Salmon River Canyon bighorn sheep © Ken Cole

Bighorn sheep, incessantly harmed by sheep ranchers through disease and political hostility. Copyright Ken Cole

It is time for another new page for your 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 (Jan. 12) “old” news

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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

495 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife related news? Jan. 31, 2015 edition

  1. Kevin Jamison says:

    I recently learned of the “Watersheds Guardians” in Pocatello who work to protect and enhance the habitat for beaver on the Portneuf River ().
    Several years ago I read R.F.K. Jrs book on Riverkeepers. Very inspiring. This is, I hope, a similar effort in that Riverkeepers were and are successful in battling industry & apathy to restore the Hudson in NY state and other watersheds.
    Beaver must be acknowledged as an vital part of watershed health. My focus is on the Big Lost River and tributaries and I would like to see a similar effort there. IF&G was less than enthused when I asked a local CO, I assume mostly because of the politics. We have a couple that are causing problems on a ditch and most assuredly will be trapped & killed. I wanted F&G to live trap and relocate them to Thalman Creek (west slope of the Pioneers, NE of Bartlett Point) because that drainage cries out for beaver and restoration, along with many, many others in the Thousand Springs area of Lost River Valley. Anyone have ideas?

    • OutdoorFunNut says:

      Kevin, hope you get to transfer the beaver. Is Thalman Creek private or public lands? Has Watersheds Guardians offered to pay the cost to move them?

    • OutdoorFunNut says:

      Kevin, thanks for the info on the beavers I see some of the other posts on beavers Interesting stuff.….things look like they can get a little hostile here on this site.

      I’m doing some research on beavers because we had some on the east end of our property. I’m looking for thing like my rights and obligations as a property owner. They really did a number here and some of the neighbors effected were not to happy. Thankfully most of what was done was not on my property. They are trying to let them establish themselves 5 miles north of here. That is why I asked the questions about relocating and who was going to pay for it.

    • OutdoorFunNut says:

      This looks like what our group had in mind to retain some of the benefits of the dam but still regulate just how much was backed up / damage lost trees and acreage. I’m still looking for private groups that fund this kind of stuff.

    • OutdoorFunNut says:


      I learned a lot from this one…

      These are some of the questions my Columbo brain is focused on.

      Do you know of any good books on beavers where questions like the following are answered?:

      How far do you need to relocate a beaver in order to insure they do not return? Do you need to relocate beaver in family type units in order for success? How many beavers does it take to create dammed up streams / culvers? How many methods are there for live trapping beavers? Gadgets that are now used to determine sea level measurements (for areas effected) if beavers colonize below a certain spot….?

  2. Louise Kane says:

    Repost from Friends of Animals
    Protest in Tuscon, Arizona against the highly disturbing Predator Masters killing frenzy. Coyotes, Coatamundi, whatever they can kill they will. Please share widely and if you live near Tuscon, please go. These events must be widely criticized, and protested to get the public attention needed to end them.

    Friends of Wild Animals is sharing this information about a protest planned in response to the Predator Masters Wildlife Slaughter. For more information, private message us and we’ll forward your contact information to the protest organizers.
    “In view of the Predator Masters (PM) bringing their annual Convention and Hunt to Tucson on Feb. 5, 6 and 7 there will be 2 demonstrations to protest this group and it’s unacceptable activities which include the discriminant slaughter of wildlife, promoting blood sport and killing events and overall abuse of the right to hunt including cruelty and disrespectful waste of the animal. In most cases they do not use the animal for food or pelts and just leave the carcass to rot. They even kill coatimundi. Check out their website: predatormasters(.)com. Our mission is to show PM are not welcome in Tucson and to bring the their event to the public’s attention.
    First Protest: Thursday Feb. 5, 4:30 – 6:00 PM on the corner of Speedway and Silverbell, NE corner. Predator Masters attendees will pass this intersection on their way to IWM from I-10. Please do not park in the bank or Taco Bell lots. Also be sure not to block sidewalks or driveways. There are plenty of parking spots further North within the shopping center. There is also a dirt lot on the corner of El Rio Dr. and Speedway (Just East of the Center).
    Second Protest: Saturday, Feb. 7 3:30 – 5:00 PM At the International Wildlife Museum (IWM), 4800 W. Gates Pass Blvd. (W. Speedway turns into Gates Pass Blvd. at N. Camino de Oeste). Protestors will be greeting them as they arrive for the final event, banquet, awards, etc. We’ll be on the shoulder of road across from the entrance. Parking is very limited so please carpool. Or, arrange to meet others at Speedway & Greasewood and carpool from there. Park as far away for the site as possible to allow more room for the protest, media vehicles, etc. And. Please do not park or trespass on IWM property.
    Please do not bring dogs or small children to either event.
    Signs (Coyote Killers Go Home) will be available at the protests. But you are encouraged to bring your own.

    • Edna Russell says:

      Our house is right on the edge of public land on W Anklam between Speedway and Greasewood. Ours is the last house on the left. Can I use airhorns or something to scare away the coyote, deer, javelina, silver fox, bobcats, and even mountain lions that wander through their area on which we live?

  3. Ed Loosli says:

    How Wolves Saved Yellowstone Nat. Park (VIDEO)

  4. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Serbian Orthodox Monk and His Wolves

    Serbian Orthodox Hieromonk Amvrosije, the sole guardian and hegumen (Serb. iguman, abbot) of the recently restored 12th century monastery Kovilje, has tamed two wolves, a fox, an eagle, a snake, raven, rabbit and an owl

    hegumen Amvrosije said that most of these birds and animals were brought to him by his parishioners, who would find them ill, wounded or deserted. Fr. Amvrosije would nurse them, raise them and take care of them, until they were strong enough to go back to their own. But they kept returning and some, like Alpha, never leave the sight of the kindhearted monk.

    “There is a pitfall there,” he explains. “Animals always give us back more than they receive, it is easy to love them, they play fair. It is much harder to love men, much more difficult, relations with people are very complex. So one can start shying away from people, getting secluded and isolated. Being with people, relating to people takes a lot of courage and love, it is a spiritual feat [podvig]. But we must strive to love people and live in harmony with them.”

    Kovilje hieromonk will soon be separated from his wolf, when Alpha gets transported to the natural reserve in Bulgaria, to live with other wolves. Asked if he will be sad without his friend, Fr. Amvrosije said:

    “One has to give freedom to those he loves, that is the true love. Us humans have a hard time coming to terms with it, but we are slowly learning.”

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Good words. Thanks, Mareks. And what a beautiful wolf.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Mareks, a great post raising some big questions in my mind. I love the Monk’s philosophy but wonder as Alpha has become so bonded with him is he truly committing the more loving act by having the wolf removed to a sanctuary.

      I don’t know about Serbian wolf populations or policy so its hard to know if the wolf is in danger of being killed by hunters if he remains where he is but at this point, the wolf looks to be very domesticated with the Monk and lives a very nice life.

      Do you know if the Bulgarian sanctuary/reserve is open spaces or enclosures. I’d hate to think of Alpha being in an enclosure without his friend the monk nearby for the transition.

      And if Alpha is moved in with other wild wolves, what about the territoriality issues? The most fascinating part of this documentary is seeing the bond between the wolf and the monk. It seems the wolf chooses to be near the Monk and to live with him while also getting to roam his territory. I wonder how traumatic the move will be?

      To see the interaction between the two reaffirms my conviction and hope that humans will make a better effort to understand the modes of communication that animals are capable of if humans were not so murderous. After seeing the Galapagos Islands and the way that the wildlife ignored and accepted humans, it seems very tragic that the “curious” animals that dare to show themselves during daylight hours are shot or thought to be rabid.

      We have largely created a world where the safest time for wildlife to move about is at night. If the world were composed of men like this monk, what a place it would be.

      Anyhow thanks for posting and if you know the name of the sanctuary or how it operates I’d be interested in knowing.

      I just finished reading a book called the Bosnia List by a young man who returned home to Bosnia after relocating to the US during the Serbian ethic cleansing. To come to terms with their experience during the war and his families escape he made a list of the things that he wanted to do, some of them vengeful. But his mothers voice kept inspiring him to not become like the aggressors. It was a wonderful book with a great deal of insight into the Bosniak and Croatian suffering in the former Yugoslavia. After reading it last week, it is especially good to see this kind Serbian monk

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        well,the Balkans are historically famous for being very complex stuff.

        you can read how Serbs reacted to wolf’s removal here:

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          then some background info about wolves in Serbia & Bulgaria:

          The area of stable wolf presence in Bulgaria cover ~75K km²

          The population size is ~ 1000 individuals (June 2011)

          On average ~380 wolves were killed per year between 2006 and 2009. Bounty payments for killed wolves were stopped in 2010. Nowadays most hunters killing wolves are not reporting them officially anymore. Thus no official data for the number of wolves killed in Bulgaria are available after 2009 anymore.

          The wolf in Bulgaria is listed as a game species by the Hunting and Game Conservation Act. As such it is hunted all year round, with no quota or other limits.

          According to the Action Plan (in preparation) the species is going to be protected for three months (April, May, June) in the whole country.

          There is no specific zoning policies or different management systems in two population segments of the Bulgarian wolf population due to the centralized management.

          There are two types of conflicts – with livestock breeders over damages on livestock and with hunters over competition for ungulates

          The most important threat is the low acceptance due to conflicts with hunters and shooting throughout the whole range according to the official population regulation. Important threats are also the hybridization, over-harvesting of wild prey populations leading to high depredation rate on livestock, pest control, land transport infrastructure (roads / railways) and vehicle collision, and disturbance due to recreation /tourism. A common management weakness is the poor enforcement of legislation, poor integration of science into decision making and lack of knowledge about species ecology.

          • Mareks Vilkins says:


            The area of wolf presence in Serbia seems to cover ~44K km².

            Population’s size ~ 800 individuals ±50 (Date: 2005 – 2011)

            The total number of officially recorded wolves killed by hunters in the frame of hunting societies in Serbia was 92 during 2006-2011. Annual estimated harvest in the mentioned period is between 150 and 200 specimens. Bounty payments for killed wolves were stopped in 2008. Nowadays most Dinaric-Balkan Carpathian hunters killing wolves are only sporadically reporting the killing. Thus no complete official data for the number of wolves killed in Serbia are available from after 2006.

            In reality wolves are hunted all year round, with no quota or other limits.

            In general the most important threats are the lack of knowledge – about ecology, numbers and trends and conflict mitigation, in addition to poor management structures. Important threats include persecution in areas where it is strictly protected. Accidental mortality is still present, but not so important. The other threats which are moderately important include intensive forestry practice and infrastructure development in some important areas, wildfires that are frequently present in recent years, and disturbance due to recreation/tourism.

            • Mareks Vilkins says:

              some historical comparison of wolf hunting in Bulgaria:


              The greatest number of wolves was harvested at the end of the 19th century, i.e. 1300 and 1650 wolves were shot in 1895 and 1896 respectively. In the middle of the 20th century from 1950 to 1955 between 600 and 800 wolves were shot and in 1954 itself – about 1050 wolves. During these periods poisons (strychnine baits), strong barbiturates (veronal, luminal), different traps, killing of young wolves in their dens by fumigation, etc., were used as the main hunting methods for regulation of the number of wolf population

            • Louise Kane says:

              Mareks, I’d like to hear your thoughts on the Bosnian List. It is written by an educated Bosniak who lived through the Bosnian Serbian conflict in the late 1990s and they were forced from their homes by the ethnic cleansing policies. The experiences of the family that fled recalled the rise in extreme nationalism behind a platform of economic and ethnic grudges that created a fertile ground for the Nazi polices. In reading Kenan Trebincevic’s rendition of their exile and treatment in their hometown where his generous and well loved father was the unofficial mayor, I was reminded of the betrayals some Jews experienced by their neighbors and friends. Trebincevic acknowledged the unsatisfactory solutions that NATO, the EU and American politicians devised that drove the country and its republics to dissolution. I had not, however, read to date anything about Milosevk working to keep Yugoslavia as a unified nation. I quickly read through the The Dismantling of Yugoslavia (Part I)
              A Study in Inhumanitarian Intervention (and a Western Liberal-Left Intellectual and Moral Collapse. I’m going to read the other two, as well. I’m fascinated and repelled by this read on the US and EU responses of early intervention to promote a continued NATO presence….

              as for the wolves, I can’t think of one place where wolves are “safe” or protected for their intelligence, beauty, skills, strength and contributions to ecological balance. I’m disturbed to read they are hunted year round with no limits. I wish I had not read the story of the Monk and his wolf, I’m still a little unclear about what happened but it seems that most animals concocting with humans will be let down or betrayed by them. their superiors or institutions that create regulations that would allow discretion in providing for humane collaborations between humans and non humans . Another terrible story to add to the long list.

              • OutdoorFunNut says:

                “I can’t think of one place where wolves are “safe” or protected for their intelligence, beauty, skills, strength and contributions to ecological balance.” Yellowstone? Northern Canada?, Remote Alaska?

                I used to think that Minnesota was also that place, but was let down by the wolf itself FOR as I learned about the wolf I learned that they will continue to expand into populated areas which creates problems. Despite what some say when given the choice to expand towards MAN for fight they neighbor for the right to live…..a big percentage of wolves opt for the expand towards man side of things. From what I know, they were killing hundreds per year and didn’t even have a hunting season on them. Why is that hidden from the public? None of the wolf articles talk about that? My question is if those hundreds were not removed what would be the state of wolves as we speak? Would that be bad?

                • Immer Treue says:


                  ” From what I know, they were killing hundreds per year and didn’t even have a hunting season on them. Why is that hidden from the public? None of the wolf articles talk about that? My question is if those hundreds were not removed what would be the state of wolves as we sp From what I know, they were killing hundreds per year and didn’t even have a hunting season on them. Why is that hidden from the public? None of the wolf articles talk about that? My question is if those hundreds were not removed what would be the state of wolves as we speak? Would that be bad?eak? Would that be bad?”

                  Evidently you are not well read as there have been many articles written about published as well as discussed on this blog. Ad nauseum, this has been made public. Rationale for wolf depredation removal has been made available as well as reasons for increase and decrease in wolf/livestock depredation.

                  Folks here are more than helpful. Ask rather than make an unfounded statement,

                • Immer Treue says:


                  One example in a MN newspaper.


                  You can search for more. Your question/statement is false.

                • WM says:


                  As Immer suggests, I just googled the four following words:

                  MN + DNR + wolf + mortalities

                  Took less than 10 seconds to get this site with mortalities for the last 2 years (there used to be a longer history here, and at the International Wolf Center website):


                  Something you might also consider, especially for MN, wolves are usually removed for a reason – like getting in trouble; not where they are wanted, or there are too many [something which nearly every state is now or in the future will have to address at some point].

                • Louise kane says:

                  Yellowstone is one place not so northern canada and Alaska hard to determine which has the wurst anti predator policies the liberal Canadian party or the Alaska dept if fandg

                • OutdoorFunNut says:

                  Immer / WM I’m sure the Star newspaper has had hundreds of articles on wolves. How many of them inform the public on our topic? Does the average person in Minneapolis / Saint Paul that has read an article on wolves know that MN has 3000 to 2000 winter time wolves and without hunting 300 to 200 still need to be of all things trapped and killed.

                  The one thing I know of the wolf is that its polarization is something one side lives on. Enough on wolves, what do you know about beavers.

                  PS Next time, WM don’t point to the very data I’m saying the average person don’t know is there. That was my point. Yes, the numbers show up here and there but in general are not part of what would be a balance article.

                • Immer Treue says:


                  I posted this to Louise last issue. Info can be found on DNR site and most likely the International Wolf Center, and periodically in the newspapers and elsewhere.


                  Here is one site for one stop shopping:

                  MN wolf mortalities
                  2012 Wolf hunting/trapping 413
                  2012 livestock/pet depredation 321
                  2012 Total 734

                  2013 Wolf hunting/trapping 238
                  2013 livestock/pet depredation 153
                  2013 Total (401)

                  2014 Wolf hunting/trapping 272
                  2014 livestock/pet depredation > 200
                  2014 Total > 472

                  Wolf Management: Minnesota DNR
                  … Annual Known Wolf Mortality. The table below lists known wolf mortality for the
                  indicated year. … 2013, 238, 95, 27, 8, 23, 401. 2012, 413, 215, 63, 16, 27, 734. …
         – 36k – Cached

                  Totals do not include poaching estimates of annually averaging 10% of population

                  Wisconsin: 3 year wolf hunting/trapping total: 528

                  Michigan: 2013 hunting 23 wolves

                  If a person with the least bit of interest in the wolf controversy can’t do just a small bit of searching without the info stapled to their fn forehead, then all is lost.

                  MN sites such as Howling for Wolves is also a font of information. You want help, ask. Don’t make comments like how come this information is not provided for the public. It is. JHC, they still use smoke signals up where I live, but a person who wants to find out info on wolves only has to look.

                  You want help, ask the proper questions.

                • WM says:


                  ++… Next time, WM don’t point to the very data I’m saying the average person don’t know is there…++

                  Well, to some extent I am with you on the need to publish more (even though it is there for those who would be curious to look).

                  You won’t like my reasoning, however. Such statistics are an essential and very much NEEDED reminder that wolves (and people who object to or advocate for more wolves) are an expensive pain in the butt to manage.

        • Louise Kane says:

          Mareks, I am very confused about the petition
          I got the impression that Alpha was brought to a sanctuary but the petition is addressing a “she-wolf” that they claim is imprisoned in a 6 x 6 foot enclosure. Do you have any idea of what is going on here. It did not seem this Monk would be so ignorant to condemn his wolf to a 6 x 6 enclosure and call it a sanctuary where letting the wolf go was an act of love for the betterment of the wolf. What is the other story going on here?

          • Mareks Vilkins says:


            The Monk was separated from his animals by bishop’s decision and this has caused outrage in Serbia.
            He respected the decision and I don’t know what happened later.

            Author of the petition was director of the Belgrade Zoo for the last 28 years (he died last fall).

            That enclosure was 10×10 meters (33x33ft)and it was located in animal shelter (?)

          • Peter Kiermeir says:

            What I see from the article is they are talking about two wolves in the possesion of this Monk. One, a female, going to a sanctuary in a town named Cazak. This being in Serbia and virtually nothing is known about a wolf sanctuary there. Serbia being a still war stricken poor Country, so this could well be the sanctuary with the primitive and tiny enclosures. The other wolf, the so called “Alpha” is destined to a sanctuary in Bulgaria. Thus no specific town is mentioned, I hope it will be the well known wolf sanctuary at Vahi, which is mantained by the UK Wolf Conservation Trust. I pray, that this highly habituated wolf is not released into the wild. That would inevitably lead to a severe wolf/human conflict and the death of this animal.

            • Mareks Vilkins says:

              that story comes from the summer of 2009 but still has some educational value,imo

              • Louise Kane says:

                what educational value, I am not following. The wolf was hand raised by a Monk, became a pet and was then removed from her forest, home and the Monk to be sterilized and set up in a small enclosure. The Monk accepted the Bishops decision. This is a story to haunt. Its not at all happy or good in any way. It just reinforces my fears that most animals are better off without any human interaction. Not many humans can be trusted to care for or protect other beings. We are a betraying species. I hate this story.

                • Mareks Vilkins says:

                  1)if that wolf wouldn’t be saved by humans he would be dead within days

                  2) the wolf served as an Ambassador for possible co-existence between humans & wolves/wildlife in general

                  3)that petition to help to re-unite the Monk & Alpha used different language to increase tolerance for the large predator species

                  4)it seems the Monk was aware of the possible consequences if that story about him & wolf would get published in mass media and the probable reaction from/by his superiors. That’s why he said:

                  “There is a pitfall there,” he explains. “Animals always give us back more than they receive, it is easy to love them, they play fair. It is much harder to love men, much more difficult, relations with people are very complex. So one can start shying away from people, getting secluded and isolated. Being with people, relating to people takes a lot of courage and love, it is a spiritual feat. But we must strive to love people and live in harmony with them.”

