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. 19) “old” news.

Twenty years ago folks were looking at little photos like these describing the wolves that had been brought to Yellowstone from Alberta. Here are the alpha pair of the Crystal Creek Pack

Twenty years ago folks were looking at little photos like these describing the wolves that had been brought to Yellowstone from Alberta. Here are the alpha pair of the Crystal Creek Pack

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.

601 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife related news? Jan. 12, 2015 edition

    • rork says:

      Wish they would have plotted fossil-fuel (and water, and land) use rather than CO2 emissions, like recent National Geographic magazines did. Also, per kilogram is not nearly as relevant as per calorie or, when just comparing animals, per calorie of protein (both are interesting). Might alter the ordering of the foods substantially though, which may be “inconvenient”. I’m in no way implying cow meat would look better, in case it sounds like I’m making a cowpology. I’d have dietary guidelines not use ecology to influence shoppers, but rather use taxes, which I suspect would be more effective (but I’m radical).

  1. snaildarter says:

    Thanks these great articles!

  2. Ed Loosli says:

    Is the Government Destroying the Ecosystem of the American West by Favoring Cattle Over Wild Horses?

  3. Ed Loosli says:

    It could be that those anti-wolfers in Eastern Washington are actually the “clueless” ones, compared to their highly educated, more well-traveled neighbors to the West. I would surmise that, in general, the people of Western Washington are more schooled in the ecological science of wolves than those in Eastern Washington many of whom get their knowledge of wolves from the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and by watching how the next door State of Idaho is “managing” (ie killing) wolves.

    • WM says:


      I know you intended this comment to go on the other/older thread, but I will respond here anyway. I don’t know about who “are more schooled on the ecological science of wolves.” And, of course, not all those answers are conclusively in (Dr. Mech has published an article discussing this – and believes wolves will never be at densities that such ecological benefits will be realized). But, importantly, I do know the economic and recreation impacts will be more likely and pronounced WHERE THE WOLVES ARE, and will be for some time. That is Eastern WA (and not Western WA, unless some wolves get translocation tickets), where livestock owners will have more complicated lives, likely spend more money responding to wolf risks as the population grows, and where hunters will see real and perceived impacts on hunter opportunities and success rates. WDFW will also be spending more money in the wolf management arena and there will be fewer federal funds for this purpose each and every year, which means WA taxpayers will be on the hook.

      I direct you to the link on the 2012 WDFW Position Statement on wolf management on the other thread, with my most recent comment to Louise.

      • Ed Loosli says:

        Regarding Washington State wolves,I am afraid that I agree with you on one point you made to Louise and that point is, “I would not rule out a mid-stream Plan correction before the downlisting/delisting objectives are met.”

        I say this because of the new Washington Fish & Wildlife Director, Jim Unsworth, who has been most effective in carrying out Idaho’s severe hunting/trapping wolf “management” program. Unsworth even supported the wiping out of all of the wolves deep into Idaho’s Franck Church – River of No Return Wilderness Area last winter. So far, I understand the Washington F&W has strengthened protections (not loosened them) since the 2012 Management Plan, so we will see if that pro-wolf direction continues now that Unsworth is on-board.

        • WM says:

          ++So far, I understand the Washington F&W has strengthened protections (not loosened them)++

          Could you be a little more precise with facts supporting your assertion?

          • Ed Loosli says:

            It is my understanding that the Washington F&W have put in some adjustments since the 2012 wolf plan that requires ranchers to take certain non-lethal protection methods to deter wolf predation before lethal methods are performed.

  4. Gary Humbard says:

    A classic case where CO’s should work with ranchers to enter into a contract to purchase their federal grazing permits and perpetually remove the livestock so native wildlife do not have to be killed for the sake of cattle.

  5. Ken Fischman, Ph.D. says:

    I am submitting an article entitled “A Modest Proposal For A Solution to Idaho’s Wolf Problem.” This piece is in the great tradition of biting satire, as exemplified by Jonathon Swift, the author of “Gulliver’s Travels.” Dean Swift’s essay, “A Modest Proposal,” was a classic in this genre. It purported to solve Ireland’s population problem by selling babies to the English as food.

    A Modest Proposal For A Solution to Idaho’s Wolf Problem

    Ken Fischman, Ph.D.

    Early next spring, Idaho Fish & Game (IDF&G) agents will recommence their program to remove wolf pups from dens, equip them with radio collars, and replace them in the dens. IDF&G officials state that this will enable them to track wolf movements throughout the life cycle of the pups and will give them valuable information on a vexing problem that has preoccupied the Idaho state government for several years.
    Some wolf advocates however, believe that IDF&G has other, clandestine motives in continuing this program. They assume that radio-collaring pups will enable agents to more easily track and find wolves in order to kill enough of them to bring Idaho’s wolf population down to the minimum legal number of 100 wolves allowed by their agreement with the US Fish & Wildlife agency (FW). The collars can facilitate IDF&G’s doing this without inadvertently dropping the wolf population below that number. If wolf population were to decrease to below 100, it would trigger a mandated review by FW and possible relisting of these animals as an endangered species, again putting them under federal control.
    Some people consider this conclusion to be a paranoid idea on the part of pro-wolf people. I suggest however that not only could the present program be continued, but that it might be expanded in a way to provide a final solution to Idaho’s perceived problems with wolves. In fact, the technology might already exist for enabling Idaho officials to accomplish this task in a more efficient and expedient manner.
    The lowering of the Idaho wolf population to a relict, unimportant, and almost invisible number of animals could be accomplished by equipping, not just some, but all wolf pups, with permanent, expandable radio collars (so as not to choke them to death as they grow larger because that could be considered animal cruelty in some circles). These collars would be furnished with remote scent detectors and strychnine self-injection devices, which could be adjusted in such a manner that if wolves were to approach domestic livestock within a certain perimeter, (let us say for arguments sake that it would be fifty feet), the strychnine injector could be automatically activated to deliver a lethal dose to the wolf that would kill it within seconds. Thus these devices could prevent any possibility of wolves killing animals that ranchers value.
    One of the problems with present wolf management in Idaho is that there is no sure way to know which of the many wolves that are now being killed in retaliation for livestock deaths are actually responsible for them or just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Equipping wolf collars in this manner would make it virtually certain that that only wolves that are likely to predate livestock would be killed, not in retribution for prior deaths as is the present practice, but in a preventive way. Such methodology would not only be more efficient than sending agents out with rifles or traps, or shooting the wolves from aircraft, but would make Idaho or federal agents of the Wildlife Services be less likely to be accused of unethical behavior toward these animals. It would “make the punishment fit the crime”.
    Additional alteration of such scent detectors could make it possible for them to be used to prevent the killing of elk that hunters most value. It has been stated by pro-wolf people that only a fraction of Idaho’s wildlife areas are being impacted by wolves. Elk scent detectors could perhaps be turned on and off in such areas from a distance so that only wolves residing in or occasionally wandering through areas in which hunters success rates were below the historical 21% would be targeted. After all, such long distance killing is now being routinely done with drones by the CIA. Perhaps Idaho officials can persuade the Federal Government to share these techniques with our state for this important task. In one example, the devices could be activated on wolves found in the Clearwater National Forest where hunters have long claimed that they have reduced the elk there despite the fact that in some areas there where wolf numbers are high, elk populations have actually increased. Doing this, would enable Idaho to definitively prove for the first time that such wolf killing actually had a beneficial effect on elk population.
    Despite wolves having never killed even a single sheep or cow in the Panhandle, there was no official limit on wolf killing during the 2013-14 hunting season. In accord with technological advances, cattle and sheep sensors could perhaps be used in southern Idaho, but turned off in the Idaho Panhandle. Doing so might persuade the rest of the country that Idahoans are not the bloodthirsty psychotics that many of them believe us to be.
    I must admit however, that one drawback in this program may be that the initial cost of such collars is liable to be high. When that amount is added to the cost of sending personnel into remote areas to do the initial collaring and subsequent retrieval of collars from dead wolves, it is likely to considerably exceed the present estimated cost of wolf eradication which is well over $1,000 per animal. Although the program is not likely to be cost-effective in terms of the value of livestock and elk effected, the past few years have shown that this is not a major factor in the efforts of the Idaho Legislature and Governor Otter to rid Idaho of these animals. For example, the recent addition of the Wolf Depredation Control Board recommended by the governor and, which has a budget of $500,000, was passed by both state houses with almost the unanimous vote of Republican legislators. (most Democrats voted against the bill). That this was accomplished despite the present short-fall in educational funds for the state, (many school districts have had to fire teachers and/or cut back to a four day school week), This situation clearly shows where the priorities of our state legislators lie. Given their staunch support for wolf eradication, they will probably be quite willing to bankroll this final solution to Idaho’s problems with wolves.

    • Louise Kane says:

      A bill to remove wolf protections because disgruntled extremists don’t want to play fair should be an outrage to all. The courts are fairly consistent in their support for wolves and maintaining protections based on interpretations of the ESA. If the courts are not suited to interpret the law and midwestern carnivore specialists are not to be heeded, then who is. Not these mob mentality creeps. These senators are a disgrace.

      • rork says:

        They are trying to pass a new law, not dispute interpretation of previous law (which is what courts are for – nobody said they aren’t suited to do that).

        I thought it interesting that NWS did not appeal the WY decision, and not yet saying they will appeal in great lakes.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      “The bill uses a strategy that succeeded in taking wolves in Idaho and Montana off the endangered list after court challenges by environmentalists blocked those efforts. Congress took matters into its own hands in 2011 and lifted the federal protections in those two states.”

      I wouldn’t say that congress took matters into its own hands since it was an attachment to a must pass budget bill.

  6. Barb Rupers says:

    News about Oregon wolves – a new wolf has been sited in the south Cascades near the recently named Rogue Pack’s (OR7) territory! Perhaps they will migrate north along the Cascades and also find a foothold in the Coast range farther west and from there also move northward.
    That’s where I live.

    • Jeff says:

      All of these species were eliminated by unregulated market hunting, not sportsmen in the modern era.

      • Yvette says:

        …..”unregulated market hunting”

        You mean like the coyote calling contests that often include bobcats and foxes?

        • Jeff says:

          I’m not commenting on predator calling contests, I was replying to the article about extinct species and the fact that none were caused in the modern era of regulated take. Coyotes and foxes aren’t extinct, nor am I a fan of any killing contest, but hunters today aren’t the cause of anything going extinct to the contrary evidence would suggest.

      • rork says:

        We could extend the list to hundreds by including more species from Australia, New Zealand, various Polynesian islands, and Madagascar, just for starters (but those aren’t the hunters hoped to be made to look bad).
        Faukland island wolf was interesting – it was the only mammal on those islands. Wikipedia provided theories (ice bridge) about how that is even conceivable.

        • Yvette says:

          rork, I’d be interested in knowing a few of the animals you’re thinking about and whether it was because of over hunting or if other factors contributed.

          I find the story of the Falkland Island wolf to be especially sad. It was a tame wolf with no fear of humans. That wasn’t a problem until the Europeans found the island, and they did kill it for fun.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            We are truly an arrogant, nauseating species.

          • Professor Sweat says:


            One of my favorite examples in the area rork is referring to would be the gigantic flightless Moa of New Zealand and it’s predator, the equally impressive Haast’s eagle. The Moa were wiped out by the arrival of the Māori people from Polynesia.

            • Yvette says:

              My curiosity got to me and I found this Science Daily article on the Moa. Pretty interesting, though I have doubts that this small of a population of people hunting them into extinction so quickly without other factors contributing. Maybe it’s true if the Moa were highly sensitive to change, or were slow reproduction rate. I don’t know.

              I did a quick search on Madagascar. It looks like humans were attributed to the over hunting lemurs, but this article suggests there were other contributing factors.

              It’s an interesting topic.

              • Professor Sweat says:

                It truly is and I find it extremely unfortunate that the avian megafauna of New Zealand never really had a chance to be observed by contemporary biologists.

                The Māori people did travel with dogs and were apparently responsible for quite a few bird species extinctions. Even though the human population density was low, maybe they were just incredibly efficient Moa hunters.

      • topher says:

        Mule Deer Foundation Magazine No.27, pages 22-27
        I don’t really care for this type of hunting, but whatever works.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Thank you for this article – sad as it is. It is interesting to read that Africa’s Atlas bear was hunted to extinction almost entirely for the purpose of sport.
      And, as for the extinctions of the Falkland Island wolf and the Tasmanian tiger, it is interesting to bring it into today’s context because they were both exterminated to protect exotic-domestic livestock, in their cases they were wiped out to protect domestic sheep.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      It’s sad that it happened so recently too for most of these animals. One was even destroyed because it was thought to be associated with witchcraft! Not unlike how Europeans think/thought of wolves. Imagine – an entire species wiped out for no reason other than subjective superstition.

      I don’t think it’s over yet either – tigers and rhinos are still subject to human superstition. I know we try to find support in that ‘other peoples did it too, even (gasp) indigenous peoples!’ But Europeans took extinction to an entirely new level, and didn’t even seem to care what happened to what are described as ‘beautiful, graceful’ animals in this article.

      We are ugly and superficial – and until we quit looking for rationales and excuses to bolster our bad behavior, and just simply own up to it, no animal is safe from us in the future either.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I keep hoping we can use our advances in technology and how great we are to bring back some of these poor animals that we destroyed forever without so much as a thought, or to decorate hats, or whatever superficial, and overriding, reason we had.

        I expect to hear the ‘wooly mammoth’ argument in response – but surely animals and birds that went extinct in 2008, or the passenger pigeon too, would be good candidates?

        • Ida Lupine says:

          And whatever bill is being floated about relisting wolves again, I hope the Democrats steer clear of it and get rid of it, if they hope to regain any kind of respect or hopes in 2016. Doesn’t our government do anything but obsess about wolves? We truly haven’t evolved, have we.

          It’s a national embarrassment now, with so many other problems facing us.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            ^^Sorry that should read ‘bill delisting wolves again in the Great Lakes and Wyoming’. I certainly do want to keep them listed and relisted and relisted and relisted…..

          • Ed Loosli says:

            Unfortunately, this is a bi-partisan effort to remove the Great Lakes Region wolves from the Endangered Species list. Collin Peterson, is a leading Democrat Congressman from Minnesota and a sponsor of the proposed law:


            • Ida Lupines says:

              I mean if and when it comes up for a vote, if it gets that far.

              where the combined wolf population is estimated at around 3,700.

              Haven’t they done enough damage? This ‘combined population’ appears greatly reduced – wasn’t about 5-6000 at one time? How much lies and misinformation about wolves are we supposed to tolerate? There’s already a remedy in place for supposed livestock depredation.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                Fish and Wildlife spokesman Gavin Shire said no decision has been made on appealing Howell’s December ruling but said the agency did not appeal the Wyoming decision within the 60-day limit. He said the service wasn’t aware of any proposed legislation to delist wolves and couldn’t comment on it.

                I guess sneaking in another unethical rider is the preferred method if you can’t win on the merits.

            • Louise Kane says:

              I’m communicating with some about a plan of action to work against this. I’ll be looking for volunteers. More to come …..

  7. sleepy says:

    A natural end to a long life—

    “World’s oldest wild bear dies in Minnesota forest

    The world’s oldest-known wild bear has died of old age in northern Minnesota, quietly coming to her final resting place in a shady spot that a bear would find as a good place for a nap, a leading state researcher said Tuesday.”

    • Nancy says:

      “Good luck and good habits

      Researchers suspect that Bear No. 56’s longevity was a combination of factors, including a home range with few people or major roads, her predisposition to avoid people and general good luck”

      It also helped that hunters respected her as a research bear.

  8. Ida Lupines says:

    Good news for rhinos for a change!

    Rhino Nearly Killed By Poachers Now the Mom of a Healthy Calf

    • jon says:

      I believe they are using shoot on sight orders over in that part of the world. Good for them. Poachers are scum that take wildlife away from the rest of us.

  9. Louise Kane says:

    USFWS new rule “allows” Mexican wolves to roam… The USFWS has their priorities screwed up. Less than 100 of a population in the world and the new rule allows for killing them to protect ungulates when hundreds of thousands of those animals exist across numerous states. The USFWS is supposed to be working for us the people not them the ranchers and trophy hunters.

    How are they getting away with this? with all the NGOs working to protect wolves, this is the best they could do. Sad

    I’m sending another comment to this agency I hope others will.

  10. Nancy says:

    Ken, Ralph, Have any non lethal efforts been made by the Green River allotments to address grizzlies?

  11. aves says:

    New tools to catch poachers:

  12. rork says:

    Are you interested in studying the various rationalizations of ethical Lilliputians, nopologizing for the guys using their hounds to attack the wounded coyote (and running one over with their car), that made news awhile back? Then witness Pure Michigan:

    (Yes, I just name-called, but not much, and notice how mild it was? )

    • Professor Sweat says:

      +1 for the Swift reference. It’s good to see that justice may very well be served.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Good. So much for assurances that this kind of thing never happens. Thx rork.

