • Immer Treue says:


      Minnesota Mystery: What’s Killing the Moose?
      March 2014

      Somewhat dated video, but still compelling in regard to MN moose decline.

      The Mech paper that raised hackles as reported by the Star Tribune

      I don’t have permission to send the entire paper, but at the tail end of the paper, a short paragraph on deer numbers maintaining wolf numbers in the study area, even as moose numbers were declining. So rork, wolf density, in an area of moose economy, was in the very least assisted by deer numbers. Not meant as a challenge.

      Wolf-population density in the wolf-survey area was able to remain high even as moose numbers were declining because throughout much of the wolf-survey area as well as the larger moose-survey area, deer and beavers continued to be available, probably subsidizing wolves while they also preyed on declining numbers of moose. Some wolf packs even occupied narrow territories stretching as far as 42 km from the northeastern part of the wolf-survey area where few deer live in summer and none in winter to the southwestern part where deer live in summer and congregate in winter (L. D. Mech and S. Barber-Meyer, U.S. Geological Survey, unpublished data).

      • rork says:

        I apologize for my brevity on the moose subject – I was just complaining that the interview didn’t get into the complexities (which I follow closely). I’ve wondered whether heavier deer hunting there (and in other state’s best moose areas) should be tried – even if less-feeding-of-wolves-with-deer doesn’t help much it could still help with some diseases, and perhaps slightly with availability of food for moose. I’m just thinking abundant and cheap doe tags, and extra doe seasons. Local deer hunters may grump ofcourse, as they do in MI bovine TB area (I hunt a bit in Presque Isle county, still no doe tag limit, but also still almost no young cedar – private land owners will only shoot so many before concern about their own future deer densities kick in), and in WI areas with deer knockdown to combat CWD (coercive earn-a-buck regs tried). On some islands in MI tags are sometimes free, to get more people to go.

        • Immer Treue says:

          After past two winters, very few deer in moose zone of Mech study area. One might predict a small rebound.

          Somebody the yokels (sorry, but no better term for them up here) are sling for the type of “selective intense predator management has been tested, tried and proven in Alaska and Canada to restore the predator-prey balance and to ensure a sustainable moose-wolf ratio.”

          Two things: 1)the irony is that so many drone on that wolves belong only in the wildest areas. The moose zone in NE MN is perhaps the wildest and most remote area of MN. Reminiscent of the surgical effort in the Frank Church last year.
          2)unless the DNR gets a handle on the deer vectoring of brain worm and liver flukes to moose, it won’t matter how many wolves are killed.

        • Ralph Maughan says:

          I am a long way from this situation here in Idaho, but I had read these moose were being hit hard by ticks (more than infestation they seem to suffer from in most places).

          Ticks may or may not be more abundant due to changing climate, but if the moose are sick from them or something else in increased numbers, then we would expect that wolves will key on the sick as they tend to do especially when their prey is large such as moose.

          • Immer Treue says:

            It goes without saying tick loads have been heavy on moose in NE MN. What so few want to admit is that deer and moose aren’t a good mix in this neck of the woods. Brain worm and liver flukes are brought in by White tail deer. While benign to deer, they are devastating to moose. Mature moose are just dropping dead, or are found as in the above video.

            On 4th July 1999 an enormous blowdown knocked down an estimated 25 million trees in and around theBWCA. Prescribed burns followed, plus Mild winters through 2008 opened this area to deer.

            Wolves were in a moose economy, then add in deer, and the wolf population grew. This supports what Mech said in regard to the more biomass, the more food for wolves, and wolf density increases. There is no arguing wolf impact on moose calves. But my suggestion is deer were just as important to moose decline as were wolves.

  99. Louise Kane says:

    Hello everybody,

    I have been made aware of another coyote killing contest by a poster who took the time to post some of the contact info on my Coyotes and Wild Predator’s Need Protection site. In following Anja Heister’s lead last month, I have reassembled and added some actions you can take.

    I hope you will consider forwarding and posting.