                  5) that’s life – there’s no easy choices. [to make]Slogans are a lot easier. You prefer to choose negative / sad aspects of this story – that’s your choice.

  5. Kevin Jamison says:

    I naively thought someone might respond to my post regarding beaver. I very much care about wolves, but how did we end up in Serbia?
    Oh well, as my old man said all the time regarding many things except online posting “that’s the nature of the beast”. How ironic.

    • Yvette says:

      Ha! I am very much interested in beavers and probably would have responded but hadn’t read the link yet.

      Since I work in water resources I know how under appreciated the work of beavers. People are too quick to kill them when they should be figuring out ways to utilize their natural mastery of hydrology.

      Our friend Mareks lives in Latvia, btw.

    • Yvette says:

      I can tell I’m going to use your site for reference. I’m in OK, not ID, but the underlying principles will be the same. I’m glad to see this type of work happening. Beavers are a species I know I need to learn much more about since we have one area of tribal trust land and it is water rich. The land has many small tributaries that flow into the South Canadian river. Additionally, there are bottomland hardwood wetlands in this area. My tribe has a small farm on this property, and last summer was the first time I did any assessments on those streams and wetlands. I was surprised at how incised some of the streams were since there is absolutely no urban development nearby. Anyway, I am beginning to think about future projects where I can incorporate at least some wildlife work/issues in with my stream and wetland assessments. I’ve been thinking about the beaver activity I’ve seen in that area. I don’t know enough about them yet, but I do know their engineering can raise the groundwater level. To me, that is important, and especially so, during drought.

      I definitely want to learn more about non-lethal alternatives to potential road flooding. One day when I was out getting samples from a creek I use to monitor a road grader stopped to visit. He proudly told me he finally ‘killed that beaver’ that was causing the flooding that kept washing out the bridge. I didn’t say anything, but it explained to me the changes I was seeing in the wetland on the other side of the road. (it was on private land that I didn’t monitor or assess).

      Lots to learn, but I’m glad to see people working on beaver conservation.

    • Nancy says:

      Kevin, applaud your efforts but I’m guessing where a lot of your beaver counting is going on, is no where near private ranch lands and water rights. My entire valley (with a nice creek running thru it – perfect beaver habitat) is all ranch land and ranchers don’t take kindly to beavers setting up “housekeeping”

      They trap them out when they do show up. Its a shame because they are on of nature’s finest engineers, capable of creating sanctuaries for a host of other species.

      Some past threads on the WN about beaver:

      • Leslie says:

        Two good books on beavers The Beaver its life and impact by Muller-Schwarze and Lily Pond by Hope Ryden.

        I have been in touch with an organization in Wyoming that transfers ‘bad’ beavers and am hoping they will transfer some of the bad ones to our national forest lands around here that used to have beavers. I live just east of the Park and although there is 150 year old sign, no beaver no more here.

    • Gary Humbard says:

      Kevin, federal agencies (US Forest Service, BLM and NPS) are learning the importance of beavers and solutions to conflicts that beavers pose to road drainage. In my experience they do not immediately trap them like they use to and instead use structures that maintains adequate water flow through pipes such as the attached link shows.

      State agencies such as IDFG tend to be less tolerant as they work with more private landowners so I would see if the USFS would be responsive.

      • Yvette says:

        Great links Gary and Leslie. Thank you. Last summer I was working on a riverine wetland assessment project. I was expecting to see streams that were in much better geomorphical condition than what I found. I found deeply incised streams and this was in a region where the only impact is farming operations. Except in one section on non-tribal land, they aren’t plowing close to the stream banks. All of the streams had at least 100M of good riparian vegetation, but several were still highly incised. I think I miscalculated the impacts that farming and grazing have on the physical response of small streams, even when there is a heavily wooded riparian area.

        Since there isn’t any urban development close to this area I thought it is potentially a good site for beaver relocation. Let the beavers do the hydrological work to get those channels reconnected to the floodplain. Plus, their work should raise the groundwater table, which is good, especially in times of drought.

        I don’t know if it will work. I don’t even know if the tribe and our farmer will buy into my idea. It’s possible they will as long as I do the research to present facts on the benefits of beavers.

        • Leslie says:

          In reading The Beaver book referenced above, here is stats from one chart:
          Productivity (biomass) Restored Stream= 5000lb/acre; Degraded Stream 200lb/acre;
          Depth of woody vegetation ft. from water: Restored 30-40; Degraded Only at water’s edge. Beaver activity restores eroded streams much faster than just a rest from livestock grazing. One mind-boggling figure in the book says that in just three years willow had grown 2 meters in height where beavers had raised the water table! That’s 6′ in three years! Beavers are the bottom-up restorers of an ecosystem. Wolves are the top-down restorers.

      • OutdoorFunNut says:

        Gary, Liked your link… Thank you. We had a situation where the culverts an old farmers fathers fathers father installed years ago were taken over by beavers…. The cement culverts (ingenious for its age) allowed the farmer back and forth between acreage. Retaining some of that water was OK with some of the farmers / landowners. We had discussed how to incorporate a device like the one in your post that would allow us verse the beavers to regulate some of the water …. retaining water and beavers? The non-trust of the landowner with the ancient culverts with the DNR is overwhelming. He is deathly afraid that they will want them removed and the connectivity of his properties will be lost. New beavers will be back but we are hoping this time we will be prepared.

      • OutdoorFunNut says:

        Who da thought …… Beavers kill more people in Belarus than wolves.

        Then….. because wolves kill beavers we can conclude that in Belarus….the people are safer with wolves around….correct?

        • Nancy says:

          “The fisherman, who has not been named at the request of his family, was driving with friends toward the Shestakovskoye lake, west of the capital, Minsk, when he spotted the beaver along the side of the road and stopped the car.

          ****As he tried to grab the animal, it bit him several times. One of the bites hit a major artery in the leg, according to Sulim”

          DebbieK50’s comment (below the article) summed it up well 🙂

          • Ida Lupine says:

            I hate these stories – they make it sound like the animal went seeking out the human to attack. It never would have happened if the man hadn’t approached the wild animal, who quite understandably became defensive to an intruder!

  6. Louise Kane says:

    The stuff of nightmares
    if there is one good reason to slow cattle production climate change is at the top of the list.

    • Yvette says:

      I have doubts that any of the leaders from the big Western countries will do anything of significance. With the global economy based on fossil fuels the big countries won’t do anything that may spur a global economic collapse. What I noticed 4 or 5 years ago was that when the federal agencies finally began discussing climate change the message was heavily weighted toward adaptation rather than mitigation. I finally accepted the fact that Western nations aren’t going to do jack squat. I think the plan to let smaller, poor nations fall. All we will do is use our military to contain some of the wars and pestilence that will become pandemic.

      I think we’ll see an increase of this type situation.

      As the lake has diminished, it has disappeared altogether from Ethiopian territory and retreated south into Kenya. The Dassanech people have followed the water, and in doing so have come into direct conflict with the Turkana of Kenya.

      The result has been cross-border raids in which members of both groups kill each other, raid livestock, and torch huts. Many people in both tribes have been left without their traditional livelihoods and survive thanks to food aid from nonprofit organizations and the UN.

      Our military know and they are planning for global wars because of CC effects. Have you read or reviewed the DOD CC strategic plans?

      A couple of good articles on the CH4 in the Arctic.

      We’re in deep and I have zero faith in world leaders, especially American leaders. I wish I had more confidence in them, but history shows they are not to be trusted. Not even a tad. LOL, just had a thought, I think the global decision makers look at us not as individuals, but as a population. Kind of like wildlife managers; it’s not the individual that matters but the population.

      • Ed Loosli says:

        The drying up of Lake Turkana in East Africa has much more to do with on the ground human caused environmental degradation than anything to do with “climate change”. From the Yale article you linked us with:
        “The story recounted in “When the Water Ends” is not only about climate change. it’s also about how deforestation and land degradation — due in large part to population pressures — are exacting a toll on impoverished farmers and nomads as the earth grows ever more barren. For the past 40 years at least, Lake Turkana has steadily shrunk because of increased evaporation from higher temperatures and a steady reduction in the flow of the Omo River due to less rainfall, increased diversion of water for irrigation, and upstream dam projects. As the lake has diminished, it has disappeared altogether from Ethiopian territory and retreated south into Kenya. The Dassanech people have followed the water, and in doing so have come into direct conflict with the Turkana of Kenya.”

        The Gov. of Ethiopia has built and continues to build dams on the Omo River with no regard for the indigenous tribes that have lived in its watershed for thousands of years. Lake Turkana is disappearing mainly because of water extracted for irrigation and the dams that have been built on the Omo River by the Gov. of Ethiopia, not because of “climate change”.

  7. Yvette says:

    More bad news. The future for Pacific Chinook salmon look dire according to this report.

    I think that is enough bad news for one day.

  8. Immer Treue says:

    Climate Change in Minnesota: 23 signs

    I’m sure that many of the listed items can be debated, especially the 1970 start date for many graphical increases.

    Anthropogenic effects other than carbon dioxide, such as logging, creating better deer habitat, and for that matter white footed mice, lead to an increase in Lymes…

    Have at it.

  9. Mareks Vilkins says:

    British army brigadier says he is a scapegoat in Romanian forest scandal

    High-ranking official stands accused of colluding with criminals to illegally claim 43,000 hectares of forest land owned by the state

    Since 1990, over 3m hectares of forest in Romania has been returned to purported former owners through the restitution process. An audit last year by the Romanian court of accounts claimed that 20% of these reclamations were illegal – a total of 600,000 hectares. Prime minister Victor Ponta has referred to a “restitution mafia”, a wide spread network of well-connected businessmen and politicians who have exploited corruption in the law courts to claim billions of euros of land and forest in the last two decades.

    In the 25 years since the end of communism, Romania has lost 370,000 hectares of forest – including some of Europe’s last areas of virgin forest – to illegal deforestation

    • Louise Kane says:

      there is never any good news, Is it easier to hide watching bad tv? Sometimes I wonder. Wildlife news is soul wrecking.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Mareks one of my closest friends is an engineer that married and Romanian woman and has lived in Bucharest for years. He copes with the incessant corruption by traveling frequently. Last time I saw him was in Portugal where he was trying to relocate to avoid being in Romania any longer. I think his career has him stuck there. Ill have to ask him about the forest, they also have a home in Transylvania and he has made reference to that area and its bad environmental policies as well.

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        Romania is a poor country and to defend environment against corporate takeover is a lot harder than in rich countries. However, one can see that there’s grassroots activism going on against mining / oil industries:

        1) Romania – a Peasants Revolt against fracking

        Transylvania revolts: Farmers against fracking

        2) Pungesti, Romania: people versus Chevron and riot police

        3) Steffi the Vampire Slayer

        (Paul Kingsnorth talks to Stephanie Roth, the former Ecologist campaigns editor who has just been awarded the ‘environmental movement’s Nobel prize’ for risking life and limb to prevent the exploitation of the largest gold reserves in Europe)

  10. Immer Treue says:

    Hunters say that now there’s not enough deer in Ohio

    Reinforces the point I made a couple weeks back about game farm mentality: more deer wanted at the “expense” of everything else, the deer themselves included.

    • Kevin Jamison says:

      Immer Treue;
      I do not mean to be offensive, but online folks use all kinds of alias, nom’s-de-plume and various feints. But, really, is that your real name? If it is, it’s very cool. Where ‘ya from?

      • Immer Treue says:

        No offense taken. I think I gave Louise three scenarios.

        1. It is my real name. Last name Treue and my parents had a sense of humor, thus Immer.

        2. Treue is my last name, and an old high school friend in German class started calling me Immer.

        3. It’s an alias taken from a search looking for a name for a dog.

        You be the judge. Could Harpo talk or not?

        Far northeast MN, in wolf country.

        • Kevin Jamison says:

          Yes, Harpo could talk. He chose not to in the films. His call.
          Hey’d ‘ja vote for Mr. Al? Franken that is? My hero.

        • OutdoorFunNut says:

          Immer, Ziemlich feindlichen Kommentar , mich hier . Ich dachte, mein Beitrag wurde gefragt? Sie konnen die Fragezeichen verpasst. Als Mutter gesagt hatte . Bleiben Sie weg von solchen mit einem hasslichen Geist .

          • Immer Treue says:

            In regard to your statement, hardly a question, about Minnesota killing hundreds of wolves a year, even without a hunting season, being hidden from the public. It’s simply not true.

            “From what I know, they were killing hundreds per year and didn’t even have a hunting season on them. Why is that hidden from the public? None of the wolf articles talk about that? ”

            Entschuldigen Sie mich für meine Grobheit wahrgenommen . Aber Ihre Frage ist mehr eine Feststellung “,” Warum ist das so vor der Öffentlichkeit versteckt ? Keiner der Wolf Artikel darüber zu sprechen ? ”
            Das ist einfach nicht wahr, wie Wölfe entfernt haben nicht vor der Öffentlichkeit versteckt worden .

            • OutdoorFunNut says:

              Immer habe ich die Wahrheit-Projekte … aktuelle ” Wahrheit -Projekt” ist Beavers … .. Ich mache diese ” Wahrheit Projekte ” seit Jahrzehnten , seit der Oberschule . Meine Kinder haben Interesse an meiner Wahrheit-Projekte im Laufe der Jahre verloren, aber meine Enkelkinder lieben sie. Ich glaube, dass sie eine Lektion in Selbst Denken sind . Mein erstes Tierwelt “Wahrheit-Projekt” war der Puma in Kalifornien. Ich nahm es auf , wie eine Mutprobe von einem Nachbarn . Als wir in unserem ländlichen Paradies zu bewegen vor ein Dutzend Jahre dieser Nachbar war nicht auf meiner Liste der Nachbarn , die ich jemals getraumt haben mochte . Schlieblich war er ein Jager . Dank meines Nachbarn und meine Wahrheit Projekte meinem Vorurteil der Jager und die Jagd hat sich vanished. Ich habe sogar ein Enkelkind , die Jagd liebt.
              Warum muss ich Ihnen sagen ? Ein ehemaliger Wahrheit-Projekt war nichts anderes als die “wolf”

              • Immer Treue says:

                Ja, ja,ja,

                Es macht nicht.

                • OutdoorFunNut says:

                  Oma sprach Deutsch. Ich war ihr Favorit, weil ich die Zeit nehmen Sie um zu lernen. Sie lehrte mich mehr als Deutsch, sie lehrte mich , meine Augen mit meinen Ohren zu offnen. Ich von dieser Seite , dass ich nur die eine Seite meines Forschungs Biber erhalten sehen .

                  Ich finde es seltsam, dass ein Artikel mit dem Auflistung Wolf in der toll Seen gewidmet war hier nicht behandelt?? Das sagt mir etwas,

                  Auf widersehen

                • Immer Treue says:

                  Und du auch. Es war ein netter Spaziergang.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      Can’t read it since I am not a member of Facebook.

      • Nancy says:

        Same here Barb. Some references/links to Facebook pages posted here, come up and others don’t. This one “don’t” Louise 🙂
        and, I have no desire to sign up with Facebook, so is there another link?

  11. Gary Humbard says:

    Some residents near Yellowstone are tired of the bison SLAUGHTER by tribes that is occurring. IMO gunning down bison as they leave a sanctuary (Yellowstone NP) is not “hunting”. Hunting consists of a person using his or her knowledge, skills and abilities while giving the animal a fair chance at survival.

    • Kathleen says:

      Check out the pictures from last year’s “hunt”:

      • Yvette says:

        It is despicable. I see this as no different than the elk hunters in MT earlier this year that were lined up on the road to ‘hunt elk’. Actually, I think it’s worse. It’s closer to those ‘hunters’ that pull the trigger on enclosed animals, like the big hunting ranches in Texas and those in South Africa.

        Something that is a bit confusing is the statement that MT FWP cannot regulate the tribes. True, if it’s on reservation land. But remember, even on reservation land tribes are under the purview of federal law. This is not reservation land. I don’t know the status of the land. Is it federal or state land? These particular tribes have treaty rights to hunt there, but I have my doubts that they can ‘do whatever they want’. I think if the federal and state agencies wanted to have more input they actually could. It shouldn’t be anything goes just because they are tribes, and it never works that way in other arenas. Law enforcement comes to mind. I think it’s possible that MT FWP is using the tribal treaty right to hunt as a scapegoat. It’s a convenient way to take some of the negative pressure off of NP decisions and state management and put it on the tribes. Just throw up your arms and say, “ahh, it’s the tribes and we can’t do anything”. I’m not fully buying that excuse.

        Lastly, tribes are also political. Anyone can look up who the tribal Chief, Governor, or Chairman is and write to them and to the tribe’s national council members. Just as one would write a congressman the letter should be respectful and professional, but sell your side. Show the pictures. Write an op-ed in the tribal newspapers. Protest how they are conducting their ‘hunt’. This is a disgrace and it is a dishonor to the all of their tribal citizens.

        • Ed Loosli says:

          Beautifully spoken and so true! +1

        • WM says:

          Forgive the candor here, Yvette, I do not mean to insult you personally. But, just like there are lazy opportunist non-Indian hunters, there are equally as lazy, unethical Native American hunters (and fishers).

          One might expect that as bison come out of the Park they are harvested wherever opportunity arises, on ceded tribal lands which by way of treaty or other agreement certain tribes and their members can hunt in “usual and accustomed places” off-reservation, in whatever methods/times/places the tribe with those rights determines.

          That some Buffy and Bif Eastern transplant locals might find a gut pile or two objectionable on the landscape is sad. It is a process and by-product of harvest that has gone on since man occupied the land. Probably some bison that got stuck with a spear or multiple poorly placed arrows from crude bows, or run off a cliff, but not killed and wandered around wounded or mortally injured has always been part of the scene, as well.

          It is not about method of take, or appealing to the “social sensibilities” or “squeamishness” of locals. It is about exercising treaty or other Native agreement bison harvests. It is not proper to call it “hunting,” because it is not. Rather it is feeding your family in an opportunistic manner, and a whole bunch more humane to the animal than 160 years ago.

          From my experiences in WA, there are limits on what a state wildlife agency can cooperatively agree with tribal interests on ceded lands but where hunting rights have been retained. And, importantly, the politics of this is typically one the state loses because of the stigma of “telling” tribes what to do. Also, mostly tribal members that don’t follow rules are not disciplined by the tribe anyway. In fact, some tribal courts are just a bad joke.

          • Ed Loosli says:

            You just gave an excellent argument for the Buffalo Field Campaign and other wildlife conservation organization’s legal attempt to have the wild Greater Yellowstone bison immediately placed on the federal Endangered Species list. Tribal law and treaties do not supersede the Endangered Species Act, and listing the bison would stop this needless slaughter and move to relocation and increased bison numbers, which would more clearly reflect the true carrying capacity of greater Yellowstone.

            • Elk375 says:

              Ed you have mentioned that we need to secure bison habitat in the Yellowstone Valley. This morning I saw the listing for the Dome Mountain Ranch, this ranch is located at the mouth of Yankee Jim Canyon on the east side of the Yellowstone River. The ranch has approximately 5500 acres of fee land and would make very good bison winter range as it is adjacent to the Dome Wildlife Management area and boarder’s national forest lands. List price 25,000,000, start fund raising.

              • Ed Loosli says:

                Yes, I saw this listing. Dreaming for sure that a “conservation buyer” will buy it. Unfortunately, under the current Montana/Federal bison plans, any bison are to be slaughtered before they even get near this amazing property.

              • WM says:

                Well, if we didn’t have to prop up governments in Africa and the Middle East and elsewhere or buy loyalty (as we do in Jordan with a just announced $1B/year), maybe some federal dollars could go to make some of these land purchases for bison winter range.