  13. Immer Treue says:

    Sorry, put this on the old thread. Repost.

    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 wants that guaranteed kill.

    The hunting industry has been NASCARized. Sure there are still hunters out there in their Carhartts, but walking into any Cabelas, Gander Mountain or the outlets such as Sportsman’s Guide, one can observe the catering to the hunting industry. There’s a lot of money out there, entering the territory of “too big to fail”.

    This is not meant as anti-hunting at all, but a time to adjust one’s sights toward what is healthy for our wild lands and our wildlife. Since the end of market hunting and the advent of regulated hunting we have an enormous ungulate population across the country. Is this healthy? At the same time, wolves were all but eliminated in the lower 48, and despite the undeclared war against coyotes, their numbers have exploded. Something is wrong. Now that those wolves are making a comeback we hear the “we got rid of them before for a reason”. True, they have competed with man for resources, but in the past we wiped out their prey base, which left wolves no alternatives than our defenseless livestock. There is now an overabundance of prey base.

    Enter the Leopold quote provided earlier by JB.

    “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

    Yes, Mr. Leopold took a long time developing his understanding for the “governance” of our wild life, but over 70 years ago he could see the light. The same light the likes of which Mr. Beers avoids, vectored by marriage to the past, a past that requires change in order to persist into the future.


    • Elk375 says:


      ++This leads to the question, was this attitude correct? We now find ourselves with a game farm mentality, where a hunter wants that guaranteed kill.++

      There are a minority of hunters who want a guaranteed kill, if that is the case then they should be directed to a game farm.

      What hunters want is an opportunity to go hunting each year with a chance at success. What hunters do not want is the lack of opportunity. Lack of opportunity is the lack of being able to acquire a license (tag) and not have to apply for several years or several decades depending upon the species and area. opportunity is long seasons, either sex tags, and multiple tags

      If there is an over abundance of prey then the seasons can be extended and multiple tags issued. Today is the 20th anniversary of the Yellowstone wolf reintroduction ( before the reintroduction there was 19,000 elk on the northern range, today there is 5,000 elk. Before reintroduction there were approximately 3000 late season either sex tags issued. Today there is no late season elk hunt. The wolves ate the surplus elk. Nineteen thousand elk is to many elk. That is a lack of hunter opportunity. I am not saying that wolves are bad.

      Currently there are between 5000 to 7000 elk wintering on the floor of the Madison Valley 90% private property. The wolf kill in the Madison Valley is 21 as of today. Now if wolves were not hunted they would increase in numbers and lower the elk population. The wolves are self regulating and would not eliminate the elk but would create a wolf/elk balance but the hunting opportunities would be reduced. Either wolves can reduced the elk population or hunters can. The local populous likes a general either sex tag and an antlerless B tag.

      This may not be a balanced eco system but it is not a game farm. Interesting are ranches that do not allow elk hunting but encourage wolf hunting.

      • Immer Treue says:


        I’m not talking about just elk. I’m also talking about deer and moose in the GL states. It seems as though many hunters are myopic in regard to the “good times” of just a few years ago, forgetting that lean times preceded the good after the winters of 95/96 &96/97. We have the same phenomena going on now following the past two winters.

        Sure, wolves will always take their share, but winter and habitat follows by hunting are the three big variables here. Plus, deer and moose (brain worm and liver flukes are vectored from Deer to moose) are not a good mix.

        DNR says don’t feed deer, people feed deer, increasing the risk of CWD. Not a real big threat up here yet, but in other states that’s a big yup. Is CWD a growing concern in western elk populations?

        Tie that in with the Leopold quote, along with the big bucks folks are paying for all the gear, and if they don’t get their buck then they are pissed off. The whole mindset has to change. I believe deer seasons were closed up here once during the 70’s. No wolves to speak of back then.

        But this whole screed is not about wolves, but a different mindset about land, habitat, and all the wildlife within it. This the Beers/Leopold quotes bracketing the initial posting. Not looking for a scrum, but a different philosophical outlook for the future.

        • Elk375 says:

          Immer, it is so sad the way things have changed in the last 20 years. I agree with you in excess and maybe higher.

      • Immer Treue says:


        ” Now if wolves were not hunted they would increase in numbers and lower the elk population. The wolves are self regulating and would not eliminate the elk but would create a wolf/elk balance but the hunting opportunities would be reduced.”

        I agree. And way back when, prior to wolf numbers where they are in the West, at an Intl Wolf Symposia, wolf hunting was part of the ticket in the NRM states. All biologists participating at a round table discussion agreed.

        The whole wolf issue should have been settled years ago. Back to the quotes, Beers would be tickled pink with no wolves with his perspective…Leopold not so.

        • JB says:

          “…wolf hunting was part of the ticket in the NRM states. All biologists participating at a round table discussion agreed…The whole wolf issue should have been settled years ago.”

          Elk, Immer:

          I think the issue is a bit more complex. Wolves’ ability to regulate their prey appears to be conditional–it is folly to assume that wolf increases would absolutely result in lower elk populations (and less surplus for hunting). Rather, the situation would vary from place to place and over time. The “balance” that wolves brings isn’t an evening out of their prey populations (human management is better equipped for that); rather, the balance is the natural tug-of-war between predator and prey, with populations changing over time. And therein lies the problem–SOME hunters refuse to accept any change that doesn’t result in more [insert species being harvested].

          In my mind, it isn’t a question of whether wolves should be harvested, but where/when they should be harvested (i.e., under what conditions). And when/where should they be protected (sometimes absolutely). National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges and wilderness areas seem good candidates to answer the “where to protect” question; anywhere near human establishments seems reasonable to answer the “where to harvest” question.

          I don’t buy the “biologists decided this long ago” assertion. For clarity, I don’t doubt that there was disagreement, but rather, I question why biologists should make the decision as to whether wolves are harvested–that is a values question that seems better answered by society. The question of “when to harvest” (i.e., under what conditions) seem to me better answered by biologists.

          • Immer Treue says:


            “In my mind, it isn’t a question of whether wolves should be harvested, but where/when they should be harvested (i.e., under what conditions).”

            Bingo! And the horses have left the barn. The verdict is still out on the “number harvest” quota system to a pack/family unit animal. Was it the correct pathway. There are so many variables at play with population dynamics, when for the first time in this nation, other than the First Nations, we are experimenting with coexistence with wolves.

            But it goes beyond predators. What philosophical corrections need be made for the benefit of all wildlife?

            • Yvette says:

              “But it goes beyond predators. What philosophical corrections need be made for the benefit of all wildlife?”

              Perhaps a first step is a discussion on the commercialization of hunting. Like so many other things it seems that it has become too commercialized. Regardless of the words we choose to use, it is still killing. We call it a sport, and hunters, sportsmen. That is odd to me. I am not entirely against killing, whether it is an animal that must be removed or a death row inmate, but ending a life should not be taken lightly.

              Immer, I so appreciate reading your posts. You too, JB. You guys have a true grasp of wildlife management and the evolving philosophy behind it.

              • Immer Treue says:

                Thank you. You have been a welcome addition to TWN.

                On another matter, I’ve all but completed Coleman’s “Vicious”. Unfortunately my take is not as glowing as yours, and that’s ok. I understand what Coleman was trying to do, but he attempted to be a jack of all trades and in my opinion mastered none. I’m not saying he did not make his point(s), but I feel he just tried to do too much in his metaphor for who is really vicious. There are mistakes, and unnecessary repetition within a book that could use a good editing.

                It makes me want to reread Barry Lopez “Of Wolves and Men”. Gosh, but it’s probably been thirty years. I wonder if a return trip through Lopez work would still contain the same appeal as the original journey.

            • JB says:

              “But it goes beyond predators. What philosophical corrections need be made for the benefit of all wildlife?”

              Some define “coexistence” as an uneasy balance between people and predators, accepting that most of the time we will be acting in ways that negatively impact them. Others are more idealistic with the term, defining it as a mutually-beneficial relationship between people and predators.

              It seems to me that we have likely succeeded in uneasy coexistence, but we’re a long ways off from mutually-beneficial coexistence. The philosophical correction, at least in my mind, is a shift in the burden of proof I mentioned.

              Thank you, Yvette. I’ve come to appreciate your posts as well. 🙂

              • Ida Lupine says:

                JB, you forgot another idealistic option – leaving them be. They don’t need to benefit us. We need to respect wolves and other wildlife and leave them and the places where they live alone.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              we are experimenting with coexistence with wolves.

              You can’t be serious. This is wishful thinking. One thing about your posts, while good most of the time, they tend to be a little unrealistic and overly optimistic about human behaviour.

              We are not, and never have since settlers arrived here, interested in coexistence with predators. If people who want to protect predators weren’t so ardent about it, they’d be gone, and never a second thought about it. There are those who are just as ardent about removing them entirely from the landscape, and the majority who don’t have any idea about predators (or much else in the modern world) and who could care less. A more apt description is a continual tug-of-war with coexistence with wolves, and other predators.

              I don’t calling predator killing contests reflective of our experimenting with co-existence! Maybe more reflexive.

              I’m still smh over Nancy’s post where this clueless administration is planning to downgrade protections for bats threatened by fungal disease and a myriad of other human threats, so that logging can continue. I cannot wait until 2016.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                I don’t call attaching riders to must-past bills eliminating protections for wolves and other wildlife on down the line evidence of experimenting with coexistence either!

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  “But it goes beyond predators. What philosophical corrections need be made for the benefit of all wildlife?”

                  To me, this really isn’t accurate. You are not acknowledging by this statement that predators have a special place of mistreatment by humans. All are not created equal in our minds.

                  I must add that predators get hit the hardest in the conflict between humans and the stuff they want, so while other wildlife is affected, it is especially difficult for predators. We can’t seem to get the old ideas out of our heads regarding them – and studies are showing that they are in the most danger of extinction across the boards – as well as other wildlife, from our activities. But predators are in the most danger. I’m sure you saw the article about charges being filed against two in the UP for enjoying torturing a couple of coyotes. This behavior doesn’t seem to fit into your view of humanity.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                It’s one faux pas after another with this administration. Couldn’t even send an emissary to Paris after the horrific tragedy. I am so ready for a new Administration.

                • Kathleen says:

                  You are assuming that a new admin. will be better…I don’t have that same optimism. The Who: “Won’t get fooled again” – “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” (This song includes the best scream in rock history, IMO!)

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  LOL – I honestly don’t see how it could be much worse than it is now. Obama’s environmental policies of caving to industry and recreation interests is akin to negotiating with terrorists.

                  I’m still trying to wrap my head around the comment ‘an experiment in coexistence’ with wolves! How anthropocentric to think we can/should influence life on this planet.

                  Wolves are here; there’s no experiment about it. And then to mention Native American coexistence in the same sentence – we can’t hold a candle to that. Two entirely different approaches.

                  And no, I was never a stoner, ever. For some reason, it never did anything for me. 🙂

                • Nancy says:

                  Ida – Yellow “stoners” get it?

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  Well there’s a double meaning there and I just wanted to set the record straight. It isn’t the first time that has been directed my way.

              • Immer Treue says:

                “we are experimenting with coexistence with wolves.

                You can’t be serious. This is wishful thinking. One thing about your posts, while good most of the time, they tend to be a little unrealistic and overly optimistic about human behaviour.”

                I’m dead serious. In 1973 we had ~ 500 wolves in the lower 48, all in a small area of NE MN. Now we have ~4,000 in the GL states. In the northern Rockies, counting Washington and Oregon, the numner is pushing 2,000. Empirical studies are consistently being made in regard to wolf impact on both prey and habitat. Folks like Jim Shivik are working on non lethal means of livestock depredation avoidance. Literature is ripe with material refuting age old wolf mythology. Private organizations exist that legally represent wolves in particular and wildlife in general, that extend beyond what was imagine able in the recent past.

                By the very nature if wolves being wolves, they will come into conflict with man, as they are true competitors. We’ve come a long way with wolves, and still have a long way to go. But it must be stressed that it is about more than just wolves. It’s habitat, other wildlife, people making a living raising their stock, and the continual education of people.there are bound to be bumps along the way, but then again, it ain’t 1973.

                • rork says:

                  See, we are getting over the game farm mentality, slowly. I think better educated folks have been there for some time. But the clients (hunters) still live in a world of wildlife thoughts that predate even St. Aldo’s writings. They have never imagined or heard of a land ethic or anything like it, and think that wildlife management is easy, cause it’s so simple – “common sense” suffices. Biologist-managers feel pressure about state economies – it’s not that they don’t know better and want to teach us better. MI and especially WI are places where managers have been trying to speak truth about too many deer but they mostly get backlash from hunters who want high prey densities, and politicians cause of the easy-to-see flow of money. Demonstrating that the real costs and benefits are different than most people think is very hard, since they are so dispersed (grandma’s garden, farmer’s losses) and hard to quantify (tree growth, effects on plant communities and other animal populations). You’ll get called a chicken little.
                  (Don’t think I’m imagining I’m saying anything new.)

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  Well, nobody seems to be getting with the program. No it isn’t 1973, it seems to be 1873 in the way we’ve reverted back. Bumps along the way? We’re running out of road.

                  I don’t think we’ve come a long way at all, as we can see by our current behavior towards wolves. We’ve made a tiny little bit of progress, maybe. And I don’t think coddling us or praising us to the heavens for a small step, like babies, is the way to go.

                • Immer Treue says:

                  OK Ida, let’s kill all the damn wolves, and while were at it the coyotes. You make people like Rockholm possible.

                • Barb Rupers says:

                  When I was in school in the early 1950s the thought of wolves living in Idaho never crossed my mind – dead and long gone. Two years ago I got to see my first wolves in Idaho along the lower Clearwater River.
                  We’ve come a long way!

                • Immer Treue says:

                  You pretty much pegged it, and what I mean in regard to game farming is game rules at the expense of all else. Concentrating on deer, even with low density up here, I’ve got to put paper flags on young white pine growth buds, or the deer crop them down. No regeneration of ash, due to deer.
                  I believe in Wisconsin, the biggest payout to farmers for agricultural damage is due to deer. Sure deer are pretty, nice to look at and taste good, but not at the expense of their destructiveness. It’s just not healthy, and I haven’t brought up auto collisions… I guess I just did.

                • Louise Kane says:

                  If I can put in my two cents worth
                  I agree with Immer and Ida. We have come a long way in the general populace but what is lacking is the institutional change that is necessary for real progress in predator tolerance. Likewise politicians are beholden to too may special interest and lobbying groups. The general public seems to be very supportive of wolves, its the rural residents that are not as tolerant and that rely on hand me down myths of vicious predators and livestock producers that are unwilling to share their use of the land with predators. If you look at wolves as populations only you might surmise that it has gotten somewhat better for them. I can’t help but think of them as individuals within a society; their societies are constantly under attack. I don’t think that is right, just or in the long run ecologically defensible.

                  What impact does the subtle, chronic and unrelenting stress have on the health of a species. I am quoting from the recent study that looked at levels of cortisone in samples of wolf hair to determine stress of hunted vs. unhunted wolves.

          • Louise Kane says:


  14. Nancy says:

    “Despite a steady drumbeat of grim warnings, food prices have declined the past four years, indicating that wild weather linked to climate change is not destroying harvests worldwide”


    Food prices have declined where? Certainly not in this country and they ought to be with the cost of fuel so low.

    • Elk375 says:

      Nancy I was in a local grocery store several days ago and a 12 oz. plastic honey bear bottle cost $4.99 with a .70 cents discount. I remember when that same bottle cost .79 cents, almost what the sales discount was. Sad.

      • Nancy says:

        By the chart, food prices haven fallen but at what cost?

        An interesting analogy in the comments:

        “You speak of The Sausage Game:…so here’s what the sausage game is: You win yourself a market with a nice all-meat sausage, the best sausage you can make. People eat that sausage and they say ‘mmm-hmmm!’ So now you’ve established the product, right? Now you can afford to start slipping in a little sawdust. Add the sawdust by small enough increments and no one will even notice. People will still say ‘mmm-hmmm!’, because people are creatures of habit.

        Of course, five or six increments down the road, you’ll end up with a product that bears little or no resemblance to what you started with, but you’ll get away with it, for a while, at least. Your market share will hold, your profit margin will increase, and everybody will think you’re smart”

        Go into most grocery stores and one isle is dedicated to meats and one isle/small area is dedicated to fresh fruits & vegetables (and its questionable as to where they come from) the other 10-12 isles are dedicated to processed foods.

        With mass production & handling of food, the risk of food borne illness has become a real issue. (Look at the egg recall a couple of years ago)

        United States Centers for Disease Control and Preve…

        “Jan 8, 2014 – CDC estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans (or 48 million people) get sick, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die of foodborne”

        And these numbers don’t include people that are sickened and not diagnosed.

