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. 31) “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.

486 Responses to Do you have some interesting wildlife related news? Feb. 23, 2015 edition

  1. Ed Loosli says:

    Rare Amur Leopard Back From Brink Of Extinction In Russia

  2. Dominique says:

    Yes, I want to share and question this post (the permanent link is disabled) “Chines trophy hunters kill a wild Mustang horse in Utah, USA and claim the government “encourages” the hunting of them.

    They also used dogs fitted with GPS trackers to chase a bear up a tree then they shot the bear out (after chasing a terrified mother bear and her cubs up a tree). They also killed a stag as well.” One comment, “Kathy Grant I worked very closely with the BLM in Canon City, CO when I lived there. You just don’t know all that goes on there…it’s horrible.” All Wildlife is being attacked and killed by BLM, F&W, we need to gather forces now to stop!

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Thanks for this news, sad as it is.
      This is so pathetic – trophy elephants, rhinos, leopards, etc., etc. etc.
      If you have the stomach for it: Go to
      The sickest of the sick – Chinese and Americans, hand-in-hand.

      • Dominique says:

        Thanks Ed, I am aware of these Chinese and American monsters joining forces for Safari Hunts, and no, I will never have the stomach for it. I have studied the hunting issues as much as I can for many years now, seeing the canned hunt clubs gaining in the US, so sickened by our society to turn blind eye and allow this, but I remain vigilant and dedicated to stop this insanity. I have noticed the trends of hunting in the US, as a “traditional”, religious based entitlement mindset, their numbers have been falling and am watching as they are spending much resources to do heavy recruiting to women and the youth through our govt. programs and funds. They are working on getting celebrity spokespersons, such as “Kidrock”, old has been rocker, and of course we all are aware of the charming Ted Nugent. I can see the Chinese falling into their recruiting for Safari type canned hunts, since the many Chinese do not respect the life of an animal at all. This frightens me, esp. since our campaigns against hunting are not being heard fast enough to stop these walking dead hunters. But being allowed to hunt horses? Horses have been domesticated as pets, there is no way we should allow this, esp. if the BLM is really guilty of “encouraging” this.

    • Nancie says:

      Lovely these sports appear to have gutshot the poor supposedly federally “protected” publicly-owned horse. Wonder how many spouses would appreciate having a horse head mounted and hanging in their living room?

      • Dominique says:

        I know Nancie, BLM allowing hunting of publically owned and protected horses..if this could be proven, might make a heck of a slanderous, if nothing else, lawsuit.

    • Gary Humbard says:

      I worked for the BLM my entire career and I have no doubt that photo is pure and simple slander. Before the facts are known, these type of claims belong in the news prints like the National Enquirer.

  3. Yvette says:

    Have you guys seen this about the coyote study in the South? It’s rather interesting. I just wonder how long the study will go on before they publish?

    One question: They referenced a deer hunter that wants the coyotes gone thinking they hunt deer. Isn’t deer a last resort for coyotes due to the size difference?

    • Louise Kane says:

      from what I read Yvette predation tends to be more related to fawns

      • MAD says:

        It really depends on what part of the country you are talking about when the animal is a coyote. Coyotes in the Northeast has a very distinct genetic and biological history. Even though they originally migrated from the West and Midwest populations, the cross-breed with some of the wolves in the Great Lakes area and also the smaller Eastern Timber Wolf (Canis l. Lycaon), depending on if the they migrated north or south of the Great Lakes region. They are now much larger than their Western cousins.

        Genetic studies during the last 10-15 years on wolves and coyotes all along the Eastern coast of North America have confirmed this. Additionally, although they do impact the younger deer more frequently, there have been recorded instances of coyotes in NY, and in other New England states of coyotes hunting in small packs.

        My wife was able to get scat samples from the coyote that was darted and captured in Central Park, NYC several years ago nicknamed Hal in the media. Unfortunately, the animal was mishandled (long story) and died before it could be relocated and returned to the wild.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      “They understand that they’ve been beaten,” says biologist Michael Chamberlain, who is also leading the study. “So they’ve kind of lost the battle.”

      What? I don’t like the tone of this sentence, or the look of fear and the body language of the poor coyotes in the photographs.

      Between that and the chasing down of wolves via helicopter to collar them, it seems also a violent and frightening process, just so that we can gather sometimes questionable information, and possibly also puts animals in jeopardy to human hunters, is awkward and cumbersome around their necks, and in the case of moose calves, has been shown to cause mothers to abandon them! (but calf loss can be blamed on the wolves of course). Then to make it worse, nobody listens to the science anyway, and still finds a reason to kill them.

      I don’t understand why humans need to dominate other living things. It really is a sickness. With friends like this, who needs enemies.

      • Yvette says:

        I didn’t really care for that tone either, but I think what they are doing is important. I think that biologist might have a thing or two to learn about coyotes. Don’t underestimate coyotes. They are extraordinarily intelligent and resourceful. They are also scrappy and tough. Let’s see what comes out of this study.

        Then to make it worse, nobody listens to the science anyway, and still finds a reason to kill them.

        I’d say ‘some people’ don’t listen to the science. A blanket statement like that is incorrect. The very nature of empirical science is to question. A study is done to answer questions. That doesn’t mean the results should be blindly followed, but that the validity should be tested, and questioned again by others that understand where to look for weaknesses in the design, methods and results.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I didn’t direct my comment to you personally Yvette, but we can see that since the Tester rider and ‘removal’ of wolves in Canada to save the caribou, what some people do can have a large effect.

          The people who have power, though not large in number (‘some people’), are not listening to the science. We do a disservice to wildlife by sticking our heads in the sand about it. The world doesn’t work the way we would like it to.

          • Yvette says:

            Oh, I didn’t think you had directed your comment to me, personally. We just have to keep plugging on and never give up.

    • Scott says:

      I believe coyotes are more likely to hunt deer in the South than in the West. In some areas of states like NC the average adult size of a white-tail deer is around 70 pounds. I know on the military bases they are commonly referred to as miniatures because of the small size. Last November I watched three coyotes hunting some yearling mule deer and although they were not successful they were definitely intent on trying to bring one down. I would hazard a guess that most of the predation of deer in the south is still on yearlings and not as much on mature animals.

      • Professor Sweat says:

        We have some large coyote family groups around the municipal parks here in LA. A coworker of mine lives near Griffith Park (home of the famed Hollywood sign) and she sees a family group of eleven (!) on the regular. She and her neighbors also find coyote-killed mule deer carcasses in their neighborhood from time to time. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them targeting smaller whitetails in the southeast.

        • Nancy says:

          PS – posted a few years ago on TWN about a pack of coyotes on the meadow across from me that had 7 members. They spend a good part of the winter feeding off a dead cow and their behavior was totally unlike the occasional coyotes I’d often see. Tails high, chasing each other around, playful attitude about their existence due to this “windfall”

          The ranch were the dead cow was, had had a trapper come in, in the past. But the land/ranch went on the market, nobody on the ranch and it was leased that year, to a local rancher, who left the dead cow and a host of animals took advantage of the bounty. Coyotes, smaller mammals, magpies, ravens, crows, bald and golden eagles, also dined for weeks on this dead cow.

          Mankind has no real concept of waste anymore, only have google to realize that fact and wildlife is paying the price for our stupidity.

          • Louise Kane says:


            You know Nancy I think its a damn shame that when people see coyotes in the daytime they automatically think something is wrong with the animal. They might not stop to think why do coyotes mostly come out at night? They have become largely nocturnal because they are persecuted in daylight hours and its not safe for them.

            The FB image I posted is just one of many coming in of the spring killing contests.

            I can not imagine that people do this and are proud of it, and that killing events are legal, anywhere.

            This events are a national disgrace

            • Barb Rupers says:

              I don’t see the resident coyote here very often but it is always in the daytime, I have heard them at night in the past but not in the last couple of years. At the other filbert orchard there was one with a stub tail that came in during the day and played with my border collie before she was a year old, I assumed the coyote was also young. The coyotes graze on nuts in the orchard.

          • Professor Sweat says:


            Sounds like that was an excellent chance for some quality wildlife photography. Seven is big for a coyote family group as well. Largest I’ve seen before moving here was five members. I have a hunch that human feeding and general tolerance and admiration for these creatures in the LA area contributes to larger litters and a high survival rate.

            I’ve gotten the finger for telling a family not to feed one some Chinese food leftovers. Coyotes are treated like ducks by some around here.

      • Elk375 says:

        I have seen a coyote pull a doe deer down. I was a freshman at the University Denver and several of us went to Taos skiing for the weekend. In between Colorado Springs and Trinidad, Colorado a coyote cased a mule deer doe across the Interstate. The coyote pulled the deer down on the edge of Interstate. As we approached the coyote released the grip and the deer was able to escape. If I had not driven by the coyote would have killed the deer.

        • Whenever a predator (Coyote or wolf) is catching animals along an interstate, I would bet that the prey animal has been previously injured in a collision with a car or truck.

      • Yvette says:

        Thanks everyone. Scott, what you said is one of the reasons I think this study is worthwhile and important. It should be interesting to see if the coyotes in the SE behave or hunt differently than the ones in the West.

        I didn’t realize the deer were that much smaller in that region.

        Professor Sweat, that would be kind of crazy to wake up to a mule deer carcass in your yard in a city that size.

        • Professor Sweat says:

          Indeed, I was skeptical until she showed me some cellphone pics of a carcass in her neighbors yard. Her neighborhood buts right up to the parkland. Griffith is a large municipal park. It’s about 4300 acres of chaparral and oak woodland smack dab in the middle of the city. It’s connected by very thin strips of green space to the neighboring Santa Monica and San Gabriel mountains. The park has one resident mountain lion, bobcats, rattlesnakes, and is the place to go in LA for an almost guaranteed coyote sighting. My girlfriend even snapped a pic of a golden eagle that was hanging around there one afternoon. The park sees a lot of human activity, but only a smaller portion of the acreage is really developed or used heavily.

  4. Nancy says:

    Nice shot of Coywolves, big city background, Ralph 🙂

  5. Ed Loosli says:

    A McDonald’s Policy Is Saving More Rainforests Than the Brazilian Government

    “”A new study shows that since McDonald’s and other companies stopped buying birds fed with soy grown in the Amazon in 2006, the percentage of Brazilian rainforest logged to raise the crop has plummeted.
    “Before the moratorium, 30 percent of new soy came from deforestation, but after the moratorium, only about 1 percent of the new soy expansion came at the expense of forests,” said Holly Gibbs, an environmental studies and geography professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and the study’s lead author.””

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      Louise Kane,

      That is a very good article. It is one of the most thoughtful of the many about the mistaken shooting of the wolf that had been previously in the Grand Canyon.

      • Yvette says:

        That is an excellent op-ed, and I’m glad she included comments from a hunting blog. From the predator hunting blogs that I’ve read that is the only attitude that I’ve seen.

        There is a solution. Every state should enact laws that provide protection for coyotes. Drop the legal designation of ‘vermin’ and ‘nuisance’ animal and if there must be a hunting season to appease the hunters then so be it. For now. No, I don’t like it, but if that would remove the ‘vermin’ label that allows them to be killed 24/7 then it needs to be done.

        If we stop to think about why coyotes are labeled vermin it makes no sense. At least no logical sense. They are no more a nuisance than any other wildlife species. They just happen to be a wild canine and we know the history of wolves. It all circles back to the almighty agriculture industry. USDA Wildlife Services should have their coyote killing program gutted and shut down. What they are doing now is not working. Clean out the old guard thinking and actually develop a program with a response that might work.

        If coyotes have enough legal protection, like most other wildlife species, it would be a first step to slow the lying hunters’ excuse, “I thought it was a coyote”.

        • Immer Treue says:

          I spoke with someone from USFWS DURING a presentation last week. As the relisting occurred he almost challenged us to ask questions about wolves. As soon as I brought I brought up McKittrick, you could see him cringe, and he alluded they weren’t supposed to talk about it, but did say they were trying to get it changed.

        • WM says:

          ++ Every state should enact laws that provide protection for coyotes. Drop the legal designation of ‘vermin’ and ‘nuisance’ animal ….If we stop to think about why coyotes are labeled vermin it makes no sense. At least no logical sense. They are no more a nuisance than any other wildlife species.++

          And just why would a state do that? Coyotes eat lambs/sheep (kill the most of any predator in the US), calves, chickens, turkeys and the occasional dog or cat. They also eat fawns, smaller deer, prong horn fawns, and a few early stage elk calves. “Not a “nuisance”… what a crock of horse pucky, Yvette.

          • Immer Treue says:

            “And just why would a state do that?”

            Because what good has all the killing done? Nada, nothing, zilch. It becomes killing just to kill. It’s a both sad and outrageous indictment of insanity doing something over and over again hoping for a different outcome. It ain’t gonna happen. Try something new, eh ?

            • WM says:


              I fully recognize the dilemma. The doing nothing option does not appeal to those with skin in the game, so to speak. It also strikes me that enough folks are studying the issue that if the “do nothing” hypothesis had even a hint of viability it would be tried….somewhere, if only on an experimental basis. And, no Marin County, CA is not representative of the problems faced in most of the West.

              I just wish some reputable academics would take on the topic to push the issue one way or the other with enough force to say let’s study it more for effect OR let’s move on because the “do nothing” option does not result in fewer stock losses, less expenditure by producers and lead to a stable, though higher/lower in number, coyote population.


              And, further to the context of my comment responding to Yvette, her logic was, as I understand it, save coyotes across all states to avoid confusion with the occasional wolf. That rock is just too heavy for me to push up the hill for any distance.

            • Nancy says:

              + 1 Immer.

          • Louise Kane says:

            and yet somehow deer have managed to become “nuisance” species across the US even after having evolved with the coyotes. so all species that need to eat species humans want to hunt are nuisance along with all others that they are bothered by like raccoons, beaver, snakes, crow, cormorants, where does the list end? hmmmm

          • Yvette says:

            I didn’t see your response until late last night.

            I’m limiting this response to coyotes, and here are a few reasons why I think your premise is wrong:

            First, we would need to know what is the goal in coyote management? We have the federal arm with wildlife services and then there are the state F&G departments. I’m not sure what WS’s goal is, but given their prophylactic approach I assume that they are trying to reduce the coyote population. To what level I don’t know, and I don’t think they know, either. Then we have to ask if it is working. With a growing body of scientific evidence to support this, I think their approach in coyote management has had the opposite effect. It’s old news that coyotes respond with larger litters following human predation on them. Coyotes have also migrated east of the Mississippi river and are present in places they were not before we nearly exterminated their competition, wolves. Everyone on this blog knows that. So I say what we’re doing now is not working.