    The contest
    Two men are organizing the Blondies Trophy Room 2nd Annual Coyote Slam (2015). This is another one of the vile gratuitous killing contests that seem to be epidemic. The entry fee is $100.00 and they state, “You can only kill up to 5 coyotes per person”. This is the website
    Please consider the following actions to object to this slaughter.
    1. Call the contest organizers Desmond 970-529-3801 and or Andy 970-739-0036 and tell them politely that you think this “contest” is ecologically destructive and repugnant. Ask them to consider alternative ways of having “fun” that don’t kill and maim coyote families.
    2. Contact the Department of Colorado Parks and Wildlife and tell them wildlife hunting contests are not an acceptable method of wildlife management:

    3. Contact the commissioners and tell them that you would like to see wildlife killing contests banned as they were in California.
    4. Contact The Governor’s office, John Hickenlooper, and ask him to support a ban of wildlife killing contests and to investigate whether this contest is being held on public lands. The website does not have a direct e-mail. You must go to the share your opinion page or post to his Facebook page
    5. Call or send a message to the Cortez Area Chamber of Commerce
    to complain about the coyote killing contest:
    31 West Main Street, Cortez, CO 81321
    (970) 565-3414

    Thank you for your help!
    Louise Kane

  100. Ida Lupine says:

    Coyote Slam? Oh boy. It just screams ‘people totally out of control who look at other beings as inanimate objects’. How can anybody defend this?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Good news! It always struck me ironic that this was the (only) one area where a policy of ‘non-interference with nature’ was upheld, and we can guess why.

      Will the new wolves be accepted? Also, domestic dogs should not be allowed, and the human footprint should be a light one.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        If we bar wildlife from possible infection of livestock, shouldn’t domestic livestock be barred from possible infection wildlife (in this case the introduction of parvo virus to wolves from domestic dogs)? Funny how that works in only one direction.

        • Ed Loosli says:

          In related incident:
          Domestic dairy & beef cattle allowed to graze in Pt. Reyes Nat. Seashore in Northern California have transmitted Johnes Disease to the native California tule elk in this coastal Park. At the request of leasing ranchers of 28,000 acres, a new “Ranch Management Plan” by the Park Service is looking into the possibility of removing tule elk that are near the cattle, because the ranchers do not want the elk eating “their” grass. The land is owned by the Nat. Park Service but you would never know it by the actions and demands of the ranchers who have been given subsidized leases within the Pt. Reyes Nat. Seashore.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Isn’t it interesting how it is the wildlife that seems to be punished by “wildlife departments” after domestic-exotic livestock have given the wildlife some disease. Be it bison in Montana, bighorn sheep in Montana and Wyoming, or elk in California, it is the wildlife that gets removed instead of the privately owned livestock. And to think that this is occurring on our public lands is really shameful.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I worry that as our population continues to grow that it is only going to get worse.

        Eliminating sick bighorns and replacing them? Really? Who do we thing we are, gods? Can’t we come up with or spend any time on researching vaccines or preventative measures? Is killing the only way? Easy and cheap I guess it the name of the game.

        And I am tired of hearing about wolves being blamed for moose [deer, elk, fill in as needed] decline!!!! It’s what they do and how nature made them. We’re the ones who f****d things up!

        Anyway, I’m linking some good news about a wolverine spotted in the Sierras. I’m always afraid when information comes out about wildlife sightings, because some fool will try to shoot them:

      • Elk375 says:

        Ed and Ida

        Have you ever been to the Tendoy’s or even know where they are located without looking it up? It is so easy to comment on things that either one of you have real knowledge of. I have spent many days hunting elk in those mountains.

        Ed, how does one remove privately owned livestock form private lands? Not all of the mountains are BLM.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Do you ever get tired of that excuse Elk?