        Course the “jury” is still out what pesticides and fertilizing is doing to our bodies. And then the cost to the land and wildlife by these huge factory farms.

        My grocery list gets shorter and shorter 🙂

      • Elk375 says:


        “over-100 years food prices have fallen”

        What does your wife say or you think about when your family shops for food? Are you concerned about a 100 year trend are you more concerned about today’s total bill?

        • Mark L says:

          I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there…our perception of ‘how things are’ is tempered by how we see an event (even long term) affecting us….with no bigger picture, we have no reason to see anything past ourselves. Perfect example for the elk brought up earlier too

        • JB says:

          Elk- My comment is about maintaining perspective. A new car today costs about 4 times as much as it did when I was a kid, but our grocery bill is only about twice the cost. People complain about short-term increases in price and lose sight of the fact that over the long-term they’re actually spending less (as a proportion of their total income) on food.

  15. JB says:

    FYI: Here’s what a Republican-led House gets you — ideological opposition to any environmental regulation. They can’t even get a vote on an effort to determine safe standards for drinking water.

  16. Ed Loosli says:

    Regarding elk & wolves in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, although it takes us back to the “old days”, I think we should remember that, since wolves had been eliminated, in the 1940s, 1950s & 1960s there was heavy elk culling done by Park Rangers and professional shooters inside Yellowstone Nat Park to keep the elk numbers in check.
    Then in the late 1960s the American public became aware and so outraged at the culling of elk within a National Park, that the Park Service finally stopped the culling. Then, with no wolves present and no-culling, elk numbers sky-rocketed to the 15,000 to 20,000 range by the 1990s. It is this no wolf, no-culling number that some of today’s hunters are dreaming about returning to. Enter wolves. Now elk numbers are closer to those back in the culling days and wolves are again performing their ecological role, and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is better balanced and in a more natural state. We all, including elk hunters, should applaud what has been accomplished, and if the opportunity for a hunter to kill an elk is less than in the no-culling, no wolf years, that is something all of us will just have to get accustomed to.

    • WM says:

      ++Then in the late 1960s the American public became aware and so outraged at the culling of elk within a National Park, that the Park Service finally stopped the culling. Then, with no wolves present and no-culling, elk numbers sky-rocketed to the 15,000 to 20,000 range by the 1990s. ++

      Bull pucky. Guess you conveniently forgot about the massive and multiple summer fires of 1987 in Yellowstone, Ed. That is what caused the elk population to soar a couple years later to the numbers you cite, as burned over areas increased in edible vegetation for elk, as post-fire forest succession began. That was one rationale for wolf reintroduction to YNP in 1995. Now some 27 years after the fires those areas are not so productive for elk food in YNP and the impact of wolves has tapered the elk population back, some, and it has contributed to tapering of the wolf population (though those wolves that roamed outside the Park boundaries were killed in the post-delisting hunting seasons.

      • Ed Loosli says:

        I second the motion by Yvette that you should climb off you high horse.
        The scientific facts are that following the release from artificial controls by culling within the Yellowstone Nat. Park in 1968 when there were 4,300 elk in the Northern Yellowstone elk herd, the Northern elk herd increased in size to 14,000-15,000 during the 1970s and through the mid-1980s and then 17,800 during 1985-1988 (Merrill and Boyce 1991).

        Also, the adult elk sex ratio shifted from one highly skewed by intense culling activities within YNP of approximately 50 males:100 females during the 1960s to approximately 25 males:100 females by the late 1980s (Mark and Singer 1993). Elk were already near peak numbers by the time of the huge 1988 Yellowstone fires (not 1987 WM).

        There was a short lived increase in elk population growth rate following the 1988 fires (Wiley 2002). During 1993 to 1994 elk numbers reached >19,000 (Lemke et al. 1998). Then enter wolves and a recovering grizzly population to bring Yellowstone back into a more ecological balance.

        • WM says:

          OK, so I was off a year on the fires, agreed, 1988. BFD as if that is some sort of material error. If you are going to cite authors it would be nice to have the article titles, so that people can actually check. It was not my understanding that elk were at peak prior to fires WITHIN the Park. Forgive my skepticism, Ed, not that you are wrong this time, but you have played fast and loose with the “facts” in the past, so why start trusting your partial sources, now. Please give full cites.

          • Mark L says:

            (not to anyone specifically)
            I know y’all are sticking to the YNP area in this thread, but maybe we should be looking at the overall numbers of elk in the US, or say, all of North America before we discuss wolves vs. humans in hunting. To go back to Immer’s original post regarding Beers, we have SO many more places that have elk now than back then…I think some of you tend to have a ‘western fetish’ at times in these discussions, focusing on your own fiefdoms and not the whole kingdom.

            Oh, and Immer:
            “The hunting industry has been NASCARized. Sure there are still hunters out there in their Carhartts, but walking into any Cabelas, Gander Mountain or the outlets such as Sportsman’s Guide, one can observe the catering to the hunting industry. There’s a lot of money out there, entering the territory of “too big to fail”.

            Well said.

            • Immer Treue says:

              In fairness to a comment Elk 375 made when I put this comment on the earlier 12/19 thread, it’s not just hunting. Fishing has also been marginalized by economics. No longer is it simply going out on a lake to fish and enjoy the experience for many. The thousands that are spent on boats, trailers, motors, depth/fish finders, and we haven’t even gotten to fishing tackle… Gosh, but I remember my Dad catching a Muskie on a cane pole!

              Tried my hand at fly fishing. Spent too much time in trees, and getting line out so as not to entangle birds… You can break the bank with fly gear, but that won’t help you catch trout… The scads of literature on fly fishing and the philosophy of fly fishing bear testament to that.

              • Mark L says:

                Yes, and I think that TV has had a HUGE amount of influence on this. I was watching National Geographic Channel (I think) and it occurred to me the new ‘River Kings (whatever)’ series is all about how crazy you have to be to make any money on the Mississippi river these days, like life is some daily dog eat dog desperate struggle when you fish. The struggle was to find an audience that will stay entertained, not to catch the fish. Same crap with the gator hunters…all about the people and shooting gators, not about the location other than occassional ‘money shots’ from camera and some guy with a cool coonass voice. Just not my style.

              • WM says:


                Apparently you avoided the Zen part of fly-fishing experience, often marketed to urbanites. It is the mental preparation for the trip to the stream – comparing products in the fly shop or a catalog, or having a knowledgeable sales person explain to you the virtues of one over the other, and visualization of how you would feel in the gear, or using it. This experience is sort of an elaborate dance. I seriously doubt a $1,000 Sage rod, a $300 reel, and an expensive set of Simms waders and Chota wader boots, under a $200 vest stuffed with mostly pricey gear you don’t need, will catch more fish. To some degree advertising and retailers have created their own environment for demand, not unlike automobile manufacturers.

                I’m still using an old beater pack fly rod I got when I was 12, a hand-me-down reel that is probably 70 years old (afterall you really don’t use the reel to play the fish, only to store the line), and a pair of 20 year old hip boots (you can hardly find good ones anymore because of all the high end neoprene or Gore-Tex waders that will let one get belly deep in a stream), and some hand tied flies from now-deceased mother, who even made her own fine bamboo fly rods years ago, with multiple tip sections of different flexibilities to accommodate the weight of a line or the type of fish one might expect.

                • WM says:

                  …from MY now-deceased mother…

                • Immer Treue says:

                  Correct me if I’m wrong, but did you not confirm, in much more elegant fashion, my assessment of gear cost as a barometer for success in fly fishing.

                  The zen of fly fishing… Is it marketed to urbanites, or a mental exercise for the likes of Tome McGuane, amongst many others, to express their love/fascination/patience for the discipline?

                • WM says:


                  Yes (though I can’t really acknowledge elegance in my writing), and yes. The latter is why I still enjoy the activity, even with old gear that now matches an aging body. There is some nostalgia as well as art in the effort.

                  For the actual catching of fish (especially steelhead), the fly rod is sometimes useless, though we see lots of dapper fisher dandies, many with the expensive fly gear, on the coastal rivers in winter, as passengers in their guided double end drift boats disturbing an otherwise pastoral stretch of river, bald eagle perched on the opposite bank just above patch of river fog. Sort of makes my day (sarcastically) when one of these pay-to-fish aluminum drift boats, from up-stream, loudly scrapes over a shallow spot or bounces off a rock (one has to hear the sound to understand its annoying properties), then noisily drops a lead anchor at the head of the hole I had previously been solitarily fishing, disturbed only by a mallard or harlequin duck floating by at rod’s length. Two or three neon colored fly lines are now stripped off and float over “my” hole. Then a little flailing of the water as the line is whipped overhead back and forth, temporarily adding neon color to the foreground of the aforementioned pastoral view (incidentally, in a boat that line with fly will go mostly to the same spot without all the ceremony). Cigar smoke wafts my direction, and somebody pulls out a flask for a quick pull to ward off the morning cold, and passes it on to the next guy who temporarily stops flailing the water. The libation exchange is accompanied by loud voices and laughter; I guess THEY are having a good time. This lasts for 10 to 15 minutes, and they move on, as they resume their down river journey, the guide accidentally (he says as he apologizes) clanks an oar against the aluminum boat, which chases out any fish in the hole downstream for their next stop. These guys are soon to be followed by a clone of the one that just left, as the bald eagle, above, and I enjoy the temporary solitude during the interlude. The fishing is great during the respite, the catching maybe not so good.

                • rork says:

                  I’m very much a minimalist (no fishing vest, just tennis shoes if I can stand the temperatures), but the 6 and 10 weight rods (not poles) I own were expensive. They’ve worked well hundreds of times and will outlast me. I use fluorocarbon – are you Luddites still using horse-hair? If I’m gonna spend serious time to tie a fly, I’m not gonna use a cheap hook. In winter, the gods prefer me in neoprene. It’s not to be cool – it works good.

                  I do agree there are folks out there with thousands of dollars of gear who cast like my rear sphincter chews gum – I think they simply have lots of money and little experience. Prices for nice new camo make it hard to justify, so I’m still repairing 15-year-old hand-made stuff. Hundreds of dollars of trail cams – no thanks (it’s nearly cheating). I do use binoculars though, and yup, they’re Zeiss, painfully pricy (had them >20 years – they were worth it).

                • WM says:


                  To be honest, I also have the sweaty neoprene waders for the heavy winter fishing too. I dislike them for a couple more reasons and one has has to do with access, if you get my meaning. The other is that waders give disrespectful fishers an excuse to walk thru redds in deeper water (whetehr they know the nests are there or not), which is not a good thing for fish reproduction.

            • Cody Coyote says:

              At the time the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts in ~1620, there were maybe 12 million Elk in the continental USA area. Those Pilgrims would’ve seen some on the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts.

              Thanks to market hunting, usurpation by domestic livestock, industry , railroads, etc etc etc the total number of Elk present in the same Lower 48 by 1900 was maybe 45,000 total. We immigrant Euro-colonials succeeded in exterminating 99.96 percent of the native Elk.

              Today , there are roughly 750,000 Elk after a century of the much touted North American Big Game Model and other measures , about 6 percent of the pre-Colonial population.

              Make of that what you will…

              ( Oh by the way , it wasn’t just Elk we nearly wiped out )

          • Ed Loosli says:

            Like everyone knows except apparently you, when the elk culling stopped in 1968 in Yellowstone Nat. Park and with no wolves and few grizzlies, the elk population more than tripled in the Northern herd until wolves were returned to ecosystem and grizzly numbers increased. By the time of the 1988 Yellowstone fires elk numbers were already almost at their peak. The point is that, now the greater Yellowstone ecosystem is more in balance and wild predators in place (wolves & grizzlies), which negates the necessity of human hunters to fill that roll.

            I used various references in my posts above, and here is another one from the Ecological Society of America
            MIchael B. Coughenour and Francis J.Singer, Ecological Applications, Vol 6 No. 2 page 574:


  17. Ida Lupines says:

    To me this is huge. I know not all of us are religious – but to have one of the world’s major religions that reaches many many people have this kind of shift in view is a big deal:

    “Francis has spoken out frequently about the “culture of waste” that has imperiled the environment and he elaborated en route to the Philippines.”

    Pope Francis on Climate Change: ‘Man Has Slapped Nature in the Face’

    • Nancy says:

      “Thanks be to God that today there are voices, so many people who are speaking out about it.”

      With over a billion Catholics in the world (women coming in at about oh half that population?) The Pope would do better to concentrate on population control (instead of putting the issue on the back burner) as a means to save nature.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Well that’s true – but for those who already are here (7 plus billion of us), it’s still progress. I think it’s too late for population control, anyway. Best to speak about using less resources, I would say, for right now. And picking up our trash.

        • Nancy says:

          “It is remarkable that, despite many new developments over the past 50 years, one fact looks very much the same: populations are growing most rapidly where such growth can be afforded the least — where pollution, resource shortages, and environmental damage create additional stresses on the ability of governments to meet the basic food, clothing, and shelter needs of their populations”

          “There are an estimated 1.2 billion Roman Catholics in the world, according to Vatican figures. More than 40% of the world’s Catholics live in Latin America – but Africa has seen the biggest growth in Catholic congregations in recent years)

          • Ida Lupine says:

            It’s not all the fault of religion. It is a factor, but just like any other creature on earth, human beings are programmed to breed for the survival of the species. We don’t have any predators. There are cultural factors at work too, regardless of a nation’s peoples’ religion.

            We may believe we can choose the size of our families by our ‘superior’ reasoning ability, but we are driven by instinct as much as any other animal for reproduction. Economics is about the only restraint on it, and even then it is questionable.

          • Louise Kane says:

            Oh Nancy don’t get me started. religion the great corrupter of life. Did you ever read J Diamond’s Gun Germs and Steel. A very good read.

            I saw the pope once in Rome. My husband’s family and I took my very Catholic mother in law to Rome for her 90th. I have to admit it was a spectacle like no other, but I have such a deep loathing for most religions it was hard to get past that. The sea of people around the Pope made me think of the devastating consequences that adherence to Catholicism has had on our world.

            • Louise Kane says:

              80th birthday

            • Ida Lupine says:

              When I posted the article it was because, paradoxically, it may be this man who makes people think about and care about environmental issues! He reaches a lot of people.

              It wasn’t to promote any religion, although you can’t blame religion by itself, because people created it, and created the ways to rationalize their way around it. I think people would behave badly and corrupt no matter what kind of crutch was available.

              Not that I am a non-believer, but I have my own beliefs (peyote notwithstanding.)

            • Nancy says:

              Read it Louise and glad you brought it up for those that check in here and aren’t aware of the book.

              “You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible folleries of magic and religion. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly. It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite intelligent enough”
              Aldous Huxley

              “We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another”
              Jonathan Swift

          • Louise Kane says:

            “It is remarkable that, despite many new developments over the past 50 years, one fact looks very much the same: populations are growing most rapidly where such growth can be afforded the least”

            I’m hard pressed to think of one place where human growth is desirable. In thinking in terms of carrying capacity and what a given environment should be capable of supporting, I think of other predators. Usually to be successful they need an abundance of natural resources, fresh water, and a lot of space between each other. If not, they starve, there are territorial turf wars, and in general disruptive life.
            People have broken every biological rule. Our populations have exploded. We are in my mind living on borrowed time as we are exhausting all resources. The ones we are hoping to continue to produce are now produced using artificial chemicals and methods of crop and meat harvests that are unsustainable. I would like to see every spec of land bought up as public land, no matter where it is and an immediate ban on human births limiting them to one per family after a 10 year ban altogether.

            When I am king that’s what I’ll do.

            I think overpopulation has created some monsters.

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          Worldwide inequality

          almost half the world’s people (over 3.5 billion) live on less than $2.50 a day; and 80% live on less than $10 a day.
          assuming the perpetuation of the current economic model, they estimate “that it would take more than 800 years for the bottom billion to achieve ten percent of global income under the current rate of change.”
          over 20% of the world’s population (that’s 1.4 billion people) live on less than $1.25 a day, 75 cents below the official World Bank poverty threshold; UNICEF states that 22,000 children (under the age of five; if it was 6, or 7, the numbers would be even higher) die every day due to poverty related issues. They “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”
          Of the two billion children in the world, half are currently living their lives in extreme poverty, with limited or no access to clean water or sanitation, health care and education worth the name. The greatest concentrations of people living below the $2 a day poverty line are to be found in rural areas where three in every four are to be found. Life is little better in the cities where over half the world’s 7.2 billion population now live, one in three of whom live in a slum.
          Flowing from wealth and income inequality (combining to create the powerful elite), is the inequitable use and distribution of natural resources; water and food, minerals, and we could add knowledge, information, technology and skills. The United States, for example, with a mere 5% of the world’s population, uses 30% of natural resources; the 25% of people living in developed countries use 80% of the world’s non-fuel minerals. Many of these are found in poor developing countries, which have little or no control over their resources and on the whole benefit little from their extraction and sale. Not only do the wealthy countries usurp and waste 80% of the world’s resources, but according to a United Nations (UN) report, their “voracious consumption of resources cannot be sustained.”
          global warming will lead to a major food-crisis in the future. Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia are expected to be the worst-hit.” That is, the regions with the largest concentrations of people living in utter poverty.