            Why would we continue spending millions of dollars to do something that is having the opposite effect of the management goal? We are not reducing the population. Coyotes are increasing in numbers and range.

            Your response pertained to predation of domestic farm animals by coyotes has little to do with state hunting laws for coyotes, which is what my initial post was about. Using only Oklahoma as an example since I’ve not read every state’s hunting laws, the only laws pertaining to killing and/or hunting of coyotes is that there is no night hunting or spotlighting allowed in Oklahoma. Other than that it’s a free-for-all. No season, no tags, no records (that I am aware of) on the weight, gender, or age of the coyote killed. The killing contests appear to be a free-for-all. The only thing required is a hunting licence and the killing contest must be during daylight. Of course, since there are no hunting seasons there are no records kept, either. I had to ask myself why no protections or hunting laws for coyotes when there are for nearly every other species. OK hunting law pertaining to coyotes likely is connected to the status quo federal management via WS. We already know that isn’t working. Coyote populations have not been reduced; they have expanded in both population and range. Opposite outcome of management goal.

            In response to your comment on coyote diet. Coyote diet is a wide array of things. They eat vegetation, berries, small mammals, and carrion. This is also old news and has long been documented in research. Additionally, coyotes appear to readily adjust their diet according to what is available. Probably, one of the reasons they are successful.

            Any predator could be viewed as a ‘nuisance’ to those that raise domestic farm animals. Non-predator species are also viewed as nuisance. Gophers? Prairie dogs? Farmers see them as a nuisance, so ‘nuisance’ is dependent upon perception. Foxes, bobcats, snakes or whatever. All of those predators can and have predated on domestic farm animals and pets. At a minimum, there are hunting seasons for other predators. Not coyotes. Why? Is it that those other predators are less of a nuisance than coyotes? No. It is the link to the outdated and unsuccessful approach of prophylactic attacks on coyotes by USDA wildlife services. That link has formed the entire perception of coyotes and the lack of protection or hunting seasons for them. Millions spent, and it is having the opposite effect of reducing coyote populations.

            Finally, if we had hunting laws with seasons then that brings in revenue for the state F&G departments, it creates documentation on coyotes such as age, gender, weight, time they were killed and region where they were killed. And in those states where wolves live then it adds a layer of protection for a species that in our wise wildlife management came close to exterminating. They need it. If a hunter is too errant to know the difference between a Grey wolf and a coyote just how do you think that hunter would do with a Mexican Grey wolf or a Red Wolf? Those two sub-species are much more difficult to distinguish and they are in even lower numbers than Grey wolves.

            Change is coming for coyotes. They will get an increase in protection. It is coming and the body of people interesting in working for that change is growing.

        • Yvette-
          I would add foxes, bobcats,badgers, weasels,prairie dogs, ground squirrels, jackrabbits and many other varmits to those that need protection. This idea that all of these animals are just here to be used as “targets” for wannabe serial killers has to change.

          • Ed Loosli says:

            Interview with Dr. Paul Paquet and Dr. Marc Bekoff, Internationally Renowned Wildlife Biologists


            “”Dr. Marc Bekoff summarizes the sentiment of many respected wildlife biologists, “Killing coyotes does not and never has worked. Community education and a willingness to coexist are the keys to eliminating human-coyote conflicts, and it’s surprisingly easy.””

            • WM says:

              Of course we know Bekoff doesn’t raise animals for food, nor does he hunt. He does have a couple big dogs, if I recall correctly. Nothing like not having skin in the game. Probably why he taught at U of Colorado (even heard he was a flake back when I was going to school there years ago), instead of Colorado State U.

              • Ed Loosli says:

                You are not doing yourself any favors.

              • SAP says:

                Easy there, WM. Don’t be bashing Boulder . . . or I might come play hacky-sack on your lawn in protest! Right after I finish my falafel . . .

                I think it’s better to qualify statements about killing predators. Generally speaking, killing a known stock-predator bring short-term relief, but does nothing for long-term risk management.

                • JB says:

                  “I think it’s better to qualify statements about killing predators.”

                  +1 — Nearly all of the statements in this thread would benefit from qualification. In any case, whether someone is ‘flaky’ or not (or organized, or a poor lecturer, etc.) isn’t relevant to their argument–it’s simply a character attack.

                  In this case, SAP’s assessment is spot on. Whether or not coyote control “works” depends, of course, on your definition of “work” (or success). Killing individual livestock depredators works in the short term (it stops those animals from killing livestock). But it isn’t a long-term solution (just like fladry, but for different reasons). Killing contests and bounties generally don’t work at all–because research suggests you have to kill upwards of 70% of the coyote population annually to have an impact on populations.

                  So for my money, the “smart” program requires non-lethal methods (to avoid killing in the first place) and then uses lethal methods as a last resort.

                  But, of course, neither side likes that answer.

              • Yvette says:

                WM, you are so funny. Love your ambiguous choice of language, ‘flake’. Would that be like a snowflake or more like a cornflake? What exactly is it that distinguishes someone as a flake? Can we then assume that everyone associated with U of Colorado is a flake? Snow, corn or other.

              • skyrim says:

                “heard he was a flake”
                Oh gawd…. WM has now just transported the entire class back to Jr. High.

                • WM says:


                  Naw, just college kids, you know how students talk about professors…and pass the word, to their contemporaries so they can avoid the ones that can’t lecture well, are disorganized, grade hard, give too much homework, …or are just “flakes” (I’ll stick with the Webster’s definition).

                  Now, let’s go back to the original quote from Ed L., above. If Bekoff is speaking of urban environments maybe that is true. If he is speaking of coyotes that impact agriculture, livestock operations and some wild ungulate populations ….well. If the solution was so easy as he suggests why do nearly all states that have coyotes in appreciable numbers continue to treat them as a major nuisance (contrary to Yvette’s assertion), spending tens of millions of dollars of state/local/federal tax dollars and private funds in attempts to control them?

                  Ultimately the stakes are high, if managers get it wrong. I have cringed more than once reading Bekoff’s stuff, including the material that appears in his Psychology Today column. More than once I have muttered, “prove it.”

                  And, it does look like those evil people at USDA/APHIS are making an attempt to find other ways of dealing with coyotes.


                  Maybe the federal government needs to throw more money at non-lethal methods for coyote depredation problems. However, it already appears fladry doesn’t work over the long term (wolves – maybe but not likely it would appear), at least in MI and other locations where research has been done.


                  See “Discussion” section.

                • WM says:

                  New coyote study in Georgia, S. Carolina and Alabama. Noticeable increase on predation of deer fawns. Eventual translation of study results to management options…wonder what that will be?


                • rork says:

                  “wonder what that will be?”
                  Depends on the integrity of managers. We have reviewed 3 or 4 coyote removal studies on this site. Some achieve increases in deer but only with coyote removal efforts that the authors themselves claim is impractical (nobody can afford it). In MI I often point to PA’s take, when folks fantasize they are having much impact:
                  “about 70 percent of a coyote population has to be removed annually in order to cause a population decline”, “A bounty system has never successfully eliminated or significantly reduced coyote populations anywhere in North America.” Consequently managers offer no bounties in PA (or anywhere else near here – ever notice that?). In Utah ofcouse, data is ignored, and indeed one might want to make a show of doing something (no matter if ineffective) to appease disgruntled ungulate hunters. They always make me laugh with “common sense” arguments.
                  What’s odd: I expect you know all this. Reducing number of deer per hunter, and doe take, are practical changes being used in some southern states. I could insert a long discussion of when does drop fawns down south (less synchronized some places), genetic determinants of that (they imported “northern” genes – maybe it’s not a naturally occurring “two strategies” thing as I used to think – more bucks might help slightly too), and how fast deer will evolve better coyote behaviors.

                • Louise Kane says:

                  ” If the solution was so easy as he suggests why do nearly all states that have coyotes in appreciable numbers continue to treat them as a major nuisance (contrary to Yvette’s assertion), spending tens of millions of dollars of state/local/federal tax dollars and private funds in attempts to control them?”

                  WM state institutions are highly resistant to change, they are unduly influenced by predator and trophy hunters and the livestock producers. In other words there is institutional bias against predators and a long history of kill em mentality. It is as you like to point out disingenuous not to acknowledge those factors when claiming, “why else would they label them as vermin” Most states have never tried anything else but killing and virtually unregulated hunting. Many studies are proving this approach to be ineffective, inhumane and ecologically damaging. Just because something has always been doesn’t mean its justified or the smartest approach. What would you have all predators killed because there is fawn predation, there are certainly enough deer to go around.

              • WM says:


                I am going to go out on a short limb here, and say it is livestock producers and their legislative connections that mostly determine coyote management policy in most states, in cooperation with rural counties looking out after producer interests, and very little input from hunters of ungulates, or these yahoo yote thrill killers.

          • Yvette says:

            +1 Larry. One of the reasons I hammer on coyotes is that in my state hunting laws there is no protection. Most of the others you mentioned at least have some statute that sets at a minimum, a hunting season. Coyotes in Oklahoma have nothing other than they can’t be hunted between sundown and sunup and no spot lighting is allowed.

            • rork says:

              Yvette, I’m not sure how much that practically matters. In MI coyotes have hunting and trapping seasons, with complex regs about how you can do it. Those regs are super liberal though, for example hunting goes July15 – Apr15, and I don’t think there’s anything like a limit. Some night hunting allowed (Oct 15-Mar 1), and night-vision gear is legal (no spot-lighting). Declaring them vermin or not would make little difference I’m thinking. The perceived impacts on deer numbers (likely small), and fur prices, might be more important factors in the numbers of coyotes killed. Hunters near me like to think they are doing folks favors, but make no careful calculations.

            • WM says:


              You might look over this APHIS/WS report from 2012 for OK, for a little insight on where they spend time. Surprisingly, beaver control seems to be a big item here, though there is a pic of a coyote in the upper right corner of the report, and narrative about the impacts of predators on livestock (coyotes being primary).


              And, here, from FY 2005 and 2006, less than 1/3 of the WS budget comes from federal sources, according to the charts, (and they service the massive Tinker Air Force Base, and a couple major airports).

              Seems I also read recently that coyotes are responsible for about 1/3 of goat ranching predator losses. Not looking for a fight, but it seems others in the business and who actually have to deal with coyote predation DO seem to find coyotes to be a nuisance in Oklahoma.

        • Louise Kane says:

          Yvette your suggestion is exactly what the Carnivore conservation act does…

          The act protects carnivores by establishing a take of one species per season, no calling, baiting, hounding, or other unfair chase allowed. Hunting season slightly overlapping the deer season late toward the end to allow the young time to mature and to prevent killing during mating, breeding or rearing of young season. The act also establishes refuges on public lands, prohibits killing events and ties in the state anti cruelty statute to hunting regs as well as protects scientists trying to study carnivores from being stymied. When Jon and I drafted it we envisioned no take because that is really the best way to “manage” carnivores. Its my opinion that killing them is destructive and stupid. I know both of us would have preferred the final draft to as a ban on hunting them, but we received enough peer-reviewed comments to believe that we will have the best chance of passing the act and of it catching on by severely limiting hunting instead of banning it. For now, I can live with that. yet, I still think that a national act is going to be necessary. There are just too many extremist killing fanatics out there and not enough wildlife agencies willing to do their jobs by advancing past 19th century predator policies that are inhumane and scientifically unjustified.

          • Louise Kane says:

            also the act restricts hunting to one month and requires a tag of 25.00 similar to other species but with the funding going to carnivore conservation and a carnivore specialist position in the state wildlife department.

          • Yvette says:

            Louise, I am certain there will be a growing body of people that are going to be working toward an improvement in how we’ve managed predators. With all the blood, sweat and tears that you put into that very thing, I think you probably see it, too.

            I know it will happen because there is a growing body of people that are taking a long and hard look at where we are, how we got there, and what is not working. I’ve had one professor, a biologist, tell me that she is sick and tired of seeing what is happening with wildlife and that she will no longer settle for simply sharing information. She has already started something only in the last month. It is already a growing body of highly educated like minded people. Will it go anywhere? We shall see, but the discussion of how to move forward has begun. We are out there. We have jobs, careers, families and a myriad of things in life besides trying to improve wildlife and conservation policy, but the point is there is a growing body of people that are concerned and willing to put whatever skills they have to work.

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          “I thought it was a feral horse” said the wolf in a court after being accused of killing a cow.

          Sadly, it would never be enough to let him loose.

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          “I thought it was a coyote”


          do a man a justice – it’s even possible for a man to be mistaken for a squirrel

          “Hunter mistaken for squirrel, killed outside Rochester”

    • Yvette says:

      Peter, that article has important information. I had recently seen the headlines on the increased tiger numbers, but hadn’t yet read thoroughly read about the survey. While this is disheartening, but it is important to know the statistical model used for calibration may not be reliable.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      What? Flawed scientific methods? Nom, it can’t be! 😉

  6. WM says:

    After Obama vetoes XL Pipeline, then what – would Congress respond?

    So, if Congress really is a better barometer of the “will of the people” in both the House and the Senate, as the Legislative branch has turned more R (and some would say wackier) is Obama on higher ground with a veto? And, what will this say for the last two years of his Presidency, and any backlash taking us further to the right?

      • Ed Loosli says:

        Gee, according to the Republican leader’s op-ed, Nebraska farmers who are suing to stop the Keystone XL pipeline are “environmental extremists”.

        • Yvette says:

          Extremist: Noun
          1. In the American 21st century, anyone that holds and opposing opinion of your own.

          2. In the American 21st century, any individual or group that may counter the agenda of the sitting majority party in the House of Representatives or the Senate.

          3. A method of labeling people to make allegations, arrest and imprisonment easier.

          Synonym: ‘Terrorist’

          • JB says:

            Thanks, Yvette. The constant logical fallacies that seem infused in politics today are so tiresome. If you can’t make a good enough argument to get something done, then bugger off. Don’t resort to name-calling. It is childish, entirely unproductive, and makes are political system seem hopelessly flawed. (Are you listening Timzee?)

      • timz says:

        After the veto;
        “They have vowed to attach language approving the pipeline in a spending bill or other legislation later in the year that the president would find difficult to reject.”
        Since this gutless wonder let wolves go to the slaughter in a rider this will likely get done the same way.