              • Ed Loosli says:

                Bison Bull killed On Dome Mountain Ranch by Montana Dept. Of Livestock – by Laura Lundquist


                “Representative Alan Redfield, Republican-Livingston, ranches 15 miles north of the Dome Mountain Ranch. He recently tried to pass legislation to give the DOL more authority to eliminate bison that enter Montana from Yellowstone. He said he was relieved when he heard the bison had been shot.”

          • Elk375 says:

            We condemn the tribal hunter or any hunter shooting bison close to the road by not calling it hunting or sporting. Until one has shot a large animal and has had to deal with the gutting and removal of the carcass/meat from the field do not criticize. I have shot 2 moose one in BC and one in Alaska both times having horses available.

            The Alaskan moose was 1200 to 1400 pounds and it took me 6 hours to gut it, skin it and break it up so that the meat and horns could be loaded on the horses. If I was a bison hunter the first thing I would think about before I shot is can I get the animal out of the field, if not then I would not shoot it. Whether it is a moose, bison or any big game animal the first thing I ask can I get it out of the field.

            • Barb Rupers says:

              Appreciate your comment Elk375.

              Didn’t Patrick McManus write of hunting above the road for mule deer in the Hell’s Canyon area of Idaho? And with good reason! Been there, done that below the road, once.

  12. Edna Russell says:

    The Predator Masters are holding their convention about a half a mile away from our house outside the Tucson city limits. Our house abuts public land. I am concerned about bullets, and the wildlife that passes through every day. Can I use airhorns?

    • Nancy says:

      “Can I use air horns?”

      Sounds like a great plan Edna 🙂 It’s your property.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Does Wyoming really want to shed their western image and become just another homogenized American state, another indistinguishable place from any other, with everyone the same? These are some of the things that make the West unique, and make it fun to visit.

      • Leslie says:

        Ida, I disagree. I live in WY and there are so many people who move here from the East Coast, South, etc. i.e. not westerners who have this idea of what the west is–cowboys, indians, guns, independence! The cowboy-Indian thing lasted about 10 years, yet most of these people think that’s the West. They all grew up in the 50’s with cowboy-indian movies!

        What is the west is the Land, not cowboys and cattle. Its time to grow a new ‘image’ to what the West really is–vast open spaces of Land that we must protect!

        • Lloyd Dorsey says:

          Well said. thanks.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          All I was talking about was the style of a hat! Of course I realize that people move to the West from other areas, for God’s sake. In fact, some of them have adopted the guns and independence idea also, and have started up ranches. I still think that progress shouldn’t erase entirely a culture, but adding to it. Sometimes I wonder if the new culture of development, habitat encroachment and furthering of the self-interests for recreation isn’t more dangerous to ‘protecting our vast open spaces of land’ than the old. In case we haven’t noticed – it isn’t working.

        • Louise Kane says:

          +1 that stereotype in particular seems to align itself with a certain amount of violent conquest

          • Ida Lupine says:

            I don’t mean the typical stereotype; I’m just talking about the hat itself, which anyone can wear.

            To me it’s a work of art, the aesthetic shape is even more beautiful because it is based in utility, to protect the wearer from sun and esp. rain. The fabric is wonderful too.

            • Rich says:


              There is an old saying that cowboy hats are usually found on the same places you find hemorrhoids. Unfortunately that is almost always true today along with cowboy boots even if the person has never even been close to a horse. I think its a psychological thing to make little men feel superior. Do you remember when Salazar showed up wearing a cowboy hat when he was introduced as Sec of Interior? That was a definite clue to how he would perform in office.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Yes, a cowboy hat or Darth Vader’s helmet, it would make no difference in his case. Sally Jewell doesn’t wear a cowboy hat…

  13. Ida Lupine says:

    What a sad outcome for the monk and the wolf. I wasn’t aware that it had turned out this way, and I am horrified. The poor wolf made the mistake of trusting humans, and now they have imprisoned her and taken away her life. What horror – especially coming from a religious leader. We always conveniently ignore the horrors we inflict on each other, such as through war, and transfer them to wolves. I think that wolf fear/hatred is part of being human for many – and that we will never shed or educate it away.

    Lessons learned:

    1. No good deed for wildlife goes unpunished. It’s best to leave them alone and hope they can fend for themselves.

    2. If you thought you could escape the horrors of humanity by joining a remote monastery, you’re not even safe there. 🙁

    • Ida Lupine says:

      3. I know the monk’s advice was, although acknowledging the difficulty, to try to love your fellow man and forgive his mistakes, but they are not loveable a lot of the time. And they continually make mistakes and never seem to learn from them. 🙁

  14. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Feral cats more likely to prey on native animals if rabbit numbers reduced

    feral cats dined on about 400 Australian species, including 28 listed species.

    Reptiles were the most commonly eaten animals, making up 157 species on the list, followed by birds (123), marsupials, (58), rodents (27) and frogs (21).

    Rodents were most likely to be on the menu in northern Australia, while larger possums and bandicoots were among the most-eaten in south-eastern Australia.

    the feral cat is a generalist opportunist predator that preys on a variety of species across the continent

    Most at risk are “critical weight range mammals”, 16 of which have become extinct since colonisation. The term is used to describe animals weighing between 35g and 5,500g, or, as Doherty puts it, “the group of species that are the ideal lunch-time snack for a cat.”

    • Ida Lupine says:

      But more importantly, will they immediately institute hunting, just as soon as the ink is dry on delisting, and call it ‘management’? Anyone taking bets? 😉

      • Gary Humbard says:

        I’m betting that ODFW will NOT allow hunting, but they will allow wolves that have killed livestock to be lethally removed. Oregon is not Idaho and Wyoming and has one of the more progressive wolf management plans in the country.

    • WM says:

      A little more detail from ODFW’s press release, as staff complete their official count report:

      • Ida Lupine says:

        A breeding pair is a pair of adult wolves which produce at least two pups that survive to the end of each year.

        Isn’t this what Idaho tried to get away with? It doesn’t say a male and female. We sure scrutinize wolf numbers to the bare minimum, don’t we – two pups, give ’em a couple of months to survive, and keep it to 9 packs, and call it a day.

        I don’t think a hunting season would be wise with this small, heavily controlled population. Can ranchers be trusted to be truthful about wolf depredations?

        • Ida Lupine says:

          A TWN Ken Cole article from last year:

          Idaho Has Changed The Definition of a Wolf Breeding Pair

          “USFWS determined that it needed to define what a wolf breeding pair was so that they could accurately define the recovery goals. The 1987 recovery plan “specified a recovery criterion of a minimum of 10 breeding pairs of wolves (defined as 2 wolves of opposite sex and adequate age, capable of producing offspring) for a minimum of 3 successive years in each of 3 distinct recovery areas…”

  15. Ed Loosli says:

    If Florida Hunting Ban Lifted, It’s Bad News For Bears

  16. Ed Loosli says:

    Panal Finds Feds Didn’t Use Best Science In Latest De-Listing Wolf Plan

    “A new independent review finds the federal government used uncertain science when it proposed taking the gray wolf off the endangered species list across the Lower 48…The panel was unanimous in its conclusion that the federal government relied too heavily on a paper on species classification that is not universally accepted.”

  17. Immer Treue says:

    Northern Yellowstone elk herd up 24%! One day does not a week make, but this is both encouraging and somewhat delightful as there are some with egg on their faces.

    • Elk375 says:

      Immer: Survey conditions in 2014 were poor and resulted in an inaccurate count.

      In 2015 the conditions were very good.

      No egg on anyone’s face just bad conditions.

      • Immer Treue says:

        The egg on the face is most assuredly “reserved” for The Yellowstone is Dead Crew.
        They were yodeling it was all some sort of coverup, ie the poor 2014 conditions, there was something to hide.

        The same thing happened with the NE MN moose
        Counts in 2013 and 2014. Ted Lyons of The Real Wolf infamy was all over that low 2013 count.

    • Logan says:

      24% higher than the 2013 count (2014 excluded for poor conditions)and yet still 20% below the number counted just 5 years ago in 2010. I think we still need a few years to see who it is with egg on their face.

      • Immer Treue says:

        That is why I prefaced my original statement with one day does not a week make.

  18. Ed Loosli says:

    Cowboys and cows are soaking the American West dry

    “All told, alfalfa and hay production in the West requires more than ten times the water used by the region’s cities and industries combined, according to some estimates. Researchers at Cornell University concluded that producing one kilogram of animal protein requires about 100 times more water than producing one kilogram of grain protein.”

  19. Louise Kane says:

    It is time to get serious.
    The advancing signs of climate change should be a game changer.
    I have been reading some reports that have some scientists predicting that as early as 2030 may be too late to stop catastrophic habitat destruction that will lead to mass extinctions, starvation, raging fires, temperature extremes and societal collapse. It won’t matter who you voted for or whether you are rich or poor. Now is when voting out climate deniers matters, when stopping old growth logging and deforestation can make a difference or when mandating new form of energy production makes sense. How can some politicians be so stupid and greedy that they would ignore the consequences, even at their own peril? I wonder do they think some magical Noah’s ark might single them, their children and grandchildren out for salvation? Do they think they will be able to retreat to some hide out with their wealth and ride it out? Doesn’t sound much like survivors will be left with much of anything. For all our tricks and manipulation, how can we stop polar ice caps and glaciers from melting and releasing even more methane?

  20. WM says:

    I just had to share this. What an idiot, and to think the R’s and John McCain thought her to be worthy of consideration for the number 2 most powerful position in the free world in 2008, and a mere heartbeat away from the Presidency:

    • Ida Lupine says:

      What’s worse it that she was considered a good choice because she was popular, a personality built up by the media.

      I never liked her politically or ideologically, but I did like her outdoors persona. But she’s gone Hollywood now – so probably it was never true.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Caribou Barbie displays her knowledge of and skills with a firearm.

      Does it kick? Would lend one to believe she has never used the rifle, let alone practice with it.

    • Louise Kane says:

      “a mere heartbeat away from the Presidency”
      shiver me timbers
      Did you see the Jon Stewart show with the clip of her ad libbing ….it really was insane. I remember when she was campaigning, Greta Van Sustern (from OJ fame) did an interview while a turkey was manhandled and slaughtered behind Palin while Palin cheerily chirped about something. Her producers and Van Sustern were just as stupid. birds of a feather

  21. aves says:

    Coyote killing contests end, but “events” continue in California:

  22. Cody Coyote says:

    One of those ” In Your Federal Face” bills is headed for passage in the Wyoming Legislature in direct response to the Forest Service yanking domestic sheep leases in Idaho. That notorious Payette Forest imbroglio where USFS actually had the gall to favor wild native Bighorn sheep over domestic herds..

    SF134, sponsored by Wyoming rancher Larry Hicks who resides near the Colorado border in Baggs, would codify Wyoming management of domestic sheep into state hands . While it is claimed to merely harden an existing simplistic state sheep ” management plan” into law, that law would supersede federal rules on the affected lands, being Forest Service and BLM grazing allotments. Something of a preemptive strike.

    SF134 was passed unanimously in its home Senate committee on Tuesday , 5-0 with no declarations of conflict of interest. It is expected to sail thru the House committee then pass on the floor.

    Here’s a Casper Star Trib story regarding that committee vote. The ranchers quoted pretty much sum up Wyoming’s 19th century mindset about such things…

  23. Ida Lupine says:

    PBS Series Explores a New Wild Sustained, Instead of Wrecked, By People

    Did anybody watch this? I approached it with considerable skepticism, but it actually gave me more hope than I’ve had in a long time. Places like China and India and Africa are doing amazing things to protect their iconic species – giant panda and tiger, respectively. And understanding how everything fits in place, and benefits people as well. Some of China’s wild areas are amazingly beautiful.

    America, we’re heading backwards in our view of wildlife and ecological balance!

    • Ed Loosli says:

      The Government of China might be protecting some of their own bamboo panda habitat, but where the world’s wildlife is concerned, China is an outlaw nation. Because China will not ban the internal sale of ivory, elephants are going extinct. The Chinese people’s demand is also leading to the slaughter of tigers (China has a thriving market in tiger-bone wine), rhinos, pangolins, sharks, giant salamanders, etc. etc. etc.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Yes. But I was happy to see that there was still hope. Perhaps more world discussion such as this is a big help. The other area was Bangladesh and mangrove habitat, preserving it to protect from floods, I should have said. Amazing. I was intrigued with the planting of trees in China and Africa to link habitat, in Africa it was keeping a route for chimpanzees to avoid human settlement (Dr. Jane Goodall). In China planting bamboo and other trees seemed to hold water in the soil, or absorb it from the air, or both? I hope increased world discussion will help people see the beauty (and also the utility) of preserving wild areas and wildlife.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          This particular area in China seemed to have that misty rainforest environment that I love. And decidiuous color. It was quite inspiring!

          • Ida Lupine says:

            And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Texas (I think it was Austin?) with a new respect for their bat population and the insects they help control!

      • Mark L says:

        I agree that China is leading the demand of these species, however…they are NOT killing elephants (or rhinos, or pangolins {well, some}, or sharks for the most part). The problem is one of greed and corruption in the animals’ respective countries, as well as demand from China. Whatever happened to saying “No, this is OUR national treasure, you can’t buy it…we’re not whores”?
        I know…easier said than done, but it’s what will be necessary to keep them.

        • Ed Loosli says:

          Mark L:
          If you were addressing your remarks to me, I never said that China was killing elephants (your words). What I said was, “China is an outlaw nation. Because China will not ban the internal sale of ivory, elephants are going extinct.” This a very true statement, for without the demand from China for elephant ivory, elephants would not be going extinct. The money to pay poachers is coming from China!! The demand from China for dead rhino parts, dead tiger parts, dead shark parts is also the cause of these species declines, along with dozens of other species.

    • Yvette says:

      I saw parts of it since I was up and down throughout both episodes. It was spectacular; probably the best, or at least, most enjoyable nature programs I’ve seen in a very long time.

      It airs again tonight so I’m going to try and watch again.

    • rork says:

      I saw 2 hours of it and found it interesting but hated many things about it. One was pandering to the most far-out conclusions of more cows is better beliefs. The other was tending to the philosophy that humans are part of the landscape so what (whatever!) we do is natural. This thinking gets you exactly nowhere (though it can be used to rationalize environmental sin). Being really good should mean it’s harder to detect our effects on the green world – best engineering goal is to be invisible to the untrained eye.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        We are part of the landscape, for better or for worse. We have and will do whatever we want – so trying to mitigate our effects is a reality. It is going to be increasingly evident in the years to come – and the preachy approach isn’t working.

  24. Harley says:

    Annual Winter Study begins on Isle Royal. Be interesting to see what they find.

    • Immer Treue says:

      Met someone who was going to Isle Royale. Believe, if I remember correctly, gathering and isotopic analysis of moose scat.

      • Harley says:

        Well hopefully it will be better for the researchers this year. Last year I believe they had to cancel the 1st trip because of the ice. This is a very fascinating story that is still unfolding. Wonder what this year will bring….

  25. Salle says:

    They’re Baaaack!!!!

    Merely for those who might be interested, the Decorah, IA eagles are preparing their nest as of 2/2/2015.

    Best LiveStream viewing in the country through mid June!

    • Louise Kane says:

      Nice to see you Salle! Hope you have been well.

    • Nancy says:

      Hey Salle, checked on the Decorah site about 2 weeks ago. (early morning) and there was an eagle on the nest, looked like the female.

      Tracks in the snow on the Eagle Valley nest earlier today so that pair of eagles may also be back. (video from 4 hours ago)

    • Harley says:

      Hey Salle! Been a long time, at least for me! Have you been reading about the territory dispute between the eagles and a pair of Great Horned Owls? This years nesting should be interesting indeed!

  26. Yvette says:

    In the ‘all things wolf’ world, had to share this one, but I won’t spoil it for you.

  27. timz says:

    It’s just not Idaho with nut jobs in their statehouses.

  28. Nancy says:

    Hmmm. Got to wonder who’s supporting this new approach to hunting attire.

  29. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Op-Ed: Idaho’s wolf-killing board spending $4,600 per wolf

    Read more:

    “…That comes to a grand total of $4,600 per wolf. They must have been using pure platinum hollow points.”

  30. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Thirteen tiger nations from Malaysia to Russia to set up anti-poaching network – See more at:

    “Our individual efforts may win us a few battles, but we can only win the war only if Asia presents a united front to stop the poaching, end the trafficking and wipe out demand,”

  31. Mareks Vilkins says:

    tiger bone wine anyone?
    How Tiger Farming in China Threatens World’s Wild Tigers

    The number of tigers living in the wild has dropped to the shockingly low figure of 3,200, down from 100,000 a century ago. But nearly as shocking is this statistic: An estimated 5,000 to 6,000 tigers are being farmed today in China, their bones steeped in alcohol to make tiger bone wine, their meat sold, and their skins turned into rugs for members of China’s wealthy elite.

    International conservation experts say that this trade, officially sanctioned by the Chinese government, poses a direct threat to the world’s remaining wild tigers because increased availability of these bones and pelts fuels demand that actually strengthens the incentive to poach wild tigers.

    Basically, a tiger farm is a feed lot for tigers where they’re bred like cattle for their parts to make luxury goods, such as tiger bone wine and tiger skin rugs. This is about wealth, not health. Traditional Chinese medicine no longer uses tiger bone, nor wants to, because it wants to go global and it does not want to be blamed for the extinction of wild tigers. Furthermore, polls in China show that most Chinese people don’t want tiger products or tiger farming. Many of them believe that it actually punishes China’s international image. So this is about a handful of investors poised to launch a multi-billion-dollar-a-year business, primarily in tiger bone wine, but also from tiger skins, tiger meat, etc. This is about products looking for a market rather than a market looking for products.

    • Peter Kiermeir says:

      “This is about products looking for a market rather than a market looking for products”

      Definitely not. The market exists already since thousands of years in Asia, not only China. The modern derivative of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) might well do without of original Tiger parts or ingredients. However the belief in the original Tiger parts is deeply engraved in asiatic myth.
      With more and more People becoming wealthy in China more and more people can afford Tiger parts! The Tiger farms cannot sitisfy this increasing demand! The chinese finances poaching Mafia is on it´s way. With increased vigilance of the Tiger states it´s becoming more and more difficult for the poachers. So difficult that they already are forced to substitute Leopard for Tiger! Nevertheless in India alone 23 Tigers have been poached in 2014, 5 already in 2015! This are the known cases only!

  32. Mareks Vilkins says:

    reminds me Chernobyl & opportunity for the wildlife:

    Living in a minefield: the wolves of northern Israel

    Wolves are hunted, culled and poached across Israel’s north. But in the Golan Heights, on the border with Syria, a dangerous minefield provides an unlikely wildlife reserve where the animals are now thriving

    The landmines and the tensely patrolled militarised zone along the Syrian border make it a dangerous and forbidding place for humans, but a sanctuary for the wolves. “I have watched the wolves running towards the minefields, only to slow down to an easy trot when they pass the fence,”

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I always have such concern for the wildlife in war zones too, as well as innocent civilians – they really have nothing to do with our human conflicts. 🙁

    • WM says:

      The second and third paragraphs of this article suggest it is not just Europeans who persecute wolves where economic interests are at stake – controlling wolf population and all in the Middle East. Imagine that, not just the Europeans and their “mythology” about wolves, and the Israeli government complicit in the matter. Gee, if anyone should know about persecution…..but then some cultures are also practical.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Practical from a one-sided point of view, our own. 🙁

        • WM says:

          It would appear, Ida, that the Israeli government made that decision for their wolves, as have sovereign governments around the world wherever wolves are in excess to what it appears are wanted by duly (and not duly) elected governments-Scandinavia, Middle East, Eurasia, Asia, Europe and out own North America.

          That was the point of my comment, lest it escaped you.

      • Yvette says:

        Yes, we humans are the most savage of species, aren’t we? That savagery is found in all races, cultures and countries. We direct it at non-human species and against one another.