      • Immer Treue says:

        Think about the “old” Catholic ways which included no meat on Fridays. Sure the meat industry was glad that disappeared. Then again, whether your glass is half full or empty, think of the impact on the fishing/sea food industry.

  18. Mareks Vilkins says:

    New studies solve some mysteries about the plague that’s killing our bats

  19. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Blooming algae may be changing lakes for the worse — and possibly forever

  20. Elk375 says:

    Here is an article from the Bozeman Daily Chronicle about the Big Horn Mountain Sheep in the Tendoy’s

    • Ed Loosli says:

      article: “Once the old bighorn herd is eliminated, new sheep would be brought into the Tendoy Mountains. But they might not do any better because there are domestic sheep in the area that carry the bacteria.”
      Wildlife agencies just keep repeating the same mistakes they made before, without facing the real problem – domestic livestock.

  21. Kathleen says:

    For my fellow ‘Stoners:

    (apologies if previously posted)

    • Nancy says:

      Nice pics Kathleen 🙂 I would of had a hard time picking the best!

    • skyrim says:

      Fantastic images. Thanks.
      Yellowstone fever is chewing on my pant leg….. ^..^

      • Kathleen says:

        Me too, Nancy (hard time picking the best)–though I’d have to say that the grand prize winner of Beehive Geyser erupting is flat-out spectacular.

        The ermine in the snow blows me away, too…the shot of a lifetime. I hear you, skyrim. Yellowstone fever is chewing on my actual LEG.

        We went to Missoula tonight for an art gallery opening of a Bitterroot artist we like–she works in pastels and YNP figures into a lot of her subject matter. Her stuff is amazing–almost photo realistic–with chalk!

        If you click on “drawings” from the menu bar to the left, then look at numbers 3, 6, 8, & 11 (after that you’re on your own) you’ll see what I mean. 6 & 11 were hanging together–both very large–and amazing.

  22. Jerry Black says:

    2014…Warmest Year on Record…..(to coincide with George’s piece on livestock and climate change)

  23. Ed Loosli says:

    “Earthjustice, on behalf of Center for Biological Diversity and Defenders of Wildlife, filed a lawsuit fighting provisions in the new rule that unjustifiably cap wolf population at 325, preclude recovery north of I-40, and loosen restrictions on killing wolves.)”

    • Professor Sweat says:

      I don’t believe the Mexican Wolf subspecies was particularly numerous in northern AZ historically, so I don’t think “recovery” is the right word. There is plenty of habitat and prey up there though. “Allowing” to roam there still seems like a no-brainer.

  24. Ida Lupine says:

    Now Immer, you’re the one who has continued dialogue with that bunch; and you keep making excuses for them too. Every time you sneak a pro-hunting comment in or try to put a positive spin on something that doesn’t deserve it, I’m going to call you out on it. Whose side are you on anyway? We’re the only other nation, besides First Nations, ‘experimenting’ with coexistence? Europe’s revaluing wolves also, and probably doing a better job of it than we are. I can’t believe you tried to ride on the coattails of First Nations. We’re not even in their league as far as valuing wildlife.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I made the remark about ‘stoner’, because Immer threw me a nasty remark about peyote, and someone else said something about a ‘generational’ thing, etc. etc. Future generations could only hope to have some of the idealism, bravery and values, and willingness to go out on a limb of the ’60s and ’70s – if they even have the capability of understanding what happened in those days, as we’re dumbed down more and more. We won’t see those days again, unfortunately.

      You’ve probably guessed I’m not hear to make friends (maybe influence people) or have much of a sense of humor about what’s happening with our environment and wildlife – I have less and less of a sense of humor with each passing atrocity like the one that just came to light in the UP.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        ^^’here’ sorry. I doesn’t look like we’ve come a long way at all, esp. with attacks on the ESA, our President giving away the store, and continued wolf killing.

    • Nancy says:

      Ida, interesting article and comments (listed below) on the WWP site.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Good-Bye Ida,

      Have a nice swim.

      • Nancy says:

        Damn you Immer!

        Had a nice evening planned, relaxing with a good book, till I looked at the MP link you posted and now, that’s going to lead to another clip and another clip because I do enjoy a good laugh on a cold, winter night 🙂

    • Immer Treue says:

      “Now Immer, you’re the one who has continued dialogue with that bunch; and you keep making excuses for them too.”

      Nope, on both counts

      “Every time you sneak a pro-hunting comment in or try to put a positive spin on something that doesn’t deserve it, I’m going to call you out on it.”
      Go ahead. But remember, you’re the one who has the snit fits when someone calls you on a comment you make.

      “Whose side are you on anyway? ”
      If you have not been able to figure that out by now, with all the time you have spent on this blog, with all the measured, philosophical and patient responses that have been sent your way (and here, I don’t mean just me as others have had the patience of saints with you) you never will.

      “We’re the only other nation, besides First Nations, ‘experimenting’ with coexistence? Europe’s revaluing wolves also, and probably doing a better job of it than we are. I can’t believe you tried to ride on the coattails of First Nations. We’re not even in their league as far as valuing wildlife.”

      Not riding anyone’s coat tails, as my reference to First Nations was in context of prior to Europeans settling North America.

      Europe: try the Scandinavian countries. Does that make you smile? I just attended a presentation on The Wolves of Belarus. 50% or more of wolves killed each year.

      You only hear what you want to hear. SaveBears would continually admonish those on this site who are engaged in issues wolf, that we are such a small % of the population. We all attempt to make things better, in the ways available to us.

      If you have a question about something I write, ask. You had a run in with rork in regard to some of your comments a while ago. It’s up to you how you want to interpret what I have written here. Some months ago you said you would no longer respond to my comments. What happened?

      Oh, and the “nasty” peyote comment was a one word comment, an attempt at humor, in response to a general question you posed in regard to a bizarre dream you had.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Immer, please don’t take it personally – I’ll have a ‘run-in’ with anybody to protect our wildlife and environment.

        As far as Europe and their wolves, I was thinking more of France, Germany, Italy and possibly even the UK. America isn’t the only country trying to reintroduce or rethink the value of wolves. I was thinking more of countries like France, Spain, Germany, Italy and possibly even the UK. I realize there are other countries who still think of them in the old ways. My point was that American isn’t the exception in trying to protect them. And we’re barely holding on, it appears.

        I know a lot of people questioned SaveBears – but I kinda liked him! He had a way of making you see the bright side when it appears hopeless. He seemed like a nice guy in many ways.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          He was very humorous; he said he’d go out for coffee but not if he couldn’t take his sidearm. I think Starbucks used to let people bring their sidearms. Ha! 🙂

          Sorry for all the typos this morning. I don’t think my coffee has kicked in.

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        Europe: try the Scandinavian countries. Does that make you smile? I just attended a presentation on The Wolves of Belarus. 50% or more of wolves killed each year.


        could you make it available publicly? or some sum-up about their killing pattern – is it widespread evenly throughout the country or is it just around cities?

        I’m most interested about BY wolf killing around Latvia’s & Lithuania’s border area.


        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          by the way, BY is not part of European Union so it is not bind to Bern Convention & Habitat Directive which list the wolf and lynx as the Protected Species.

          the title of the No 1 wolf-killers in the world goes to Latvia in my opinion (hunting season lasts 9 months (one is allowed to kill 2 months old pups and pregnant females) and harvest equals to 43% take of population – for the last 15 consecutive years)

          • Mareks Vilkins says:

            and the ‘rest period’ (from April till July) corresponds with highest pup mortality (~50% of the litter)

          • WM says:

            From 2 years ago, Belarus President attempts to take on 6 wolves, barehanded in an imitation of Putin, and apparently loses and is taken to the hospital.


            Can’t blame this one on the wolves specifically, but it would appear they do attack people there, when provoked. Can’t blame them, either.

          • WM says:


            Ever done a tally on how many countries or subdivisions of countries (like US states) have some sort of periodic population reduction of wolves within their jurisdictions (hunting/bounty/state employee or contractor killing)?

        • Immer Treue says:

          I’ll try to answer all your questions here. The person who have the presentation is an associate of David Mech,with whom I have periodic contact. I’ll see if I can get the presentation, at least to answer your questions more thoroughly.

          Yes, Belarus. Is not in the EU, and that may have been the purpose of the meeting of wolf biologists in Belarus, a fact finding conference. Wolf pelts cannot be exported from Belarus to EU nations, if I remember correctly. For the benefit of those here, Belarus is a landlocked former member of the USSR with an area just a tad smaller than MN.

          From what I recall, most of the wolf study area was in the northeast and northwest. Swampy forested area. Wolves prey upon red deer (very similar to our elk here, moose in Europe are called elk), and wild boars.

          Wolf hunting is year round, but concentrated during winter months. Crops are actually grown for the red deer. An interesting aside, as the technology our wildlife biologists have is not available to those who study wolves in Belarus, to enable them to track wolves, they will enter wolf dens, sex the pups, then clip off one of the pups toes.

          As wolf hunting there is so great, it is not uncommon for female wolves to breed after their first year. Litter sizes run from 2-10, but there seems to be a trend toward more pups, and a bit of hybridization, though rare, with dogs. The concept of dogs there is a bit, quite a bit different there than here.

          Hope that helps answer some of your questions

          • Immer Treue says:

            Sorry Mareks, auto spell does not like your name.

          • Mareks Vilkins says:

            1)from where were participants of that fact finding conference – only the BY ones or it was an international one (was there Ozolins from Latvia)?

            2) was the main speaker Vadim Sidorovich(BY)?

            3)what about BY’s official wolf numbers – ain’t they exaggerated? because here in Latvia hunters are trying to count wolves at the end of hunting season when the last snow coverage is still available (in March) and they are producing wolf numbers 3-4 times bigger than acquired by wolf monitoring (because hunters are counting wolf tracks in their hunting districts which on average has 25 sq km size – so the same wolf pack is counted multiple times in different districts)

            4) what about breeding pair numbers / breeding female % (of all adult females)?

            5) do they have the data about incoming wolves from Russia?

            I’ve read in LV hunting journal (Nov 2014)that in BY 50K hunters were allowed to kill 14K wild boars,3K roe deer, 1K moose, 0.1 elk, 3.5K beavers.
            Not much to hunt, to say the least. So what about 1.5K wolves’ energy budgets?

            I also have this presentation written by 3 Swedes (one can see the basic game species/habitat statistics on pages 4- 6):

            Integrated management of trophic interactions: moose and forest in Sweden and Belarus

          • Mareks Vilkins says:

            most of the wolf study area was in the northeast and northwest. Swampy forested area. Wolves prey upon red deer (very similar to our elk here, moose in Europe are called elk), and wild boars.

            I’d be thankful for information about NW Belarus.

            Moose in both Europe & N-America is Alces alces (don’t know – maybe the British call moose as elk)

            Elk = red deer or Cervus elaphus

    • Barb Rupers says:

      When I lived in region 1 of Montana there were no viable wolf packs in the area. These wolves are not the result of the reintroduction into Yellowstone and central Idaho but started migrating back into the US from BC Canada in the 1980s.

      I second your nauseating.

  25. Ida Lupine says:

    Here’s a follow-up to that Las Cruces story:

    Bill Would Ban Coyote-Killing Contests in New Mexico

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Montana’s answer to Beavis and Butthead – ‘I started a forest fire – heh, heh, heh’. It’s truly hard to believe that there are actually people walking around (or allowed to) like this. I don’t believe in social media for myself, but there are times that I thank God for it. Like this.

      Those poor kittens ‘donated’ to a zoo (like that’s a positive thing) like objects, it’s like a domino effect of carelessness and cluelessness.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      This story seems to leave out some vital information, particularly about the mother mt. lion. Was she found burned up in the fire? Or, if they didn’t find her, then why would they “rescue” the twin lion cubs, instead of leaving them there (in a non-burned area) for their mother to reclaim after the humans depart the scene? For all we know, the mother mt. lion is still looking for her cubs. Such a shame.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        That was the thing, all along. Or, return the cubs to the wild when they were old enough. That was never an option. “Donating” them to a zoo like we own them. It’s like we don’t know any better.

        So, these two idiots set off a chain reaction that they probably are not even capable of understanding. That’s the biggest problem with humans vs. the environment.

        From the comfort of a scientific bubble we can talk about ‘a mutually beneficial relationship with wildlife (whatever that means) and ‘experiments in coexistence’ (experiments imply the possibility of failure, and can we really afford failure with already diminishing wildlife?), but not everyone is capable of appreciating it. A lot more is going to be lost by continuing to cater to human needs.

  26. Nancy says:

    And before I say goodnight tonight, its nice to see that probably before morning, another milestone – 5,000 people (or more) now “like” link, and relate to the Wildlife News via Facebook.

    Kudos Ralph, Ken, Brian for providing a great site on wildlife, wild lands (and stuff in between) issues 🙂

  27. Ed Loosli says:

    From FOX NEWS:
    Man vs. Prairie Dog: Taming the Endangered Species Act

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Utah prairie dog lives only in southwestern Utah and its diminution would not significantly alter the supply or quantity of animals for which there is a national market.

      What is most significant about this case is that the purpose of the Endangered Species Act is to protect ecosystems and on this point the court found that just the protection of an ecosystem may not be sufficient impact on commerce to be constitutional under the commerce clause.


      Not good at all. So commerce rules.

      • Mark L says:

        “Not good at all. So commerce rules”

        yep, consider the author of the article:

        “William Kovacs is senior vice president for the Environment, Technology and Regulatory Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce”

        nailed that one, Ida.

  28. Mareks Vilkins says:

    That Was Easy: In Just 60 Years, Neoliberal Capitalism Has Nearly Broken Planet Earth

    Pair of new studies show how various forms of human activity, driven by a flawed economic system and vast consumption, is laying waste to Earth’s natural systems

    “It is difficult to overestimate the scale and speed of change. In a single lifetime humanity has become a geological force at the planetary-scale.” —Prof. Will Steffen

    …when it comes to climate change, species extinction and biodiversity loss, deforestation and other land-system changes, and altered biogeochemical cycles (such as changes to how key organic compounds like phosphorus and nitrogen are operating in the environment), the degradation that has already take place is driving the Earth System, as a whole, into a new state of imbalance.

    In addition to the four boundaries that have already been crossed, the study looked five other ways in which the planetary systems are under assault by human activity. They include: stratospheric ozone depletion; ocean acidification; freshwater use; atmospheric aerosol loading (microscopic particles in the atmosphere that affect climate and living organisms); and the introduction of novel entities into ecosystems (e.g. organic pollutants, radioactive materials, nanomaterials, and micro-plastics).

    Using what it calls a “planetary dashboard,” the research charts the spread and speed of human activity from the start of the industrial revolution in 1750 to 2010, and the subsequent changes in the Earth System – e.g. greenhouse gas levels, ocean acidification, deforestation and biodiversity deterioration. The analysis found that increased human activity—and “predominantly the global economic system”—has unseated all other factors as the primary driver of change in the Earth System, which the report describes as “the sum of our planet’s interacting physical, chemical, biological and human processes.” The most striking, i.e. “accelerated,” changes to that system have occurred in the last sixty years.

    This is a new phenomenon and indicates that humanity has a new responsibility at a global level for the planet.”

    The paper makes a point to acknowledge that consumption patterns and the rise of what has become known as the Anthropocene Era does not fall equally on the human population and its examination of the economic system which is underpinning planetary destruction is one rife with inequality, in which certain populations consume at vastly higher levels than others.

    According to the report, “The new study also concludes that the bulk of economic activity, and so too, for now, the lion’s share of consumption, remain largely within the OECD countries, which in 2010 accounted for about 74% of global GDP but only 18% of the global population. This points to the profound scale of global inequality, which distorts the distribution of the benefits of the Great Acceleration and confounds international efforts, for example climate agreements, to deal with its impacts on the Earth System.”

    “It’s clear the economic system is driving us towards an unsustainable future and people of my daughter’s generation will find it increasingly hard to survive. History has shown that civilisations have risen, stuck to their core values and then collapsed because they didn’t change. That’s where we are today.”

    strong evidence shows.. there “tipping points” that the human race should simply not “want to cross.”

    • Yvette says:

      Mareks, your posts seem to be triggering my memory of other articles, LOL. You’ve done it again. This is another Orion Magazine article by Ginger Strand, and it is one of my all time favorites. I reread it from time to time, because her research and writing is simply masterful in this one. The pivital character is ‘the crying Indian’ that was used in an anti-pollution ad campaign in the 1970’s. She drives into the actions and how they were devised that has led us to our current predicament of a consumptive society. Americans were not always overly consumptive. We had to be sold that message.