  7. bret says:

    Big Cats Obsess Over Calvin Klein’s ‘Obsession for Men’

  8. Ed Loosli says:

    Rare Wood Bison To Be Released Back Into The Wilds Of Alaska

    “The wood bison, once nearly extinct, remains on the U.S. government’s list of threatened species.”

  9. Leslie says:

    Continuing that conversation from last month’s news thread, here is an article from the Denver Post about ‘soft’ non-consumptive recreation and its affect on wildlife. I think this is a more considered article than the Times one.

    Here in WY, in some ways the Game & Fish and SNF already does some of this. For instance, a lot of the G&F areas are closed to all use in the winter for game range. No humans in any form. At the end of my road, there is a ‘bear gate’ that closes off all motor use till July 15, and there are other Shoshone National Forest areas around the forest that are also closed to motorized use for the sake of wildlife. Yellowstone Park closes off vast areas in spring for bear use.

    This is really a consideration that each forest or BLM or Park has to tailor for their area and its wildlife impact.

    Around WY there is strong resentment for additional wilderness areas. Closing areas completely and permanently to human use would not sit well; and I think that it would be unwise in terms of future protections for wildlife in terms of human sympathies. Closing off temporarily the public can swallow. In addition, non-consumptive users must somehow find a way to participate in State agencies through fees so they have a voice.

  10. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Coastal Guardian Watchmen confront armed trophy hunters to save grizzlies
    “Sometimes it gets nasty,” said Jason Moody, a patroller from Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola.
    This article is part of Vancouver Observers Trophy Hunt Special Report:

    • Ed Loosli says:

      I am so proud of the courageous First Nation wildlife guardians in British Columbia for taking the lead in trying to end B.C.’s un-scientific colonial grizzly bear trophy hunting.

  11. snaildarter says:

    In metro Atlanta I’ve seen coyote groups with more than two adults. We have an over abundance of deer I counted 22 deer and fawns together crossing the road from a wetland area back into the National Rec area at dusk so we could use a predator. I also think the coy wolf is natures adaptation to a human dominated landscape that will not tolerate red wolves or panthers so a smaller more craftier version is evolving.

  12. Ida Lupine says:

    Coyotes I have seen usually are paying no attention to me, on the run, seemingly with their own goal. I’ve heard one yipping right at my back porch and I was thrilled. I love having them.

    I don’t know how the deer are faring; I’m hip deep in snow, so I wonder if they can get around or are just hunkering down and conserving energy? I put a little food out.

  13. Ida Lupine says:

    “Most of the research has been done in the West, but these animals are different; they are larger and have more varied ranges than coyotes in other parts of the country.”

    I hope this doesn’t mean what I think it does.

    I don’t understand how people can complain about overpopulation of deer on the one hand, and on the other begrudge predators their natural food? “The poor little baby” argument doesn’t wash – esp. when you see what human hunters do, not to mention the psycho component of human hunting.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      It also says in these articles about that the coyotes are ‘relatively new predators to the South.

      I hope they are not just trying to repackage the “big bad Canadian imported predator” theory?

  14. Ida Lupine says:

    It ain’t that great here for coyotes either:

  15. rork says:

    JCI has a pretty high-quality new paper about CWD, and it’s possible transmission to human.
    Maybe full text is hard to get or follow, but here’s a review that did pretty good for a journalist:
    I’ll try: mice engineered to express human PRP are resistant to Elk CWD prion (miss-folded Elk PRP protein). (Yes, elk-eaters – more evidence.) Mutating that human PRP to alter a few key amino acids to be more like elk PRP, makes the mice susceptible. They have ideas and experiments about the detailed mechanism, it shows that the region they targeted is important to study between species, and the GM-mouse approaches used are yet again shown useful at answering questions about PRP.

  16. skyrim says:

    Unfortunate young boys death by black bear lawsuit settled in Utah:
    There is so much wrong with this ruling and award. Sometimes the law just doesn’t make any sense……

  17. Yvette says:

    I was searching for something and came across this 2004 article by John Shivik. Some of you have likely read it, but it’s lighthearted. I think it’s a good day when you can find a way to smile at the absurdity of dealing with humans and wolves.

    That’s been the difficult part,
    factoring people into the equations.
    Adding more people to the discussion
    is like adding more bullets to a
    revolver before going first in Russian

    • Dominique says:


    • JB says:

      Montanans and their “rights” [shakes head, roles eyes].

      • Professor Sweat says:


        Apparently there are still some rights certain Montanans would be willing to restrict. Check out #20 for a laugh:

        • JB says:

          That was entertaining.

          “17. Nullify all federal gun laws. HB 203 by Rep. Art Wittich (R-TEA Bozeman)”

          Apparently the congressman is unfamiliar with Preemption. (And I thought these Tea Party types carried around copies of the Constitution?)

          • WM says:

            ++ the {MT legislator] congressman is unfamiliar with Preemption…++

            Could be a little like thumbing their noses at the federal government over marijuana laws as did WA and CO, and within the last couple of days Washington DC, where Congressional types live most of the year. Maybe they will make better decisions with a little dope to offset their other dopey thinking.

            Every day I get more disappointed with this federal body – both damn parties.

            • JB says:

              a two party system full of ideologues does not make for compromise nor stability. Saw your post about climate change and was tempted to reply with Inhofe’ recent snowball stunt on the Senate floor. That’s right, Jimmy, the existence of snow in DC on February disproves global warming [exhasperated sigh].

    • Louise Kane says:

      No species should suffer an unprotected status. The definition itself is extremely disturbing. Trapping engenders commercialization of wildlife which inevitably becomes unsustainable. Even leaving out the suffering and inhumane aspects, it is a terribly bad activity that really needs to be abolished everywhere. Conducted by the few at the expense of everybody and its sad and terrified victims. I really despise every aspect of trapping and its spin off ventures like penning. Legislators that work to enshrine trapping need to be shown the door.

  18. Nancy says:

    Head lining my local news:

    And yeah, aalways a twist:

    “But there’s a twist: The State Department analysis then went on to argue that most of this oil will get burned regardless. If Keystone XL gets blocked, oil companies will likely just ship the crude by rail or alternative pipelines instead. That’s why the State Department concluded that the pipeline itself ultimately wouldn’t have a “significant” impact on emissions”

    A very informative site on the “proposed/hotly debated, Keystone Pipeline:

  19. Ed Loosli says:

    “We’re traveling a road that hurts our wildlife” Todd Wilkinson and Dr. Reed Noss

    “Noss is deeply troubled by the societal shift away from wild country serving as a way to engage in slow, quiet, mindful reflection that, in turn, gives rise to greater appreciation about the species that find refuge there and have nowhere else to go. Instead, wild places often are treated as outdoor gymnasiums whose highest touted value is delivering rushes of adrenaline.”

    • rork says:

      That article expressed allot of my concerns. The living world is so fascinating, how can you possibly not want to study it? Cause it takes work? I’m at a bit of a loss for how to turn this around, though I would like more hands-on nature study and gardening in grade schools, in addition to class-room ecology and genetics type stuff.

    • Louise Kane says:

      good post Ed and one that concerns me greatly. I often think about the impact I have when walking more than a few miles into a lightly traveled area. I find myself feeling guilty and intrusive. I try and be very respectful but realize that my presence has some impact that I can not change no matter how I approach. I also wonder that there are so few places that humans can’t access one way or another. I think there need to be places off limits to people.

  20. Ed Loosli says:

    “Noise limits for grouse misguided – Anticline Wyoming drillers are noncompliant using accurate threshold, says researcher University of California-Davis professor Gail Patricelli”

    “Acoustics research in Wyoming’s sagebrush country suggests that it’s only because of a faulty threshold that energy companies drilling the Pinedale Anticline are in compliance with noise limits set to protect sage grouse.”

  21. WM says:

    Human caused global warming direct proof for first time. UC Berkley scientists now have records – instruments measure the amount of infrared heat radiation coming down to the Earth’s surface from the sun, and the amount of heat radiation the Earth emits back up.

  22. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Alberta grizzlies fond of highway crossings for wildlife

    …revealed that grizzly bears generally prefer overpasses to underpasses.

  23. Louise Kane says:

    WM thanks for posting. I have often wished we might hold our politicians to a form of the res ipsa loquitur doctirne when they are charged with making decisions that affect the quality of life on earth. Something like no congress member shall make policy when it involves denying a preponderance of scientific or research evidence even when it conflicts with religious or personal bias. Instead many of them seem to be corrupt or willfully ignorant and abide by a reverse of that principle. You must prove that evolution is a process that helped to define life, you must prove that greenhouse gasses are warming the planet, you must prove that we are in the sixth extinction, I see a comic strip in my head of a Koch like politician sitting above a mass of people swimming in swirling apocalyptic like waters, any day now the waters will recede swim over to the raft station to get your free raft while the few remaining starving wild animals are waiting at the raft station to eat the would be raft takers. Would it be that hard to take a precautionary approach instead of forging on using avarice, and stupidity as policy directives?

  24. Louise Kane says:

    Parts One and Two of a public video package designed to end trapping on public lands in NM.

    Please share with legislators

    While made to address trapping in NM
    the message is the same for all public lands.

    There are limited graphic images its actually quite uplifting to show the number and variety of people wanting to end trapping! Great job

    Part One

    Part Two

    Different people in both but same message. Both are great

  25. aves says:

    An effort to bring back the buffer zone for wolves around Denali NP:

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Thanks go to the Alaska wildlife activists for taking action on this crucial issue.
      The same sort of anti-hunting buffer needs to be put in place around all of the National Forests (7 million acres) surrounding Yellowstone Nat. Park to ban the hunting of wolves – and bison.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Yes – delisting has been terribly abused everywhere it has occurred. It has been an absolute runaway free-for-all.

      I hope we have learned from this, what should have been obvious from the start – these misunderstood and scapegoated animals will always need some form of protection from people. We don’t seem to want to acknowledge that not all people have good intentions. Hundreds of wolves have been killed since the infamous Tester rider in the lower 48, and in Alaska.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Idaho and Alaska are both under wolf hating governorships and badly appointed boards, the former Otter and the latter Palin leftovers. To kill 2/3 of the Denali wolf population for trophy hunting illustrates how badly a national act is needed. This is outrageous.

      • Elk375 says:

        Remember where they want to establish a no kill zone is state land not federal land. Also it is within a few miles of where I killed my last moose.

  26. Dominique says:

    Feedback on this article please, “Scientific Fraud Infests F&W!”

    • says:

      Thank you so much for this block-buster. I hope the major press picks this up, like the Washington Post, NY Times and the LA Times, etc.
      For the last several years I have felt that Dan Ashe cares only about his “legacy” as the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Director. No matter what the scientists say, his usual action is to prematurely remove animals from the Endangered Species list that have not recovered, like the wolf and the grizzly bear. And at the other end, he wants to keep species that are truly endangered off the Endangered Species list — all to make him look successful in protecting our rarest plants and animals, which is really just perpetuating a fraud. It is all for show unfortunately, and the government scientists are left to mumble quietly or file whistle-blower cases.

    • JB says:

      “Mowad’s case quickly settled after MSPB Judge Mary Ann Garvey summarized what she had heard by saying “it appears that the history of the Fish and Wildlife, and specifically …Regional Director Benjamin Tuggle, [Deputy Director Rowan] Gould, and Ashe is that whistleblowing retaliation is tolerated or even condoned. Apparently someone got promoted or something good happened to them after they retaliated.””

      I also “enjoyed” this quote from the actual testimony:

      “We had a meeting in the Austin Field
      Office, and at that meeting Benjamin Tuggle
      said to the group, first he congratulated
      them for essentially getting this over the
      finish line without having to list the
      lizard, and he stated, there was not way we
      were going to list a lizard in the middle of
      oil country during an election year. And my
      jaw just about hit the ground, because that
      to me showed that that was a pre-decisional
      determination on his part, and they did not
      want to list that lizard and they were going
      to make sure that they found a way not to.”

      • Louise Kane says:

        “The first meaningful step toward reform would be removing Dan Ashe as Director.”

        Imagine the discussions on delisting wolves …

  27. Louise Kane says:

    Utah’s scorched earth policy is hurting cattlemen as study finds jackrabbits are competing for forage.…/bison-cows-rabbits-utah-ranching-henry…

    • Nancy says:

      “Well then,” he declared, “we need to stop shooting all these coyotes!”

      Priceless 🙂

    • rork says:

      Thanks for that pointer.
      Sounds like a story right out of Leopold’s Game Management. Never trust common sense when manipulating predator numbers – you are certain to get surprises, though in this era extra hares might have been expected by many. I think St. Aldo had a British story about knocking down foxes to try and benefit grouse that ended in too-many-bunnies and less grouse, the bunnies actually altering the species composition of the land (sorry, I forget what species of bunny or hare).
      PS: I am wildly enthusiastic about large and numerous exclosures. Even without studying them scientifically, passers-by can sometimes be shocked at the inside vs outside differences. MI is notoriously bad at placing them. PA has done better. They have an inconvenient result of making people worry if there are too many deer.

      • Nancy says:

        Rork – speaking of enclosures, I’m amazed at the difference between my few acres and the land on the other side of the fence, which is grazed about 6 months out of the year. Its sage grouse habitat but the grasses don’t have a change to grow around the sagebrush for decent cover or nesting areas.

        • rork says:

          In MI we worry that the deer “ate” the local grouses (and pheasant, whippoorwill), both directly, and indirectly. Hunter common sense says it’s canines that are to blame for ground-nesting bird reduction. It’s true that both coyotes and deer went up as the birds went down, and land use has changed a bit too, so it’s far from simple to figure out.

          • JB says:

            Early successional habitat is disappearing in the Midwest. Farmers pull up fence rows, lots that were once cut for firewood are cut no longer, people who once actively managed private forests are content to let them grow, and CRP lands have vanished with the rising price of corn. That’s the story in Ohio anyway.

  28. rork says:
    “Michigan DNR appeals federal court’s wolf decision.”
    That’s all I know. I do wonder if it’s mostly just hopeless grand-standing (our attorney general does such things).

  29. timz says:

    Given there are more men than women in WYoming they are moving to protect their sheep population.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      +1… Thanks, I needed a big laugh. Your comment is so funny!!

    • skyrim says:

      Hmmmmm timz; does this lend support to the old theory about “Wyoming men being men, and sheep being (something else)? ;-))

    • Immer Treue says:

      Perhaps the illustrious Valerius Geist can shed some light on the x number of steps toward deer habituation.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        + Immer.