        “mythology” If the quotations are meant to imply the mores surrounding the attitude and beliefs that the early English colonists introduced to this continent were based on fact, maybe you can explain why you believe that and back it up with citations. Can you explain why they weren’t satisfied with simply killing a wolf but had to hamstring them so they would suffer immensely when they turned their dogs on them? Or perhaps, explain why they felt the need to drag a wounded wolf behind their horse in ensure they suffered before death?

        The history is well documented. The savagery existed and persists even today. Do you not think a better path is realize that history; accept it and understand that now most of the people in America that are the most staunch wolf protectors and supporters are of European descent?

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Do you not think a better path is realize that history; accept it and understand that now most of the people in America that are the most staunch wolf protectors and supporters are of European descent?

          Yes, I do. 🙂 I’d like a chance to right those wrongs, all around.

        • WM says:


          You might want to listen to this fairly well documented audio segment about the origin of the “Little Red Riding Hood,” which goes back nearly 2000 years, and apparently there is considerable speculation it did not originate in Europe. So, did the Grimm Brothers engage in plagiarism for some of their stories, based on long-standing myth from other cultures?

          Also important in this highly entertaining and knowledgeable interview sometimes the predator changed to adapt to be the local predator of risk for children. Now, of course, if they had copyright laws applied internationally back then, Europeans might not take the hit for origin of the story. Maybe you and others should vent on ancient Iranians or others?

          Not that there are not similar “myths” or parables to pass along important cautionary lessons in our many Native American cultures. My favorites involve the coyote, often viewed as “the trickster,” especially in tribes from our Southwest.

          And, I certainly have no explanation for barbaric behavior that humans engage in whether involving animals or humans. My most recent – just two days ago- outrage is the live burning of a caged Jordanian F-16 pilot, and then running him over with a bulldozer, by Islamic State radicals who profess to practice the same religious faith.

          • Mark L says:

            Tie Snakes….see? Natives ‘invented the wheel’!!
            Unktehila! (my favorite)
            (probably only SE natives would get the reference)
            …not EVEN going into the bigfoot stuff. We’ve all got our strange stories, for sure.

          • Louise Kane says:

            +1 My most recent – just two days ago- outrage is the live burning of a caged Jordanian F-16 pilot, and then running him over with a bulldozer, by Islamic State radicals who profess to practice the same religious faith.

            Its not usual to see humans subjected to the same kinds of torture than are inflicted on animals. Its shocking to see violence committed against any being. I unfortunately saw the video link. Its hard to describe the emotions, rage, heartbreak, deep sadness and wanting revenge for the injustice. I wish I was better than wanting revenge as I strive to keep those emotions under control. But to see that done makes me think the people that did it are beyond redemption. To see so many standing about watching, covered up like cowards and inflicting such heinous pain and cruelty on a person creates a primitive, probably unhealthy, reaction. I wish I had not seen it. The thought of his parents seeing it, is beyond comprehension.

          • Yvette says:

            I’ll listen to the radio interview tonight. It sounds like it’s interesting. I caught just the first few lines of how many of the fairy tales have evolved and that there are similar tales from all over the world. It reminded me that the same is true other things that are of a religious nature. Creation stories, big flood events (similar to Noah’s ark tale), ‘underworlds and sky worlds’. In my own tribe going as far back to the Mississippian era there have been artifacts found with symbols interpreted showing a belief system of an under world and sky world. I could not begin to explain this phenomena.

            The caged burning is beyond horrific and Bill Moyers put it in a different perspective in an article today in Huff post.

            We could go back and forth with gory facts on the barbaric actions of humans from all sides of the world. Neither of us would be wrong nor right. All it would prove is we humans have a long to way go in our evolution toward becoming a higher species.

            That is why it is pertinent that those of us with the mental capacity to learn, interpret, and analyze the world around us redirect ourselves to be as objective and unbiased as possible. Not paternalistic, but open and equal. Barbarism is barbarism whether it is an ISIS Muslim or a Southern Baptist in Texas.

            A circle has no sides. The more we can train ourselves to view world events from a circle the better we will become. We will fail, but that failure will help us become better individuals, thus improving the world, collectively.

          • WM says:

            And for anyone interested in further inquiry about whether the fairytales of wolves REALLY began in Europe, or maybe at an earlier time in Greece (with Aesop nearly 600 years BC) or compiled by the Brothers Grimm in their ostensibly “German” folktales which are recognisably related to and PREDATED by stories recorded in Slavonic, Indian, Persian and Arabic oral traditions.


            And, I do hope somebody passes this stuff on to YNP wolf program administrator Doug Smith, and Isle Royale’s (all the time wolf advocate/sometimes scientist) John Vucetich. Maybe then when they use the persecution introduction of wolves by European via fairytales, they can footnote the comment that maybe Greek (before Christ by 600 years) and Middle East storytellers made their own original contributions to these negative views of wolves.

            • JB says:


              I don’t think this is new information to anyone familiar with the broader literature on wolves. One of the contributed chapters in Mech & Boitani (2003) provides a good history on human-wolf relations, and tracks the first bounty on wolves to Solon of Greece.

              Mech L.D., Boitani L. (2003) Wolves: Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

              • JB says:

                Sorry, the chapter was called “Wolves and Humans”, and Steve Fritts was the lead author.

                • WM says:


                  Yes, I have the Mech/Boitani book compilation. In Chapter 12, which you reference and which covers a lot of historical context throughout the world, I didn’t see the kind of detailed historical tracing of specific fairytales back to Greece or the Middle East, as is suggested in Professor Tehrani’s published article to which I linked.

                  Mostly those who talk about these fairytales, just attribute wolf persecution to evil Europeans who brought their ill-conceived notions to the New World, without thinking about similar views, fairytales etc. held in some cultures, even pre-dating European views (which may have vilified wolves).

                • JB says:

                  “Mostly those who talk about these fairytales, just attribute wolf persecution to evil Europeans who brought their ill-conceived notions to the New World, without thinking about similar views, fairytales etc.”

                  An alternative hypothesis, one that doesn’t require such sharp criticism, is that the focus is on Europeans’ myths because Europeans settled North America, and we “inherited” much of our culture from them. The idea that European cultural myths have origins in (or similarities to) other cultures is not controversial, in my opinion.

            • says:

              For anyone interested in geography; Greece is part of Europe — Greece is the southernmost country in Europe and has the longest coastline in Europe.


              • WM says:


                Would you feel better if I said Northern European and ancient Greece in my earlier post (Aesop and all). Sure Greece is part of Europe, even in the EU, but we can see by their conduct there on the currency issue and some other things they really don’t belong. It must be a cultural thing, sort of a step-cousin. 😉

              • Ida Lupines says:

                LOL – you beat me to it, Ed. Political correctness certainly is the tripwire of progress, isn’t it. 🙂

                And other countries certainly have connectivity to Russia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Southern Europe, all heavy duty wolf country.

                I’m certain other cultures have their myths and legends concerning wolves and other animals, Aesop was never literal but fables for humans to learn from. Nobody is blaming Europeans – but there is no denying the damage that European settlers did to wildlife once they care to America, something alien to the other cultures here – damaging their genetic viability IMO – this is why we have coywolves.

                At TWN, we’re primarily interested in what happened to the wildlife in the New World. We’re going backwards, which is extremely concerning.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  Oops, forgot Northern Europe, and ‘care’ should be ‘came’. So we’ve severely damaged the wolf’s genetic diversity by the gov’t sponsored mass killing campaign IMO, and the measly allotment we’ve given them in modern times that passes recovery is a joke, a fraction of their former range, and what could be still currently available to them. Now some our in a tizzy due to ‘hybridization’, which we caused! It’s shocking for a country that considers itself so modern, technologically advanced, and ‘exceptional’. Still ignorant when it comes to wolves and our clumsy effects on the environment tho.

                  In other countries, other canines had to suffer the mantle of werejackal, hyena, etc.

              • Yvette says:

                “For anyone interested in geography; Greece is part of Europe — Greece is the southernmost country in Europe and has the longest coastline in Europe.”

                +1 Thank you for making me laugh.

              • WM says:


                Continuing our discussion about Greece and its continuation as something other than a step-cousin, here is the latest, and it appears to be weighing heavily on the financial markets (without the spin):


                Greece’s exit from the eurozone is just a matter of time, according to Alan Greenspan.

            • Mareks Vilkins says:

              maybe just a little bit common sense is what’s needed? Greece and ME societies were agricultural societies in South – so the sheep/goat/cattle herds were grazing outdoors at all the time & exposed to predator attacks. Why? because humans deforested the land and killed the wild prey species, – that’s why.

              To bend backwards to drop some crap about Doug Smith/John Vucetich/Rolf Peterson or Ripple etc only because they are reminding that Americans in the 21st century are not agricultural society anymore – so they can & should give a chance to large carnivores

            • Yvette says:

              JB made an excellent point about the fact that it was Europeans who settled this continent, so yes, we retain much of their varied culture and religion. As I’ve said many times before, I believe their attitude toward predators, wolves in particular, was passed down through the generations as they spread across the continent with the western expansion. That attitude and interpretation of wolf mythology is still present. No surprise since the culture (varied and regionally based) and religion that they introduced on this continent is present today.

              Animals will always be found in creation stories, religion and mythology of all humans. It is not surprising that the wolf figures predominately. Likely, it is partially because of their power and family/pack structure. Even their communication, the howl, is mesmerizing to humans, both ancient and modern humans. So wherever the wolf has lived my guess is you will find mythology, lore, religion and creation stories associated with the wolf to the culture that shared the landscape with them. Even the Greek, who according to you, ‘don’t actually fit’ with other ‘evil Europeans’. I guess I’m 1/2 evil since I get the French/Irish from my mom.

              I do not know why the Indigenous people of this continent lacked the hate and loathing toward the wolf like the Europeans that settled here. Almost assuredly, it is related to creation stories and religion. I do know most tribes have a Wolf Clan. Even my tribe, from the Southeast, has a Wolf Clan. It is not my clan, but we have a Wolf Clan.

              It was only in the last two weeks that I’ve learned how close the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) are to the wolf. That relationship is fascinating.

              I don’t trust many internet sites on Native culture but I trust Winona LaDuke. It’s been interesting to learn a smidgen about the Great Lake tribes since I’ve not had the opportunity to spend time in their region.

              • WM says:


                ++I do not know why the Indigenous people of this continent lacked the hate and loathing toward the wolf like the Europeans that settled here. ++

                One could speculate (rightly in my view) that Indigenous people here were largely “hunter – gatherer cultures,” not herders in charge of domesticated animals used by humans. As time progressed, some tribes were, and that is why today some are not too keen on wolves, like the Colvilles and the Spokanes in WA, and soon to be the Yakamas, once wolves expand to the east side of Mt. Adams.
                Louise, my cautionary slap at Vucetich (as I am sure you know without quoting chapter and verse from his CV) is that he shamelessly stumped for the MI anti-wolf initiatives, and has in my opinion written some questionable and less than objective (where both sides of an issue are presented ACCURATELY), ethics papers. A scientist should be a scientist, and not a politician, especially in the classroom and on a soap box.

                • Louise Kane says:

                  WM we have been down this path before.

                  If my memory serves me correct you have no problem with Mech’s widely cited position that public hunting of wolves sustains tolerance?

                  That testimony has been and is still used by many of the mid west and western wildlife agencies to advance their very aggressive wolf management policies. Mech himself advanced that position in testimony before states gearing up for aggressive hunting after del siting.

                  Its hard to argue that people including scientists don’t bring their own personal biases into their work.

                  I find it interesting that Mech did not use any of the data he had accumulated about wolves to advance more humane or less aggressive wolf management policies.

                  I remember reading Mech’s testimony that was largely centered on the idea that wolves can sustain high human hunting mortality and that this would help increase tolerance with dismay and astonishment.

                  Perhaps its a question of background, the times and ingrained methodologies. Mech was/is a trapper. He was educated in an era that embraced lethal human management of wildlife as necessary and viewed predators as a vexing problem.

                  Other scientists seem to be acknowledging and exploring, if not urging, more precautionary approaches to wolf management and embracing other models of wildlife management.

                  There is convincing evidence that the wolf recovery plan, as drafted and approved, is outdated. Should individual state plans really be using the minimum viable populations for “target goals”? I think not. The issue imho is not whether scientists are justified or wrong to use their research to challenge damaging wildlife or environmental policies but whether they are justified in doing nothing.

                  Considering the very real threat to many independent or university affiliated scientists, I consider the people that use their work to support better policies as courageous.

                  Why is Mech’s opinion (he is not a social scientist so his stance on wolf hunting and tolerance is an opinion) to justify public wolf hunts ok by you when Vucetich’s use of his and other’s actual research that challenges state wildlife management plans, not ok?

                  Just because positions relying on more contemporary research do not support public wolf hunts does not make the work questionable or make the scientists conducting the work any less accomplished or believable.

                  Some scientists including Vucetich appear to want to explore concepts about wolves and their management that challenge the status quo. if people like them did not, nothing would ever change and I don’t think the direction the western and mod western states have taken is much different that the policies that eradicated wolves.

                • JB says:

                  The other day I posted an article called “This Is Why You Have No Business Challenging Scientific Experts” to facebook, and it was picked up and re-posted by a couple of friends.

                  The comment (below) was my favorite, and made me think of WM’s continued problems with Vucetich, but not Mech. Long and short of it is this: people with power (read: Congressmen) don’t like being told they might be wrong by others that know more than they do. So they encourage us ‘shut up and go back to the lab’ (unless, of course, we agree with them).

                  “And, the new congress doesn’t want scientists to to provide information on what they study because they might be biased to what they learned and, well, you know, we just can’t have any bias in congress decision making.”

                • rork says:

                  I thought Vucetich did something useful, injecting a few points into the discussion that our DNR “almost scientists” never talked about. If you are saying scientists should shut-up about issues that become political I have a stream of vulgarities being telepathically sent your way. There’s almost nobody I’d rather hear from.

                • WM says:


                  My problem is not with the free flow of information by scientists. It should be presented with alternatives for action. Where I have difficulty is with guys like Vucetich saying which alternative is the ONLY one that is on the table, as if HE and only HE has the only right answer.

                  And, it seems pretty obvious that Vucetich’s entire world revolves around wolves and the study of them. Heck, he even has an economic interest there because they pay for his research….his livelihood.

                  And, as for Mech, I have considered his careful comments. No stumping, but he will tell you the consequences of a particular course of action if asked. Entirely different approaches.

                • JB says:

                  I think you’re overly critical of Vucetich and overly admiring of Mech. I can point to a few publications in which Mech makes his opinion known, he’s just more subtle about it. Some have called this approach “stealth advocacy”, and find it more problematic than being open in your advocacy. Personally, like Rork, I’d rather scientists be up front about their opinions (which is why I don’t fault Vucetich, Mech or Geist–at least not for expressing their opinions).

                  More problematic, in my opinion, is your suggestion that scientists should just present alternatives. That relegates scientists to a subservient role, whereby they (we) are information providers who give up our right a citizens to express an opinion (because our opinions are inconvenient for politicians).

                • JB says:

                  What I’ve appreciated about Nelson and Vucetich’s advocacy is that they ‘show their math’–that is, they make their arguments extremely transparent by detailing the premises, both factual and ethical. This stands in contrast to those who present their opinion and then argue that we should listen to them because of who they are.

            • Louise Kane says:

              WM, why do you seem so insulted by scientists that are also intelligent and brave enough to challenge the status quo in traditional predator management.

              To call Vucetich a part time “scientist” is almost laughable. As an Associate Professor, in the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science Michigan Technological University with undergraduate and graduate degrees both in sciences, the man has authored or co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed articles collectively cited more than 700 times. In addition, he authored or co-authored 9 invited
              book chapters, 14 publications for general audiences and 9 reports or other publications. In addition, looks like he wrote and received funding for numerous research projects conducted with other scientists like Peterson, Smith and Mech (among others).

              The most recent publications are cited as:
              Vucetich JA, Hebblewhite M, Smith DW, Peterson RO. 2011. Predicting Prey population dynamics from kill rate, predation rate and predator-prey ratios in three wolf- ungulate systems. Journal of Animal Ecology (May 13). doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2656.2011.01855.x.
              Nelson, MP, JA Vucetich, PC Paquet, JK Bump. 2011. North American Model: An Inadequate Construct? The Wildlife Professional 58-60 (May 2011).
              Adams JR, LM Vucetich, PW Hedrick, RO Peterson, JA Vucetich. in press. Genomic sweep and potential genetic rescue during limiting environmental conditions in an isolated wolf population. Proceedings Royal Soc B (doi:10.1098/rspb.2011.0261) (March 2011).
              Nelson, MP, JA Vucetich, RO Peterson, LM Vucetich. 2011. The Isle Royale Wolf-Moose Project (1958-present) and the Wonder of Long-Term Ecological Research. Endeavour 35(1):30-38 (Feb 2011).
              Silvia, WJ, RO Peterson, WF Silvia, JA Vucetich, AW Silvia. 2011. The occurrence and morphology of a lateral metatarsal splint bone in moose (Alces alces). The Anatomical Record 294(2):231-235 (Feb 2011).
              Metz, MC, JA Vucetich, DW Smith, DR Stahler, RO Peterson. 2011. Effect of Sociality and Season on Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) Foraging Behavior: Implications for Estimating Summer Kill Rate. PLoS ONE 6(3)e17332 (March 2011).
              Peterson, RO, JA Vucetich, G Fenton, TD Drummer, CS Larsen. 2010. The ecology of arthritis. Ecology Letters doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2010.01504.x (Sept 2010).
              Vucetich JA, Nelson MP. 2010. Sustainability: virtuous or vulgar? Bioscience 60(7):539-544 (July, 2010).
              Carroll, C, Vucetich, JA, Nelson, MP, Rohlf, DJ, Phillips, MK. 2010. Geography and Recovery under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Conservation Biology, 24(2):395-403.

              Vucetich’s contributions in this field are widely acknowledged. Without scientists like Vucetich, Way, Treves, Paquet, Bruskotter, Wielgus, Haber, and many others predator management would be stuck in the middle ages until they the very last of them were managed to death.

              It takes a lot of courage to be able to be an exceptional scientist and still be willing to expose your human (e)side at the same time.

              • JB says:

                What I find most impressive is that John is first author on 7 of his 10 most cited articles. Authorship is an important indicator of where the intellectual contribution (and the actual work of writing) comes from.

    • Yvette says:

      “I have watched the wolves running towards the minefields, only to slow down to an easy trot when they pass the fence,” Itamar explains. “If the mines go, so will the wildlife.”

      Interesting and non-intuitive how war and war zones can protect wildlife.

      Mareks, a book I recommend is “Gold Rush in the Jungle” by Dan Drollette is about how the wildlife in Viet Nam had protection because of the that war. With the war over, Viet Nam’s eventual policy changes where they are now more open to Western nations, and their growing economy is devastating their iconic wildlife species. The book covers an East German transplant and the years of work he has done for Viet Nam wildlife.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Really – I’m glad to hear it if so. I worried about defoliants, napalm and the effects they had on people, wildlife and habitat, and Western soldiers talking about shooting tigers years ago.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        Another good place for wildlife, especially given the impoverishment of it to the north and south, is the 38th parallel armistice line between North and South Korea.

    • Louise Kane says:

      I hate this Mareks
      the only place wild animals are safe is in a war zone!
      its like the Chernobyl situation
      the wolves are thriving in a radioactive world

      what humans are capable of is mid boggling
      In reading more of climate change lately and the indicators of likely methane releases during the melting of the ice caps, I wonder how much time do we have. I feel like I do when I read of a person killing his/her family when they commit suicide. Why do they have to take everyone out with them? I feel similarly of the species we will destroy along with ourselves. They are innocents, while we had a chance to stop what we created but kept right on denying, destroying and voting in cretins who opt for of the same and ridicule others as tree huggers because they have the sense to fight for preserving the natural resources that will make or break us.