      Looking back from America’s current position as global missionary of free-market gospel, it’s easy to forget that enterprise American-style — dedicated to the proposition that consuming equals happiness — once needed the hard sell here, too. But the ad men knew it. In 1945, the Council issued a pamphlet outlining its new purpose. The war was over, but a new battle was on: the “battle for markets.” Europe, they declared, was in ruins. State socialism was creeping through the Old World. America, too, would move left, unless advertising could “resume its star role as a profitable seller of goods.” This meant recasting the American Dream as the endless pursuit of plenty.

      I like this line: “How can we expect individual choice to right the wrongs of collective decisions?”

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        thanks Yvette, I will take a look at her other articles.

        I can only respond with my very first post on TWN directed at SaveBears aka Colonel Donald Jackson:

        Lou Reed – Last Great American Whale

        They say he didn’t have an enemy
        His was a greatness to behold
        He was the last surviving progeny
        The last one on this side of the world
        He measured half a mile from tip to tail
        silver and black with powerful fins
        They say he could split a mountain in two
        That’s how we got the Grand Canyon
        Some say they saw him at the Great Lakes
        Some say they saw him off the coast of Florida
        My mother said she saw him in Chinatown
        but you can’t always trust your mother.

        Off the Carolinas the sun shines brightly in the day
        The lighthouse glows ghostly there are night
        The chief of a local tribe had killed a racist mayor’s son
        and he’d been on death row since 1958
        The mayor’s kid was a rowdy pig
        spit on Indians and lots worse
        The old chief buried a hatchet in his head
        life compared to death for him seemed worse
        The tribal brothers gathered in the lighthouse to sing
        and tried to conjure up a storm or rain
        The harbor parted and the great whale sprang full up
        and caused a huge tidal wave
        The wave crushed the jail and freed the chief
        The tribe let out a roar
        The whites were drowned
        the browns and reds set free
        but sadly one thing more
        Some local yokel member of the NRA
        kept a bazooka in his living room
        and thinking he had the chief in his sights
        blew the whale’s brains out with a lead harpoon
        Well Americans don’t care for much of anything
        land and water the least
        And animal life is low on the totem pole
        with human life not worth much more than infected yeast
        Americans don’t care too much for beauty
        They’ll shit in a river, dump battery acid in a stream
        They’ll watch dead rats wash up on the beach
        and complain if they can’t swim
        They say things are done for the majority
        Don’t believe half of what you see
        and none of what you hear

        It’s a lot like what my painter friend Donald said to me
        “Stick a fork in their ass and turn them over, they’re done”

        Secrets and Lies: The Anatomy of an Anti-Environmental PR Campaign

        A based on hundreds of leaked public relations papers, the book shows how PR consultants think and act when they are being paid to try to influence politics. It shows the range of techniques used by PR companies to manufacture political support for their clients and dirty tricks they use to stop their client’s opponents being heard.

        “One of the most important books ever written on PR.… Revelations about the secretive Shandwick, one of the dominant PR firms in the United States, provide one of the most eye-opening examinations of corporate propaganda and contempt for democracy that has ever been produced.”

        –– Robert W. McChesney, author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy.

        “An invaluable study of how PR is used by corporations to manipulate public opinion and subvert democracy. It is about events in New Zealand, but the PR firm behind the dirty work is now US-based, illustrating the globalization of dirty tricks.”
        –– Edward S. Herman, author of The Myth of the Liberal Media: An Edward Herman Reader.

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

        –– John Stauber, editor of PR Watch

      • Mareks Vilkins says:


        I would also suggest Sheila O’Donnell who investigates violence against environmentalists in the USA, and teaches activists in tactical research.

      • Nancy says:

        Powerful read, Yvette.

  29. Ida Lupine says:

    Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says

    “Fundamentally, we’re a terrestrial predator,” he [Dr. McCauley]said. “It’s hard for an ape to drive something in the ocean extinct.”

  30. Yvette says:

    USFWS have reopened a comment period on the Northern Long-eared bat. They are proposing applying the 4(d) rule if the bat is listed as threatened. Previously, they had proposed listing this bat as endangered and that comment period ended mid-December, 2014. Now they are going for threatened and in some regions of the mid-west the population decline has been 98-99%.

    I’d be interested in other’s opinions on this change of proposed listing from endangered to threatened with the 4(d) rule. Do you think the bat will get the protection needed? Can USFWS still list this bat as endangered rather than the now proposed threatened?

    I’m interested in this one since this bat’s range extends into the region where I live.

    I hope people comment on this one. This is an important little bat.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      This is very concerning and very reckless. I’m going to follow this closely too.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        The biggest thing lately is ‘unduly burdening human activities’ with endangered species, and other protections. They have no intention of monitoring ‘incidental take’ for bats of other species and those not affected by WNS (where are bats not threatened by WNS?). As human activities increase more and more, how can animals cope? There isn’t going to be a remedy for limiting human encroachment on animal habitat and exposure to human toxins, etc. This approach is bound to fail to protect our wildlife.

        We have a different species of bats, but they are threatened by WNS and development, and those infernal wind farms. I am so happy that Cape Wind was dealth a coup de grace, I think I would have made a deal with the devil himself to save Nantucket Sound!

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Sorry, I guess we do have the Northern Long-Eared Bat too, we have four species, all with precarious futures.

          I love seeing them, they are adorable.

          I had a little one in my attic (some might say belfry). 🙂

  31. Ida Lupine says:

    I think some of you tend to have a ‘western fetish’ at times in these discussions, focusing on your own fiefdoms and not the whole kingdom.

    I meant to thank you, MarkL, for being right on target with this comment. Whether right whales or Rocky Mountain wolves, and what happens to our wild areas, esp. our national parks, is everybody’s business who cares about them, not regional.

  32. Gary Humbard says:

    The largest bison slaughter in seven years to begin in Yellowstone NP.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Gary Humbard:
      Thank you for this news (bad as it is).
      This bison slaughter is one of the most wasteful, unethical, unscientific, and senseless actions our government could take. Their is room for over 6,000 bison within Yellowstone according to the experts, and anyway, these 1,000 doomed bison could be translocated to other bison habitat that is already waiting to receive bison.
      Many of the comments to this article are very informative and important, especially those of Michael Kellett.

    • Kathleen says:

      Urgent Y’stone bison action alert:

      Yellowstone Bison Capture Invokes Lawsuit‏

      Want to support BFC *and* send some buffa-love to the recipient(s) of your choice? For a small donation, BFC will send a hand-crafted valentine to someone you’d like to honor. Details are in this week’s Update from the Field:

      • Ed Loosli says:

        Thank you Kathleen for this urgent alert and the email contact for Yellowstone Nat. Park Superintendent, Dan Wenk:

        It is truly disheartening to realize that the largest and richest national wildlife conservation organizations are no where to be found in helping to block the bison slaughter through the courts. Where are the National Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, World Wildlife Fund-U.S.??
        Yellowstone Nat. Park is in clear violation of the Organic Act of 1916 which states that the over-riding priority of the National Park Service to the preservation and protection of the Park’s natural resources (like bison).
        Kudos go to the Buffalo Field Campaign and the Friends of Animals for TAKING ACTION, instead of just fund-raising and talking the talk.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I love it – buffa-love. Thanks for the links.

    • Immer Treue says:

      But, but world renowned wolf expert Don Peay has this to say about wolf effect on Yellowstone bison in The Real Wolf “… and now the bison are the final prey and they are declining as well”.


  33. Kathleen says:

    “In Yellowstone, Smith said he thinks wolves and elk have reached an equilibrium. Wolf numbers will likely bounce around 100 animals annually, he said, with elk numbers seeming to have bottomed out at about 5,000 to 6,000.”

  34. Nancy says:

    Got to love the internet for all things important:

    • Nancy says:

      And “trivial” depending on…

    • Ed Loosli says:

      The comment on the “researchers of the world” map is priceless:
      “Taken with the “Average age of devirgination” sex map from earlier, there seems to be a strange correlation between regions with younger kids having sex, and those with higher rates of researchers per capita.”
      No wonder I didn’t become a researcher.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Funny. 🙂

    • Immer Treue says:

      Talk about a time sponge!

  35. Louise Kane says:

    More on the barbaric ineffective cull planned for entire wolf packs in BC to “protect” caribou on land devastated by years of extractive industries.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Wasn’t that nortorious study with the same ‘control methods’ that proved wolf predation didn’t have much effect on caribou numbers enough to convince them? I guess they choose to ignore science.

    • Logan says:

      This wolf cull makes sense to me. Under Ideal circumstances this action would not need to be taken but humans have altered the environment in that area to the point that the woodland caribou may completely disappear.

      To leave the caribou to their fate would be to allow bad management and extractive practices of the past to finish the destruction they started. By killing the wolves we can enable the caribou to hang on hopefully long enough to make a comeback.

      Like it or not, humans caused a problem and created an unnatural situation that will require a little unnatural predator control to repair.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Is cutting back on our activities out of the question? There’s no proof killing wolves will do anything but hurt both species:

        • Logan says:

          I fully supported the designation of critical caribou habitat that would have banned snowmobiling in the caribou wintering grounds along the selkirk crest in northern idaho. Logging has been reduced in the area but that doesn’t help much since the caribou primarily feed on lichens in old growth forest that will take decades longer to improve habitat.

          So, we can’t make an old growth forest just appear with all the feed these animals need, One thing we can do is reduce predation on the few that are left. In the last couple years there has been a 37% reduction in the herd size and wolves have been identified as the primary cause of mortality.

          The problem is that if we do not do something now in the short term, by the time long-term fixes begin to show fruit the caribou will already be gone.

      • jon says:

        Yeah, humans caused this problem, so why are we killing wolves?

      • Louise Kane says:

        well Logan, the BC government does not attempt to make the changes necessary to help Woodland Caribou in the long run, instead they implement terribly inhumane policies against wolves that are largely ineffective and opposed by independent scientists. Not so smart or ethical.

  36. Ed Loosli says:

    Norway Badly Lagging Behind Sweden In Wolf Recovery

    Wolf numbers are the highest since Norwegian-Swedish wolf registration began in 1978, reported newspaper Dagsavisen. Rovdata’s report (2011), however, shows considerable differences in the wolf population in Norway, where it’s very small by comparison, and declining. Rovdata registered only between 32 and 34 wolves in Norway last winter, compared to 33 to 39 the winter before. An estimated 22 to 25 were believed to live on both sides of the border, down from 33 to 37 in the winter of 2010.

    “This is blamed on politics, not biology,” Petter Wabakken, wolf researcher at the College of Hedmark, told Dagsavisen. Norway has set a ceiling of three wolf litters annually, largely because of constant resistance to wolves from Norway’s powerful farmers’ lobby, and that goal will likely be reached this year.

    “That’s within the framework approved by Parliament,” Wabakken told Dagsavisen, “but it’s not a sustainable population.” He said conservationists must rely on Swedish authorities to prevent wolves from dying out in Scandinavia.

  37. Ida Lupine says:

    After numerous generations of people dedicated to killing wolves on the North American continent, one generation devoted itself to letting wolves live.

    A great sentence, among the many in this wonderful piece. Thanks for posting, Ed!

  38. Yvette says:

    I’m going to post some non-wolf related news on South Dakota’s mountain lion hunt. I started following the SD kill/harvest report after reading information from the Mountain Lion Foundation. SD’s Mountain Lion five year management plan was not well received by mountain lion researchers. Read here what one researcher thought of their calculations in determining quotas. .

    The 2015 quota is the same as the 2014: 75 total lions or until 50 females are killed/harvested. In 2014 SD didn’t meet the quota. The kill/harvest numbers were 52 for 2014, which was lower than the previous year. A regional wildlife manager doesn’t think that is because the population is lower. (note the analysis of the SD calculations to determine harvest numbers in the link above).

    I guess one has to be an adept and moral hunter to harvest spotted kittens. Five of them! Wow, what a man.

    The 2015 kill/harvest quota is the same as 2014: 75 total lions, or until 50 females are killed/harvested. You can follow the kill/harvest updates here, . As of yesterday, there were a total of 16 lions killed/harvested: 8 males and 8 females.

    A snippet from MLF on last year’s kill/harvest.
    Second, of the mountain lions killed as part of the Black Hill’s hunt, 60 percent (28) of the mortalities were females; 51 percent (24) were less than three-years old and probably hadn’t had a chance to establish a territory or breed before they were killed; 26 percent (12) were estimated as being 18-months or younger (basically young lions probably still dependent on their mothers for survival); and 11 percent (5) were spotted kittens six-months or younger. These numbers tell the story of a species under stress, and a population base whose next generation is being killed off before it has even had a chance to propagate.

    In other mountain lion news, last week SD GFP decided to allow the use of hounds to hunt lions outside of the Black Hills district. Nebraska decided to forego a mountain lion hunt this season. Probably a sound decision since there is an estimated 22 resident lions and there were 16 mountain lion deaths in NE last year. A small blurb here,

    It becomes mind boggling to see how some states manage the wildlife they “own”. Some days I think the more I learn the more I wish I had of just remained blind and ignorant. I’ve looked for a draft mountain lion management plan since the SD plan will expire this year. Haven’t found it yet. I’m sure it will be forthcoming.

    • Leslie says:

      well, that’s one lousy way to estimate that SD does. WY asks hunters to supply them with a tooth. That tooth tells them the age of the killed lion. By those teeth they determine their quotas. I asked the Mountain Lion Foundation about this method. Bogus they said. Gives absolutely no data.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I guess it would look quite bad if they turned in milk teeth. 🙁

        Can this be taken to court?

    • Louise Kane says:

      “Some days I think the more I learn the more I wish I had of just remained blind and ignorant. ”

      I know exactly what you mean. i had a conversation with a biologist at a state wildlife management agency a day ago. She agreed with me that there was no valid management reason for harvesting carnivores so heavily. She was not familiar with some of the studies I quoted but was interested and sympathetic. When I asked if she agreed with department policy she was surprisingly candid and said no. I asked if she thought there might be an opportune time to raise the issue of reform and she hesitated and said she did not think so. I asked, even when faced with literature that supports a position you fee your department would not consider alternatives? She stated she did not believe they would. I felt sorry for her and really angry and disgruntled. No wildlife state agency should ignore their own biologists, nor should they be blind to new independent research.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I’ll never understand why, if these biologists are so against departmental policy, they just don’t quit. How can they go along with it? I really don’t feel sorry for these people. They put their career advancement, or ‘ohhhhhh, I’ve got a family to support’ ahead of their own self-respect.

        • Yvette says:

          “I’ll never understand why, if these biologists are so against departmental policy, they don’t just quit.”

          Did you slow down enough to think that there might be good mixed in with her job?

          As far as the rest of your comment, have you ever been poor? jobless? absolutely zero income and a kid to care for? In the real world some of us have to do things we don’t like even if it’s temporary while we set ourselves up for a different course. It’s called survival. Perfection does not exist; not in anything.

          • Immer Treue says:


          • Nancy says:

            + 1

            • Elk375 says:

              Plus, Plus, Plus +++++++++++++++

              • Barb Rupers says:

                Yvette is a lady that inspires! I’ll add a few more ++s to those scores!

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  I’ll have to ask Yvette if she ever has been poor and jobless herself, firsthand experience, or is she just spouting off the liberal Democrat version of what they think being poor is?

              • Yvette says:

                Ida, the answer is yes…in all caps and to everything I stated. Surely you’ve read enough of my posts to ascertain that information. I wont’ get in a fish slapping battle with you to see who can out poor the other (note the MP video Immer posted because it is hilarious) and this blog is not the appropriate place to get into the details. It doesn’t matter anyway since I did what I felt was necessary (education) to not be forced to stay in a life situation with less opportunity. Today is what counts the most but an understanding of the past reminds me that life can be a precipice and things can change in a heartbeat.

                I guess some of us have learned to weigh the pros and cons with every situation and make the best decisions we can from that information.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  Yes, I agree with you. Everyone comes to a different conclusion about how to live their lives, as of course they should. I know there are lots of decent people, working very hard in the government agencies and putting up with a lot of crap in the process.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            I’m sorry – I just cannot excuse it. And it’s about as far away from perfection as possible – not even close. I’m more careful about my behavior and the consequences of it; I think of how my actions will affect others. I plan ahead. I’m not wasteful and greedy. I grew up poor. Any other questions?

            • Ida Lupines says:

              And furthermore, with all of the misery and shallowness of this world, I really don’t give a shit either.

            • Ida Lupines says:

              Also, I was smart enough not to have kids, I should add that – so I’m not trapped in a job or in a situation that I can’t stand with no power over my own life. You don’t know how pleasurable it is to tell someone to take this job and shove it and leave them flat. 🙂

              I grew up poor, worked and made a little money. I’ve had jobs and been jobless. I’ve always kept my principles and dignity. I’m not afraid of being poor because I grew up poor and know how to survive. I won’t crumble if I don’t have a cell phone or a new car.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                I think the reason I didn’t is because I saw so many women having kids and stuck in the cycle of poverty, I wanted something different for myself. I used to wonder why young girls and women allowed it to happen, over and over. It wasn’t always happy ever after. So now at least my decisions only affect me.