          • Ed Loosli says:

            Yes, I know where the Tendoy Mts. are — and they are mostly public lands (BLM)… Are you saying that wildlife is not being pushed around and killed because of private livestock on our public lands? 900 wild bison are on the chopping block in Montana because of cattle grazing on National Forest lands outside of Yellowstone. Privately owned domestic-exotic sheep have infected wild bighorn sheep throughout the Rocky Mts. Are you disagreeing with this fact?? And, yes, it is also a fact that domestic cattle have infected native California tule elk with Johnes disease. Domestic sheep and cattle should not be allowed on our public lands — They aren’t worth the trouble.

            • Elk375 says:


              How is one going to remove livestock on checker board and interspersed lands? First of all Congress is not going to remove cattle from public lands. Secondly if the government would remove cattle from public lands, it would be the government’s obligation to fence the property boundaries, fences are one of the biggest impediments to wildlife movement and migration. The cost financially and environmentally is to great.

              One day you mentioned that the livestock should be removed from the Centennial Valley and replaced with Bison. My estimation of the ownership of the floor of the Centennial Valley is 40% US, 40% private and 20% state this land ownership is interspersed and mixed. There is no way bison are going to be introduced into the valley.


              You are continually commenting on western issues that you have no knowledge of. I may disagree with Nancy but she has spent the last 20 years in western Montana and is familiar with the culture, people, the issues, wildlife and the geography. I have great respect for her.

              Ed, I am very concerned about wild mountain sheep and disease. It has been a constant issue with the Wild Sheep Foundation both national and the state chapter. Until 1986 there were no mountain sheep in the Tendoys. In 1986 and 1997 mountain sheep were transplanted to the Tendoys. By the way hunters money paid for the transplants.

              FYI: Last Friday night Montana sold a sheep tag at the Wild Sheep Foundation in Reno, NV for $320,000 all of this money will go to maintain sheep in Montana. All of the western states and provinces that have a hunt able population of mountain sold one sheep license and collectively close to 2 million was raised. Montana’s license sold for the most money.

              • Ed Loosli says:

                Are you saying that the bighorn sheep who are diseased did not get sick from being near domestic sheep? That’s not what I have read. As for the checkerboard lands in the West, that was certainly was a big mistake for the federal government to give away 640 acres sections of land to the railroads and states in the 1800s. Somehow the states/private and feds should work to consolidate these checkerboard lands into large state & private land holdings and large federal holdings rather than maintaining the checkerboards.
                Further, some domestic grazing has been removed from federal lands and no, the feds did not have to fence these lands with the domestic livestock removed.
                And further, you don’t have to live in a place to know about it. That is what education is all about. You or I have never been to the Moon, but I’ll bet you and I know something about it. My guess is that Ida knows more about the West and it’s wildlife than do a lot of people in the West.

              • Nancy says:

                “I may disagree with Nancy but she has spent the last 20 years in western Montana and is familiar with the culture, people, the issues, wildlife and the geography. I have great respect for her”

                Thanks for the kind words Elk.

                I had hoped thought that you would weigh in on the short summary I posted re: the non lethal predator workshop held in Dillon last week since you probably have a greater “finger on the pulse” given your years in Montana and the same sort of exposure to the people, culture, issues etc.

                In the early days out here, disputes were always settled with weapons, ignorance, weapons, and sadly now, more ignorance.

                That mentality has carried forward with regard to predators and other wildlife that gets in the way.

                My thoughts.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                Elk, quit presuming – Continually trying to discredit people doesn’t make the bad wildlife policies of the West right. Again, you have absolutely zero knowledge of my experiences.

                • Nancy says:

                  Ida , ChattyIda, my new nickname for you 🙂 please back off unless you know more about what Elk has to contribute to the conversation I just posted to him 🙂

              • Ida Lupines says:

                You don’t have a monopoly on the West either.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  I will respond to Elk if he directs comments to me. I will not back off.

                  Does he need you to run interference for him, Nancy? Then tell him not to comment to me, and none of us will have a problem. Am I forbidden on commenting about Western issues? Not surprising.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        A report from the past regarding the removal of domestic livestock from public lands. At least it was a start! The issue is less complex in the Payette NF because there is one manager, the USFS, far different from the checkerboard of mixed ownership of which Elk375 speaks.