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        the indicators of likely methane releases during the melting of the ice caps, I wonder

        that’s cheap screaming by journalists on the global warming’s topic

        David Archer is leading expert on methane hydrates so one should check out what he’s saying about this scare-mongering:

        How much should you worry about an Arctic methane bomb?

        Arctic and American Methane in Context

        Much ado about methane

        • Louise Kane says:

          Mareks these articles that you posted don’r exactly support your “cheap screaming” theory.

          In other words, while the waters of the East Siberian Sea may be full of dissolved methane, for many scientists that doesn’t prove that hydrates have been disturbed, or that the Arctic is starting to vent large amounts of methane from below the sea floor into the atmosphere. Not yet, anyway.

          “Nonetheless, Cambridge’s Peter Wadhams takes a different view. Of the critics, he says that “it comes to not believing that these scientists who are actually working there know what they’re talking about, which I would say is kind of insulting to them.” Wadhams also says that there is a new mechanism for methane hydrate release that the critics aren’t considering. The retreat of Arctic sea ice, he suggests, is allowing very intense warming of the waters above continental shelves. He adds that there are certain hydrates “detectable at 20 meters [66 feet]” below the sea floor, far shallower than normal. Wadhams calls these hydrates “Ice Age relics” that formed under very different conditions. Shakhova, too, has referred in the past to hydrates occurring at 20 meters depth, saying they have been “sampled in Siberia.”

          Seems like a gamble to me not to take a precautionary approach. A pandora’s box I don’t think most of us want opened. As Clint would say, “How lucky do you feel”?

          • Mareks Vilkins says:

            we will see within a decade who’s position is more credible

            • Mareks Vilkins says:

              Within the next 100 years or so, any major impact on the global climate from methane will come from methane emitted from tropical wetlands and human activities, not the oceans, noted David Archer, who studies the global carbon cycle and global climate at the University of Chicago.

              “In the timescale of centuries to hundreds of thousands of years, (gas hydrate) is clearly a significant amplifier,”

              “But in terms of the climate of just the coming century, the actual forcing of climate from the rise in atmospheric methane due to this, I think, will be small.”

  33. Louise Kane says:

    Thanks always JB for your work on tolerance. Nice to see it being used so many places.

    • Louise Kane says:

      your work on social attitudes, tolerance, population statistics, and framework for recovery to name but a few topics.

  34. Gary Humbard says:

    As the wolf population on the northern Yellowstone range has gone down, elk numbers have gone up.

    • says:

      Gary Humbard:
      Or, instead of a decline in wolves being responsible for the recent elk increase in the northern Yellowstone ecosystem, the elk increase could be because of Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks hunting changes:
      “”Montana wildlife officials responded to low elk numbers by first reducing and eventually eliminating in 2011 a late-season elk hunt near Gardiner that at one point issued permits for more than 1,000 elk annually.”

      Karen Loveless with MFW&P said, “This winter’s jump in the herd’s numbers is not enough to immediately justify any additional hunting. I’d want to see at least a few years of population stability before we were to increase the (elk) harvest,” she said.””

  35. says:

    10 Environmental Regulations That Republicans Want To Eliminate

  36. Gary Humbard says:

    ACLU wants access to the Yellowstone NP “bison killing fields”. Maybe if enough access (photos, video) is provided, the Park Service might get enough heat that they will find a better method in managing the remaining pure free roaming (as long as they are in the park) bison in America.

  37. Nancy says:

    Forgive me but this reminds me of politics, globally, when it comes to addressing too many issues 🙂

  38. Nancy says:

    Not as tragic as shore birds trying to feed plastic to their young but still a sad example of human waste.

  39. JB says:

    So much anti-agency rhetoric, it’s important to note that it was the Indiana DNR that tried to ban high fence “hunting” in the state–and it was shot down by the courts.

    IDNR +1

    • rork says:

      I hope they change their laws. It could be an example that will make other states think about it. I’d be fine with no captive deer of any kind, but that’s dreaming. It’s more about disease worries than about ethics for me. We have some big high-fence places where it’s hard to argue the deer are suffering (until shot, or culled by other means – I don’t know how it works for restaurant venison). Public distaste for it might help politically, I admit. Most hunters don’t like it either. There might be trouble cause of the money. The place down the road from me has unbelievable elk (with “extra” tines) that must bring tens of thousands of dollars each, from folks trying to become “Canned-Elk405”. For a place otherwise just growing trees, it’s a way to make extra money. They used to have boar to, but we made that illegal in MI a few years back.

      • JB says:

        The disease worry is primary for me as well. Ohio recently had its first case of CWD, I’ll give you one guess as to where it showed up? I’m also frustrated that these large facilities essentially fragment habitat for species too big to get through the mesh (or unable to fly over). Finally, and perhaps most worrisome, it is a step toward the privatization of a public resource.

  40. Immer Treue says:

    In regard to the Fairy Tale debate above, has anyone read this, or any of the other books that covers this material in critical detail?

    • Ida Lupines says:

      When it was first passed in 1918, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was aimed at hunters, especially those who intended to sell the birds to milliners and others. Those days have passed,

      No they haven’t passed. You’d soon see a fast return (no pun intended) of it if these laws are weakened in any way, in addition to the threats from the energy industry (alternative also). OMDB.

      • says:

        You are so correct – The only reason wild birds are not sold for hat decorations and other commercial purposes today is because IT IS AGAINST THE LAW. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

        • rork says:

          It is against the law, and even with the proposed changes, would still be against the law. Selling feathers or hunting non-game birds is not what’s wrong with this proposed legislation. Do not confuse the subject.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Once the door is opened, laws can change and new laws can be made.

            Look what’s happened to the wolf as a prime example – now it’s ok to sell pelts to furrier auction houses in Canada and then off to parts unknown, if it is illegal in this country. I believe an exception has already been carved out of bird protection laws to allow for ‘incidental take’ at wind and solar farm, and of course even the oil and gas industry hasn’t been allowed to get away with that!

            Whittling away at the wild horse and burro and creating amendments allows horses to be slaughtered for meat across North American borders to be sold as horsemeat to other countries. The marine mammals act I believe has been changed to allow the ‘culling’ of sea lions. Let’s not allow ourselves to be willfully blind about what could happen.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              ^^that should be ‘horse and burro protection laws’.

              Human beings are very devious‘resourceful’ about getting what they want, one way or another.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Already for offshore wind ‘incidental take’ is allowed for exploration and once these things begin, you’ll see exceptions carved out of the marine mammal protection acts also.

                Luckily, human ‘resourcefulness’ applies to animal advocates too.

  41. Nancy says:

    “It is absolutely not necessary to ride the subway with gloves on,” Mason, the senior investigator, told CNN affiliate WCBS. “When we were taking samples, I saw people with paper towels, gloves with plastic on their hands — all of it is unnecessary”

  42. says:

    U.S. Government Plan to “cull” 11,000 Oregon Cormorants

    It is sadly ironic that the U.S. Corps of Engineers helped built the dams that largely destroyed the Pacific salmon runs, and now they are going to kill the birds that are eating a few salmon that are left.

    • Gary Humbard says:

      But the Audubon Society of Portland says the real threat to the salmon population is habitat loss, fish hatcheries and dams.

      So lets blow up the dams, dismantle the wind turbines and solar plants that kill birds, and shut down the coal plants and go back to living in mud houses and tepees. BTW, without the dams we would not have been able to build the airplanes and ships and yes the Atomic bomb that helped us win WWII and we would probably be speaking German or Japanese right now.

      If the salmon are to return to more healthy populations, ALL options need to be on the table. So far the US taxpayers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars installing fish ladders, re-routing fish around the dams as they go downstream, reared billions of hatchery fish and have and continue to dismantle some of the archaic dams.

      In addition, tribes have treaty rights to a certain number of fish, fish devouring seals that congregate Bonneville dam are protected and the US fishing industry is tightly regulated.

      The Feds also built habitat for the Arctic Tern (kill huge numbers of salmon) near southern Oregon to try to dissuade them from the same islands as these cormorants, but they didn’t use it.

      If NOAA (extremely conservative agency) recommends the reduction of cormorants, that is telling.

      • bret says:

        Thanks for the comments Gary. It is a complex issue and the dams are not going to be removed anytime soon.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          In some parts of the country (cough)dams already have been/are being removed, and more are being considered. Improvement has been almost immediate. Those that have outlived their usefulness and can be replaced by newer more efficient should be updated. Let’s not be too nostalgic for them.

          • bret says:

            Ida, As a child my family’s favorite camping spot was above what is now Lower Granite dam on the Snake River. It’s under 40’of slack water, miss that spot to this day.

            The dams are here and will be here for some time, the population will continue to grow in the region.

            Tough decisions lie ahead.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              I’m sorry to hear that. Yes, we’ve got some tough decisions up ahead, I fear. :/

      • says:

        Removal of four dams on Idaho’s Snake River is long overdue.

        • rork says:

          Once upon a time, there was a vigorous environmentalist heading Dept of Interior, and I thought we had a chance of removing those dams. Seems like a fairy tale to me now.

          • Louise Kane says:

            I was working at NOAA during that Dept of Interior leadership and the branch of the agency I worked for headed up a community based restoration program. The two types of projects I really felt good about were small dam removals and coral restoration. I was really surprises and pleased to see an image of my husband and myself on the plaque at a dam removal site in Plymouth, where we were documenting a dam removal as part of the work I was assigned to do. I have friends that live there now, and its fun to see the plaque and remember how cool it was to take down the series of dams there.

        • Yvette says:

          In the moment of crisis, the wise build bridges and the foolish build damns. ~ Nigerian Proverb

          On Celilo Falls and The Dalles Dam:

          The 15,000-year-old cascading falls that had cut into the basalt gorge was the most important fishing grounds to have existed anywhere, and served as the oldest continually inhabited settlement in North America.

          In a mere six hours the slack water pooled behind the dam and submerged Celilo’s cascading falls, and flooded Native villages eight miles upriver.

          Amazing how in only six hours a 15,000 year old falls can be buried. Progress or failure that can be attributed to humans’ lack of intelligence for the long term?


          Countless dams were built not because they were needed but because of the multi-decade competition between the BOR and ACOE. Progress? Maybe, but I think it’s far more weighted by egos and short term intelligence.

          • says:

            I do not know if I can post jpg photos on this site, but below are two photos reflecting on the Celio Falls of the Columbia River – now the site of the huge The Dalles Dam. The first photo is pre-dam before 1957 with the Native Americans using their traditional scoop net fishing techniques. The second photo is of a beautiful new long-house that the natives have built near the now submerged Celio Falls (and the dam). The natives still fish below the dam from the banks and are the only ones allowed to do so. Nothing like the old pre-dam days, however.



            • says:

              Sorry, I misspelled “Celilo” in Celilo Falls (near The Dalles, Oregon)

            • Louise Kane says:

              Ed I produced some documentaries on dam removals for NOAA back when I was on their team at the Habitat Restoration Center. I was lucky to spend a lot of time researching about the Celio Falls and because of my NOAA affiliation was granted the use of a tremendous amount of footage that the Bonneville Dam had in their archives. It was amazing to go through. I’m trying to remember what I did with the video I produced on the dam restorations we were targeting there. When I find it I’ll try and convert to a quicktime and post. I did find this quicktime file of the last cut that I did for the first small dam removal conducted in MA (circa 2006?) at Town Brook, PLymouth. I posted it on Utube should anyone care to watch it. My apologies for video quality the conversion process is hard on the original video.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Gary having worked at NOAA for 8 years, part of the time as a sea grant fellow, I can tell you the agency is just as susceptible to politics as others. They are also known to use and employ eradication of one species to favor another. Just saying. I agree the issue is complicated but the real reason is habitat loss, overfishing and dams. I’d much sooner support more dam removals that cormorant killing. There are hundreds of small dam removal projects across the country that would significantly improve fish habitat without requiring much sacrifice .

        • Gary Humbard says:

          To truly restore salmon in the northwest would take a minimum of the removal of Grand Coulee and the four dams on the Snake River and those are huge dams with a fair amount of lifespan left.

          As for NOAA, my extensive experience here in Oregon, was of a regulatory agency that required extremely stringent environmental safeguards when it came to federal timber sales and stream restoration projects. Even when the project entailed placement of large wood in streams, we had to go to great lengths to satisfy the agency and it was amazing that anything was accomplished.

          Whenever problems arise, all possible solutions should be brought forward. As I said before, we have spent hundreds of millions of dollars working to restore the habitat and protecting the salmon from over fishing, but have yet to address seals, cormorants and arctic terns (species that kill huge numbers of salmon every year). Ultimately, I trust NOAA’s scientists in their recommendation to have a portion of the total Cormorant population removed in order to help restore more salmon to the Columbia River system.

          • says:

            Gary:… The lifespan of the four lower Snake River dams is whatever we want to make it —- In many salmon restoration scientists opinion, the lifespan of these dams has ended.

            • WM says:

              ++The lifespan of the four lower Snake River dams is whatever we want to make it…++

              Who is we? The Bonneville Power Administration, WA farmers, the Port of Lewiston and the Corps of Engineers aren’t too keen on losing this water for hydropower, irrigation storage or the ability to travel upstream to the Port of Lewiston for barge grain transport, or which delivered the Hiway 12 Megaload for the Canadian tar sands.

              So, there remain lots of competing economic interests to salmon/steelhead restoration. I would like to see the dams gone, but would like to know with some accuracy the tradeoffs/impacts of doing so. No doubt there is much study left to do. BPA thinks it will take about a half billion dollars each year to replace the lost hydro ( ). This report was done in 2007, so some of this may have been ameliorated over the last few years as new wind power has gone on line, but surely not all.

              And, this year in particular the Cascade Mountains are at ultra-critically low snow pack which means less water to manage in the main stem of the Columbia, perhaps, over the water year, while snow melts and makes its way to the sea.

          • Rich says:


            As I recall, the 4 dams on the lower Snake River only generate about 4% of the total hydro-power generated in the BPA system. That could easily be offset by a little energy conservation.

          • aves says:

            This plan calls for the killing of at least 16,000 cormorants. 16,000! This amounts to 25% of the entire western population.

            Yet NOAA’s own data reveals no correlation between cormorant numbers and cormorant predation on salmon smolt. In other words, there is no information to support the idea that killing this many birds will increase salmon survival.

      • aves says:

        Arctic terns do not breed in Oregon or Washington. You’re thinking of Caspian terns.

  43. Louise Kane says:

    I know others here have seen the wolves of Chernobyl in the past. I revisited parts of it and picked up something I had not earlier. Locals were saying that 300 wolves had populated the area but when the scientists studying the wolves 25 years later did a projection they determine that only 120 existed. The same number in the nearby reference areas. Another example to me of stasis instead of the unchecked growth argument that inspires wolf management plans to include wolf hunting in their plans.

  44. Louise Kane says:

    Movie Medicine of the Wolf coming soon

  45. says:

    The $19 Billion Theft That’s Depriving Americans of Parks and Recreation

  46. Louise Kane says:

    For anyone ever needing evidence to counter those unreasonable claims that trapping doesn’t hurt the animal!
    Follow the pages to see the trapped coyote’s paw being worked on by a vet to the end where necrosis sets in despite all of the treatment that was performed. The coyote was found with a trap attached to its paw, and was brought by a humane wildlife officer to a rehab clinic. Unfortunately the tissues were so damaged it had to be humanely euthanized.

  47. Barb Rupers says:

    Some more recent news on the wolf shot in SE Whitman County, WA last Fall. The case had been turned over to that county last fall but the DA had taken no action to date.

    The information was released by the Washington Department Fish and Wildlife after an inquiry from a regional newspaper.

  48. Nancy says:

    Timz, I see it’s “rockin & rollin” over your way again 🙂

  49. Ida Lupine says:

    This is a gorgeous documentary. I love the traditional fishing. I saw it over at that wonderful High Country News. How life sustaining are salmon!

    Here’s the home site too and the link to the piece at HCN:

  50. rork says:

    For those interested, I haven’t heard it make news yet, but sure looks like you can walk to Isle Royale (in Lake Superior) again this year, and we have some brutal cold coming. My go-to is: and click on a map or two of choice. This was an event we thought would be rare in future, and maybe it is and it’s just coinky-dink it’s happening again. MI DNR is asking for wolf sightings in lower MI again, press release today (last year, none confirmed).

  51. Kathleen says:

    Apologies if already posted.
    Compassionate Conservation: More than “Welfarism Gone Wild”

    First 2 paragraphs:

    “The evolving field called compassionate conservation, in which the guiding principle “First do no harm” stresses the importance of individual nonhuman animals (animals), is gaining increasing global attention because almost animals need considerably more protection than they are currently receiving and many people, including researchers, can no longer justify or stomach harming and killing animals “in the name of conservation.” It builds on an agenda that calls for “doing science while respecting animals” and for protecting animals because they are intrinsically valuable, and do not only have instrumental value because of what they can do for us.

    “As science writer Warren Cornwall points out in his excellent essay called “There will be blood” (see also “Killing Barred Owls to Save Spotted Owls? Problems From Hell”), conservation has a bloody history and compassionate conservation strives to change these practices. An excellent discussion of ways in which conservation is ethically challenged can be found in John Vucetich and Michael Nelson’s essay called “The Infirm Ethical Foundation of Conservation” in a book I edited called Ignoring Nature No More: The Case for Compassionate Conservation.”

    • Louise Kane says:

      Hah, I had not seen that essay. One more reason to respect/admire Vucetich work. a much needed changing of the guard, I hope. Thanks for posting Kathleen. I am big supported of compassionate conservation ideals.

  52. Louise Kane says:

    I can’t for some reason post beneath Rork or JB’s latest posts

    to add one other note JB wrote that Congress doesn’t like scientists to challenge their assumptions or policy, well neither do wildlife agencies. Jon Way has been the subject of terrible discrimination because his research did not bolster MA predator management policy. Despite being widely published, and a researcher specializing in canid biology, the MA wildlife department routinely denies research permits, has prevented Jon from opening a Coyote Discovery Center that would have functioned like the Wolf Conservation Center and they have deliberately interfered with his university afflictions and continue to make his professional life miserable, as much as they can. The obstruction to Jon’s career is criminal. It takes a lot of bravery to stick to your research findings even when it would be a lot easier to comply, agree, and be silent.

  53. Yvette says:

    It’s good to hear about the work for the monarchs. Here is what I plan to do this spring/summer. For those interested in planting milkweed:

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Me too – plus milkweed plants are beautiful. I remember as a child seeing so many of these gorgeous caterpillars in the garden.

  54. Nancy says:

    Not quite wildlife news but just in case some of you worry about what might “ail” you, that hasn’t made mainstream news…

    • Professor Sweat says:

      My girlfriend spent a week in the hospital last December thanks to some campylobacter jejuni she acquired from undercooked chicken. I’d rather crack a rib than have to go through the symptoms she experienced.

  55. says:

    “Are Big Environmental Groups Selling Out the Environment?”
    by Richard Connif

  56. Nancy says:

    News from the Park:

    Warm weather for weeks, it’s like March around here. Last year it snowed just about everyday of the month of February.

  57. says:

    Nat. Elk Refuge (Wyoming) plan in review:

    I would not be surprised if this concentrated mass artificial feeding of elk (and a few bison) in winter is a recipe for an eventual disease disaster.

  58. Professor Sweat says:

    “Federal wildlife officials say DNA tests confirm a wolf accidently shot by a hunter in Utah was the same one seen in the Grand Canyon area last year.”

    • Yvette says:

      Some events infuriate to a point where I never forget them and the anger barely subsides. This is one of those events.

      1. I thought it was a coyote.
      2. No charges, no prosecution, and no fines. Has anyone ever been charged or prosecuted for killing an endangered wolf? Ever?
      3. The ‘hunter’s’ identification has been protected from the public. I could unleash on this given how women are treated in other unrelated situations. (entering women’s clinics or rape victims come to mind). Name him. He deserves to be a pariah of society though he would likely be hailed a hero in Utah.
      4. Individuals do matter. This wolf, Echo, mattered. She mattered for a host of reasons, both scientific and emotional. In fact, I wanted her to be named Esperanza (Hope), but given how she was killed and with the idiocy behind her death I’m glad she was named Echo. It fits.