        • TC says:

          This one demands a more thorough response.

          Because in a good year, with several successful major projects, that biologist does a hell of a lot to conserve wildlife and habitat. And hopefully makes equal headway in education, mentorship, community service, and citizen science. In most agencies working in constant strife and stress, with endless political (and anymore, the inseparably linked corporate/industry) arm twisting, with absurd budgets (and very specifically ear-marked budgets, from very specific and demanding legislatures and constituents), and eating a lot of shit with the hopes that some good work will get done. They don’t quit because the good ones are gems and do make a real difference; because it’s the career they dreamed of having; because it’s what they trained years to do; because the jobs are inordinately competitive and difficult to land; because if they quit, they don’t make any difference in agency culture and some do hope to do just that; because they truly love what they do; and because they DO have families and lives and commitments, and student loans, and kids to feed and clothe, as well as passion and dedication. And they work for peanuts, not for career advancement. For most of them, they are terminal at hire – nowhere up to go; a very few will make biologist supervisor or administration – and salaries for biologists in many states (including most of the NRM region) are embarrassing. Changes are coming. As time passes more and more of them are women from university courses to entry-level jobs (still few minorities), and more and more of them are from nontraditional backgrounds, and more and more of them have a more holistic attitude towards conservation and ecology. It’s an awful tough profession to be in right now – personally, professionally, financially, and emotionally. And most of us (I’m not an agency biologist, but I work with them and think I can speak for them) believe that it’s better to keep the job, do good work, build credibility, and influence people through science, passion, and collegiality – slowly and painfully, often, rather than make a moral last stand to win some perceived battle only to lose our jobs and the war.

          Now back to lurking and enjoying the informative posts some of you good people add.

          The Monty Python thing killed me. You need a bigger fish Immer.

          • bret says:


            Great post !

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Well, you do make a point, if this is the case. We don’t know that. What we do know and can see is that a lot of killing of wildlife, and a lot of selling out of our wildlands is being allowed. How someone can sit by and watch this stuff happen I just don’t understand. Doesn’t it tarnish your dream job just a little? I don’t know what else good in a job could outweigh it.

            I did have understanding and compassion once (I’m not just directing this to wildlife biologists, but society in general). But when decades go by and nothing changes, in fact things are reverting back – then it’s time to throw up your hands in disgust and walk away. Now I devote my time and resources to wildlife and the environment, that just doesn’t ever seem to get any attention or ever catch a break.

            • Mark L says:

              “But when decades go by and nothing changes, in fact things are reverting back – then it’s time to throw up your hands in disgust and walk away.”

              (sigh). Nope, not how I roll, never will be….wonder how things would be in the south if MLK,Jr. thought that way.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                Sadly, there are very few MLK’s, Aldo Leopold’s, etc. in the world. I never said I would stop trying (in fact I said just the opposite in my many posts), just that I know when a dead end has been reached, and to try a different path.

          • Yvette says:

            TC, +++ post of the day. It is all of those things, yes!

          • Immer Treue says:

            TC and all

            Perhaps the quote that got this whole thing rolling/roiling.

            “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?

            These things take time. It’s been too long where there were only the “good” animals. People are finally looking at the entire picture, case in point the Doug Smith question and answer session about wolves and Yellowstone. And I emphasize the entire question and answer session, even the parts some folks here didn’t like.

            It’s time to move on, and nobody in any of the Fish and Wildlife Departments should have to risk their positions/careers at the expense of the backward thinkers such as Beers, who instead if adapting, and sharing his expertise with this “shift” in philosophy went into a snit and wet the bed.

            Nobody should jeopardize their position because of the lashing out by the legions of those with the Stannous millinery. In the same breath, turning an unsympathetic eye towards those who have been adversely affected by this paradigm shift is equally egregious. These things take time, and the synthesis of effort by all those working on wildlife issues.

            As has been said before, managing wildlife is easy, managing people is difficult.

            TC +1

          • JB says:

            Well said, TC.

          • topher says:

            Thanks for reminding me why I keep “lurking” around.

    • Louise Kane says:

      I was following the Nebraska proposed hunt and glad to see it cancelled. For christsakes, a hunt of animals when there are an estimated 22! Its mind boggling the desire to kill for sport and that it is still legal in 2015.

      You posted in regards to the number of juveniles harvested “These numbers tell the story of a species under stress, and a population base whose next generation is being killed off before it has even had a chance to propagate.”

      back to wolves…
      many of the animals killed in the hunts are juvenile pups.

      The perpetual killing and maiming of predators is all so creepy and disturbing.

      • Yvette says:

        Yes, I was glad NE decided to not hold a lion hunt this year. SD will likely be forced to lower quotas if they keep going at the rate they are going. Keeping and eye on this one.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      OMG, how awful.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I never, ever wish I had remained blind and ignorant. It’s very shocking to read, but it is important to uncover and expose it. That I am always glad about.

  39. Ed Loosli says:

    “Pope Says Birth Control Ban Doesn’t Mean Breed “Like Rabbits” – Reuters by Philip Pullella

    This is huge news, if the Pope keeps spreading this message and its not just a one-time comment.

  40. Nancy says:

    1961 – The Pacing Mustang/Seton (Wild Animals I Have Known)

    I love old books and ran across this book on my book shelf this evening. This short story gives some interesting insight on western attitudes and how wild life was “dealt with” in years past, and, presented to children as reading material/gospel?

    • Barb Rupers says:

      I had the book “Wild Animals I have Known” by Ernest Thompson Seton as a kid. The Pacing Mustang seemed very familiar but when I got to the last paragraph it was obviously the same story I read 70 or so years ago. One of my favorite marbles was named Lobo – I still have him with my other wolves, dogs, and horses – there were no cows or sheep in my pastures as a kid.

      • Nancy says:

        Barb, do you recall the short story in Seton’s book titled Wully?

        A dedicated sheep dog by day, protecting his owner’s flock but at night… wreaking havoc on neighboring flocks of sheep. Some interesting lessons here when it comes to our own species 🙂

        • Barb Rupers says:

          I don’t remember that one but a similar story out of Scotland – Bob, Son of Battle. I have always had an appreciation for collies – Albert Payson Terhune, and sled dogs – Silver Chief – Dog of the North, a series by Jack Obrien. These books are probably what sparked my interested in wolves as a 6th grader. I should add “Wilderness Champion” by Joseph Lippincott about a hound lost in Canada and tended to by his finder a black wolf for the early month’s of his life. The black wolf was the center of the story for me.

        • Helen McGinnis says:

          When I was a child, I read the books my father had read when he was a boy. They included several books by Ernest Thompson Seton. The stories had a powerful effect on me. I would often sit and cry after reading them. (Now I find them a bit maudlin.) But few people mention Seton today.

    • skyrim says:

      Seton’s books (among others) brought me to the environmentalist table. A very early copy of Biography of a Grizzly is one of my most cherished possessions.

  41. Louise Kane says:

    Hitler reflects on wolves

    I wish I could take credit for finding this but it was posted on the western carnivore conservation list by Brooks. I so rarely find anything to laugh at because I feel tormented by wolf trapping ad killing, killing contests, penning, hounding, aerial gunning, creepy people that hate animals and all other bad voodoo whomped down on wild animals by humans. This made me crack up. I hope it does you too.

    • Yvette says:

      Oh my, that is hilarious, Louise.

      I sure hope Larry watches this one.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      You made my day and I passed this video around.
      “Unfu____g believable! I had thought to retire to my 1/4 acre ranch, and look out on the 10,000 acres I controlled for $1.39 monthly.”
      So creative!

  42. Nancy says:

    “Wyoming-based Bridger Pipeline Co. accepted responsibility for the spill and has pledged to clean it up”

    Oh yeah, so bring on Keystone so even more of the country can have a piece of the action/spill/excuses/clean up, etc.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Do you think that Doug Smith would admit that he mis-spoke when he said in the video, “There are lots of wolves throughout North America.”?

      • Nancy says:

        Ed – Given where wolves were in the lower 48, say 70 years ago, I don’t think Doug mis-spoke. There are wolves now in the southwest, in the southeast, larger numbers in the Upper Lakes region, on the west coast (Oregon & Washington) and of course here, in at least 3 western states.

        Its all relative.

        • Elk375 says:

          He said throughout NA. The are many wolves in Alaska and Canada.

        • Ed Loosli says:

          Nancy & Elk:
          Great news, thanks. Because “there are lots of wolves in North America”, I guess we can all stop working to expand wolf numbers and expand wolves into former historic states and former habitat. States can take over and we can just sit back and congratulate ourselves, taking no notice that the states given this responsibility are embarking on a mission to keep wolves to the bare minimum levels possible. Success!!

          • Nancy says:

            Guess you missed my point Ed that there were virtually NO WOLVES in the lower 48, 70 years ago.

            I’d like to see an end to all war, dependency on fossil fuels and better education with regard to wildlife, what’s left of their habitat and wild lands but fact is you and I live in a world where our species is far more concerned about their own welfare.

            I often send articles to a long time friend who finally admitted recently that while the articles were always good and insightful, she was more concerned about how safe her own little “bubble” was.

            Spoke to another friend this morning that loves to hunt, hunted all his life. Mentioned the elk feeding grounds in Wyoming and the worry about CWD and he laughed and said ” that’s a disease of fish, not elk or deer” Duh?

            He also mentioned taking one of the “wagon rides” thru the elk refuge in Wyoming, (not long after hunting season there) and was sickened by the elk showing up “with legs blown off and guts hanging out”

            When he asked why these animals were not put out of their misery he was told “they like to keep things as natural as possible, predators would be taking care of the casualties”

            Anybody else aware of this mentality in elk refuges in Wyoming?

            • Louise Kane says:

              What your friend sees on the elk refuges, I see on the beaches after hunting season. Hundreds of birds bead on the beach with the unmistakable holes created by gunshots. Sometimes I see them languishing. I think bird hunting is a terrible largely uncontrolled practice. Birds that migrate are hit at every stop they make with a new round of hunters waiting in blinds, behind marsh grasses and anywhere they can take a shot. To hear the birds in terror and exhaustion as they try and escape the gunshot is almost to much to bear. The image of those elk is like that, almost too much to bear. There is an incalculable amount of waste in hunting or fishing that can not possible be tracked. How many fish die after being hooked and released or when the line parts, how many birds are shot down and die flying away, how many wild animals are shot and don’t die right away. What is the percentage and who accounts for this in management strategies?

              • Immer Treue says:

                Wisconsin study, small sample size 13% of deer shot are never found.

                • Yvette says:

                  A badly wounded buck was exactly what I saw the one time in my life when I went with a boyfriend, his dad and brothers to deer hunt. My long ago ex-boyfriend was the only one to tag a deer on that excursion. I was with him when he shot the buck. When the buck fell we walked up to him but he was not yet dead. It turned out the buck had already been badly wounded. With the first shot from the rifle we didn’t know the buck was already wounded. From the look of the wound we figured it was about 3 days old. The panic, the pain, the fear and inability to get up and escape showed in that poor buck’s eyes. I saw it when we walked up to him and the ex-bf(thank gawd he’s an ex) used his pistol to kill him.

                  In that instance, the poor buck needed to be put out of his pain and misery since he had been wondering around the woods wounded. I did not like that experience.

              • skyrim says:

                Thank you for this poignant reminder.
                “Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight”
                Albert Schweitzer.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Great interview on all levels, including management of wolves outside the park (Smith did good job explaining this).

      Did anybody notice a date associated with this video?

      • Ed Loosli says:

        I noticed in the video, how comfortable Doug Smith was in accepting Montana, Idaho and Wyoming taking over “management” of wolves from the federal government outside the “wolf preservation” border of Yellowstone National Park. Personally, I am not at all comfortable with this political move that is proving so deadly to wolves.

        • skyrim says:

          Smith was in charge of a recovery effort. To deny that wolves were not recovered under “any premise” was to admit his failure. Not a common practice among government agents.

          • WM says:

            To my knowledge, Doug Smith’s responsibilities ended at YNP boundaries (well maybe including Teton). So, to say he was “in charge” might be an overstatement. His role was/is more one of monitoring what is happening as wolf population grows and ebbs with policy outside the Park(s).

            I like Smith, and think he has done a great job – long term. This latest interview, looks to be canned questions with corresponding canned answers, designed not to be too offensive to anyone on either side of NRM wolf recovery. Of course the ESA does allow for state management (it is in the law) for any species that meets ESA delisting criteria (whatever that is in these days of what seem is judicial activism, that is likely to result in changes in the law or passing of riders to incrementally change the law for individual species recoveries).

      • Nancy says:

        Looks like the video was published the 12th of this month Immer.

        A NYT interview with Doug back in 2003:

        • Ed Loosli says:

          Q. Why is there such a loathing of wolves in our culture?

          A. Doug Smith: “The aboriginal people of North America did not have the mindset to eradicate every wolf. So the loathing came with the arrival of Europeans and their ideas of manifest destiny and ”civilizing” the continent. The Europeans wanted to rid the area of wolves to civilize it. Wolves are the antithesis of civilization.” +1

          • WM says:

            Yeah, those evil Europeans and their ideas of “civilization.” Answers like Smith’s on this one deserve another layer of the onion peeled back. Give the quick emotional answer and move on.

            Fewer wolves meant less risk to livestock and less capital outlay or labory (a cause-effect relationship learned in every culture, regardless of continent, that had/has wolves).

            I suppose that “blame it on civilization” is the same mentality that allows Ed Loosi to live in CA, and get to his property in ID in just a few hours by road or by plane (maybe a combination), or to have air conditioning, electricity, computers, internet and cell phones, along with medical technology.

            Of course the noble Native Americans could be living on the Great Plains this time of year, freezing in a teepee, burning buffalo chips for warmth and cooking, while satisfying hunger with a few dried berries blended with some rancid animal fat, or in a smokey, drafty and damp cedar longhouse in the NW.

            I suppose that technology also benefits Doug Smith personally and professionally, from the communications systems, to clothing and equipment utilized when in the field studying wolves.

            Damn civilization!

            • Ida Lupines says:

              Well not entirely, but with some kind of limits. 🙂

            • Yvette says:

              “Of course the noble Native Americans could be living on the Great Plains this time of year, freezing in a teepee, burning buffalo chips for warmth and cooking, while satisfying hunger with a few dried berries blended with some rancid animal fat, or in a smokey, drafty and damp cedar longhouse in the NW.”

              Are you still traveling in wagons and living in sod houses? What makes you think things with Indians would never have changed without our saviors, the Europeans?

              At least the Plains Indians had enough sense to know the Great Plains weren’t well adapted for farming. Most of the poor sod busters with land claims during manifest destiny went belly up.

              Odd how people tend to lump Indigenous people of this continent under one big Hollywood tee-pee with nothing more than a campfire and buffalo chips to burn. How about a common sense moment? How do you think they survived before the holy Europeans arrived to Christianize and rescue us from freezing and starving?

              Additionally, not all tribes were nomadic and not all tribes lived in tee-pees. You’ve apparently watched too many hollywood movies.

              My own tribe, was referred to as the Great Creek Confederacy. We are Mvskoke, or Muscogee in English spelling. Going back to the Mississippian geological era, we came from the mound builders, who yes, had permanent towns, homes. Following that era, we still had permanent towns throughout what is now Alabama, Georgia and parts of FL. We had a representative style of government with representatives from each of those towns/tribes that were an ethnic part of the entire Creek Confederacy. We had districts within the confederacy. Does anything about that sound familiar? All of the tribes I can think of that came from the South, the Southeast, the Northeast, the upper Mid-West, and the Ohio Valley regions of the current US lived in permanent or mostly permanent towns and government style and culture between the different tribes in a region were, and still are, quite similar.

              We lived that way for thousands of years before the Europeans arrived to rescue and Christianize us.

              We had civilization long before the arrival of Europeans. Oh, and guess what? We were farmers! Who knew! Who knew an Indigenous group of people could farm before the Europeans arrived to civilize and christianize us? Whatever would we have done without you?

              You might want to stop using hollywood stereotypes for your historical references. It’s not doing you any favors.

              • WM says:


                I am well aware of the concept of ancient farming practices among native peoples. An example, the Anasazi of the what is now the 4 Corners area of the Southwest used irrigation, until apparently a changing climate moved them south to Navajo/Hopi country, if I understand correctly. Many tribes throughout North and South America were great architects and engineers, as well. I am not discounting the fact that native cultures would not become “civilized” in their own right, given enough time and the proper catalysts for change (individuals with inquisitive minds and innovative thought).

                Another example of large scale management of the environment was setting fire to prairies to improve ungulate habitat. Evidence of this is still present in wet Western WA where large areas of coastal timber were burned periodically to improve elk habitat, and make it easier to hunt them.