        One day I observed a black-tailed doe in the vernal pool area standing on her hind legs and thrashing out with her front legs at what appeared to be nothing but air. Upon closer examination I found that she was striking at the flowering heads of a tall, wetlands hair grass, Deschampsia cespitosa.

        • Louise Kane says:

          Barb, how lucky for you to see that. Those are the kind of moments that you remember during hard times. The unexpected glimpse.

          I had one of those moments the other day while hiking with my GSD monster. There is about 3 feet of packed snow with drifts up to 6-7 feet along the trails I take to the beach and its slow going even with spikes or snowshoes. Some of the trees and vegetation along the path to the beach are truncated because the snow is so high. In passing some very deep snow, the dog started whining and acting frenzied. He was staring at the tree and acting like a maniac. At first I did not see anything then I saw the slightest rustling of fur. I could not figure out what it was at first. On closer inspection, a small grey squirrel had made the very calculated decision to flatten himself against the tree while hugging the trunk. I could only make him out when I saw the fur on his tail moving slightly in the wind. At first I thought oh damn the poor thing must have frozen. he had frozen. Then I saw his eye blink. He was so well camouflaged it was amazing to see. The squirrel must have been very stressed as he was only about 2 feet above the reach of my dog on a spindly scrub oak. These trees stay stunted from the winds off the beach even without the snow pack they are not high. It was such a smart move, and one I had not seen before even though we have many squirrels all over and the dog and squirrels seem to have a knack of pissing each other off. Usually they leap into the trees and jump from branch to branch screeching at Rue, or can escape through thicket. This squirrel rightly figured it had no chance on the ground in the deep snow. I’ll never forget the look of deep concentration on that face and how hard that squirrel tried not be noticed. We moved away and left him thankfully unharmed. It was only a squirrel but I saw a behavior that I had never seen before and it made me remember you don’t have to see something “exotic” to be duly impressed.

          anyhow you must have felt pretty lucky to see that doe. What a sight!

          • Nancy says:

            Checked on the Decorah eagles a few minutes ago. Its zero there, part of the nest is covered in snow and Mom, seconds later, stood up and revealed 3 eggs. She turned them and settled back down, burying her head in her shoulder feathers.

            What dedication.

            • skyrim says:

              I am often moved by the dedication of mothers in the wild, and equally moved in the opposite direction by the sometimes disgusting nature of mothers of our own species towards their young.
              Now in the coming weeks we will see the other side of nature that is evidence of the strong surviving, as cruel as it is to witness.

  30. Louise Kane says:

    New Mexico voting on ban of wildlife killing contests today. I am reposting this request from End New Mexico Killing Contests.

    “Please make a quick, polite call, it’s easy! Call Governor Martinez today to ask her to support a ban on coyote killing contests in New Mexico! Vote happening today.
    Please call her office at: 505-476-2200. Share the news!”

    I did call and as an anecdotal aside, whenever I speak to state or federal offices that handle intake of calls supporting bans on killing or other wildlife friendly initiatives I always ask if they are receieving many calls and if they are supportive. The aide on the phone answered oh yes. Why this does not translate into policy is frustrating.

  31. Ida Lupines says:

    I wish more people could see this about wilderness, instead of looking at is as something to conquer – it’s power to heal and renew, and refresh.

    Thanks, HCN!

  32. Nancy says:

    A reminder:

    Can order milkweed seeds, share seeds or donate here: or

    • Cody Coyote says:

      Yes, we should all be planting more Milkweed. But we also need to stock the milkweed orchard with Monarch larvae. All the milkweed in mid-America won;t help if there are not butterflies to propagate on them . The mature Monarch can live on a wide variety of flowering plants, but the catepillars need milkweed. It seems a concerted effort to cultivate Monarch larvae in captivity for release would be smart. ( excellent grade school project there ? )

      You can order viable larvae online as well, but know that three pupae will cost you about $ 20.00. Not inexpensive. Live butterflies even more.

      In Cody Wyoming where I live and plant a gob of colorful flowers to attract butterflies, I saw exactly two Monarchs all last year, and very very few Tiger Swallowtails . They were abundant just a few years ago.

      I have a feed sack full of milkweed seeds ready to disperse this summer and have talked with farmers who do not raise livestock or use Roundup-like pesticides if I can populate their ditches with seed . I’m also ging to try to coordinate a sit-down with the COunty weed and pest control people to see if there is any way we can get them to back off the wholesale eradication of Milkweed in some areas. Milkweed is a noxious weed, but when have we ever heard of livestock getting ill or dying from it in recent years ? I dunno. But I do know it’s my county weed and pest guys who are killing the milkweed.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I drive or walk by open areas and fields every day; but I worry that they will be developed one day. What do we do about that? Some people think that these areas are not productive unless they have an obvious human use. 🙁

      • OutdoorFunNut says:

        I think its great that you plant milkweed, especially if you doing it on your own property. My issue here in my neck of the woods is that the beavers that one of my neighbors and I are trying to “grow” on the east end of mine and on my neighbors property are affecting others (farmers). Out of respect for them we are trying to find a way to “co-exist”. Our original group(colony) were rightfully removed (shot and trapped) but, we expect more and trying to get prepared. My, question Cody is when you put out your Milkweed seed do you take into consideration neighboring ranchers? Do you need to take them into consideration (does the milkweed spread)? I don’t know how “noxious” the plant actually is. We have some that grows on the North end of the property.

    • rork says:

      Farmers can choose resistance for 2-4D (if approved), as well as glufosinate, sulfonylurea, or things in those Clearfield herbicides, “Lightening” and “Distinct”, whose happy names, and non-GMO seeds, tell you it’s safer (sarcasm!). Is there some reason other than popularity that glyphosate is worse?
      If there’s advocacy of stopping all herbicides, point me there. I’d like getting more land reserved from agriculture, not just for insects. That’s going to cost though, no matter how it’s done.
      I vow to grow more milkweed. I help plant it for the state on state land. I never use herbicides at my yard.

      • Nancy says:

        An interesting site to wander around in rork:

        About 10 years ago I used a “Weed & Feed” on my small enclosed yard and the following year the dandelions were more robust than the year before, so I stopped with the chemicals. I keep the yard mowed to a decent level but no longer have a desire to fight with the plants that find the yard an interesting place to live. Although I do try and keep the sagebrush and rabbit brush at bay. They have the rest of the property 🙂

        Besides, my chickens love dandelion greens and a host of other “weeds” that make a home there and the deer also browse in late fall.

        Canada Thistle can be found around the fringes of the yard (butterflies, bees and deer love the plants) but it is considered a “noxious” weed in Montana.

        Interesting to note some of these plants have medicinal and other uses (like wildlife taking advantage of them) so got to question why/where millions are being spent annually to control them?

        • Louise Kane says:

          +1 “Interesting to note some of these plants have medicinal and other uses (like wildlife taking advantage of them) so got to question why/where millions are being spent annually to control them?”

      • Louise Kane says:

        +1 The application of mosquito control chemicals is also very harmful. Cape Cod has elevated breast and other cancers probably in part due to the Otis Air force base superfund site and the contamination from jet fuels and other toxic substances. But of note, one of the few towns that does not have higher that normal cancer rates is Eastham where I live. At one time the town was too poor to purchase mosquito control! I am very thankful that it is still not routinely applied where I live. Many Cape Codders fight the NStar electric company on a regular basis to keep them from spraying their toxic shit all along the power lines. If I come across a stop all herbicide page, I’ll point you to it Rork.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          We’re at the epicenter of West Lyme and Eastern Equine Encephalitis, so we usually get a dousing at the end of every summer.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            Sorry, West Nile, Lyme, and Eastern Equine Encephalitis. I wonder of the severe winter will affect this?

      • Ida Lupine says:

        It’s hard to say – but I thought I did notice less monarchs last year, as well as less butterflies overall. I didn’t see any buckeyes, maybe three monarchs, and I did see many whites and sulphurs. This was at my local sanctuary. The year before there were a good amount of monarchs. I get blue swallowtails in my yard; they like the Queen Anne’s lace.

        I don’t use chemicals on my lawn anymore either, and I’ve let the natural wildflowers come back. Birds and small mammals eat the grubs, you can really see nature’s balance.

        If my lawn is a little torn up from small mammals and cicada wasps, I don’t mind. The deer eat not just plants I want, but those I don’t want also, and ones that overgrow like pachysandras. My lawn isn’t perfect now, but it doesn’t look that bad either – just as good any. I’m going to decrease my lawn and increase garden area too in future years.

        It’s great to plant milkweed, but if there are less and less places to plant it because of development, that needs to be taken into consideration too, ahead of the fact. So we aren’t left playing catchup and/or too late.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        How do we propose to feed a growing population with less agriculture? Oh I know – Frankenfood?

        • Ida Lupine says:

          As you know, I’m a big proponent of smaller, organic farms. Our area is (supposedly), where there are so many organic farms many lakes and ponds that are the water supply for part of the state, shielded somewhat from aerial spraying. Several Audubon sanctuaries and areas set aside protected from future development too.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          This article isn’t new, but contains a lot of information. For example, ethanol, the so called biofuel to protect the environment – has opened up more land to corn and soybeans. How did we ever let the Conservation Reserve Program be messed with?

          Ethanol is a big issue too. We’ve seen a 25.5 million-acre increase in the amount of corn and soybeans since 2006. And that’s been at the expense of nearly ten million acres of Conservation Reserve Program land, which farmers are paid to set aside for wildlife. The other 15.5 million acres means that farmers had to plant a lot of marginal land — that would be milkweed habitat, pollinator habitat, rangeland, grassland and so on. So there has been a tremendous change in agriculture to accommodate the
          production of biofuel. The price of corn and the price of soybeans has gone way up. There is also an increase in international markets.

          But gardens are not going to make up for 25.5 million acres of additional corn and soybeans.

          Biofuel has to be the worst idea ever.

          Planting milkweed all by itself isn’t enough to guarantee monarch survival, and we shouldn’t oversimplify it. Not everyone is going to do it. And Monarchs migrate; what happens where they winter, if their habitat is lost to logging and agriculture? So habitat protection ahead of the fact is going to have to be a priority. I wish we’d stop with the kind of thinking that we can fix whatever messes we get into afterwards; there’s no guarantee of it. I know there are programs at airports to plant them with wildflowers to protect butterfly habitat. I wonder if the gawdawful noise and stench of fuel affects them?

  33. Louise Kane says:

    very cool gift giving crows

    • Nancy says:

      Yes, very cool Louise!

      My sister who lives in VA and has some property and raises chickens. She feeds the crows that nest and hang out in the trees on her property. They in turn, make it very uncomfortable for hawks, who prey on her chickens, to hang around 🙂

      Know how that works, have crows that nest over on the meadow across from me and they have a “no fly zone” where hawks, ravens and even eagles, are not tolerated in.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Yes they do that here too they are so diligent in their efforts to keep hawks away. I absolutely love them. In the house we lived in 10 years ago, they would gather in the back yard near our window and have a convention every morning. sometimes it looked like close to a hundred. I used to try and imagine what they could be talking about. But the way they walk cracks me up like little men in black suits with a pot belly and big attitudes. The crows here by the beach just have no tolerance for birds of prey. I’ve seen them run off huge hawks, osprey and even great blue heron once that was perched on a roof.

        I wonder could they actually hurt the hawk or much larger bird of prey? or do the birds just feel harassed and have the squawking?

        They are so amazing to watch.

        I love how you describe it as a no fly zone. thats so perfect

    • Kathleen says:

      Here’s a crow “video-bombing” the webcam at the San Fran 49ers stadium…needless to say, this crow is most likely a Baltimore ravens fan.

  34. Ida Lupine says:

    I haven’t seen crows or ravens in my yard – I hear them, not sure I could tell the difference?

    I have lots of backyard birds – and lately a very small hawk, no bigger than a mourning dove. Not sure what he is, not a kestrel or merlin. I haven’t seen any birds missing that I know of – but that’s nature, the hawks have to eat too. They are not like humans, who not only take more than they need, but everything around for miles. 🙂

  35. Louise Kane says:

    On another note for anyone living near MA or having friends and family here Jon Way is either presenting or involved in the following events. He gives a great presentation.

    1. Monday, March 2, 2015 @ 7PM. Coywolf Talk for Orleans Conservation Trust at Orleans Yacht Club (MA). Contact: Kris Ramsey (

    2. Saturday, March 7, 2015 @ 7 PM. Panel discussion (including Jon) and screening of PBS film Meet the Coywolf at Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater, Wellfleet, MA (2357 Route 6, Wellfleet, MA). Contact: Melissa Lowe Cestaro (

    3. Monday, March 9, 2015 @ 9:30-10:30AM. Coywolf talk at Beverly Public Library. Contact: Robin Flynn (

    Pass along to your MA friends!

    • Ida Lupines says:

      How interesting! I’d love to attend.

      I haven’t been having any problems with the site?

  36. Ralph Maughan says:

    Are you being taken to 2011?

    Three readers have contacted me saying they are taken to a 2011 version of the Wildlife News when they access the page.

    I can find no problem. Please comment if you are having this problem.

    Ralph Maughan, webmaster

    • Nancy says:

      Test, test March 1, 2015

    • Yvette says:

      No sign of Marty McFly. It’s 03/01/2015 here.

    • Debra K says:


      I have the site bookmarked, and I go to 2011 when I click it.

      • WM says:

        Not wildlife news, but a topic that is relevant in 2015 and beyond. The impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizen United v. FEC (2010) political donor contribution ruling is beginning to ripple thru the next Presidential election. First wave begins here as the party of the powerful rich gathers in posh resort towns to initially screen and fund election hopefuls, while putting together the agenda for the weak thinking lower middle class of the southeast (and parts of the interior West). A handful of well-heeled donors may lift to lofty heights a couple of these candidates, filling their war chests for the days ahead. Potentially very scary stuff as buying elections under the veil of private dollars funding free speech may take this country even further to the right:

        • JB says:

          “…buying elections under the veil of private dollars funding free speech may take this country even further to the right”

          May–or already has?

      • Leslie says:

        yes, me too. Suddenly I’m back in time. Needed to delete and re-bookmark

    • Rich says:


      Yes I had the same problem so deleted my bookmark. Used Google to find the link again and re-bookmarked it. now it seems to be ok.