      • Professor Sweat says:

        Agreed, history is doomed to repeat itself in most cases. It’s incredibly sad that she had to be one of those cases.

        If there is anything positive to be gained from this story, it’s allows us to reflect on the amazing ability of a wolves to cross vast distances and raised awareness of their persecution. This was a big story and it reached a lot of people. Echo’s death with not slip under the collective radar as so many of these instances do.

    • jon says:

      that hunter should be fined and jailed ASAP. That “I thought it was a coyote” excuse does not work anymore. Not surprising in the least bit that many hunters are trigger happy cowards.

    • Immer Treue says:

      In regard to ESA relisting, this is one of the reasons for relisting. The I thought it was a coyote statement just does not fly. Not knowing what you are shooting at is not an excuse. Perhaps I’ll plug a doe next year and say I thought it was a buck. Wonder how far I can get with that? At least they’re the same species.

      • Nancy says:

        Not a hunter Immer but I’ve always been curious about just how many animals one can shoot BEFORE deciding to putting a tag on it?

  59. skyrim says:

    Looks like Grand Canyon wolf the same as the one killed near Beaver.
    (Apologies if this has been posted)

    • Ida Lupine says:

      The title is a little ambiguous – Wolf killed in Utah also ‘seen’ in Grand Canyon? Why not ‘Wolf killed in Utah the same one seen in the Grand Canyon? Stories are never that ambiguous when it comes to alleged wolf complaints!

      A gentler wording isn’t going to make it more acceptable – wolf haters made it their business to get rid of her.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Thank you, Skyrim.

      Yes, the Grand Canyon wolf, “Echo,” and the shot dead wolf near Beaver, Utah, are the same wolf.

  60. Nancy says:

    “Earlier in the day, House Speaker John Boehner mocked Obama’s promised veto on the bill, saying the President is “standing with a bunch of left-fringe extremists and anarchists.”

    Fighting for the environment always seems to come with all sorts of titles attached 🙂

    • Louise Kane says:

      I wish just once Nancy I would see evidence of political leaders, environmentalists, and NGOS fighting back and using that label against the real extremists, those that squander natural resource (extractors), wildlife killers, animal abusers, and polluters etc.

  61. MAD says:

    I love my state legislators in Montana. They have such an incredible grasp on complex issues and resolutions for problems…from a local newspaper –

    “The sage grouse is on the verge of being declared an endangered species, and state officials fear this would prompt strict regulations on agriculture and oil industries.

    Gov. Steve Bullock is seeking a compromise, hoping to placate federal officials by working “Montana-made” solutions to the potential extinction of the bird.

    Rep. Mike Lang (R-Malta) said he reluctantly favored the governor’s plan because he didn’t want to see officials step in.

    “I don’t like the bird,” he said. “But I like the place they live – eastern Montana.”

  62. Louise Kane says:

    Not really wildlife related
    oh yes it is
    the corrupters

  63. timz says:

    The Idaho legislature is at it again taking on the important issues that keep it last in most meaningful statistics.

  64. Ed Loosli says:

    You are so right about how self destructive the Idaho office holders are to their own every-day citizens. My cousin served in the Idaho State legislature. However, after two terms he was voted out, because he was considered too liberal by his fellow Republicans, because they felt he was too strong a supporter of good quality Public Schools.

  65. Nancy says:

    Good to take a break and realize, same rants, same concerns but little has changed for the better:

    “Yippie doo rahy doo
    Yippie doo rahy day

    I wish Edward Abbey was walking ’round today”

  66. Ida Lupine says:

    From HCN:

    Speaking of which, I was disappointed in this week’s New Wild – Forests. Putting dollar values on wilderness and wildlife, calling oil and gas flares at drilling sites right at the boundary of what was described in the film as ‘the most bio-diverse place on Earth’ in the Amazon ‘beautiful’ (it is not, it’s hellish looking!), and elephants encroaching on farmland instead of what to do when farmland keeps expanding and there is nowhere else for the elephants to go or not enough food for them.

    They did show examples of the cork farmland in Portugal that benefits wilderness and wildlife, and a bad example in the same area where to control what people considered an ‘overpopulation’ of rabbits was too successful and messed things up. They were careful to say ‘small scale’ farming can have a beneficial effect – because what we’ve got now in no way benefits the environment.

    There’s a trend lately I’ve seen in the media where manmade disasters such as the iridescent sheen of oil spills and oil and gas flares are called ‘strangely beautiful’. Is this some kind of acceptance? They are not and never will be anything but examples of ugly destruction.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I did really like the Great Bear Rainforest and annual herring run though, that was beautiful.

      I realize that mankind has always altered the environment to suit him, but nowhere near at the mass technological scale of today and in the future. I worry that once these theories get a ‘pop culture’ understanding (like climate change), it will be interpreted as carte blanche to continue to do whatever we like. The emphasis should be on ‘small scale’.

  67. Kathleen says:

    “Eating Earth: Environmental ethics & dietary choice” by L. Kemmerer at Montana State University-Billings. Easily-digested (no pun intended!) and useful info on the impacts of farming, fishing, and hunting. Much of it deals specifically with topics frequently discussed here on TWN. My book review is here:

  68. Yvette says:

    I see this is dated for yesterday but didn’t see it posted on TWN. If this is a duplicate post, my apologies.

    A summary of Kline’s bill says that “the overpopulation of gray wolves in the Western Great Lakes region contributes to the decline of livestock, pets and other animals in the wild.”

    Overpopulation? Overpopulation according to who?

    • Louise Kane says:

      Thanks for posting Yvette, I wonder if the tribes could benefit by taking this position in creating wolf sight seeing and photography tours? the win win for wolves and an additional reason to continue supporting their protection.

      • Yvette says:

        Louise, I think that’s a good idea, especially given the close connection the Anishinaabe people have with wolves. I wish that WI DNR would have agreed to allow the buffer around the Bad River Band’s reservation boundaries like they requested. That buffer would still have been in the ceded territory where they have hunting and fishing rights to half of all tags/take. Of course, they refuse to hunt wolves.

    • Louise Kane says:

      I remember seeing Living with Wolves and when the Dutcher’s ran out of time on their agreement to study the wolves they brought them to a tribal reserve in Idaho. I think they lived out their lives happily, as Jim Dutcher commented on the death of the alpha at an old age.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      the article states: *The Environmental Policy Alliance’s Montana Green Decoys website highlights certain foundations that donate to the Montana Wildlife Federation, such as the Wyss Foundation, and claims that the Federation is a front because it accepts money from these groups and because it advocates for public lands.*

      A question from the outside looking in; Don’t all “sportsman” groups advocate for public lands in general and for public land habitat conservation in particular?? Is the Environmental Policy Alliance recommending turning our public lands into private shooting preserves with canned hunting?? Very strange.

    • Yvette says:

      This sounds like seriously bad news. I hadn’t heard of this group, but was immediately struck by who would have the kind of money for this type of campaign, and then, the big money to shroud it all in secrecy. Next, to target hunters and anglers as ‘left-wing lobbying groups’ is way off-kilter. It was a big red flag. The question is what does Montana have that they want? Public land. Why? My first guess was it’s related to fossil fuel extraction and/or development. Probably energy. They probably want to throw fuel on the ‘state’s right’s’ groups that want federal land turned over to the state.

      Is it coincidence that this Environmental Policy Alliance has the acronym, EPA? Bad joke, but they seem dangerous and potentially powerful. This group is connected to or run by Berman and Company, a public relations specialist group.

      An interesting article from Huffpost.

      “Berman makes his money as a corporate hired gun, setting up front groups to denigrate public interest organizations that threaten his clients’ bottom lines,” Melanie Sloan, executive director for the nonprofit watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington told HuffPost. “I’m not surprised he’s attacking groups and agencies focused on the environment, given the deep pockets of those interested in paying to stop climate change legislation and regulation.”

      That article was related to their energy interests and anti-climate change, EPA (the real one); and anything related to alternative energy and the environment.

      Looks like they are going after the hunters and anglers now. The Bozeman article stated they are trying to label hunters and anglers as eco-terrorists, which we know they are not. Welcome to the club, Elk.

      I doubt they will succeed, but never underestimate the power of a slick marketing campaign.

      Thanks for sharing this one. This sounds like a scary group. Or am I being too conspiracy theory-ist?

      • Ed Loosli says:

        I don’t want to get in trouble by revealing their full names publically, but my guess as to who is responsible for the big money behind the phony “Environmental Policy Alliance” are the oil/gas billionaire brothers with the initials – Charles and David Koch.

  69. Ed Loosli says:

    Buffalo and “ag-gag”: Battling to Save Yellowstone’s Bison

  70. Louise Kane says:

    amount of plastic waste dumped in ocean unconscionable

  71. Leslie says:

    This could produce some interesting recommendations as it sounds like WY G&F wants to engage more avenues for funding including enviros and others.

  72. Yvette says:

    I hope everyone will read this short article about a female chimp. It’s not quite wildlife since she is captive, but it is an important reminder the depth of emotion, intelligence, and capacity to grasp reality.

    My opinion is this happens in species other than great apes, too. And it is NOT anthropomorphism.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Isn’t that something. The horror I have is that with animal sensitivity, intelligence and awareness, that we treat them so abysmally, and what they must feel and they have awareness of what we do to them. They can’t speak or defend themselves from us. When many of our own species appear to have zero empathy or sensitivity, or intelligence. I really can’t care when WM drones on about how much this or that costs, I really don’t care.

      OK, now I’m really going – 🙂

  73. Nancy says:

    Huh. Would of thought that was a given for anyone who enjoys the slopes come wintertime here. Best to fine line against stupidity these days 🙂

  74. Yvette says:

    New Mexico Senate has passed a law to ban coyote killing contests. It will only be a misdemeanor, but the law passed and that is great news.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      “It’s really not the kind of image we want our state to have,” said Sen. Mark Moores, an Albuquerque Republican sponsoring Senate Bill 253.”

      That is good news – thanks! 🙂

  75. rork says:
    About wolves in MN. A few Mech quotes. Dan Stark saying there’d be less wolves if they had always been kept on the endangered list. Explanation absent though – perhaps reporter lacks curiosity. Maybe Stark thinks there’d be even less deer right now from extra wolf-caused deaths, and lower deer would have meant lower wolves. Perhaps you also need to think that hunting wolves has had no effect on their numbers – lower numbers now actually being due to deer scarcity. I’m thinking that even if true, the effect would be small.

    • Immer Treue says:

      It’s a biomass thing. The more deer to eat, the more wolves there will be. This is the most likely cause for wolf increase in Mech’s wolf/moose study area. 1999 blowdown, prescribed burns as preventative measures and relatively mild winters from 99 til 2008, deer population boomed, and more wolves resulted.

      Will be tough winter in wolves as temps are relatively mild and perhaps 8 inches of snow on ground. With fewer deer, and current conditions, many wolves won’t make it through the winter here.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Thank you for this article on eagles: I am wondering if the leg-hold trap that caught this eagle is courtesy of the infamous dept. of Wildlife Services?
      Also, the article says: “In the last five years, the Wild Heart Ranch has taken in almost 20 bald eagles, and King said many of them are too injured to make a full recovery. It’s all been from the invasion of people,” she said. “More than half our birds have been lead poisoned, which is secondary lead poisoning. It’s from eating animals that died from lead shot.”

      It is long overdue for all states to ban lead ammunition while hunting. California requires unleaded ammunition when hunting in the Central part of the state where Condors might be affected and a full statewide ban goes into effect in 2019. Hopefully, other states will join California in requiring unleaded ammunition – The side-effects on collateral wildlife from lead ammunition are just too great to continue with the status quo.

      • Yvette says:

        Ed, I’ve wondered the same thing about lead ammunition. I don’t understand why it’s been yet another divisive issue. We’ve known the dangers posed by lead poisoning for a long time. Not only are wildlife getting poisoned, but the lead remains in the environment. The lead from spent ammunition and fishing tackle will leach into the soil. Then it becomes a potential non-point source pollutant which can be carried to streams and lakes via runoff. I imagine it can percolate into the groundwater, too, though I’ve not read anything about that. I think gun ranges pose the biggest threat for potential NPS pollutants since the lead is concentrated in on area. It’s serious since metals stay around for a long time. I don’t understand why this is such a divisive issue when people know it’s a serious contaminate and the solution is simple.

        A couple of years ago I followed Annette on facebook when she tried to save an eagle that came in with lead poisoning. Her and the volunteers put their hearts and souls into saving that beauty. ( but they do that will every animal that comes to them) He would rebound then get sick again. That happened a few times until he finally succumbed to the lead poisoning. Annette is very good at what she does; it’s all done on donations and with volunteers; and she is the real deal. She isn’t into this for media attention or money. I have a huge amount of respect for Annette.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I don’t understand why lead shot is being held onto so tightly either – it’s shocking that these shooters don’t care about wildlife, but don’t they even care about polluted water or the harm lead poisoning does to people, esp. children?

        • Ed Loosli says:

          Ida and Yvette:
          Regarding lead ammunition for hunting, I think there is simply a stubbornness in hunters to evolve their thinking from that of their fathers and grand-fathers. Lead ammo apparently also costs slightly less than copper and other unleaded ammo. Tests show that unleaded ammo is just as effective at killing than lead ammo, but the NRA and others refuse to take the latest science into account. Basically however, I think hunters’ push-back against the banning of lead shot and ammo is that hunters simply do not like to be “told what to do” by the government, even if means a healthier environment and healthier wildlife.

          • Yvette says:

            I got curious as to why anyone would be opposed to a lead ammo ban when there are alternatives. I figured costs might be part of the reason, but I think it’s more inline with not wanted to be told what to do. Also, they always think someone is out to try and stop them from hunting or they’re ‘going to take their guns’.


            I use to phoo-phoo the regulations and emphasis on lead regulations. I understood that exposure was a danger, but thought EPA and HUD regs had overblown the significance. Afterall, I grew up in old houses exposed to lead based paint (never ate it!), leaded gasoline, and generally grew up during a period where we were potentially exposed to lead from many different sources. I realized my error when I learned more about the lead levels in blood of children from the Tar Creek superfund area in Picher, OK. It is, or was, the largest superfund site in the nation. There have been countless kids exposed (at least a generation) to enough lead that it has significantly and permanently lowered their IQs. Many have been left with learning disabilities. There was a lady that worked in a different department that purchased a historic old home. One of my co-workers warned her to be careful when sanding the woodwork. she ended up in the hospital with lead poisoning, but she recovered. The little dust mask she was wearing was not sufficient protection. I cringe when I think of the old places I lived where my daughter was probably exposed to some lead created by the dust from opening and lowering windows. Thankfully, she is highly intelligent, so I guess she didn’t get too much exposure.

            We had another case our department had to investigate. It was an infant with high levels of lead in his blood. He was having severe problems and it led back to lead fishing weights. I don’t remember if he fully recovered but at least the exposure was discovered and removed. That was a sad situation with him being just a baby.

            I think if those people that wrote that ‘Outdoor Lie’ article knew the real dangers of lead exposure they might change their minds.

            • Kathleen says:

              Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) has made protecting lead bullets a 2nd Amendment issue. ‘Nuff said. For anyone who’s interested, a fixture on my home page for several years has been documentation on this–the lead bullet ban in CA to save condors; Jon Tester’s indefensible pandering to “sportsmen”; and five short videos showing lead poisoning in bald & golden eagles and condors. Scroll down to bottom of page:

              • Louise Kane says:

                I’d rather see anyone in office than Tester, he is a good example of a vile politician.

                • W. Hong says:

                  I was reading some archived information a couple of weks ago and they were talking about a senator named Burns and said that Tester was a much better senator, I searched for information about Burns and have not really found much information.

                • Ed Loosli says:

                  Ex-Republican Montana Senator Conrad Burns was openly corrupt, while Jon Tester seems to keep his corruption to the cattle and energy industries a little more under the table.


                • Jeff N. says:

                  W. Hong,

                  Since you are recently from China and seem to have an interest in the subject of North American wildlife and related issues, I’m curious to find out your views of the wolf and brown bear in China and how these two species fit into the Chinese culture. what can you tell me?

            • Elk375 says:

              “I got curious as to why anyone would be opposed to a lead ammo ban when there are alternatives.”

              There are sometimes no alternatives. I only shoot double barrel side by sides shotguns with double triggers. Three of the four shotguns I have (modest quality) will not shoot steel shot and alternatives to steel shot are three dollars a shotgun shell. I have not hunted waterfowl in 30 years because of the lead shot ban; I do not oppose a lead shot ban on waterfowl. But, I am very opposed to a ban on lead shot for upland game birds.

              About 5 blocks from where I live Westley Richards has there American store (Westley Richards is a 200 year old London gun maker). At any given time the store has several $70,000 to $100,000 shotguns (Prudys, Westley Richards or Holland and Holland) shooting steel shot in one of those guns would be like putting diesel in a Ferrari — it’s no no.

              Secondly high volume shotgun shooters are not able to reload steel shot. Federal Ammunition Company has published the reloading information on steel shot but has warned against reloading steel shot because a slight mistake could develop very dangerous pressures.

              Rifle bullets that would be a long essay for another day. I do know something about small arms, ammunition, reloading and ballistics. Maybe sometime I will opine.

              • Yvette says:

                Thank you, Elk. I was hoping you would comment, and since you hunt and seem to know quite a bit about different types of guns, I thought you would be a good one to add a different side to this issue.

                • Mark L says:

                  Anyone want to comment on use of lead sinkers while fishing? Seems a lot closer to the water to start with (ahem!) and more frequently used year-round.

                • rork says:

                  Mark: I’ve seen some folks try to rationalize lead weights is not as big a problem as ammo, which might be true but irrelevant – I’ve not been convinced it’s not wicked. I use mostly tin, that while still cheap, is 7.26 g/cm^3 while lead is 11.3. Tungsten is out there (19.3!!), as is steel, and likely lots of alloys I’ve never seen. A ban might actually have the upside of getting more different competing products on the shelves.
                  A review:

  76. Yvette says:

    This is a bit of a different opinion on ‘habituated’ coyotes.

  77. Ed Loosli says:

    Thanks for the link: This is an excellent reading of coyote behavior. The article is geared toward urban and suburbanites, however, I should think that many ranchers could benefit equally from its insights.

  78. Nancy says:

    For what it’s worth, some interesting thoughts and IMHO, Ed Abbey would of given it +1, if he were around today and blogging on this site 🙂 🙂 🙂

  79. Louise Kane says:

    OK WM you said it some short time ago

    ” a heartbeat away”
    what a moron she is

  80. Louise Kane says:

    krill and copepods not covered in Pacific Fishery Management Plan, despite a better approach not managing krill that are already heavily fished is disasterous.

    On another note, in doing some research I read that the US is the 3rd most populated country in the world
    I always tend to think of third world countries as creating the excessive population “problem”. I know we are the among the highest consumer/polluters. Now we also have the distinction of being one of the most populated.

    How much of our wealth comes from healthy natural resources and how much have we squandered? I wish humans would refrain from having multiple children for a long time. We are not sustainable no matter how we like to spin it. Its not “someone else” causing the problem, we are in the lead.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      The birth-rate in the United States is at an all time low…and the reason the U.S. still has an expanding population is mainly due to our generous immigration laws and most importantly to massive illegal immigration. The same pretty much goes for Europe also, who’s local women have birth-rates below the zero population growth rate. China and Japan are also below zero population growth birth rates.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Ed there are a hell of a lot of people in the US that have lots of kids, they have the money and they think its ok. I don’t want to get in the immigration discussion I just feel each of us has the personal responsibility to limit our reproductivity, especially if we are educated! It doesn’t matter whether a diaper in a landfill, or plastic milk container, or toilet paper comes from a wealthy family or not. it all creates the same issues. I know it will be hard for everyone to sacrifice (and I know it is a sacrifice for many) to limit their desire to have numerous kids but its going to have to become a real discussion soon, painful or not. Humans are past carrying capacity. I’ve watched members of my family that I love very much have multiple children and while I love their offspring very much, I feel extreme anxiety at each announced pregnancy. I know I am unusual, but seeing babies in families with more than one child usually creates the same kind of anxiety as flying up and down the east coast or into a new city somewhere and seeing the mass of humanity against the backdrop of almost non existent green space. I did make the choice to limit to one child because I felt it was right. But my mom gave me the population bomb to read when I was a child, that and the Lester Brown World Watch. Essays on excessive human population growth should be mandatory in schools.