                But, I will give odds, untouched, North American Indians would not have developed steel as quickly as Europeans, a big game changer. I am sure you have read Jared Diamond’s books on the topic and related environmental factors that allows for “civilization” to develop more rapidly in some places than others.

                Let’s not forget “slavery” and barbaric/inhumane treatment of lesser tribes which has been a part of social development of stronger native tribes dominating others throughout North America. That, of course, predated, arrival of those nasty Europeans for hundreds/thousands of years.

                No Hollywood crap, Yvette,and I certainly don’t condone the Christianity aspect. Aferall, religion is just another way to control behavior of people.

                • Mark L says:

                  WM, have you ever read Diamond’s earlier work, entitled “Third Chimpanzee”? To me, it’s far more significant to the conversation you and Yvette are having than “Guns Germs and Steel” (imho).

                • Yvette says:

                  I’m fairly sure you are well aware, WM. I just think you’re too smart of a fellow to perpetuate a stereotype.

                  You are basically correct on the slavery prior to colonization. When there were inter-tribal wars often some of the losing side became slaves to the winners. Some of those slaves eventually became accepted into the tribe. I’d have to verify, but I don’t think the chattel slavery practiced by christian colonizers existed within the tribes. I would have to take the time to verify because I’m not sure.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                The question is what the European Settlers would have done without the indigenous people. Many did not survive. I always love hearing about teaching about growing corn (I saw something interesting about South American corn recently too) – which is a reason I’m so against GMOs obliterating traditional farming for other nations which magnificent agricultural histories.

              • Logan says:

                I’ve recently been reading the book “1491” By Charles Mann which has been very enlightening in terms of the level of developement achieved by American Indians prior to European colonization. Indians all across both north and south america had significant impacts on their environment through farming, irrigation, hunting, mining, burning and architexture.

                Metalurgy was highly advanced among many central and south american cultures but they persisted in using stone tools and using the metal only for decarative and ceremonial purposes.

                Permanent towns and structured societies existing throughout both continents but much of that was lost hundreds of years before many of the tribes met their first european. Diseases travelled faster than the europeans and destroyed native populations and cultures to the point that much of contemporary opinion is based on first impressions of broken societies that were more nomadic than their ancestors because the civilizations collapsed due to disease.

                I wonder how much further native technology would have advanced given a few hundred years more, the result may have been more deadly for the european side of the conflict.

                • WM says:


                  I tend to agree with you regarding South American cultures and their metallurgy advances. However, and this is a big however, it is a long way from crushing rock, melting down and extracting gold, silver and copper for artistic use or personal adornment to developing steel and hardened alloys for tools and arms. But, may had the right minds of the time appeared and experimented with innovation that could have happened.

                  So, for how long did Europeans (and Chinese or other Eurasians) have steel to make into tools, spears and swords, and make subsequent quality refinements, maybe 3,000 years before venturing on to the North or South American continents? The making of steel (from iron filings and carbon) thing didn’t catch on in Africa or other continents either.

        • Immer Treue says:



    • Ida Lupines says:

      Thank you for the Doug Smith Q&A – I’m always amazed at how persistent these myths about wolves really are – the fact that other predators are more dangerous than wolves and that very few attacks on humans have occurred over centuries makes absolutely no difference.

      I noticed that the same toxic names keep appearing regarding wolf killing. The US Selkirk woodland caribou article I posted? Voila! Scott Rockholm.

  43. Ida Lupines says:

    Immer, you just reminded me that I hadn’t responded completely to your post of yesterday, the part about your attempt at humor.

    I don’t have a sense of humor about these things because it is a way of not taking people’s comments seriously. My dream was not ‘bizarre’. I think too much prosperity has caused Americans to not take anything seriously and there is too much comedy.

    “Peyote”, “stoners” and a “it’s a generational thing” is a way of dismissing environmentalists and wildlife advocates as stereotypical ‘hippies’ and of course it must follow that their comments as not to be taken seriously.

    I read an interesting opinion piece yesterday entitled ‘Distancing ourselves from the hippie’ so that environmentalists and wildlife advocates can be taken seriously. That may be right. It’s too bad it happens within our own environmentalist ranks too and not just those opposed to conservation.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Without a sense of humour, even about these “things”,you might as well be dead. With one fell stroke of your keyboard, you probably dismissed half the people who had anything to do with wolf reintroduction.

      You still haven’t addressed your prevarication.

  44. Jerry Black says:

    “Hitler Reflects Upon Learning Wolves Were Reintroduced”

  45. Barb Rupers says:

    Idaho’s legislature does it again – turned down the Idaho salamander as being the state’s amphibian – it might give the feds a bigger foot in the door. Do check out the comments which add a touch of humor along with the absurd reality of the situation.

    • Professor Sweat says:

      Rep. Ken Andrus, R-Lava Hot Springs, said, “Ilah, I’m sorry, and I commend you for what you have done and the due diligence you’ve done to bring this to our attention. When I grew up (in Utah), and I was a young boy, in our swimming hole there were salamanders, we called them water dogs. … I learned to despise them. … They were ugly, they were slimy, and they were creepy. And I’ve not gotten over that. So to elevate them to the status of being the state amphibian, I’m not there yet.”

      Kill a young girl’s dreams because you think salamanders are “slimy” and “creepy.” And this is a grown man speaking. I would laugh if I wasn’t so deeply disturbed for the future state of Idaho’s wildlife in the hands of these legislators.

  46. Louise Kane says:

    someone posted to one of my sites

    “Anyone near Boise tomorrow? Are you free to speak up for wolves? Bring some friends? Heads up Idaho wolf supporters. IDFG Commission is holding a public hearing on Wednesday, January 21 at 7 pm at the IDFG headquarters in Boise.
    Fish and Game Headquarters
    600 South Walnut St., Boise, ID 83712
    (208) 334-3700 Here’s a chance for you to speak out for wolves in just three minutes or less.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      If I were still an Idaho resident I would certainly want to be at that hearing!

  47. Kathleen says:

    1/21/15 news release: Yellowstone bison sent to slaughter

    “[YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, GARDINER BASIN, MT] An estimated one hundred and one of America’s last wild, migratory buffalo were crammed onto tribal stock trailers at Yellowstone National Park’s Stephens Creek bison trap this morning. The bison were taken by tribal entities affiliated with the Interagency Bison Management Plan (IBMP) to tribal slaughter facilities. The two tribal affiliates shipping bison to slaughter for the second year in a row are the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes and the federally chartered InterTribal Buffalo Council.”


    • Ed Loosli says:

      The Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes…Another good reason to boycott Idaho.

      • Ed Loosli says:

        sorry, I meant to write; The Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes who are partners with the Park Service are another reason to boycott Montana.

      • WM says:

        Who do you suppose gets the revenue from the sale of these “excess” bison? I notice BFC avoids any discussion of that aspect while they pee on tribal involvement and evil complicity in the culling, which may actually give some needed revenue for tribal members or their respective tribal business operations. So, alternatively, do the tribes sit in the sidelines and maybe protest for the “good fight,” while forgoing economic opportunity for their people?

        • Ed Loosli says:

          Please spare us your spin on where the bison “blood money” goes. Dozens of tribes are opposed to the bison slaughter of the Yellowstone bison and they are embarrassed and feel shame at the actions the Confederated Salish and Kootenai and other tribes are taking. One of the many negatives of this latest bison slaughter manufactured by the U.S. Government is that it has purposely split the Native American tribes — which is just what the Park Service, the State of Montana and their rancher allies wanted.

  48. Nancy says:



    be banging, etc. your head against a (brick) wall (informal) to keep trying to do something that will never be successful
    Trying to reason with them was like banging my head against a (brick) wall

  49. Louise Kane says:

    Great oped
    Immer I thought of you and was glad to see this knowing there are at least two strong advocates for wolves. Ok make that three, my loon calling friend counts too!

  50. Louise Kane says:

    Guillame is a brave scientist! it takes a lot of courage to write this.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Sounds familiar…
      “Realizing that scientific evidence will be a constant obstacle, the government has changed the law to effectively make large-carnivore-hunting decisions exempt from legal challenge. “

      • Louise Kane says:

        yes, that statement is sadly all too familiar. He is right, time to take a stand.

    • rork says:

      That was a good read, thanks. I was particularly interested in ideas about genetic diversity reducing risks to the population, and just how much we should assist (and how). Just one example: I expect that to be a serious concern when wolves come to lower MI, and maybe it’s a concern now out west in some places with somewhat isolated populations. A small lower peninsula population might be quite isolated, cause crossing the straights there ain’t easy, and that would be the only likely corridor. Even if we started (by moving animals) with a fairly diverse set of founders, effective population size may not get very big unless the humans become very accepting. They may be doomed long-term. We know examples of wolves being good travelers into less occupied territory (so it seems like “no problems”), but how fast genes really move in occupied areas with intervening barriers I’m less educated about. (I’m not thinking about Isle Royale – it is trivia wrt wolf populations, except as a learning device.)

      • Louise Kane says:

        Well, I like to hope in the long run we ma see genetic exchange occur. I was very excited to read the ruling in HSUS VS Jewell because thats what the judge was getting at. The populations of wolves are not separate and need to be able to migrate and repopulate in order to reestablish in their former ranges. If the Lummis/ Ribble bill happens chances of meaningful recovery, outmigration and its benefits for genetic health are slim.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Yes, wonderful and I’m thankful to read it.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        Even if it damages their careers, and makes their names toxic, academics must be prepared to identify the unethical use of scientific knowledge and expose such abuse by politicians.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          ^^JB, and John Vucetich, and others (the video JB provided us) have done this. It’s a lot to ask of them, and it’s very brave for sure. 🙂

          • Ida Lupines says:

            But then again, TC, Yvette and others made a terrific points too in that there is still much good to be done within the system. Arrgggghhh!!!! It’s very difficult.

    • WM says:

      “Very bad news….” – only if the CBD assertions are proven as true. CBD often does not operate within the realm of truth and accuracy, and when it does NOT, it should be called to task.

      Key is the truth and veracity, as well as the source (which scientists?) of this assertion:

      ++With scientists now predicting there are as few as 15 breeding pairs of wolves left in Idaho, the population may be in grave danger.++

      We won’t know the ID wolf population until the December 2014 count report is made.

      Remember, these idiots told you the Salmon predator derby was cancelled on all federal lands as a result of a narrow legal ruling, in its press release. And, in point of fact, it was not; the event occurred unfettered on FS lands (and likely on some BLM lands absent a special use permit)

      • skyrim says:

        “Idiots” ?????
        I am personally offended by this assertion and I suspect others here are as well.

        • WM says:

          Well, CBD is one of the NGO groups that will likely be responsible for gutting the ESA in the coming sessions of Congress (due to their long string of litigation on highly technical arguments), and some of their “the sky is falling” assertions. I’m being proactive here, and think the term “idiots” is most appropriate.

          What would you call CBD and some of their ridiculous positions in this circus that is playing out?

          And, sorry if that offends you personally, unless, of course, you work for CBD or financially support their poorly thought out conservation strategy in this political environment.

          • WM says:


            Here is a little more information on the composition of the Senate and House Committees that deal with natural resource issues. Look carefully at who chairs them (R’s), and which Western states are represented regardless of party:



            Though the House Natural Resources Committee chairman is still reported as Doc Hastings (R-WA) in one spot on the website, the 214th Congress new chair is Rob Bishop (R-UT). He is no friend of the ESA, or wolves specifically (or CBD).

            I think there is likely to be a bloodbath starting on major legislation affecting the West in coming months – especially the ESA. Hope I am wrong on that, but there are some pretty good indications already that fairly major changes are in the works (I even expect Maria Cantwell (D-WA), senior Minority leader on the Senate Natural Resources Committee will be advocating some changes on legislation that affects Washington (which has had ESA issues in the past, and wants to manage its own wolves as a specific instance). I fully expect the Western Governor’s Conference list of issues will get a pretty good airing before a mostly sympathetic Congress, and a President who won’t have the cojones to veto much given the D Party’s desire to hold on to the White House another 4 years (and urbanite Obama’s apparent lack of interest in the environment and natural resource conservation issues).

            • skyrim says:

              You have singled out CBD (and others presumably to include WWP), and any other NGO that has filed lawsuits on technicality matters. I agree, given the makeup of those entities you make reference to, that there is little good to come, but I strongly doubt it can be directly or indirectly tied to any of the groups suggested. I would offer that Bishop’s bias is as old as his fat ass is. Republican voters in Utah would vote for the guy simply because they liked his perfect wavy hair. He shares Barbers and tanning booths with another worthless member of Congress.

              • WM says:

                WWP, in my view, has mostly, until fairly recently, picked its battles carefully. Is this perceived strategy adjustment a result of changes in the board, staffing or lack of patience?

                Maybe it is my imagination, but I thought for some time that WWP had subtly distanced itself from some of the horseshit spin CBD pulls(or maybe I am just in denial). WWP has done a great job in the grazing area, keeping BLM “honest” under FLPMA, winning suits, low hanging fruit, that should be won to a large degree.

                And, I would hate to see all advocacy go away with changes in federal law. But some of this has already happened with the recent passage of the BLM “Grazing Improvement Act,” as a recent rider.

                And, I think, there have been a bunch of suits filed that have kind of a “Huh, what were they thinking?” quality that a number of NGO’s have advanced, which are data points for the far right to justify scorched earth wholesale changes to some important environmental laws. I fear once these changes are made they will not be reversed.

                My pet peeve is the challenge to state authority/responsibility to manage wildlife in designated Wilderness, including the methods by which they do so (helicopters which have been used in Wilderness for over 40 years, and the hiring of contractors to perform predator/wolf removals). Maybe the rationale was to call attention to the issue, but I believe there was substantial risk here, that will result in legislation to clear up ambiguities in cooperative federalism in that area; it is doubtful they will be resolved in favor of “federal trumps state on federal lands,” wildlife management for species not otherwise protected under federal law, IMHO.

        • Ed Loosli says:

          I hope you aren’t saying that the one million activists involved with the Center For Biological Diversity should be silenced?? That somehow, if the Center For Biological Diversity disappeared, then the Republicans and anti-wolf Democrats would suddenly reverse course and support wolf recovery throughout their range??

          Without the Center For Biological Diversity, hundreds of species, including the wolf (gray, red and Mexican) would be in even deeper trouble than they are in now. If the Center For Biological Diversity goes silent, as you seem to wish, wolf opponents will not suddenly start liking wolves and stop their attacks on the Endangered Species Act… The ESA has been targeted by development interests and their political allies since it was written. The American public strongly supports the ESA, so this is no time to back-off on that support.

          • Louise Kane says:

            I don’t agree sometimes with the policies or excessive fundraising that the big NGOs do but they get the word out. Not everyone has the time to write or be as engaged as they might but they can express their opinions about what they see as valuable through memberships. Environmental pillage would be far worse without watchdogs.

          • WM says:


            I didn’t say anybody should be silenced. If you read my posts above, as well as cautionary statements I have been making here for, well, years, there is a need to pick battles carefully. CBD does not, and it lies/spins stuff that gives the anti’s ammunition to go to their friends in Congress.

            Here is the R agenda (with likely more in the pipeline), launched late last year as a parting blow by Doc Hastings – an all out assault on the ESA before an R dominated Congress:


            • Ed Loosli says:

              In the article, Erin Carson writes; “The ESA, which aims to conserve threatened and endangered species and recover the habitats where they are found, is largely supported by congressional Democrats and environmental groups, but the law has been criticized by many Republicans and by industry…”. What the author failed to point out is that the Endangered Species Act is also supported by a large majority of the American public.
              Wm; Since you want the Center For Biological Diversity to “pick and choose” their battles more carefully, I am curious; Which of the Republican bills outlined in the article that the Republicans proposed to gut the ESA would you advise the Center For Biological Diversity not fight and just let them pass, so the Republicans will not be too upset??

      • Louise Kane says:

        WM can’t comprehend your positions sometimes

        you ranting about CBD and their legal arguments based on technicalities, what???
        isn’t that how law suits are won, on merit and technicalities? ok sprinkle in some judicial bias, and chess like strategies having to do with venue, jury selection and evidentiary rules.

        Really would you have everyone stand down while state plans become worse and worse and make a mockery of the intent of drafters of the ESA?

        Can’t you save some indignation against environmental monsters like Lummis and Ribble that don’t want to play fair and abide by a well reasoned judicial finding played out in a court of law as directed by our system of democracy.

        Anyone legislator sponsoring or supporting this bill is doing grave damage to the ESA and tipping their hat to sleazy politics. The precedent set by the Tester rider was bad. If you don’t like a judicial finding change the law so it can’t be reviewed.

        Creating laws that prevent judicial review is an outrage, not the people (any of them or the NGOs that represent then) that challenge those laws or the piss poor state regs like Idaho’s new wolf board or the Montana reg now allowing export of wolf pelts and killing 5 wolves or Wisconsin hunting wolves with dogs.