    • Kathleen says:

      Yes, it happened to me, too. Thought I fell into a time warp. I had apparently been using the old URL with “wolves” in the address (forwolves? maybe?) but sorted it out with Google and installed the current one in my “favorites.”

    • Jeff says:

      My home computer is doing this—the image of the bighorn rams over the Gardner River

  37. Nancy says:

    I sincerely hope investigators are looking at fertilizers and herbicides (so prevalent now) in hay fields. Wouldn’t and shouldn’t be a leap to relate.

    Moose don’t migrate.

  38. Nancy says:

    You came to mind Louise, and a few others who claim this part of the country as home 🙂

  39. Yvette says:

    The mountain lion season in SD is reported to be going at a slow pace with ‘harvest’ (I loath using that word in this context) rates. The limit is 75 lions or when 50 females have been ‘harvested’.

    As of 02/26/15 they are at 32 lions with an even split of male:female.

    My question is it likely they have their harvest limit set too high for the population? If they have a limit set at 75 and are struggling to get close to that number wouldn’t that be a sign that the population is probably not as dense as their models have predicted?

    Previous year’s harvest

    2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
    14 16 19 1 30 43 50 90 51 53

    Help me understand the reasoning of arriving at the harvest limits. Look at 2008 with only 1 lion harvested after three seasons, and then at the high of 90 lions taken in 2012 and then the harvests drop by > 50% of that high in 2012.

    Have they over projected their population? Plus, they are killing a lot of young lions. Fourteen lions this season were 1.5 -2 year olds. That seems detrimental to the population to me. If you count the ones that are 3 and under it’s 20 lions. That’s 62.5% of the harvest that haven’t even started breeding yet. That seems awfully detrimental to the overall population.

    Here is the Rapid City Journal article.

    Here is the 2015 kill chart if you want to look.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Yvette, the points you make are excellent, percentage of young taken, difficulty in reaching “harvest” limits and lack of reliable and accurate population size are all reasons to take a more precautionary approach, those and of course hunting predators is just plain unnecessary.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Many of the wolves killed are juveniles also.

      • Immer Treue says:

        Via MN stats, a very high comparative % are juvenile. The the compensatory variable comes into play. How many if these juveniles would survive the winter?

  40. Louise Kane says:

    Losers kill family of cougar and get slap on wrist.

  41. MAD says:

    Although I don’t agree with all of his management ideas, there is no denying that Dave Mech is still relevant when it comes to research for wolves. I met him at a conference, he was cordial. Here is an excellent article discussing the issue of the Great Lakes wolves, the Eastern wolf and coyotes entitled, “Non-genetic Data Supporting Genetic Evidence for the Eastern Wolf”

    • Mark L says:

      From the article:
      “Morphological evidence that would help distinguish
      whether phenotypic wolves with Coyote-like mtDNA are Gray Wolves that have
      hybridized with Coyotes or with Eastern Wolves would be (1) the existence of
      Canis that generally appeared intermediate between Gray Wolves and Coyotes or
      that generally appeared intermediate between Gray Wolves and Eastern Wolves,
      or (2) skulls that appear similarly intermediate.”
      Hmm, I just mentioned one (partial skeleton) that matches exactly that description in the ‘Mexican wolf population’ threads. Shame we can’t get these things tested.

  42. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Oregon’s Wolves and the Oregon Wolf Plan – Discovering Wildlife Lecture Series

    Russ discusses our increasing wolf population, conservation efforts, wolf-livestock conflict management, and the future of wolves in Oregon

  43. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Rob Wielgus’s video from Wolf Management Research Symposium

    as RW assures us that 25 years long livestock depredation data set clearly shows that 40% wolf quota is equal to 3% wolf quota – the funny conclusion is that there’s no ‘middle way’ between wolf advocates and wolf haters as the worst depredation rate follows 25% wolf quota.

    and it would be really funny if the same pattern applies also to wild ungulate populations – that the biggest ungulate consumption rate by wolves happen at the 25% wolf harvest.

    so it actually matters who are those ones who defend wolves on the street.

    for example, pro-wolf women usually are more courageous on the ground and therefore more suitable for wolf advocacy than those pussyfooting “rational & pragmatic mainstream hunters” who cannot call a spade a spade in the face of a typical anti-wolf mainstream hunter.

    • rork says:
      is the paper. I downloaded and parsed Sup Table 1. Maybe I’m making some mental mistakes but here was my take.

      First, more trivially, about Fig 3: Where did that data come from? I only see two years where %wolfskilled >.3 in my downloaded table. And you can see that most years of high %kill have low cattle kills. The one data-point I can tell where it came from is the one at far upper right, where the table does show one year with 123 cattle predations (2006, Wyoming), where I compute that 16% of wolves were killed the previous year, and max %wolf kill in Wyoming is only 18% (it shows about 30% – I don’t know how, tell me if you do). You can see his curve is brought down by years that have few cattle kills, and large %wolf kill – those are early years when there were hardly any wolves. So few, that it hardly constitutes data compared to data for the last 10 years. Also the early, low-wolf years they maybe ate less cows thanks to lower wolf densities – could that be the source of the actual findings? Further fig 3 has NOTHING to do with his main model I think, and if I am permitted to extrapolate to 40% kill, then why not 45%, which would result in negative depredations.

      More interesting, about wolfs-killed by breeding-pairs interactions in the Main model:”But the negative interaction effect in the model shows that depredations ultimately declined with increased wolf kills as number of breeding pairs decreased”. That’s an interpretation of the model and belonged in discussion – the model itself does not say why there’s a big interaction. If I try their fitted best model on a population of 800000 cows, 600 wolves, with 40 breeding pairs (about like Montana in 2011), if I kill 10 wolves I expect 87.3 dead cattle. For every 10 more wolves I kill I get about 2.5 FEWER dead cows. (However, if it’s just 35 breeding pairs and 600 wolves, cattle death increases with more wolf killing, about 2.5 cows for every 10 wolves. It’s tricky.) Perhaps more importantly I find that for most of the actual data, the effect of wolf-kill increasing depredation via main effects is almost exactly offset by that interaction term. It’s not so simple to interpret, and that is not what one would think from looking at fig 3. “each additional wolf killed increased the expected mean number of livestock depredated by 5–6% for cattle” is true only if the interaction term is ignored is what I’m saying. The stats wonk rule is to not interpret main effects alone when interactions are significant, cause they can be compensating for each other.

      To nerds: I’m not sure negative binomial model was so great if you look carefully.

      Summary: The main model has significant interaction terms. They make interpretation of the effect of killing wolves more complicated than you might think. Fig 3 is not from that model. I’d hesitate to advertise that anything was convincingly proven.
      Disclaim: Still a Cis-male deer hunter, perhaps pussyfooting.

      • JB says:

        Excellent interp, Rork. 🙂

      • WM says:

        Wielgus should have spent more time in his paper/presentations acknowledging the limitations of the data he was working with. And, let’s be clear with no wolves in ID or WY (by prevailing conventional wisdom anyway)prior to 1995, he really had much less than 17 years of data to work with, because for awhile those wolves were not even in cattle country. Same is true for MT, though there were wolves moving in from Canada for some of the 25 years.

        I think this is bad science….when you don’t acknowledge the limitations of the data, especially small data sets for what is really a short time period. And then draw mostly unqualified conclusions which some folks will unabashedly latch onto as does Mareks above.

        • JB says:


          In fairness, this is NOT by any means considered a “short time period” for an ecological study, most of which span 2-5 years (the typical time it takes to “finish” a graduate student).

          I think your label of “bad science” is unfairly applied. I’ve actually spoken with Weilgus and on reviewer of the paper–both agreed they got a thorough ‘raking over the coals’. Limitations are increasingly unrecognized by JOURNAL EDITORS who seek to (a) maximize the impact of articles published in their journal and (b) seek to reduce the word count in order to maximize its reach.

          • JB says:

            Sorry, “one reviewer”.

          • WM says:


            It seems to me if one is dealing with a reintroduced species which is increasing in number and expanding to range where its impacts are to be felt and studied, more time is better, and 3-5 years in this specific instance would be insufficient, and maybe even 20 years not sufficient, without acknowledging the many variables that influence what is being studied.

            Interesting to know Journal Editors are now determining the science to be reported (another aspect I had not considered as contributing to “bad science”). Are you saying, what? – if it doesn’t knock your shorts off in its conclusions it doesn’t get in the Journal?

            • JB says:

              “… if it doesn’t knock your shorts off in its conclusions it doesn’t get in the Journal?”

              Precisely. Many “top” journals now have an initial review process which consists of an editorial read and a decision to review or reject. If editors don’t think an article will increase their impact factor…

              More is always better when it comes to time series, but the reality is that the vast majority of ecological studies have less than 5 years of data.

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          1) at 9:25-10:00 minutes of the video RW says that they analized the data set for a year using some 55 models – the results were the same

          2) at the end of the video RW says that it was reviewed by 2 independent university statisticians, all wolf biologists at WA,MT,WY,ID wildlife agencies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service + 2 anonymous reviewers + PLOSone stuff

          3) RW says that conclusions will be ‘extremely controversial’ for chaps like WM who goes to visit his wife’s relatives in Idaho and keeps his mouth shut. Why? because relatives are from anti-wolf camp, that’s why. Then WM goes to his elk hunting grounds and amicably chats with fellow hunters and again dodges the wolf topic because they are demanding wolf killing rate.

          Then he goes online and happily bullies & harasses Ida.
          That’s sensible because in no way threatens his amicable conversations with hunting buddies, relatives in Idaho or local ranchers.

          4) now Rob Wielgus joins the long list of those ones who do ‘bad science’ – like Rolf Peterson, John Vucetich, William Ripple, Cristina Eisenberg, Robert Beschta, Paul Paquet etc etc

          5)WM laments about ‘many variables’ being ignored … interesting objection, considering that area spans NRM wolf range! 🙂 for WM who is mourning every dead cattle the vastness of NRM is small potatoes and he would like to see conclusions based on ‘good science’ which ‘acknowledges many variables’ over many decades . Only that would probably qualify as ‘intellectual honesty’:)

          6)until wolf depredation is the biggest source of cattle/sheep/or even wild ungulate mortality all that croaking about ‘bad science’ and ‘decreasing elk hunting opportunities’ is irrelevant hogwash

          • Mareks Vilkins says:

            relevant factors to find credible correlation between lethal wolf control & cattle/sheep depredations are:

            1) dependent variables (the number of both cattle & sheep depredated)

            2) independent variables (the number of a)wolves, b) wolf breeding pairs, c)wolves killed, d)cattle, e)sheep)

            • rork says:

              Ask yourself if you saw a model get fit to cow attacks with just wolf numbers and wolf deaths on the right hand side? (That is, without the interaction.) If so were wolf deaths significant? I’m kinda guessing they wouldn’t be.

              I could try to fit that model myself, but it would take some time and involve some tough choices (like if I even agree the errors are more dispersed than Poisson distributions – it’s true for the raw data). I’m not saying the science is bad, I’m saying it is a touchy thing. There may be other factors about human behavior changing from the earlier to later years for example, and mixing years with 40 wolves and 600 wolves together makes me anxious.

          • Mareks Vilkins says:

            Native Americans (including Inuits) could co-exist with wolves and other large carnivores but devastated poor peasant US society in the 21st century – cannot.
            For them the sky is falling and the Doomsday is not far away

            • Nancy says:

              +1 Mareks

            • WM says:


              The Colville and Spokane Tribes in NE WA have already had wolf hunts; when they show up on the Yakama Reservation on the east side of Mt. Adams in a few years, where tribal members raise cattle and sheep, and do subsistence hunting on their elk herds, do you suppose co-existence will be their method of dealing with wolves? I am thinking realistically not.

              So, perhaps your statement should be “SOME Native Americans could co-exist with wolves and other large carnivores…”

              And, as a footnote to the above, I used to know a federal government WS hunter who was regularly called upon to dispatch unwanted problem black bears on the Yakama Reservation. I think they were working on the sheep pretty heavily. Now, I think the tribal wildlife program performs that task, with even less publicity surrounding what is going on there.

              • Jeff N. says:

                This can also apply to the Apache down here in AZ. The reservation is split by the Black River. North of the Black River reside the White Mountain Apache and they have an agreement with the feds to allow lobos on their real estate. The San Carlos Apache reside on the other side of the Black River and they are intolerant of wolves on their land. The San Carlos graze more cattle and manage their land for trophy bull elk hunting.

              • Yvette says:

                It’s called assimilation due to colonial indoctrination. My former brother-in-law (for > 30 years) is part Yakama. I do not know the Colvilles but my sister lived there when her hydrologist husband worked for them. She was not impressed with their tribal policies and stated they were very ‘BIA indoctrinated’. I’ve lost count of how many times you’ve mentioned the Confederated Colvilles and the Yakamas. Well, that is 2 out of 566 ‘federally recognized’ tribes.

                I think it will be just as significant to see how the Umatilla’s wolf policy evolves.

                • WM says:


                  Let’s not throw statistics around willy nilly. Unless those recognized tribes have a direct spiritual link to wolves, or economic interests perhaps they may not care. On the other hand, maybe at lest three factors should be considered:

                  1. Are there currently, or will there be in the near future, wolves affecting tribal interests?

                  2. Are tribal members, or tribal enterprises, engaged in raising livestock?

                  3. Do tribal members rely upon wild ungulates for subsistence, or do they derive profit from allowing hunting of their ungulates by non-tribal members for money?

                  Here is another one for you from the Southwest – Navajo County, AZ. I believe several of the County Supervisors are Native American (Navajo, but also represent Hopi interests).

                  Read this resolution – scroll to the bottom of page 3:


              • Mareks Vilkins says:

                Native Americans could co-exist with large predators for thousand years before Europeans arrived with their economy based on the concept of private property & money and all that.

                Today NA are living in poverty and some are trying to adjust to dominant mentality – that everything can be commodificated (expressed in monetary terms).

  44. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Brazil’s king of deforestation dethroned in drive to beat land clearers

    Arrest of Ezekiel Castanha shines new spotlight on financial crime and may help bring breakthrough in effort to protect Amazon rainforest

    Ezequiel Antônio Castanha (right), who is accused of illegally destroying tens of thousands of square kilometres of Amazon forest, is arrested by federal police officers in Novo Progresso in the northern state of Pará, Brazil.