    • Yvette says:

      “We are not sustainable no matter how we like to spin it. Its not “someone else” causing the problem, we are in the lead.”

      ++ Louise. I think that applies to many issues. Problem is we’re walking backward. No, we running backward at a sprint.

      I watched a documentary over the weekend called “Plastic Paradise”. It was about the problem of plastic in the ocean. Put it on your list, especially since you live close to the ocean. Ironically, today I came across this recent article in Science Daily.

      Then I came across this,

      Because of the idiot OK representative and his christian value ideologue there was a link to the following group, the Black Robe Regiment, and that one scares me.

      You are in a liberal state. Me, I’m engulfed by Black Robe mentality on a daily basis. Here is how bad it truly is, I know a couple of people that honestly believe the earth is 6,000 years old. There is no convincing them otherwise. How does anyone even talk to people that believe such nonsense and convince them to limit their children to 1 or 2? These are the people that want to take control of the schools and end AP classes. They don’t think about plastic in the ocean or the ramifications that are happening. They don’t think about ecology or attempting ecological balance in our many different natural systems. To some of these people science, ecology, environment….those words are like voodoo. Yet, I’m inundated (even via work email and at state and tribal meetings (pray for rain!!!) with invitations for pray meetings.

      A little bit of magic and it will all be okay.

      My frustration is showing.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Yvette, I have seen that documentary but thanks for posting it. I have a friend who used to live in St, Thomas when we did. Like us, he traveled a lot when working on film projects. In our work related travel we worked on cruise ship once (the worst form of travel ever). We saw them dumping trash overboard. It was one of the most disturbing events I had ever seen. My friend used to get ballistic about the cruise ships dumping trash off the Caribbean coast. He is a calm person generally unruffled but get him on the subject of plastic trash in the oceans and he becomes solemn and determined to get everyone on board with his outrage. I have to admit its one of the reasons I love him so much.

        As for MA being liberal we are feeling the red creep as the population ages and wealthy retirees, investors and nouveau riche come in and gobble up coastal properties. Its still liberal but there is a fair amount of that kind of determined ignorance. Yet thankfully I have not had to argue the age of the earth! Yikes thats sad. Glad there are people like you to counter that sort of nonsense.

      • Nancy says:

        Eskimo: “If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?”
        Priest: “No, not if you did not know.”
        Eskimo: “Then why did you tell me?”

        — Annie Dillard, ‘Pilgrim at Tinker Creek’ A good read, Yvette 🙂

        • Yvette says:

          Nancy, you always post something that lightens the frustration. Thank you! Dang, I love reading your posts and exploring the links you post.

          • Nancy says:

            “To some of these people science, ecology, environment….those words are like voodoo”

            Can relate Yvette 🙂 Weekly bible study gatherings, are a lot more important than addressing environmental concerns. Sad.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              We all know that sometimes religious extremism of all kinds have led the world into trouble, but I would say that it is very arrogant for mankind to think he or she knows it all. I was reading just yesterday how everything we’ve been told about cholesterol is changing, and that the Big Bang theory may be all wrong. So we shouldn’t hold on to science like a new religion either. We don’t have all the answers, and our methods of looking for them are flawed. It is good to ask questions and study, but to take a humble view of our place in the world, IMO.

              I do think that many times Nancy has interesting info to share, but I think we should all stay out of the personal attacks zone. If we disagree, say so, but let’s not drag out post after post of it. For example, I didn’t understand what Nancy means by ‘bandwagon’. What bandwagon? Or that this blog is just about Western issues and people who live in the West. I don’t appreciate that, because protecting our country’s wildlife is in the interest of every part of the country.

              I don’t want to get into protracted arguments that clutter up Ralph’s blog with nonsense. I’ve had some constructive criticism aimed my way and I have taken it to heart and tried to respect other people’s views. These topics can get very heated.


              • Yvette says:

                Religion or Science…….I get sick of people thinking it is a box to check off. I had that conversation with my sister, a reformed religious extremist, and she still struggles to grasp that concept. She wanted to place me in one or the other boxes. “So you believe in science?”

                If you were living in OK, KS, TX, or any of the other religiouscratic states rather than Massachusetts you might have a different attitude.

                Ida, given your prolific posting habits I’d be careful about accusing others of ‘clogging the blog’.

                We all must examine the reasons we struggle to find a healthy balance in conservation and wildlife management. We need to examine the policies of that management, and the politics that drive the decisions. If a region’s dominate religious views adversely effect the educational process that leads to making appropriate decisions then it matters.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  Yvette, you misunderstood – I did not accuse anyone of clogging the blog, I was talking about myself only in that instance. All I said was personal attacks can veer off into that category. Sometimes a state can be too liberal – I don’t like extremes on either side.

                  We have to be careful about pop culture science too, or ‘junk’ science, as the case may be.

                  Now, I’m not going to continue with this.

                • Louise Kane says:

                  +1 “If a region’s dominate religious views adversely effect the educational process that leads to making appropriate decisions then it matters.”

                  I think its so interesting that religiosity prevents people from accepting what should be indisputable facts. Especially if you trace the origins of religious dogma. With some little digging one can easily unearth political aspirations, control of the masses or individual advancement as the underlying motivation behind the most fervent religiosity. Some of the most spiritual people I know do not align themselves with a particular religion but yet their philosophies ring much truer than any of the mainstream religions I’ve been forced to endure. My stepmother decided that my sister and I must go to Church, it didn’t matter which but to some institution. So instead of spending Sundays outdoors with my Dad, we were dragged to Jehovah Witness meetings (my aunt belonged to that particular destructive sect). We endured that for a couple of years. Then when we refused to go anymore and our rebellion was taken seriously, we were sent to a Catholic Church that another aunt was a member of. Now I am not kidding you, my Aunt’s marriage dissolved when she and the priest (their marriage counselor) fell in love and she left her husband. The priest died from cancer. Finally, we were trudged off to a local Episcopalian church. By that time we were old enough to refuse any more forced servitude. My sister was released from the obligation and I worked incessantly to rid my family of the hateful stepmother (she truly was). After all these years I still have a strong disdain for organized religions. Most are destructive, inflexible institutions that have caused great social tumult, cruelty and injustice. In the US, I equate religiosity with a willingness to indulge in ignorance, and a desire to prevent social equality, stifle intellectual advancement and repress minorities. I would exclude Unitarians who are more social and environmental justice champions than anything. I admit I am skewed by some pretty black experiences. My Dad who protected us from most of life’s terrible times was unable to prevent my stepmother and aunts from dragging us through their own conflicted paths to find meaning. I think that most religious views especially in the conservative trending red states do adversely effect educational processes. Overly zealous members of religious sects scare the hell out of me.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  I agree with you, Louise. But the problem I see is that anyone with any kind of spiritual or religious leanings is lumped in with an extremism, and then is thought to be automatically anti-science.

                  For example, how did we get on this subject anyway? Was it because I used the word ‘sin’ in relation to the way humanity abuses wildlife? Well, I stand by that. It is a sin. There’s more than one definition of the word.

                  I need spirituality to ‘get away’ from myself and mankind, and to contemplate something better than ourselves.

                  I don’t like conformity, and I see that with both liberal and conservative extremes, on both sides.

              • rork says:

                “So we shouldn’t hold on to science like a new religion either. We don’t have all the answers, and our methods of looking for them are flawed. It is good to ask questions and study, but to take a humble view of our place in the world, IMO.”
                Sounds like you are thinking about people who talk about science, but don’t really know how it works or what it is even.

          • Louise Kane says:

            +1 about Nancy

  81. Louise Kane says:

    New video about wolf hunting in Wisconsin.

  82. Louise Kane says:

    Don Molde working to open dialogue to ban coyote killing contests in Nevada. Way to go!

    New Mexico is considering a ban also.

    keep em coming

  83. JB says:

    Quick wolf reality check: MtFWP data estimate that there were 138,000 elk in 2004 and there are 158,000 elk now–and elk range has expanded during that time. Please return to your regularly scheduled programming.

    2004 –
    2014 –

    • Elk375 says:


      That is right. But where are the elk expanding to? The elk are expanding east on to vast tracts of private lands which have limited access.

      My nephew grew up on a farm where the Bighorn River runs into the Yellowstone River in Eastern Montana; he loves to hunt. Some years ago he said “uncle, I could go hunting where every I wanted until the elk came”. His father who past away one year ago today was working one of there fields many years ago and two bull elk walk through the field. He stopped the tractor and watched them for sometime and told the story for awhile. The story soon became daily sightings of elk and then the elk were destroying the sugar beet and corn crops — elk were everywhere.

      See the elk would come into the fields at night go to the hills before daylight. The adjoining ranch was pine covered hills and was purchased by Frank Boreman, the astronaut, and hunting was limited to the rich and famous.

      • Ralph Maughan says:


        That lack of access is why the plans of the Montana Republicans for our public lands needs to be defeated.

      • JB says:


        Of course the eastern parts of MT are where expansion is occurring–western MT is generally saturated.

        I understand that access for hunting is a problem and, frankly, I’m sympathetic. However, I would point out that Montanans have made their own problem. It wasn’t (that) long ago that the ability to access “unenclosed” lands for the purposes of hunting was unquestioned. The private property rights folks put an end to this ‘right of access’ over the course of the last century, and now these chickens have come home to roost. In some respects, Montanans are getting exactly what they deserve for fixating so much on property rights. Perhaps all of the Midwesterner and Californians that are moving to Montana will change this…?

        • JB says:

          Sorry; hit “reply” too soon. I meant to add…

          In any case, my point was that the sky is not falling — elk are more abundant than when wolves were reintroduced, and they are continuing to expand. Montanans need to stop blaming wolves for their loss of elk hunting opportunities and take a good long, hard look in the mirror.

        • Elk375 says:

          ++ Montanans are getting exactly what they deserve for fixating so much on property rights. Perhaps all of the Midwesterner and Californians that are moving to Montana will change this…?++

          There are the ones that are shutting down access so they have there own private reserve. In the old days when a rancher made his money from production and land had a reasonable value it was easier to gain access. Money has changed it all.

          • WM says:

            Elk and JB,

            So, I am guessing Frank Borman and the other financial interests on the Circle B Ranch or other properties they hold out of Big Horn aren’t too excited about wolves, since it would appear they run a for profit cattle operation, as well as holding some elk. Wanna bet those wolves, if they are present on large private ranches aren’t counted, if they exist at all? I expect there is a little self help going on and just not discussed much.

            • JB says:

              ” I expect there is a little self help going on and just not discussed much.”

              Assuming, of course, that (a) wolves are there; (b) they –the ranch–know they’re there, and (c) the wolves have caused enough of a problem to warrant some action.

              • WM says:


                This raises another issue – private land with elk that nobody can hunt unless they get permission and maybe throw a few hundred dollars in the direction of the landowner, and this could be land on which the owner also raises cattle. While the public may have an interest in wolves there, it would appear the owner who is trying to raise cattle keeping cost of good sold down, and keeping elk numbers up would have little interest in the presence of wolves in any numbers. They, by the way, are unlikely to await a situation where “wolves have caused enough of a problem to warrant some action.” What is your advice for these operations?

                • Elk375 says:


                  ++maybe throw a few hundred dollars in the direction of the landowner,++

                  Try a few thousand dollars. I have a friend of mind who is an outfitter and outfits north of the N Bar and Pronghorn. Each elk killed is $3000. The sad thing is that 80 acres separates the public from 5 contiguous sections of state and federal land.

                • JB says:

                  “… it would appear the owner …would have little interest in the presence of wolves in any numbers. ”

                  Same might be said of cougars, or bears, or hell how about wetlands? Know what else landowners don’t like, how about freeways, powerplants, malls, agriculture (ever been near a pig farm?), clear cuts, etc., ad nauseum.

                  Just so we’re clear, is the principle you’re advocating that landowners should get to do whatever they want with their lands–the public good be damned? Cause that’s kinda what you sound like.

                • JB says:

                  You might enjoy this essay:

                  Freyfogle, Eric T. “Goodbye to the public-private divide.” Envtl. L. 36 (2006): 7.


                • WM says:


                  I’m not advocating what you suggest. Only wanted to give a little reality check for what is likely happening in the real world, far from the asphalt highways, cities, academia and the rule-makers and federal judges in Washington D.C.

                  And, any other predators that impinge on these operations are mostly likely also addressed, as well though the change agents are more likely to follow state law.

                • WM says:


                  ++Freyfogle, Eric T. “Goodbye to the public-private divide.” Envtl. L. 36 (2006): 7.++

                  Yes, a very good essay that puts things in perspective. Should be required reading for students in any “public lands” oriented curriculum, as well as maybe agricultural curriculums.

                  At points, I kept thinking of “Camelot.” On a more pragmatic level I also thought of the slight differences of levels of sovereigns and how they govern in America, whether our national government or the different states. I also thought how a landscape with fewer federally OWNED lands might be managed for the common good. The prospect was pretty scary, because in the end it would seem parochial interests would continue to rule the day.

                  I am equally concerned that at the national level the federal “Grazing Improvement Act,” inches ever closer to becoming law, and gutting FLPMA (and the powers of BLM and USFS over environmental review of grazing matters). I haven’t been following it lately but it is my understanding it has passed the House, and is out of Committee in the Senate.

                  Perhaps Ralph or Ken could update its progress.


                  As for the elk on private land that we were discussing earlier. Don’t hold your breath for hunter access minus some serious money exchanging hands (as Elk points out).

          • JB says:


            Are you suggesting that migrants to Montana are more concerned with property rights (and the legislation enforcing it) than long term residents?

            • Elk375 says:

              Yes, I am. In the good old days, the late 60’s, I could go anywhere and ask permission to hunt and never was denied. We would leave Billings, Montana on antelope opener and drive to Miles City and beyond, stop and ask several ranchers if we could hunt. Just close the gates, be careful of cattle and stay on the roads. Try that today.

              I have hunted the N Bar Ranch and the Pronghorn Ranch, on the east end of the Snowy Mountain in Fergus County, many times. Knock on the door and was always welcome to hunt. Today the Welks Brothers, from Texas, own the ranch and one can not even get to the front door because of a gate many miles from the ranch house.

              Ranch land has a Cap Rate, sales price divided by the Net Operating Income, of 15 to 20 plus. No way can a ranch a pay for itself with that economic scenario. People purchasing property in Western Montana and now Eastern Montana are those with deep pockets and want no one else trespassing, I can’t blame them.

              I know several ranch appraisers and brokers who feel that Western Montana properties increase or decrease similar to the stock market. People with deep do not want much to do with people that post on The Wildlife News.

              • WM says:


                Just curious, you ever have any dealings with the Corette family (same as the power plant is named for)?

              • JB says:

                I think you may be confusing people with “deep pockets” (many of whom are migrants from other states) with people who migrate from other states generally. Assuming those with deep pockets are representative of the rest of us is the error. Tell you what, I’ve got data that will let us settle the question (or at least will allow for general comparisons between NRM and GLs residents). I’ll get back with you.

  84. Nancy says:

    US and beyond:

    “Maximizing profit was prioritized over safety issues, said the board”

    • Nancy says:

      Very, Very Cool Barb!! Thanks for posting this link. Made a note to stop bitching about Xmas music in November 🙂

  85. timz says:

    It won’t be long until wolves will be blamed for this.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Here is another take from Oregon – Op Ed by W.E. Nisbet:
      “Hunters who use ATVs are hurting Oregon’s elk population!”

    • Nancy says:

      Maybe, maybe not Timz, till some get around to realizing what’s really going on:

      Love the comments below the article 🙂

      District of Columbia on the inbound list was a real surprise. Wealthy politicians perhaps on the move, from “outlying” areas?

      • Yvette says:

        Those comments were hilarious, but I want to know how in the h&ll did Oklahoma make #9 on the inbound? We are the ‘not quite’ state.

        Not quite south enough to be southern.
        Not quite west enough to be western.
        Not quite Southwest enough to be southwestern.
        Not quite near enough an ocean to be laid back.
        Not quite near enough mountains to be pretty.
        Not quite enough snow in the winter to have winter sports and fun.
        Not quite cool enough in the summer to escape hell season.

        Wow, we hit the top 10 in something besides HS dropout rates and teen pregnancy. We incarcerate more women than any other state. Wow, people are moving here? 😉

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I’m not sure where I’d like to retire to. I used to think Northern CA, now I think Vermont. It sure won’t be the Mountain West.

  86. Barb Rupers says:

    Oregon Chub (Oregonichthys crameri) first fish to be removed from the federal Endangered Species List:

    • rork says:

      Thanks Barb. Oregon’s page about this wonderful, beautiful, fascinating (no sarcasm!) fish had this slightly amusing note about the big male’s size:
      “Only males larger than 25 millimeters (1 inch) spawn, and males more than 35 millimeters (1.4 inches) defend territories”

  87. Louise Kane says:!summary-of-bc-wolves-and-caribou/c1avu

    summary on Alberta wolf cull – caribou and wolves

  88. Louise Kane says:

    Letter to editor about trapping noting the callow disregard by former wildlife biologist for the trapped animals

  89. Barb Rupers says:

    Twin moose end up being relocated north of Mt. Spokane rather than killed by Washington game officials after raising concerns in the Palouse wheat farming area near Fairfield, Washington.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      I noted with interest in your linked moose article that it was private citizens who rallied to the defense of the two moose calves, and it was the Washington wildlife officials who wanted to kill them.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      It rather looked like the person feeding the bear was trying to discourage paws on the window ledge rather than attempting to pet it. There was no attempt to touch the bear when only its head came up for the tidbit.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Wow – did you see those claws? 🙂

  90. Ed Loosli says:

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service restores endangered species protections to gray wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Michigan — and Wyoming (Feb 19, 2015).

    • WM says:

      To summarize, the status of the gray wolf (canis lupis) is “Endangered” under the Endangered Species Act as of February 19, 2015 ( ):

      U.S.A.: All of AL, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA,
      IA, IN, IL, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO,
      MS, NC, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OK, PA,
      RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, and WV; and
      portions of AZ, NM, OR, UT, and WA as follows:
      (1) Northern AZ (that portion north of the centerline
      of Interstate Highway 40);
      (2) Northern NM (that portion north of the centerline
      of Interstate Highway 40);
      (3) Western OR (that portion of OR west of the
      centerline of Highway 395 and Highway 78 north of
      Burns Junction and that portion of OR west of the
      centerline of Highway 95 south of Burns Junction);
      (4) Most of Utah (that portion of UT south and west
      of the centerline of Highway 84 and that portion of
      UT south of Highway 80 from Echo to the UT/WY
      Stateline); and
      (5) Western WA (that portion of WA west of the
      centerline of Highway 97 and Highway 17 north of
      Mesa and that portion of WA west of the centerline

      The status is “Threatened” in MN.

      The status in ID, MT and portions of WA, OR and UT (NRM DPS not including WY) not covered in the paragraph above is unprotected except as covered by law of those states.

      The status for the WY portion of the NRM DPS remains “Non-essential Experimentatal” population which gives greater flexibility to manage “problem” wolves.


      So that is it for now, until the “riders” start their way thru Congress.