        I am disgusted by these wildlife terrorists and pillagers and their sleazy and their slimy politics that mock the Constitution and the right of the people to air an issue in a court of law.

        • WM says:


          The point is that a lawsuit can be won on a technical legal argument, but it may be subsequently seen as a flaw that gets corrected. That happens with laws all the time. It is what legislatures and Congress lives for – changing and making new laws.

          I can think of no better example than the underlying basis for the Congressional rider delisting NRM wolves in MT and ID, while keeping them listed in WY – the “you can’t break up a DPS” decision of Judge Molloy was a technical flaw in the ESA. Nobody has ever given me a good answer how it would have been bad to allow control of delisting of wolves in MT and ID by regulation, and under supervision of Judge Molloy whereby he could have taken time to factually evaluate genetic diversity, numbers/range etc., while KEEPING WY WOLVES LISTED AND PROTECTED.

          The plaintiffs in that suit screwed the pooch, so to speak, and the other claims of the suit were not decided on their merits (the technical DPS issue was despositive and fatal under rules of judicial economy not to review the other claims). And that is what brought about the rider, codifying the FWS ID and MT delisting regulation as written, making it a Congress made law. I am going to say this twice, in hopes it sticks. When Congress makes a law there is NO JUDICIAL REVIEW UNLESS IT VIOLATES THE CONSTITUTION.

          And, some of you just don’t get the part where the regulation (which is subject to judicial review) is now not subject to review because it is a statute (and of course the only way a statute gets reviewed is whether it is Constitutional).

          So, if you are pissed about the rider not being judicially reviewable you ought to be pissed that the ESA itself (or any other federal law for that matter) can’t be reviewed unless it is unconstitutional.

          Come on Louise, you are smarter than that.

          • JB says:


            I agree with you completely (as I’ve noted before) about the DPS “flaw”. Clearly, the FWS saw state boundaries as relevant when it listed wolves in MN as threatened, and there is no doubt that the greatest potential threat to wolf populations is state policy. Thus, state borders should be relevant when drawing the lines around populations that should be protected.

            I’m not so sure I agree with your all caps assessment, however. My understanding is that the 9th Circuit has a relatively unique precedent that was invoked in the case in question. Other circuits are bound by different precedent, which may not be so favorable for those who want wolves delisted in the Midwest.

            I confess that this is beyond my area of expertise; but it comes from conversations with folks with more legal expertise than me.

          • Louise Kane says:

            The effect of the Tester rider was to prevent judicial review of the USFWS rule (2009. The rule removed protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana and parts of Washington and 2 other states and wolves became wards of the state at that point. The rule was challenged in court and overturned. The effect of the rider was amending the law. That’s the part I have a real problem with. if Congress wants to amend a piece of legislation that took years to develop and went through rigorous review then do it with scientists on board and a team of specialists to assist in revising areas of the plan such as “recovery” with proper debate and input, don’t stick it onto a rider or write a one paragraph law that abrogates the intent of the original law and avoids the ability to review a regulation that was found to be arbitrary and capricious. Its sleazy WM and you know it.

            Interesting that you call Molloy’s decision a “technical flaw”. The newest HSUS vs Jewell basically argues the same that the MN, MI, WI wolf populations should not have been carved out as a separate DPS.

            after great deliberation of wolf plans and USFWS rules why do the courts alms consistently rule that the USFWS and the states are derelict in one way or another in their duty to protect wolves.

            One of the areas where the ESA is vague is in defining “recovery”. The better path would be for Congress to work on a definition of recovery with independent scientists and lawmakers who care about protecting the original intent of the ACT.

            • WM says:

              ++Interesting that you call Molloy’s decision a “technical flaw”. ++

              I didn’t say that. I believe he ruled as he believed he felt he had to under the law. I blame the plaintiffs for bringing that up that legal issue, which summarily disposed of the case before other issues related to the science of recovery for delisting could be heard. It is the law, which apparently has no flexibility in regard to breaking up a DPS.

              I have raised this issue before – what happens when one state because of its poor behavior keeps other states which are part of the same DPS and which may be doing their recovery efforts well from having their portion of the DPS delisted, while those states which don’t do their jobs well remain in an ESA listed status. It makes sense to give flexibility. Also, see JB’s comment above.

              Frankly there is a lot about the DPS concept, and how it is applied in a regulatory context, that is unsettling. States, IMHO, have every right to be indignant about regulatory promises and judicial decisions involving this concept.

              I don’t think the courts are so much pointing criticism at states, as FWS in its rulemaking. Afterall, FWS is the defendant, not the states, which is being accused of “arbitrary and capricious” behavior in making rules under the law. FWS is the one making the scientific determinations (albeit under intense political pressure from states and their Congressional delegations who threaten to change the law).

              I also wonder about the sanctity of protecting the intent of the act after so many years of operating under it. I have to believe even the original drafters might see room for mid-course corrections.

              • Louise Kane says:

                Some good points WM and many I agree with. I have more to say on this as I have been having discussions on it lately with Rance from here and Guy Dicharry. The case law is mind boggling. I did find something I wanted to comment on related to JBs post and will do so after dinner!

                I very much agree that even the drafters would see room for mid course corrections. I don’t agree that it would be the way its being proposed by the Lummis Ribble bill and the new one coming out of MN.

              • rork says:

                Thanks WM.
                I actually won’t mind much if congress makes great lakes wolf delisting rule to be law. ESA trying to have one law that works well for every species in every situation might be asking for too much. Recent relisting in great lakes may have quite a few area citizens (but not true believers on either side – their ideas may be immutable) thinking ESA is a rather blunt instrument. Fine tuning for wolves, rather than fine tuning the whole thing, seems simpler and perhaps more prudent (cause it’s more limited).

                • Louise Kane says:

                  Rork, would you really want to see the wolf delisting rule become law. Now another senator is pushing for a Great Lakes wolves law that would prevent wolves form ever being listed. These are knee jerk responses.

                  If Congress makes the wolf delisting rule law there is no going back. The better way to deal with the inconsistencies or ambiguities in the law (ESA) is to revise the initial recovery plans and define recovery under the ESA so its less vague.

                  The states are not doing a good job at managing wolves, they are too heavily influenced by special interests and ingrained bias against predators. They don’t listen to public opinion, they implement wildlife management strategies with little consideration for health of ecosystems, or greater biodiversity goals. There are no considerations by the states of the effect on wolves and whether public hunting is a good or effective management method. The states should be using adaptive management practices and they don’t. if they did they would looking at the literature that illustrates that public hunting may create more depredation and potential for conflict. I think it time states start looking at how they manage large carnivores and how devastating it is for the animal’s packs to be randomly picked apart by hunters. There is also a new study recently discussed here that illustrated that the effects of stress on wolves that were hunted were chronic, and possibly lasting for decades.

                  If the states want to manage wolves then they should do so responsibly and humanely. Nothing about wolf trapping, snaring and randomly breaking apart wolf families that aren’t impacting cattle or ungulates is responsible or humane. Furthermore treating wolves as if they are terrorists is very troubling. Managing species so that they hover just above listing is very troubling. Shouldn’t we expect more from Fish and Game departments in 2015?

                  The wolf recovery plans are very outdated after 40 years. The uSFWS is obligated to use best available science and they routinely ignore it.

                  Is it really the best way to revise a law by inserting one paragraph that reverts back to a rule that was reviewed by courts and rejected as arbitrary and capricious? I think the American public has the right to expect our members of congress to do better than provide a knee jerk reaction when changing a law as important as the ESA. The ESA is the only barrier between greedy resource extractors, developers, and politicians who don’t care about preserving wildlife and some species survival. By design the ESA makes it inconvenient for special interests or politicians to continue to perform activities that place economic or political interests above species health. That was the intent of the law.

                  I believe that our system of democracy and its checks and balances by the judiciary is the best method for challenging rules or laws.

                  When the courts found the rules or provisions within them pertaining to the Great Lakes and RM arbitrary and capricious you can bet they heard a great deal of evidence on both sides and came to their decisions after great deliberation. Justices don’t want their decisions overturned on appeal so they are pretty careful on their rendering of decisions.

                  I feel more comfortable with a court making a decision on an agency action and in interpreting complex law than Cynthia Lummis or politicians like her that have a grudge against wolves based on their disdain for federal agencies, environmentalists, and a real ignorance about wildlife.

                  I don’t think its too much to ask Congress to take the time to review the law, looks at its ambiguities, engage the nation’s top scientists and amend the law properly. A one paragraph rider is a lazy and vindictive measure for tyrants to get their way regardless of the long lasting and almost impossible to change repercussions.

                  I guess if you think a national recovery plan that allows 150 wolves in states with tens if not hundreds of millions of acres of public land constitutes a good recovery plan then the logic exists to continue delisting. I don’t. You have to be awful trusting of state’s intentions to manage wolves responsibly to want the same for the Great Lakes as the NRM wolves now have. That looks more like slaughter to me than management.

                • rork says:

                  Your comments are so long that it would take me 1000 words to contradict them properly (and you know that), so I’ll touch on just a few.
                  I’m not saying the courts were wrong. I do think wolves should be delisted in MI, MN, WI – yes, “really”. Democracy can make that happen – you seem confused about that. That there’d be “no going back” is false – our recovery plans would just be reinstated (I believe). You say fixing ESA is better but you forgot to say why – I said why it’s worse. Why deal in generalities when the issue is so specific? Hunting may create more problems on average, but that doesn’t show that’s what is happening in MN (and certainly not in MI). Long term, it’s the citizens of these states that have got to step up, the only question is when, and I say now.

                • Louise Kane says:

                  the citizens have been speaking up
                  it did not take long for MI citizens to get two initiatives together and the signatures to hold a vote on hunting wolves. When the vote was held they voted not to hunt wolves…they are speaking up but the agencies and lawmakers ignore their wishes. The institutional bias creates bad policy. The agencies also ignore the mot recent science and refuse to look treat predators as valuable ecological beings. I think you know this too. why hunt wolves when there are mechanisms in place to deal with depredations? wolf hunting is proving to lessen tolerance, creates intolerable stress in the species, is likely to create more problems than not, and is terribly inhumane as these animals are social structures that are harmed by random killing of the members.
                  Why refine the existing law through a traditional legislative process. Deliberation, integration of new science and literature, time for public comment, and because the intent of the law and its effect has been good and necessary. explain to me what good you see in reverting to a rule that was judged arbitrary and capricious after going through the proper channels. The courts protect the right to review and to challenge bad policy. I feel more secure with a time honored process than a few disgruntled politicians taking a tantrum and using riders that have nothing to do with the bill to remove a species from the ESA.

                • rork says:

                  Science did not cause the relisting, just interpretation of law by courts. At the state level, I am more able to argue using science. New law will hopefully not be by “a few”, involve tantrums, or be a rider, but that is trying to predict the future.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      The Feds can step in at any time now…. but will they.

    • rork says:
      is perhaps the initial source of the information. It didn’t say how many of the wolves killed in any year were pups (or whatever young-of-the-year should be called), which would have been interesting numbers. Words about “decades of active management” were a bit creepy. I wasn’t pleased with Center for Biological Diversity’s writings either.

  51. rork says:

    Search “Coupling unstable agents in biological control” – it’s making some news. The authors model pairs of species both of which compete for the same prey (they are mostly thinking one is a parasite, the other a predator, but it doesn’t have to be), and find situations where this makes for more stable population sizes of the prey (and predators). Most obvious applications are in agriculture (where the prey is a pest you want controlled), but some articles mention wolves/coyote/ungulate as a possible example trio (but don’t start saying that is a real example yet, please, unless you can demonstrate it). gets to the paper (maybe not available to public), but it’s a very tough read (systems of differential equations). is nearly the U’s press release without alteration, so beware of bias. Perhaps no real journalist has tried to tackle it yet. Actual applications to integrated pest management will be the proof that it’s not just theoretically possible.

  52. Kathleen says:

    The latest update (1/22) is here–including a news release from yesterday announcing that 100+ wild native bison were sent to slaughter yesterday from capture pens *INSIDE* the national park:

    • Louise Kane says:

      Dear God Kathleen what a disgrace
      I wonder who are the people that lead the animals into slaughter and do this day after day
      its disgraceful for the bison and humans. another terrible image to replay in my head. This and the BC aerial wolf cull should ruin tonight’s sleep. I was reading a book about the break up of the 6 republics of the former Yugoslavia and Slobodan Milosevic’s ethnic cleansing, this is equally disturbing. What a world.

      • Yvette says:

        I know. I cried thinking about this during my commute home today.

        • Louise Kane says:

          BC government just killed the first pack of wolves yesterday. Pacific Wild reported that the government had been planning it for a year. They had been collaring the wolves to use as “Judas” wolves. Talk about sickening and heartbreaking. I’ve seen video of wolves shot from helicopters it will never stop haunting me.

          • jon says:

            Talk about cowardly. Putting collars on animals just so you can find and kill them in the near future. Sickening to kill one animal species just because it eats another for survival. These caribou cannot be saved simply because of human overpopulation.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      I don’t know what to say. This stuff keeps happening, with bison, wild horses, wolves, coyotes, on and on.

      And yet all over the news ad nauseam is whether or not the NE Patriots’ footballs are inflated to regulations. Haven’t these people ever checked their tire pressure????? Or taken high school science?????

      And no doubt, the excuse this bison slaughter will be ‘we’ve got kids to support’ or ‘it’s my livelihood at stake. So anything goes. 🙁

    • Professor Sweat says:

      I sent a heated email to Yellowstone superintendent Dan Wenk. Honestly, it was only mildly cathartic.

      I really wish I had the home phone #’s for the motherf*ckers at the Montana Department of Livestock.

    • Kathleen says:

      Yes, I’ve cried too, and also have lain awake at night. It’s insane. Just posted this at my website — “Yellowstone wildlife sent to slaughter; calling all buffalo warriors”

      and the site where I guest blog, which accepts comments

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Yes, I broke down and cried when that worthless POS and slaughterhouse employee of the year Tim Sappington shot a sweet trusting horse point blank on video posted on YouTube just for the sake of ‘animal rights activists’. So cruel. I’ve been up late too. Now I just am pissed off.

        • skyrim says:

          Kathleen, “Bloodlust” minus the warfare factor.
          I believe in Karmic consequences. Not as punishment, but as simple reality. This man (can’t bring myself to write his name) has a tortured soul and an empty space where others such as ourselves have hearts.
          But on the other hand…………..
          I once had a sign in my office that read:
          “Some people are alive today simply because it’s against the law to kill them”. Pretty much true.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I haven’t/can’t watch this – the blood, fear in the eyes, and (what looks like) a chain through nostrils which must be terribly painful – I don’t think I could watch it. I don’t understand why we have such a clampdown on wildlife, and why we think we are the only creature on earth worth caring about.

  53. jon says:

    Idaho fish and game lying about wolf numbers. That’s how you get away with killing a ton of wolves. Lie about how many wolves there are.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      How right you are. Even the State of Idaho admits that wolf numbers have DECREASED every year since Idaho took over wolf “management” (killing) from the feds. Both Idaho F&W and the pro-wolf groups agree that wolves are in decline in the State of Idaho.

  54. Louise Kane says:

    given the BC wolf cull this is very timely

    • Immer Treue says:

      “Although caribou numbers in northeastern North America were already much reduced by the late 1800s from those of previous centuries, the ultimate extinction of the species in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and adjoining mainland regions appears to have coincided with the influx and explosive population growth of white-tailed deer. Deer were rare in the Maritimes in the early 1600s, and remained so for most of the next three hundred years. A scarcity of immature forest cover and clearings, their principal habitat, was probably the main factor limiting expansion of the white-tail’s range. But as deer spread northward in the wake of European settlement, both caribou and moose populations were affected. In areas with a high density of deer, many moose succumbed to a mysterious sickness. However, while moose and deer established a somewhat precarious coexistence, caribou perished.”

      Eerily similar to what has and is happening in NE MN. Used to have caribou here, and it wasn’t the wolves that killed them all. White tail deer are weeds one can eat.

      • Louise Kane says:

        yes, I was thinking back to some of the posts you have made about moose and wondered about this document and if there were correlations.

  55. Ed Loosli says:

    Death By Chocolate for New Hampshire bears

    Bear bating should be banned in New Hampshire like it has been in many other states. period.

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Sad. I had just read this too. Can we afford these kinds of mistakes with wildlife? I don’t think so nowadays. This kind of loss never enters into ‘management’, and we think we can control and account for everything that could go wrong. We can’t, and I’m sick of it.

      I agree, bear baiting should be banned.

    • rork says:

      Nat Geo article says baiting is legal in 23 of 32 states with bear hunting. Citizens in Maine decided not to ban it last year. There’s work to be done, but I doubt chocolate will be the winning argument.