    Ibama – which has come under fire in recent years for losing the battle against illegal forest clearance – says the gang was responsible for half of all deforestation in the BR-163 region, which accounts for 20% of the total in Brazil

    • Louise Kane says:

      Wow Mareks thanks for posting. I’ve been wondering how the all out pillaging of the Amazon could be slowed.

  45. Nancy says:

    In a nutshell – the troubling aspects of raising livestock today:

  46. WM says:

    This comment is specifically for Yvette, who several months ago was tauting the virtues of the socialist experiment going on in Venezuela, and several other countries flirting with socialist/progressive agendas, where their economy is run by the government and is petroleum based. Frankly, I don’t remember how we got off wildlife and on to international economies, but I think it had something to do with the role of government in looking after “the people” and the “people’s agenda.”

    I took a lot of heat at that time from some here who have socialist thoughts, and viewed then Venezuela leader Hugo Chavez (and his hand picked replacement, President Muduro, as Chavez succumbed to death by cancer) as some sort of savior for the poor and disenfranchised in his country and even in the US. Let me say, it was a PR job extraordinaire, and the guy was one screwed up and incompetent leader who has left his country much, much worse than he found it.

    Now, here is the latest from Venezuela, which has the very worst world economy of all those tracked ( .

    And, here is a pretty good read from a couple weeks back giving more detail on exactly what is happening there, if you have the stomach for it:

    • Yvette says:

      WM. That entire first paragraph is a bait. At least, that is the way I interpret the choice of words and their placement. Taunting, flirting with, “people’s agenda” and so forth. For some reason I keep hearing someone in the background calling out, “Heyyy Warrrriors”, or are you old enough to remember that underground movie we 70’s kids loved?

      Like you, I do not remember the particulars of the exchange a few months ago. I do remember you calling me a socialist, and don’t believe it was meant as a compliment. Yes, I am way left of the Ted Cruz’s and lying O’Reillys. Though I don’t believe I am a socialist, I most definitely am not in support of an oligarchy style government.

      I read the Bloomberg and Telegraph articles. Yes, Venezuela is suffering what seems to be a collapsing economy. The question is it because of socialism or is it because of the price of oil has plummeted and 96% of their earnings is based on oil exports? Likely, it is a mix of both. It is unfortunate as I do believe Hugo Chavez’s heart was in the right place for the poorest of the poor. I’m glad that many of their poorest kids were able to attend school for the first time in their life. Where was the upper echelon class before Chavez when it came to the wide income gap?

      As for socialism, have you looked at the economic growth in Bolivia under the Presidency of Evo Morales? Things aren’t perfect, but their economy has grown faster under President Morales than it has in the last 30 years. Poverty rates have decreased by 25% and extreme poverty has been reduced by 43%. Is it sustainable? We shall wait and see.

    • WM says:

      touting= tauting (bad spelling, and definitely not taunting). Does that help?

      Bolivia – guess it will just have to play out. It doesn’t take much to give a small boost to one of the poorest countries in the Western world, the question is can Morales sustain it without going on the same self-destruction path as Venezuela. Oh, and he just broke ground on a $31 million dollar palace for himself.

      Plunging natural gas and oil prices may take Bolivia down a similar path as Venezuela. Did I mention El Presidente is working on his own $31 million palace. Bet that much in their economy buys a whole lot – maybe even creates some jobs in the process.

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      it was a PR job extraordinaire, and the guy was one screwed up and incompetent leader who has left his country much, much worse than he found it.

      for starters maybe read:
      The Worst Venezuela Coverage of 2014
      Venezuelan Officials Seize Warehouse with Enormous Cache of Hoarded Items as Opposition Calls for Strike

      • Mareks Vilkins says:
        What the Statistics Tell Us about Venezuela in the Chavez Era
        The Chávez Administration at 10 Years: The Economy and Social Indicators

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          what’s more relevant in the U.S. context are:

          The Cooperative Economy: A Conversation with Gar Alperovitz

          aside from being owned by members rather than by shareholders or individuals, cooperatives differ from many traditional businesses in their values and motives. Also, they’re not required to grow, but they can and do, which is important in terms of designing an alternative to capitalism, because we need to get beyond the existing economy’s drive to use resources and produce waste, including carbon emissions, in ever-increasing quantities.

          Most people don’t realize that 25 percent of American electricity is provided by municipal ownership or co-ops, and much of it in the traditionally conservative South.

          There are around 130 million Americans who are members of co ops. The credit union sector, which is part of the co op sector, has more or as much capital as any one of the big five New York banks. The nonprofit sector is about 10 percent of the economy. And you can add in employee stock ownership plans, municipal enterprise, and community land trusts.
          At a slightly larger level, twenty states have introduced legislation to create publicly owned banks

          etc etc of other interesting bits

          • Mareks Vilkins says:


            Mondragón and the System Problem

            Mondragón Corporation is an extraordinary 80,000-person grouping of worker-owned cooperatives based in Spain’s Basque region that is teaching the world how to move the ideas of worker-ownership and cooperation into high gear and large scale. The first Mondragón cooperatives date from the mid-1950s, and the overall effort has evolved over the years into a federation of 110 cooperatives, 147 subsidiary companies, eight foundations and a benefit society with total assets of 35.8 billion euros and total revenues of 14 billion euros.
            Each year, it also teaches some 10,000 students in its education centers and has roughly 2,000 researchers working at 15 research centers, the University of Mondragón, and within its industrial cooperatives. It also actively educates its workers about cooperatives’ principles, with around 3,000 people a year participating in its Cooperative Training program and 400 in its Leadership and Team Work program.

          • Yvette says:

            Mareks, +++ for posting this because I found it extraordinarily interesting and it is completely new information for me.

            • WM says:


              Better read the link Peter gives below, to get the full picture of Mondragon’s manufacturing problems.

              Co-op businesses are a great idea, in theory. For some reason most manufacturing models don’t work over the long term. Co-op banks, or credit unions work great, it seems, as long as they don’t take on bad risks. Heck they don’t make anything, they just manage money, and credit unions don’t need to produce a profit for shareholders, so that gives them an operating margin in which they can provide money management services at less cost.

              Another co-op in the retail sector is Recreational Equipment Inc., which know as REI (yes the same one Sally Jewell served as CEO). There are others, which are sort of like co-ops, but they are typically retailers. Some co-ops provide utilities, and may be organized as special districts (with taxing authority). They don’t operate for profit. So what? A special district works just like a city/town government, and some are just as bureaucratic, political and corrupt as cities.

              • Yvette says:

                Since all of this is so far off the wildlife topic I’ve been reluctant to respond, but it is an interesting discussion.

                I read all of the links Mareks posted, and the one on Mondragon did discuss failure of Fagor. I do not yet know if that is the only company that failed in Mondragon system, but their co-op system has been in place since the 1950’s. I’d say that isn’t bad if most of the co-op companies are working as designed and the people are stable.

                I do believe it is imperative to try economic methods, and political, other than the corporatocracy we now have in America. Capitalism has served America well for a few centuries, but it has come with a huge note with high interest rates in the form of loss and degradation of our natural world systems. Mother Nature is our banker and she is close to banging on our door to collect her debt. Due to the foundation of capitalistic principles (in the big corporate sense) everything in our natural world has paid a huge price with environmental degradation to land, water, air, and all livinig beings dependent on it. We’re paying a price and our wildlife and fish are paying a price. Human life and well being is dependent on all those things. How much are we willing to pay before we force ourselves to function in an optimal range? With the fluctuation in our system over time we are now at a point where the income gap between the top tier earners (a small percent of people) and the rest of us continues to widen. What serves the interests of corporations based on the philosophy of growth and profit at any cost is getting worse for those born in the lower rung (like me) to mobilize ourselves to a more financially stable and position in life. The political rhetoric on both extremes is almost always wrong. Our planet is not static. Why would we expect our global economic philosophies to be so?

                I can’t yet comment on Gar Alperovitz’s website since I only learned about him this morning. I personally will not dismiss as irrelevant simply because he is not a full blown corporatist. Nor will I dismiss him or the website as a ‘socialist activist’ site. Simultaneously, I wont’ believe something in American media simply because it is American. Far from it. Our major media sources are owned by 6 different corporations. That is not capitalistic competition; it is oligarchy. I have less trust and faith in someone trying to get my money than I do an academic trying to expand my mind. Corporate interests lie in their profits and their profits come from externalizing costs of our natural world.

                We are in a dire situation on a global scale and it is primarily because of the capitalism system; profit at the cost of every living system on our planet, and exploitation of those humans with the smallest voices. If we don’t start opening our minds to evolving to an economic system that is less focused on huge profits for a small group of humans at the cost of every ecosystem on this planet we are not going to have a world worth surviving.

                • Nancy says:

                  “Capitalism has served America well for a few centuries, but it has come with a huge note with high interest rates in the form of loss and degradation of our natural world systems”

                  +1 Yvette.

                • Louise Kane says:

                  +1 Yvette
                  “If we don’t start opening our minds to evolving to an economic system that is less focused on huge profits for a small group of humans at the cost of every ecosystem on this planet we are not going to have a world worth surviving.”

      • WM says:


        You realize, of course, the website you link to is a socialist activist site, run by a small group with “credentials” that suggest they are experts in absolutely nothing – especially international economics. Budding blog journalists, and one guy with a PhD, but no work experience to speak of. They probably ought to update their graphs and charts to reflect what has transpired beyond 2011, and especially where Venezuela is today (the last 3 months) and importantly will be as long as oil prices are depressed, and the country is run by Chavez’ hand picked ex-cab driver successor.

        So, the US media are wrong about the condition of Venezuela, all the while distorting the true and improving conditions. I am very much inclined to believe what is in the NY Times, which is also prone to left leaning but mostly accurate journalism, and one of the better newspapers in the entire world.

        You got me thinking you know as much about Venezuela as you do the economic problems of Greece and its faltering relationship with the EU. What is it now, they are on the threshold of their third infusion of EU funding just to keep their economy from going under (with secret EU meetings for an infusion of up to 50 billion Euros under way even as I write this), and one of the worst and unddisciplined taxation systems in the world?

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          just don’t become hysterical, please:

          New York Times Admits It Pushed Fabricated Evidence about Iraq, Syria and Ukraine

          the same can be said about NYT’s coverage about Iran, Venezuela etc

          The Record of the Paper: How the New York Times Misreports US Foreign Policy

          • WM says:

            So, Mareks, you think a couple guys with a website, and a link for “Support our Cause,” are going to be more objective, and then admit when they get it wrong?

            Well……I don’t. But, I do believe over time truth will emerge from a free press (even if some of it is corporate backed), and even if they need to be called out on occasion.

          • Louise Kane says:

            WM, am thinking many of us here are between 40-70 with some few exceptions.

            I feel pretty confident Mareks is a lot younger. I remember seeing a late night show where random people were interviewed about various subjects. Some questions were mind boggling simple like who were the 1st three presidents, who was the secretary of state, when was the American Revolution and what were some of the issues of the civil war. i could not believe the answers, or how uninformed most of the responders were.

            My point, I love to see Marek’s posts. He/she has a strong understanding of economics, politics, and world history. I only wish more of our US students/younger generation would be a fraction as engaged as Mareks. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of guys with a website to change the world. Your posts suggest you resist challenge to the status quo, without challenge stagnation/decay follow. Web news/info is here to stay.

            Mareks, love the “don’t become hysterical”!

            “you can always tell employees of the government by the total vacancy which occupies the space where most other people have faces.”
            ― John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces

            • Ida Lupine says:

              My point, I love to see Marek’s posts. He/she has a strong understanding of economics, politics, and world history. I only wish more of our US students/younger generation would be a fraction as engaged as Mareks.

              +1 Louise

              For example, it’s nice to know that some know that Bibi isn’t Justin Bieber! 🙂

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          yeah, the NYT is left media … and Obama is a socialist

          by the way, how that Ebola shot is working? you were pretty pumped-up about the prospects and whole mess. It seems the shot had calming & soothing effect [on your worries]

          It’s a pity there’s no cure against rabid gnats – know what I mean?

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          it’s not just ‘some guys’ – one of them has a book on Venezuela:

          • WM says:


            The author of that book and founder of the website is propped up by, and receives funding from, the Venezuelan government, according to at least one source. And, he even admits this. Do you suppose some cash could have exchanged hands on getting his pro-Chavez book written and published in about the same time-frame? Would a corrupt third world government do something that bold….?

            There are a lot of folks who believe the NY Times is liberal/leftist and the paper even admits its leaning matches its urban, diverse and fairly large immigrant readership. As for Obama, I have been a pretty strong supporter in many areas, and I don’t think he particularly has socialist leanings except healthcare to a very small degree. I wish he and Congress were a bit stronger in that area, by the way.

            Regarding the Ebola scare, if I recall my comments correctly (and I think Ralph and I agreed on this), it won’t be that particular outbreak that is/was cause for concern, though it could have taken a different path pretty quickly. Rather, it would be one like it, with easier and higher rate of infectious transmission, and governments in Africa or wherever the outbreak occurs would not be able to handle it effectively to quickly contain the problem from spreading outside the area of origin to other places around the world, as well as provide the infrastructure to render necessary aid to those in the areas of outbreak. Even the US CDC has not kept up in recent years, if I recall, because all of the folks trained in those things had retired and there was not sufficient tribal (read as residual institutional)knowledge to work prospectively on challenges these things pose. Bet there is now. This served as a good lesson, and we can be happy it wasn’t worse.

            As for my criticisms of some large carnivore scientists on this forum, please be accurate if you are going to paraphrase me. I have never said anything disparaging about the work of Rolf Peterson. But, I have said, very strongly I disagree with Vucetich’s shameless advocacy couched in his role as scientist (sometimes hard to tell which role he is in when he writes/speaks). I do believe that has an inherent risk of bias in one’s work and conclusions, and I believe it has also pervaded the work of Paul Pacquet (advocating Kenton Carnagie was killed by a bear) for some time.

            And, yeah, I think this recent work of Weilgus at WSU could be easily taken out of context. Again, the data sets are small, and maybe the conclusions need refinement. It will likely get the critical airing it deserves in the new law suit filed to stop Wildlife Services from assisting the State of Washington in lethal control efforts on its growing wolf population. It was referenced in the plaintiffs’ complaint as new and apparently controlling science (in their view anyway).