  101. Louise Kane says:

    Reposted from Exposing the Big Game
    New WDFW Pick is Former Idaho Gun-Nut
    Posted on January 13, 2015
    The following is an open letter by an anonymous reader…

    The Fish and Wildlife Commission’s recent choice for the Director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is an inappropriate choice for Washington.

    The new director is from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, which is known for its brutal archaic wildlife management style. They support many practices, which have been banned here by state initiatives because of the cruelty involved. These practices include bear baiting, hounding, and the use of steel-jaw traps. They promote the killing of wolves in all kinds of despicable ways and put little emphasis on protecting endangered species.

    The primary mandate for WDFW is to protect, preserve, and perpetuate our state’s wildlife. The Commission’s choice of director is inconsistent with this mandate and is ill suited for our state. I fear for the future of our wildlife.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Can someone from Idaho even serve in Washington State? How long has he been there? What are the requirements?

      • bret says:


        The commission searched nationwide for a new Director, He/She needn’t be from Washington.

      • Elk375 says:

        Ida and Louise

        It is a state matter who is appointed director of the state fish and game not a national matter.

    • bret says:


      Gov. Inslee appointed Bradly Smith to replace Amanda Wecker as commission chairman so I don’t share your fears.

      It seems to me that the commission knows that going forward wolves and then in the near future grizzly bears are going to take up more time and resources, so having another “fish person” as director does not make a lot of sense.

      • WM says:

        Dr. Brad Smith is, of course, an enlightened personality, and was a former Dean of an Environmental Sciences program at Western WA State University in Bellingham before retiring. The left leaning mostly fisheries dominated WDFW Commission would not have done a search for and hired a new director who would not follow its collective body philosophy, nor would left-leaning (sometimes clueless and always has been) newby Governor Inslee have allowed it to happen.

        Here is a bit more on Dr. Unsworth and his selection:


        Louise, and just why should WA listen to out of state, Easterners, like yourself, who get their uninformed news off of radical advocacy website blogs, like “Exposing the Big Game.” I don’t think I should have a say what goes on in Connecticut; why should you have a say in WA?

        WA has one of the best educated, experienced, politically astute, and most balanced wildlife Commissions in the entire Country. They will, by the way, remain flexible on wolf management as they learn more about how to try to squeeze 300-400 wolves on to an already crowded wildlife landscape. I have been predicting it won’t be easy after we exceed 100 or so on the official count. And, if we get more than a dozen grizzlies moving out of the Selkirk mountains and the heart of the North Cascades things will get interesting, too.

        I think Unsworth is the right person for the job, if he can negotiate the Commission politics while keeping his staff marching in the same direction (always has been a problem in Olympia, sort of like herding cats).

        • WM says:

          Sorry Louise,

          ++ I don’t think I should have a say what goes on in MA (but could be Connecticut, too); why should you have a say in WA?

        • WM says:


          Further to my comment, there is a term we use out West, called “riding for the brand.” It is short-hand for being loyal to one’s employer, regardless of your personal philosophy or values.

          Since the Director of WDFW serves at the pleasure of the Commission, there are some fairly finite boundaries one would expect new Director Unsworth will stay within or risk being sacked. Could also be he has latent views he was unable to act upon when he was in ID, as an Assistant Director, having to please his mostly anti-predator employer there.

          So, I am going to guess the naming of Dr. Unsworth is a good thing. He brings formal education and on the ground experience in a state that has had more wolves than they want for several years. He’ll probably suffer some culture shock when he has to go before some Legislative Committees in Olympia filled with clueless West side urbanites from the I-5 strip who get their wildlife information from reading National Geographic or Mark Beckoff’s column in Psychology Today, though.

          • Immer Treue says:

            If I may be allowed to chime in, the vocal anti-wolf faction in Idaho seems to be glad Unsworth is gone. In all cases, one must use caution when making wishes…could it be simplified to an enemy of my enemy is my friend?