  91. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Florida panther, who helped ensure species’ survival, dies

  92. Ida Lupine says:

    I can’t seem to be able to comment re the Allan Savory post. A couple of things – Allan Savory’s idea may be a fantasy, but so is thinking that people are not going to eat meat:

    1. I do not eat red meat myself, but I beg to differ with the author of the article’s assessment that ‘there are no red meat-eating environmentalists. I’m sure there are environmentalists, or people who consider themselves environmentalists, who still eat red meat, and they are here on this blog. Does this mean they are not real environmentalists? What do we call or categorize the red meat eaters – anti-environmentalists?

    2. People aren’t going to stop eating meat ‘overnight’, if ever. It’s just not realistic to think that, especially as the world population continues to get larger. Some developing nations are eating more meat and dairy than ever as they become more prosperous, and develop a more Westernized diet through trade. My thoughts are that we can be encouraged to eat much, much less of it, and raise livestock in a much more humane, environmentally sound manner.

    3. Allan Savory may be wrong – but I do have questions about how hooved animals have made the soil and grasslands better through their trampling and waste, such as bison and wild horses, over millennia, the land and grass even wonderfully adapted to them. Maybe certain areas, such as desert and drought prone, might not be suitable for livestock, but prairies might benefit? Why did it work in one instance and not another – is it that livestock are confined to relatively small areas than bison had been in the past, so that the same area gets overused?

    I don’t like the idea of human-managed environment (at all!), but with human needs always going to be put first and our population continuing to grow, what else can we do?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Is that the bandwagon? I’m not on it, just questioning it. 🙂

    • Ed Loosli says:

      What can we do? We can get the livestock off of the public lands in the West where they cause havoc with native species like bison, elk, wolves and grizzly bears, and equally important we should get the livestock off the semi-arid lands and deserts of the American Southwest – that’s what. Please remember that the American Southwest was never prime bison habitat. Please also remember that only 3% of beef produced in the United States comes from our Public lands (BLM and Forest Service), so all this environmental misery is caused by a tiny minority of self-interested commercial livestock owners.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I don’t think I ever said that the Southwest was prime bison habitat, in fact I did mention that there are areas unsuitable, such as desert and drought-prone. I wasn’t referring to those areas only.

        All this environmental misery is caused by 430 million (and growing) human beings in this country, and the rest of the 7 billion. Until they decide to do something, like not reading that Salon article over their fast food hamburger at lunch, not much else can be done. Ranching is only a symptom, and we have let them become the force they are. I don’t think that food production anywhere is good for the environment in the amounts people want (but don’t need).

        • Ida Lupine says:

          oops, make that 300 or so million and growing.

          Our entire food system needs to be revamped IMO, with better practices such as smaller, regional and organic farms, being rewarded by government subsidy, etc. instead of the same methods that have been around since the dawn of this country. We like to think how forward thinking and future-oriented we are, but we are supporting ranching/farming and the oil industry the same way as we did at nearly the beginning of this country. (It’s especially sad in that the oil companies make such unbelievable amounts of money now.)

          We allow killing wildlife to accommodate meat producers (and by extension, ourselves to have it) with outdated poisons from WWI and other hard-to-believe-we-still do-it-this-way methods. It isn’t sustainable any longer, the tons of pesticides, tons of habitat engulfed, and it all falls back to overpopulation.

          So we get it off the public lands in the West, but like the Keystone pipeline, it isn’t going to be the magic answer. I hate that people conform to these concepts mindlessly like bobble-head dolls, IMO. I prefer to use the term NIAMBY – not in anybody’s backyard! Reduce.

          • Elk375 says:


            ++Our entire food system needs to be revamped IMO++

            I agree with you.

            Every morning I go to the deli at a local (Rosaurs) supermarket and through the years have gotten to know most of the employees. What has started to bother me more and more is the food packaging. Everyday the employees stock the shelves from cardboard shipping boxes. Each week the store requires 3 semis for it to be fully stocked.

            From observations the shipping and consumer packaging would almost be a half of a weekly semi load. What a waste. We can do better than that.

    • Kathleen says:

      I can’t even *find* the Savory post, but judging from the comments, this might be relevant…or maybe not. And maybe it’s been posted already. FWIW.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Frankly, bison don’t blend well into the landscape. They’re big, powerful animals,” said Nash.

      *facepalm* The were the landscape and the landscape evolved around and bowed to them before people got here who decided to kill them off. It really is a horror to think of.

    • Yvette says:

      “Including the fact that bison are infected with a non-native disease, brucellosis,” said Nash.

      He explained ranchers near the park are worried the bison are spreading disease to their cattle, and other residents have limited tolerance for the massive creatures in their yards.

      I wonder if ranchers are concerned about the elk spreading brucellosis. It doesn’t sound good for the elk in the Paradise Valley.

      • Ed Loosli says:

        Thank you for pointing out that “it doesn’t sound good for elk in the Paradise Valley” or for the bison either, I am sorry to say.
        All this bowing and scraping to the Paradise Valley, MT ranchers because of a few cows being there in the winter is really selfish and one-sided. Out of 2.5 million cattle in Montana, how many cattle are involved in this boondoggle? About 700 are trucked in every year to graze on public and private lands in the basin between May and October. A few more head graze there year-round. If the trucked in cattle were held out of the Paradise Valley until June instead of May – much of this conflict would be avoided, because the elk and bison would already have headed for Yellowstone NP and the high country of the National Forests.

  93. JB says:

    “Should We Conserve Nature for Nature’s Sake, or for Our Own?”

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Thank you so much for this wonderful response to the human-centered naysayers:

      “Our humanity distinguishes us from the rest of nature. That humanity depends on acknowledging nature’s intrinsic value. The only appropriate response to this essay’s title is to shout with moral outrage what a sick tragedy it is to trade our humanity for survival when it is not necessary to give up either. All the while, do whatever you can to make the world a better place.”

    • Nancy says:

      A well written piece with a lot of questions JB.

      “Some are sympathetic to nature’s intrinsic value but believe they are among the few who feel this way”

      and then….

      “But we cannot save everything. The resources at our disposal are far too limited. We must triage the crisis and that means human interests first. And, with that simple logic we land right back on the impoverished stance that began this essay”

      Just an hour or so of why human interests come first:

    • Louise Kane says:

      “We – as a human race, even as an American people – have plenty of resources to conserve nature both for its sake and ours. We are short on willpower, not resources. Triage cannot be rightly invoked in response to a shortage of willpower.”

      Excellent writing
      you make good partners

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Yes they do – thanks, glad to see this in HP as well. I’m still thinking about it.

    • Yvette says:

      It’s exciting to see that you guys published in HP, because it reaches a wide audience. The topic needs to reach a wide audience. JB, you guys just kicked Azz! I feel like I’m at a hockey game and my team just scored. I’m up and out of my seat yelling, yeah!

      I’m glad you guys addressed this:

      Humans are quite capable of caring for many more than one kind of thing, in this case humans and the rest of nature. To think otherwise invites the suggestion that honoring our ethnicity obligates us to racism.

      More than once I’ve had someone question why I advocate for animals when there are so many people that need help. It always left me perplexed. The world doesn’t have to work like a triage in an ER. Individually, we prioritize our efforts based on our interests and calling; collectively we humans cover try to cover all aspects. At least, I think that is what most of aim to accomplish.

      Wonderful work, JB. You guys did a great service.

  94. Louise Kane says:

    what happens when you remove predators…

    • says:

      Thanks Louise — Every legislator should have to watch this short, but powerful video at their swearing in ceremony. I know, dream-on.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Ugh. I remember I had to leave the room or cover my eyes when that segment came on. I find this kind of behavior so utterly repulsive.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        or I should say, the (usual) response by people to the overpopulation of jackrabbits. 🙁

  95. Nancy says:

    Excellent read:

    “They also share a hostility to market forces that are trying to enclose wealth that belongs to everyone. I consider enclosures of the commons one of the great, unacknowledged scandals of our times – a massive theft and dispossession of common wealth for private gain”

  96. Salle says:


    Decorah, Iowa eagles are sitting on their first egg already!

    • Gary Humbard says:

      I noticed the MFWP and Department of Livestock didn’t mention “culling the herd” like they do bison, but instead they were concerned and will monitor the situation. It seems a little hypocritical to single out bison. If the true goal is to reduce the potential for burceollosis transmission to cattle it takes a comprehensive approach instead of this piece meal.

      • Nancy says:

        “The recent surveillance results from the Mill Creek area of Paradise Valley show more than 50 percent of the elk sampled there have been exposed to brucellosis”

        Its about the grass Gary and the all powerful livestock industry, DOL keeping rancher’s “fears” a bay, but I suspect you already know that 🙂 Brucellosis, if you say it enough times……Posted a video above about if you say it enough times.

        Then toss in the all powerful hunting industry, so prevalent in the west and I’m thinking a lot of backroom discussions are going on right about now and deals being made, about how these two groups are going to address this growing problem of “infected” wildlife.

        Its a delicate but mostly obnoxious “dance” that gets worse as habitat shrinks.

        Got guys with guns (and an endless supply of ammo) that come from the east just for the chance to sit in a field and shoot ground squirrels and gophers.

        They are welcomed on most ranching properties because ranchers don’t want to share the grass that feeds these little ground dwelling critters, that by the way, feed the hawks, eagles, foxes, badgers, coyotes etc. etc. etc.

  97. Ed Loosli says:

    Zimbabwe President Will Be Served Elephant and Lion At His 91st Birthday Celebration Feast

    “Zimbabwe’s elephant population dropped by almost half between 2007 and 2012—from 84,000 to 47,000…Lions aren’t faring much better. Habitat loss and poaching have halved the big cat’s numbers in just the past three decades.”

  98. Ed Loosli says:

    19-Feb-2015 “Cattle damage to riverbanks can be undone by removing the cattle”

    “The study at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge (Eastern Oregon) shows just how much a system can change within only two decades of cattle removal,” said Ripple.
    Batchelor added, “The removal of cattle can result in dramatic changes in riparian vegetation, even in semi-arid landscapes and without active restoration treatments.”

  99. Louise Kane says:

    Fascinating paper by Canadian scientists condemning the the “researchers” and “study” to kill wolves using strychnine and aerial gunning. The paper argues convincingly that the scientists ignored animal care protocols and that the study and publishing the paper in a peer reviewed journal was unprofessional and breeched ethics.

    In a quote from the paper the writers argue that scientists should be accountable for maintaining professional standards to alleviate and prevent suffering and that individuals do matter. Quoting from the paper, “Hervieux et al. (2014a, 2015) dismissed ethical considerations in favour of ‘policy frameworks for recovering species’ and the ability of wolves to ‘absorb’ mortality. These management phrases disregard the suffering of individuals. Such dismissal is alarming given that biologists – by virtue of their training – are well aware of the physiological dimension of suffering (Paquet and Darimont 2010: Ramp and Bekoff 2015).”

    Given the recent discussions here about whether it is appropriate for a scientist to take a position as an advocate, I found this paper a useful platform to continue that discussion. I’m hoping some of you read it.

    In the past I have been particularly alarmed and angered about some of Mech’s positions especially those that disregard the suffering of wolves under state management plans and those that ignore the physiological and psychological suffering of wolves in traps, or that are hunted randomly. Mech has in effect argued that the social tolerance factor and state management goals outweigh the harm in killing the animal inhumanely. Also that public hunting at particular levels is not harmful because the general population can afford the losses.

    In contrast, Paquet et all argue that scientists by training should be sensitive to suffering and that they should not promote means of killing that would not conform to animal care protocols. This is a position in direct contravention to those that you often see from state employed biologists or scientists. I obviously much prefer Paquet’s argument.

    I wonder how do scientists advocate for trapping and indiscriminate killing under state plans when they know best the intelligence, sociality and capacity for fear and pain of their study subjects? The answer is many don’t, the question is how to reverse the archaic policies that direct most predator and wildlife management?

    I noted that Paquet et all quoted J Vucetich in their paper. A heart felt thank you to all who wrote this scathing condemnation of the “study” that is the basis for the continuing slaughter of Alberta’s wolves and to those like J. Vucetich who have the courage to not turn away.

    My only criticism of the paper is that the authors neglected to include aerial hunting in and of itself as an unethical treatment of wolves. Chased wolves are terrified and hindered through heavy snow. The other wolves see their pack members shot and suffering and they don’t like to leave one another.

    I’ll not easily forget reading the account of OR 4 (or 7’s father) being chased by helicopter for his first collaring. This is a description,

    “But getting a good shot was difficult. Wolves are fast, agile runners. Running is what they are built for. As the helicopter chased the wolf that was imminently to be known as OR4 down, Morgan concentrated on keeping up. But then OR4 lost his footing and turned a summersault. When he made it upright again, he sat down and started barking and howling at the chopper.

    “When he flipped over that brush and I could see the rotor wash flattening his hair, He was just barking and howling,” says Morgan. “He was just frustrated. He gets pretty frustrated when he is being chased.”

    Morgan couldn’t dart him while he faced the chopper, as the protocol requires that the tranquilizer dart go in the rump. Eventually, he did get the dart in him, and the black wolf collapsed. The slope was too steep for the helicopter to land, so Morgan jumped out with his kit.

    “He was down in a draw bottom and we were putting him in a place where we could work him,” Morgan remembers. “A wolf 100 to 200 yards away was howling constantly.” It was OR2, presumably objecting to the treatment of her mate. Morgan weighed OR4 at 115 pounds, to date the largest wolf in Oregon.

    Morgan knows that the helicopter chase is an intense way to start a relationship with an animal you are trying to manage. “It is a fairly aggressive and violent chase on whatever terrain,” he says. “A pretty invasive thing to have a big old piece of steel with a twirling rotor on top chasing you.” And this would be just the first time OR4 would be the subject of that chase.

    Wally Sykes thinks about how those helicopter chases might have changed OR4’s character—but didn’t. He points out that after capture, most wolves stay away from their pack for a day or so. “They are depressed; they stink of humans.” Sykes is clearly disgusted at their rough handling at the hands of biologists. But the big black wolf bounces back from each indignity. “OR4 has overcome that experience, repeatedly, and gone on to be a competent hunter and father,” he says.”

    Now how do the wolves that see their packmates slaughtered feel during the killing? What pain is worse, physical or psychological?

    I am haunted by the things that wildlife managers do. I understand the Goodalls, Vucetichs, Bekoffs, Paquets, Habers, Fosseys, Ways, Weilgus, Earles, of the world. To arrive at a place of understanding that allows scientists to appreciate the individual is not a fault. It indicates to me a humanity that seems desirable in studying and documenting complex animal societies. I find it highly objectionable for animals to be treated as “things” to be eliminated or maintained without regard for their flesh and blood, or acknowledgement of their sentience and ability to communication between themselves, or share love, or experience fear, grief and pain.

    If the scientists of this world don’t

    • Louise Kane says:

      If the scientists of this world don’t care who will?

    • Barb Rupers says:

      Thanks, Louise, for your passionate and reasonable analysis.

    • WM says:

      ++In the past I have been particularly alarmed and angered about some of Mech’s positions especially those that disregard the suffering of wolves under state management plans and those that ignore the physiological and psychological suffering of wolves in traps, or that are hunted randomly. Mech has in effect argued that the social tolerance factor and state management goals outweigh the harm in killing the animal inhumanely. Also that public hunting at particular levels is not harmful because the general population can afford the losses. ++

      Louise, you ought to be equally as outraged by the activities of animal shelters that put down dogs and cats. Those are also population control efforts to remove those sentient beings as well.

      One issue with having more and more wolves at higher densities means ultimately more will be removed to meet other societal objectives. So, why haven’t Bekoff, Pacquet, Darimont. Vucetich and other critics made equally as strident arguments about these conditions which take far more dogs/cats and other animals across North America?

      • Ida Lupine says:

        If you don’t mind my interjecting, the problem is when will the human ‘societal objectives’ end? (Answer: never) Our needs keep increasing, and more wolves and other wildlife will keep being ‘removed’ to accommodate us.

        The ‘problem’ of our domestic pets is upsetting to animal welfare advocates. But it is different because it is a problem created totally by us. Animal shelters are not to blame – it is irresponsible pet owners and breeders who abandon, overbreed, and carelessly do not have pets spayed or neutered. We have created an unnatural condition for cats and dogs, whose unwanted numbers are the millions in this country.

        Wildlife isn’t the same, and wolves and other wildlife only number a few thousand.

  100. Mark L says:

    nicely said Louise…I’ll add that we’d never dream of treating our dogs this way, and how close are they to wolves? Easy to brush it off because they look different now. The same approach was used in humans over the last millenia, never dreaming of treating our kin the way we treat foreigners, aboriginals, and slaves, usually justified by saying they don’t hold the same consciousness we do, or an urgent necessity dictates downgrading our morals. History is a slow dull slog of disappointments with a few bright spots where sometimes the right people do the right thing at the right time…in broad daylight. And then again sometimes not…

  101. Louise Kane says:

    who would be willing to forgo hiking or what is considered a non impact activity to prevent negative impacts to wildlife. I’ve seen the selfish outrage when the beaches here are shut down to protect plover chicks or when boating is restricted to protect manatees or when when boaters are required to travel slowly through manatee or other sensitive marine habitat. I’d like to see some of all reserves set aside for non humans with no human activity. I’d be willing to give up recreation for wildlife. I’m not an armchair recreationist either. I am typically on foot from 2-7 miles a day every day, usually on the 5-6 mile mark.

    • Nancy says:

      Louise, GREAT article simply because there aren’t many places left that wildlife can actually be wildlife, without “mankind” intruding on their lives.

      “A century ago, nature had elbow room. Now, there’s a lot less of it, while recreational activities and nature tourism are growing in most parks, wilderness areas and other protected areas around the world”

      Spent a few years in the Bob Marshall helping friends get their lodge ready for summer guests and when asked why I didn’t go out, while there and enjoy the back country, amazing back country, my reply was ” just knowing it’s there” was satisfaction enough 🙂

      Perhaps its time to start thinking about posting “No Trespassing” signs on what’s left of wilderness areas?

      • Leslie says:

        I think this article isn’t nuanced enough. For instance, there are definitely places where hoards of hikers, say Sedona esp. on weekends, impacts wildlife. There’s just too many people compressed in a place like that or on certain beaches.

        Yet in quieter wild and wilderness areas, wildlife has been adapted to hunting, trapping and harassing for hundreds of years. Why in Yellowstone National Park do you easily see wildlife, predators and prey, during the daytime, while just outside the park predators travel at night and prey are much more wary of me, the human, than my dog?

        I also thought it was strange when the article said “Preliminary findings show that wolverines move faster and more often on weekends”. Do they have a schedule they are following?

        That article, in my area where we are fighting a strident ATV group, and I have yet to see a hiker or backpacker here, does not help.

        • Ed Loosli says:

          Leslie: +1

        • Louise Kane says:

          Leslie, I understand your desire to see more nuance but on the other hand just getting people to think in terms of allowing areas to be human free is difficult territory. I’m happy to see some writing about it. I hope for a time when the value of wildlife or wilderness is not always bound so excruciatingly to how humans perceive its value as directly related to human use.

        • Nancy says:

          “I also thought it was strange when the article said “Preliminary findings show that wolverines move faster and more often on weekends”. Do they have a schedule they are following”

          My guess would be they are trying to avoid humans who traditionally go out and play in the winter, on weekends, whether it be cross country, snowshoeing or snowmobiling.

          There are over a hundred miles of groomed snowmobile trails in my area alone, in some unique areas that include mountain ranges, valleys and, they are well used every winter and then you’ve got the people that love to get “off trail” on their sleds, racing thru meadows and “daring” avalanches, on steep mountainsides. (Although the count of dead snowmobilers, who did stupid things, is down from previous years)

          Wintertime is tough enough on mammals that don’t hibernate (like wolverines, who I believe give birth in the winter months?) And since science is making it easier to track their movements, and given their low populations, with that knowledge, perhaps not a bad idea to think about setting aside a few more areas that are not constantly being used (abused?) by mankind? IMHO 🙂