            • Louise Kane says:

              “It will likely get the critical airing it deserves in the new law suit filed to stop Wildlife Services from assisting the State of Washington in lethal control efforts on its growing wolf population. It was referenced in the plaintiffs’ complaint as new and apparently controlling science (in their view anyway).” I do think this will be interesting to watch

        • WM says:


          I just had to update this thread with the latest news on Greece (see my earlier post above to you). Sadly there is a 30% chance Greece will go bankrupt. Germany has had it, and wants them gone from the EU (as the largest contributor to two, now going on three financial bailouts, their patience wears thin). A lot of this is because Greece does a horrible job of collecting taxes its citizens and business owe to their government, so they can’t run the country from an empty public coffer.

          Word is the Euro which is about $1.04 US dollars today is heading to $.75. That is very bad for US exports (like airplanes and sophisticated engineered goods which would cost more because the dollar is strong), and US balance of trade with European partners. So irresponsible Greece screws up and it affects a lot of others.

          A few may say this is really good for US tourists abroad, but for most businesses it won’t be and it also makes it more expensive for European tourists (the ones who might watch wolves in Yellowstone), so not so many will come.

  47. Yvette says:

    NM former game commissioner and another man avoid prosecution for an illegal cougar ‘harvest’ that happened last year. Another man, an OKC lawyer was fined 500 dollars.

    Also, NM has introduced a bill, NM HB 586, that removes cougars from protected wildlife species, thus the required permit and season to hunt them. If it passes then is it open season on cougars as it is coyotes?

    Sounds like retaliation to me.

  48. Ida Lupines says:

    Oh boy. Here’s one that made me roll my eyes. Blaming climate change on squirrels and beavers:

    ♫Blame it on the Squirrels♪

  49. Louise Kane says:

    one thst makes me afraid, citing link in climate change to social upheaval’

  50. WM says:

    My apologies if this has already been posted.

    Usually I am critical of CBD for some of its antics and law suits. Here, I am in complete agreement with CBC on its query to Secretary Jewell on the status of the Bundy trespass matter on BLM lands in NV:

    One has to believe there is some way to get his sorry ass back into court, and to attach assets to satisfy existing judgments, while simultaneously drafting criminal charges for some of the stuff that happened nearly a year ago….but don’t expect it to happen leading up to an election year. But, then where is the Clark County sheriff in all this. I thought he was, at one point, taking the lead on law enforcement?

    • JB says:

      The problem with this Bundy case is the implicit messages it sends: (1) if you don’t like federal law, just assemble a militia and threaten violence–then you can break the law with impunity (so long as you’re white); and (2) federal law governing the the use of federal public lands doesn’t mean anything–it can be broken without consequences. Both of these messages are very troubling and potentially problematic for a wide variety of reasons.

      The Obama administration needs to grow a pair and kick this racist, free-loader off of its lands. If he wants a shoot out, then they should come prepared.

      • Immer Treue says:

        The shot has been fired across the bow, time for images of Dresden for Bundy and his militia. Obey the laws, or if any iminent threat presents itself, it is long past time to deal with these ants.

    • Nancy says:

      WM, thinking it depends on the history, big picture etc. re: Bundy and local politics.

      A bit of background info:

  51. WM says:

    Either is appropriate in this context Immer, in my mind at least.

    And, unfortunately, I would not be a bit surprised if Bundy and followers have a “go to ground” strategy if the Feds show up to enforce the judgment(s), even peacefully. Mormons keep food provisions for a year, so it could take awhile.

    Seal Team 6 needs a domestic mission, on loan to the US Marshal Office, with predator drone support if some of these wacko Bundy supporters engage. A predator could be deployed from Holloman AFB in NM where they do drone training. A laser guided missile from a predator cruising at 32,000 feet has a kill accuracy of 9 feet, without doing much other damage, so they say. Can’t think of taxpayer dollars spent for a better purpose in NV. 😉

  52. Yvette says:

    Wildearth Guardians has filed a lawsuit against WS and challenging its authority to kill wolves in WA state.

  53. Ed Loosli says:

    Thanks Yvette:
    These groups deserve our thanks and support for being pro-active in trying to reign in the lethal tactics of the USDA’s Wildlife Services.

    “Western Environmental Law Center is representing the following organizations in the lawsuit: Cascadia Wildlands, WildEarth Guardians, Kettle Range Conservation Group, Predator Defense, and The Lands Council.”

    • WM says:

      If I understand correctly the Wedge Pack and Huckleberry Pack wolves removed by WS were lethally removed within the area of WA where gray wolves are delisted under federal law, AND WS was performing duties specifically requested by and partially paid for by the State of WA, pursuant to its state NEPA review adopted Wolf Management Plan.

      It is disingenuous to use federal NEPA and try to hamstring and slam WS for doing its work to assist the State of WA in implementing its carefully structured wolf management plan (probably one of the best in the country), and it disrespects the entire WA wolf management planning and plan implementation process. Furthermore I hope the WA Wildlife Commission convinces the State of WA intervene, with A List legal assistance from its Attorney General.

      It is petty law suits like this that are going to send NEPA into the shitter. The Western District US District Court of WA has some very good judges. It will indeed be interesting to watch this one play out.

      We are witnessing yet one more example of strained co-operative federalism. So the wolf (and grizzly bear) battleground has shifted from the NRM to the State of WA.

  54. Nancy says:

    “On Monday, the rogue duo snatched away a dachshund after its owner let it off leash outside their home”

    “The unfortunate dachshund was not the pair’s first victim, and local residents are scared for their children too, Kandalaksha TV reported, adding that both a kindergarten and school are located close to the area from where the dog was snatched”

    A familiar ring?

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      “The wolf has an injured front paw that prevents it from being able to hunt effectively, so it works in tandem with the dog: First, the latter lures other dogs over to “play.” Then the wolf pounces upon the victim, Interfax cited a local wildlife agency as saying.”

      then at the end one reads:

      ” Murmansk region police told Interfax that a squad of officers is sent out every time they receive a report that the wolf has struck. Though they have been unable to kill it, a few years ago they managed to wound its leg, their press office said. “To this day, he still limps.” “

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        I’ve seen info that in Russia feral dogs have killed 391 people from 2000-2010

        one can see the table with statistics here:

        • Yvette says:

          I know it’s a huge country, but 381 still seems too high a number for fatalities by feral dogs.

          • Peter Kiermeir says:

            The number could well be – like almost every number leaking out of Russia – a little bit exaggerated. Now, with my very limited command of the Russian language: It seems to me that this is a very aggressive website for the purpose to promote the killing of the feral dogs and cats in Russia. This agenda might be the reason for this extremely high number of people killed by feral dogs. Thus I think I noted somewhere that the number does not necessarily mean people killed by those dogs but actually the number of serious incidents. Mareks Vilkins might have a far better knowledge of the Russian Language and could maybe shed some light on this.

            • Peter Kiermeir says:

              Ok I´ve found a reliable source now in my language.
              The numbers seem to be correct, people that died in a 10 year period from dog bites, dog attacks and even from rabies.
              In the sovjet era feral dogs had been kept under control in the Sovjet Union an there was even a programme to sterilize feral dogs. After the end of the sovjet era all control ended and the number of feral dogs exploded. The population in Moscow only is estimated to be about 30000. There is now a very aggressive and militant group called Doghunters, that kills thousands of these dogs annually (and Mareks link could very well be their Website). Remember Sotchi, the town of the recent Olympic winter games had been cleaned of the feral dogs before foreign guests arrived.

              • Mareks Vilkins says:

                in that article is reply from Russia’s Office of Statistics where they say that it consists of human beings killed by dogs but there’s no distinction between pets and feral dogs.

                Since 2011 those killings are classified under ‘Accidents’ statistics – and therefore that website started to monitor mass media to collect info on all cases where death was caused by feral dog attacks.

                link to articles & TV :

          • Mareks Vilkins says:


            it’s a huge country, but 75% humans live in ~20% territory (in Russia’s European part before Ural mountains range)

            • Mareks Vilkins says:

              The Truth About Russian Dogs

              There are an estimated 35,000 just in Moscow, about one for every 300 people. Russia’s not unique in this regard—the World Health Organization estimates the global stray population at about 200 million

              Official estimates in 2010 put the number of people attacked by dogs in Moscow at 20,000

              I certainly don’t want to stereotype all Russian strays—the vast majority are harmless, and I’ve known some adopted ones who were lovely—but based on my limited experience I’d say it’s a good idea to give them a wide berth on the streets.


              Vlasneva adds that the demand for sterilization far outweighs the means. “Our estimate shows that the number of homeless dogs is growing. For the sterilization program to be successful it is necessary to sterilize 80 percent of dogs; that is 4,200 a month. Current facilities allow us to sterilize only 850 per month.”

              • Yvette says:

                I remember reading a bit about the feral dogs in Russia, but had forgotten until you guys mentioned it. That’s a sad situation.

  55. Ed Loosli says:

    Indian State Bans Beef, Introduces Jail Time For Possession

    • Peter Kiermeir says:

      I remember very well my first trip to India. One of the most fascinating trips in my life. Nevertheless, after a few weeks I had somehow enough of Indian vegetarian Food, only occasionally relieved with some fish (tasty) and lamb meat (almost inedible). Visions of “BEEF” appeared. Suddenly I saw the all too familiar famous “M” sign. It seemed like heaven! Then reality caught up: They only sold Veggie Burgers! 

  56. Louise Kane says:

    Reposted from Wilderness Watch:
    Can I repeat myself in saying I detest snowmobiles and jet skis.

    This is heartbreaking

    A Fowl Decision for the Boundary Waters:
    Wilderness Watch and our allies recently lost a decade-long fight to prevent the Forest Service (FS) from building the South Fowl Snowmobile Trail next to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota. When the FS first approved the trail in 2006, it ignored the negative impact on the area’s wilderness character and rejected an alternative route. Wilderness Watch, the Izaak Walton League of America, Sierra Club Northstar Chapter, and Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness then won a district court decision, which required the FS to complete an environmental impact statement analyzing the snowmobile trail’s impacts to the area’s wilderness character. However, despite a National Park Service (NPS) review that refuted the agency’s faulty EIS, the FS again approved the trail. We responded by asking the Court to reject the FS plan on the basis that it violates the Wilderness Act and National Environmental Policy Act. Unfortunately, the court ruled against us on February 13, even though the judge agreed with us that the new trail will introduce new and louder snowmobile noise into the Wilderness, and he described the case as a “close call.”

    Though we’re disappointed with this decision, we’re pleased that the judge refused to grant the government’s request that he rescind his 2007 decision holding the Wilderness Act could bar activity outside of designated Wilderness areas if that activity degrades wilderness character within the Wilderness. The judge’s decision upholds this important precedent for protecting those Wildernesses that pre-date the early 1980s, when Congress started including anti-buffer zone language in wilderness bills. Many thanks to our attorney Kristen Gast Marttila of Minneapolis, who provided superb legal representation on this lengthy case.

  57. Louise Kane says:

    wild ride for weasel
    I gotta say I hope the woodpecker made it

  58. Louise Kane says:

    beautiful if not odd campaign on overfishing. I appreciate the ad production value but its odd because the fish are all dead!

  59. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Dogs on duty | (Town of) Index showcases its local Karelian Bear Dogs
    A way to work through bear-human conflict, utilizing wildlife service dogs.

  60. Peter Kiermeir says:

    China has been singled out as the world’s single-largest consumer of ivory, tiger bone and rhino horns.

    Read more:

  61. Professor Sweat says:

    Cynthia Lummis is trying to get Yellowstone and Grand Teton N.P.’s to open up a portion of their waterways for paddling.

    • Louise Kane says:

      Lummis is cosponsor of bill to overturn HSUS vs. Jewell reinstating protections for wolves, has been sponsor or cosponsor of the worst anti wildlife, environment bills introduced while she has been a member of Congress. I’d like to see her gone. If I had a magic wand she would be.

  62. Nancy says:

    So how does that play out in the scheme (scam) of natural resources? Anyone?

    “The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation says more than 35,000 acres were leased in Tuesday’s sale. Total revenue from the 78 tracts sold was less than $53,000”

  63. Nancy says:

    Interesting man, Interesting article, interesting comments:

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      I liked this one:

      “Thank you Dr. Hawking.

      Except for one small thing. “Cavemen” survived and evolved thanks to cooperation. According to anthropologist Douglas Fry, evidence shows that for 98 percent of human existence on earth we lived in small nomadic bands that thrived precisely because major acts of aggression were avoided. He presents compelling proof in his book, Beyond War: The Human Potential for Peace along with the message that human beings have highly developed capacities to seek and maintain peace.”

  64. Barb Rupers says:

    Where cattle are in the USA:

    • skyrim says:

      I’m happy to see this map. Wish it showed distribution of animals on public property, which in the west would likely be the bulk of dots.

      • Ed Loosli says:

        Thanks Bard:
        It is interesting to see how relatively few cattle there are in Western Wyoming, Western Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico – and yet the private cattle industry still has a vastly out-of-proportion influence on land-use and wildlife policy decisions in these states.

        • Ed Loosli says:

          excuse me “Barb”, although you might also be a talented “bard”.

      • Ralph Maughan says:

        The big cattle concentration in the center of southern Idaho would be CAFO cattle.

        • Barb Rupers says:

          Ralph Maughan
          Is the majority of cattle in those three counties (Gooding, Jerome, Twinfalls) in CAFO or dairy farms or are these two businesses considered to be equivalent?

          This site has some rather interesting data regarding Idaho dairy products:

  65. Mareks Vilkins says:

    I don’t know why I cannot add a link to article about those supreme survivors – bristlecone pines. Great story – lots of ecology and cultural history

    The vanishing groves

    A chronicle of climates past and a portent of climates to come – the telling rings of the bristlecone pine

    by Ross Andersen , deputy editor of Aeon Magazine

    ” As far as botanists can tell, bristlecones don’t seem to age in the way we do. A close look at their rings reveals that the wood they produce thousands of years into their lives is as fresh as sapling wood: it bears no sign of age-related mutation. Bristlecones have also learned to mirror the vicissitudes of their harsh environment by limiting their growth in times of drought. In the driest years, the bristlecones all but shut down, adding only the slenderest of rings — sometimes just a cell’s width — to their surviving sectors. But this downshift isn’t permanent. When rain returns, the tree roars right back to life: its roots gulp up water, its silver-green needles suck down carbon and sunlight, and before long, the tree’s photosynthetic factories are humming along again, feeding the cambium’s growth spasms. Left to its own devices, a bristlecone pine could live forever, perpetually regenerating itself, like an ever-expanding series of flawless Russian dolls.”