            • Louise Kane says:

              I hope so…could also be that the selection of Unsworth molly coddles the in the minority wolf hating portions of parts of Washington but is suave enough to befuddle others.

        • Louise Kane says:

          WM to answer you. I think the better question is not why do I have an interest in Washington wolf policy but why wouldn’t I?

          First off, wolves are still in some areas protected by the ESA in Washington (they are only nationally delisted in the eastern part of the state) and in others by the state’s ESA. That makes the issue national by any interpretation that you might argue.

          Nationally protected or not, the primary reason I watch Washington is because the way the state plan is carried out is something like the canary in the coal mine to me for other more sensible states with reasonable wolf plans.

          What I mean is that Washington (your) state put together a very (relatively speaking) enlightened wolf management plan. The plan took great care to be inclusive of it’s public’s wishes and concerns.

          Yet, since that time, I believe that a slow erosion of the intent of that plan
          has been taking place as the WDFG submits to political pressure from the livestock and trophy hunting industries. In 2013 their were numerous (eight I think) “anti-wolf” bills introduced. While the bills were defeated some of the actions by the commission and supported by WDFG during the summer of 2014, violated the wolf plan.

          Given that hunting and livestock producers have so much influence in most state wildlife departments, and that a cultural and institutional entrenched bias seems to almost always work against predators, Washington’s initial plan was a pleasant surprise. Its later actions have been more predictable.

          As you know, I would like to see a shift to managing predators to a national arena or in the meantime to see wildlife management officials selected who better represent their non-hunting constituents. I think it is reasonable to ask for officials that are concerned with healthy ecosystems and biodiversity as well as protecting cows and ranchers.

          I agree that Washington initially was moving in a unique direction by following a non-lethal approach to managing wolves. What I am most concerned with now is the move into unchartered territory as wolves restablish themselves.

          As wolves populate Washington and are delisted both federally and under the state plan, the managers (WDFG) will be under pressure to once again employ public hunts as a management action. I do not ever support public hunting of wolves as a legitimate “management” strategy.

          This new director has a very strong history as a hunter and is also an Idahoan. That in my mind does not bode well for wolves. I feel very safe in arguing that public hunting of wolves as a a science based or public safety policy management action is not supported by the current literature or by public opinion. So why then should it be presumed to be the next step as wolves repopulate? This is most why I fear an avid hunter, former deputy director of the three most hostile wolf states in the US.

          In one thing you are correct, I should have done more research on Unsworth before I passed judgment and I will now.

          As for Exposing the Big Game, Jim often has the courage to write words that others wish they might but are afraid of being branded radical.

          • WM says:


            I think you and a few others here would benefit greatly by a careful reading of the WDFW Commission Position Statement on wolf recovery in WA. It is important to read for content with good comprehension.

            I think you will find the Commission and its staff will be constantly evaluating wolf recovery with an eye on a variety of impacts – it is not as rosey a picture as some here have tended to paint it. And there will be CONSTANT evaluation as wolf numbers increase – and I would not rule out a mid-stream Plan correction before the downlistin/delisting objectives are met.

            Here ya go, enjoy:

        • Louise Kane says:

          WM I see the sportsmen are thrilled with the choice, wolf management (aka killing) noted a big issue.

          I have been trying to go back and find the information about the other 3 finalists that I thought I had at one time. I can not locate and am not getting info online.

          My questions are who were the other candidates and what were their qualifications and why did Unsworth win out with his state’s rabid anti wolf policies. As noted in this article Unsworth, at least in their opinion, was responsible for leading much of that policy

          I don’t see this appointment in line with the majority of your state’s constituent’s wishes for fair and reasonable wolf policy.

          and his lack of fisheries experience would seem a big issue to me.

          • WM says:

            So you are an armchair HR manager, now, too? 😉

            • Louise Kane says:

              oh I see, given the treatment wolves have received since delisting and the impact that the livestock industry has on policy, its unreasonable to question why the commissioners chose someone from one of the most hostile to wolves game departments to head theirs?

          • bret says:


            From CNW.

            Conservation Northwest We appreciate all the comments on this post, and we understand the concerns some folks have regarding Director Unsworth and his background with the Idaho Fish & Game Department.

            However, Washington is a very different state than Idaho. The direction Director Unsworth will be given from our Fish & Wildlife Commission, Governor Jay Inslee, our state’s active environmental community, conservation-minded hunters and anglers, and everyday Washingtonians will likely be much different than the direction IDFG receives.

            The mission of WDFW is to preserve, protect and perpetuate fish, wildlife and ecosystems while providing sustainable fish and wildlife recreational and commercial opportunities. We expect Director Unsworth to represent that mission and the values of all Washingtonians in conserving our state’s wild ecosystems and our shared natural heritage.

            • Louise Kane says:

              hah Conservation Northwest and their drivel

            • Louise Kane says:

              sounds like they cut and pasted from the department’s site

              • Yvette says:

                He’ll probably suffer some culture shock when he has to go before some Legislative Committees in Olympia filled with clueless West side urbanites from the I-5 strip who get their wildlife information from reading National Geographic or Mark Beckoff’s column in Psychology Today, though.

                Wow! I’ve seen a fair amount of arrogance and pompous BS from you on here, but this ranks at the top. Just how many hands is that high horse you’re riding, cowboy? You might want to grab a ladder and come on back down. What a load of hyperbolic stink.

                Time will tell on the Unsworth man. I mean, Washington is just so far from Idaho! As for the Western Washington I-5 clueless crowd—-thank God for Western Washington!

                • WM says:

                  That’s OK Yvette, the WA Legislature (and those clueless Committee member legislators I mentioned) are the same ones that jammed a $1.3 billion dollar toll tunnel to replace the elevated Seattle waterfront Alaskan Way Viaduct, which is at earthquake risk, down the throats of those Seattleites who saw huge risk in doing this bore under a tidal mud flat. Surface replacement was cheaper, could carry more traffic faster, and could be built sooner. The massive and unproven boring machine has been idle for nearly a year after it broke down, while costs continue to skyrocket and the project managers and contractors spend more time trying to blame each other than actually solve the problem. The Viaduct is still at risk for failure from an earthquake as its joints are weak and under stress, even more so, now that they have had to dewater the area for tunnel bore repairs, while adjacent Pioneer Square buildings have sunk unevenly more than an inch. Sadly, there is no fix in sight.

                  This was one of those “I told you so moments” from the engineers and economists critical of the project. Yeah, I love our deep thinking two-bit part time WA legislators from the I-5 Corridor who made that project happen with taxpayer money. I bet they do no better with the wolf thing, when the time comes. Of course, all Washington taxpayers, even on the East side of the state, are on the hook for these things. And, well, my state representative and senator are both shallow social science college graduates (elementary education and sociology I think, and I suspect neither on has spent much time off a paved road surface much less any time in Eastern WA), whose analytical skills leave them deficient from finding their way out of a paper bag open on both ends. Sort of illustrative of the thinking that got us in this tunnel mess.
                  I did a 4 month internship in Olympia as an administrative/legislative aid when is was 21. And, later in my career testified before lots of legislative bodies in two different states. It is a challenge trying to answer poorly formulated legislator questions, especially if they have no knowledge base from which to ask them. If I dig deep enough in an old file cabinet I can probably still come up with some old bill signing ceremony photos with then well-liked and competent engineer turned Governor, Dan Evans (later popular US Senator from WA).

                • Yvette says:

                  Alright WM, I might be with on the tunnel. It’s always interesting to read about some of the goings on with my favorite city. I just read where 20 Pioneer Square Buildings that were inspected had superficial damage. Not sure I’m buying that information. I’m a skeptic. I’ll trust you on this one. You’re there. I’m not. Plus, why go to the expense of an underground tunnel when you can build/replace above ground? I’ll have to read the pros and cons. Sounds like you guys have disputed the tunnel for a long time. I’m not sure what the advantage of an underground tunnel would be.

                  On the politicians; be glad you don’t have Jim Inhofe for a Senator and state representatives wasting time trying to pass laws that ban hoodies. I’ve given up on having any logical representation in Oklahoma. It is just one more thing that makes me miss Washington….even Eastern WA.

            • JB says:

              “There are still those who shy at this prospect of a man-made game crop as at something artificial and therefore repugnant. This attitude shows good taste but poor insight. Every head of wild life still alive in this country is already artificialized in that its existence is conditioned by economic forces…The hope of the future lies not in curbing the influence of human occupancy–it is already too late for that–but in creating a better understanding of the extent of that influence and a new ethic for its governance.”

              Aldo Leopold, 1933

  102. Louise Kane says:


    former deputy director of ONE the three most hostile wolf states in the US.

    missed a word there.

  103. Ida Lupines says:

    All I did was respond to a comment Ed made about sheep, I had nothing to do with Elk, but yet he directed a comment to me with a personal attack. He should be the one to back off. Here’s a thought: If I don’t appear to know what I am talking about, why don’t you both ignore my comments and lay off the personal attacks? Thanks in advance, and I don’t expect to get any responses from either one of you henceforth. 🙂

  104. Ed Loosli says:

    Ah yes, those were the days… especially good were those days of the 1960s and 1970s that saw the flowering of the environmental movement and tremendous new protections for our wildlife and wildlife habitats. Under JFK, LBJ, Nixon and Carter we established many new National Parks, passed the Wilderness Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and more. Then in 1980 came Ronald Reagan and we hit the huge brick wall he put in the way of environmental protection. Except for the pretty good Bill Clinton years, it has been a real struggle ever since. I don’t know who has been worse for wildlife, Pres. Bush Jr. or Pres. Obama, as both seem to be scraping along the bottom of the barrel.

  105. Louise Kane says:

    weirdly wildlife related
    crocodile bile poisoning of 69 people at funeral

  106. Ida Lupines says:

    WM, what you describe sounds a lot like Boston’s Big Dig. What a long, drawn-out waste of taxpayer money, and political corruption, and it wasn’t even built properly because of cheaper materials used can’t handle the stress (where did the ‘saved’ money go?). Now we’re trying to host the Summer Olympics. *eyeroll*

    Sounds like things are the same everywhere. This man from Idaho was chosen for a reason, I guess WA wants to emulate Idaho?

  107. Kathleen says:

    Here’s a woman who has made her claim to fame on her “special connection” to animals–a connection that has enabled her to create greater efficiencies in slaughtering them. Here’s her take on GMOs and grazing:

    “But Grandin isn’t afraid to tell farmers and ranchers they have to change. She said they should forget trying to defend gestation crates for sows because consumers will not accept them. Instead, she said, farmers should concentrate on defending genetic modification of seeds because it makes no-till farming possible, and pointing out that ranching helps the land because grazing animals keep certain plants from dominating the landscape, and wildlife drink the water provided for food animals.”

  108. Immer Treue says:

    Every once in a while, or perhaps a bit more frequently in his case, Jim Beers insists on inserting his foot into his mouth. This oldie, just keeps on giving and will serve as an introduction for this thread.

    “Fish and Wildlife doesn’t want to manage the land or the wildlife,” said Beers. “Once they started hiring women and minorities, the service went from managing the land and wildlife to saving all the animals and habitats.”

    The question is, was Beers quote referring to women and minorities contributing to the paradigm shift, or did the advent of hiring more women and minorities coincide with the Fish and Wildlife philosophical shift?

    Regardless, the time for a shift is here. Historically, this won’t be the first “shift” as game animals and their associated predators were all but exterminated nation wide before saner minds took over. This led to saving the good, antlered and horned, animals, and continued extermination of those that depended on their livelihoods by tooth and claw. This leads to the question, was this attitude correct? We now find ourselves with a game farm mentality, where a hunter want