    • Mareks Vilkins says:

      beautifully haunting pictures as well

    • Yvette says:

      Mareks, it didn’t work for me either.

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          thanks Nancy

          • Nancy says:

            Wonderful article!

            “But the bristlecone doesn’t live in a vacuum; like any tree, it is vulnerable to pests and predators. Though the tree is armed with an unusually thick resin, a kind of sticky, wound-clogging blood that flows through its limbs and trunk, its best protection is its choice of environment. It finds itself alone on this tough, dry mountaintop, far removed from the bark-gnawing beetles and wood-rotting fungi that might otherwise threaten it. In the end, the tree endures extreme environmental hardship so that it doesn’t have to endure company: its solitude is its salvation”

            • Yvette says:

              Nancy, if you weren’t familiar with aeon magazine it is fabulous. Explore. Great writing and there is a variety of topics, but they have a lot of nature essays.

  66. Mareks Vilkins says:

    does anyone know about wolf hunting in Germany (Schleswig-Holstein)? is it true or false?

    • Peter Kiermeir says:

      It is false of course! What is considered at the moment is to deter a young wolf that became a little to bold with People with bean shots.

  67. Ida Lupine says:

    Humans are evolving! 🙂

    <a href=""Ringling Bros. Circus to Remove Elephant Act by 2018 to Focus on Conservation

    They really deserve credit for this.

  68. WM says:

    Used to do quite a bit of snow camping at the base of Mt. Rainier (elev. 5,400 ft.) above Paradise Lodge. The snow in mid-winter running to early spring near the Paradise Parking Lot is usually 20-30 feet deep, and gets much deeper the higher one goes on the mountain to the designated winter camping areas (outside avalanche paths and a great place to construct a snow cave or igloo). This year snow depth at Paradise is currently at around 5 feet. So, in order to protect the fragile vegetation, NPS has announced no tubing in the area adjacent to the lodge (a place where a lot of young families spend a fun day).

    Low accumulation this late in the season, means glacial snow will be un-insulated and exposed to the sun for a longer period and there may be dramatically greater glacial melt if we continue to have these warm temperatures (not addressed in the article).

    • bret says:

      Lack of snow is hampering Wolf count and pack identification as well.

    • skyrim says:

      I had a friend who was a scout leader. He and his troop would hike into an area south west of Park City each winter for camping in snow caves. My group of buds would hike in the following weekend and enjoy the benefits of nice spacious snow caves conveniently dug into the side hill by the scouts. Toasty arrangement but a bit unnerving when a couple of groups of snow mobiles came blasting over the top of them early in the morning.

    • JB says:

      What?! Hadn’t you heard that Jim Inhofe disproved this global warming non-sense once and for all when he threw that snowball on the senate floor? 😉

      • WM says:

        Is Inhofe a perpetrator of some of these thoughts – the March issue of National Geographic says:

        “The War on Science:
        Climate change does not exist;
        Evolution never happened;
        The moon landing was a fake;
        Vaccinations can lead to autism; and
        Genetically modified food is evil.

        Inside: The Age of Disbelief

        • WM says:

          So, Senator Inhofe (senior Senator from Oklahoma) is now the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment (replacing California Democrat Barbara Boxer). Wow, how things change quickly and not for the better, it would seem. So, what legislative changes are headed our way with this climate change denier genius as gate keeper?

          I am thinking the integrity of NEPA is less safe by the minute.

          • timz says:

            Needless worry. With this president congress no longer exists.

          • Yvette says:

            With Inhofe at the helm of the Environmental and Public Works Committee he will attack everything, not just NEPA. Add Ted Cruz as the Chairman of the subcommittee on Space, Science and Competitiveness and we’re in deep doo.

            Inhofe was chairman from 03′-07′. He is not a decent human being. Period. He is an experienced politician that knows how to get what he wants via underhanded tactics. Then he parks his arse on a church pew. I’ve never figured out why it seems Inhofe never loses at anything. He must have some powerful medicine working on his behalf. Inhofe is 80 years old so this probably won’t continue for whole lot longer, but a lot of damage can be done in a few years.

            We had a great opponent to Inhofe with Matt Silverstein. He was young, smart and logical. He was well balanced, which is probably why he failed in this stinking state. If Oklahoma dries up and blows away we deserve it, IMO.

            • skyrim says:

              The snowball incident did it for me. This man must be far out of reach from reality. Doesn’t speak well for voters in his state. (With some exclusions of course)

  69. Ida Lupine says:

    The Native Americans didn’t hunt predators with the sole intent of wiping them out – that’s the big difference.

  70. Ed Loosli says:

    The Ecological Wisdom of Leaving Nature Alone –
    by James McWilliams

    “The best kind of ranching is likely no ranching at all.”

  71. Ed Loosli says:

    With Cod Numbers at Historic Low, Petition Seeks Ban on Gulf of Maine Cod Fishing

    “The Center for Biological Diversity, Turtle Island Restoration Network, SandyHook SeaLife Foundation and Greenpeace called for the U.S. Fisheries Service to prohibit fishing for Gulf of Maine cod, allowing catch only incidental to other targeted fish, and reduce such bycatch to levels that allow the cod population to rebuild.”

  72. Louise Kane says:

    oil and gas development leases approved to mo e forward as government ignores habitat needs to endangered Caribou. I guess its easier to slaughter wolves and pretend you are addressing the issue.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      Thanks for this article on this latest tragedy from our neighbors to the North. If you want to see excellent examples of what happens to a country’s wildlife habitat when public land management is turned over exclusively to local control (Provinces), then the on-going destruction of Western Canada is proof certain.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      A crime. 🙁

  73. Leslie says:

    This is a wonderful essay. We need a new story that is a mature relationship with the natural world. Highly recommend.

    • rork says:

      Hmm, I think a careful accounting of costs and benefits, combined with a long term view (you have to care about future people), is enough to want to do “the right thing” ecologically. People are just not very smart, and are very short-sighted. Education seemed like the answer. Maybe most are so dumb that this will never work, and we need mystical opiates to get them thinking their soul is in quantum entanglement with earth [more word salad goes in this space].
      Don’t get me wrong – out in the green world I feel I belong and am connected with all things and times. It’s like religious feeling, chemically speaking. I feel very lucky. Maybe it’s rare. I nearly worship nature, and have to remind myself not to do that (it is not worthy).

      • Professor Sweat says:

        “..out in the green world I feel I belong and am connected with all things and times. It’s like religious feeling, chemically speaking. I feel very lucky. Maybe it’s rare.”

        I believe that the appreciation of nature and feeling of connectivity in the green world is something we are all born with. A lot of folks just seem to forget that they have it when our daily life is inundated with things like money, success, social status, and the virtual world. To me, if feels like I’m running on a hamster wheel when I can’t get out and hike, hunt, and fish.

        Only a handful of friends share my sentiment. I’m trying to get the rest to come around.

        • Dominique says:

          I can relate to getting high off of being in nature, but what I don’t get, is killing innocent animals gets you high?

          • Professor Sweat says:


            • Ed Loosli says:

              Thank goodness 95% of Americans and 99% of Californians do not hunt, even though they still might be “carnivores”. If these percentages were reversed, within a few years, there would be no edible wildlife left in the United States, such as deer, elk, moose, ducks, geese, etc, etc.

              • Professor Sweat says:

                I agree Ed. 95 percent of the time, my shooting is done with a Nikon.

                I have no desire to hunt most creatures; I rigidly stick to feral pig, turkey, and Canada goose… and the former two species were introduced to this outstanding state we live in.

                • Ed Loosli says:

                  It looks like you might have to subsist on feral pigs for your carnivore cravings, as it is interesting that some scientists are moving to the opinion that wild turkeys were and are native to California.


                  “Accordingly, the “I” (for “Introduced”) that is appended to the name Wild Turkey on the official California state list should bear an asterisk or footnote indicating that its ancestors were native California birds and that it was likely a California native once as well. It is thus closer to a “re-introduced” species than an “introduced non-native”. The wild turkey evolved to exist in harmony with the native California flora and fauna.”

      • Ida Lupine says:

        It may be the only thing in this world that is worthy.

  74. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Alaska Rep. Don Young: Wolves could solve your ‘homeless problem’

  75. Mareks Vilkins says:

    38 Reasons You Should Never Visit Finland
    It’s the absolute worst of the Nordic countries.

  76. Ed Loosli says:

    Take Action: Tell your Senators to oppose the anti-wildlife “Sportsmen’s Act of 2015” and to reject any similar bills.

  77. Professor Sweat says:

    State and Federal efforts to keep sage grouse from endangered species designation:

  78. WM says:

    Another “snowball” data point for the climate change doubters – ski area snow stats, and the efforts to augment low snowpack in CA/NV. And, for those of you that think doing this is kind of stupid, do remember that being able to hold water as snow for a longer portion of the year sustains streamflows for longer periods and that helps wildlife, and especially the fish and aquatic organisms.

    • bret says:

      Survey shows Washington wolf numbers grew by 30% in 2014

      OLYMPIA – Washington state’s wolf population grew by more than 30 percent and formed four new packs last year, according to an annual survey conducted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

      The survey shows the presence of at least 68 gray wolves in the state through Dec. 31, 2014, up from a minimum of 52 wolves counted in 2013. It also documents 16 wolf packs and at least five successful breeding pairs last year.

      Donny Martorello, WDFW carnivore specialist, said the latest findings point to continued growth in the state’s wolf population under the state’s recovery plan.

      “While we can’t count every wolf in the state, the formation of four new packs is clear evidence that wolves are recovering in Washington,” he said. “Since 2011, the number of confirmed wolf packs has more than tripled in our state.

      • WM says:

        ++While we can’t count every wolf in the state, the formation of four new packs is clear evidence that wolves are recovering in Washington…++

        Suggests the number of wolves on the ground (uncounted margin of error) would bring the total closer to 75-80, or more.

  79. Mareks Vilkins says:

    Joyce wrote to his daughter that “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” by Tolstoy is “the greatest story that the literature of the world knows” – it’s a good environmental story as well and applies to Western realities.

  80. Louise Kane says:

    One of the best opinion pieces I’ve read
    hoping people like this will derail WA and Oregon states from implementing public wolf hunting the minute wolves are taken off the state ESA list. There is no reason to hunt wolves! period

  81. Louise Kane says:

    Just after hearing a bill to ban coyote killing contests (did not pass) this terrible bill is moving through the house. Would remove all protections for cougar leaving them an unprotected species! WTF

    HB 586 (cougar bill) is scheduled in House Regulatory and Public Affairs Comm. on Monday at 130pm in Room 315. If any of the committee members represents you, call or email and tell them “no” on HB 586.
    New Mexico Legislature

    • Barb Rupers says:

      My bet would be that it is true.

      In a book Field Guide to Flattened Fauna it mentioned one of the best places to search out such treasures is roads with lots of flattened animals being consumed by other critters.

    • rork says:

      Most folks near me have observed it, and report deer chasing young. I’ve only seen it once (robins in a low nest). Deer eat some salmon remains. It’s brought up as a concern for ground-nesting birds when deer are numerous, but that being a serious problem is always contradicted: several other forces likely to be more important are at work too. High deer densities have enough bad about them that I’m not dependent on pheasant (etc) arguments. I’ll stick to asking questions. Must go thaw a shoulder while I’m thinking about it, or maybe G maximus.

  82. Louise Kane says:

    we have snowpack here that is 5 -6 feet deep with drifts well over that. Its been ongoing for well over a month. Occasionally the sea ice breaks up and you’ll see the birds hunting in the open water holes. I’ve been worried for them apparent;y with good reason. We feed the birds here at the house an enormous amount of food and put up suet feeders that the raccoons are also eating. I wonder, in this extreme event, should the state consider food drops on the ice flows or beaches for the sea birds. This is unprecedented time and length and amount of snow fall.

    • rork says:,4570,7-153–348859–rss,00.html
      MI DNR press release about our waterfowl in trouble, with so little open water.
      My river opened up some today – finally. 3 pairs trumpeters (you go!), many american merganser and buffleheads, some others. The ice-storm-crusted snow got softer than concrete and deer were swarming over places with least snow depth, trying for food. They weren’t fat, but not ghastly either, even fawns.

      • Nancy says:

        “The DNR does not expect these losses to negatively affect overall duck populations”

        Big difference between elk and ducks.

        For everyone who has to, don’t forget to set clocks forward.

  83. says:

    Keep Politics Out of Gray Wolf Recovery – “Take Action”

    • WM says:

      Silly me. And, here I was lead to believe much of wolf recovery was politics. And, someone once said “all politics is local.” There is something to ponder in that last statement.

      • JB says:

        Query: how “local” should wolf management be? In Europe, International policy influences wolf management. When they wee listed in the US, wolves were managed at a multi-state scale–but that wasn’t good (ie “local”) enough. With delisting management is ostensibly at the state level, but look to Michigan and you’ll find politicians explicitly ignoring a multiple votes of their citizens to manage wolves consistent with “local” (ie UP) desires. In Idaho, no “local” want is to small. Individuals can kill a wolf for looking at them crosswise.

        Local politics don’t work for species like wolves. Their populations are too sparsely distributed; their home range sizes too great.

        • Mark L says:

          Does the ‘local’ always have to work as a negative towards highly dispersed carnivores, or do some groups like tribes or ‘wolf friendly areas’ actually get to serve as a haven of sorts for them? If these areas can attract a connectiveness of sorts (through cnvergent interests), it seems to me they could turn the situation to a positive through ‘jerrymandering’, for lack of a better term.

        • Louise Kane says:

          JB the local aspect of carnivore management is one reason why I believe they should be managed on a national level

  84. says:

    Planting A Future For Monarch Butterflies

    “Come springtime, we can all embrace native plants. Think how lovely your home, office, school or garden would look with purple coneflower and asters, vervain and black-eyed Susans. And above all, milkweed. That’s the one plant that Monarch babies just can’t live without.”

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Very nice. 🙂 Something to get ready for after the snow too! thanks!

  85. Nancy says:

    “Daines has said he hopes to work on a comprehensive, compromise bill with Tester that would include increased timber harvesting on all 10 national forests in Montana.

    “Many of these mills would add work shifts tomorrow if they had more logs,” Daines said”

  86. Louise Kane says:

    Alberta government postpones oil and gas lease auction to protect caribou. Finally. now the government might stop slaughtering wolves…/alberta-postpones-oil-and-gas-lease-auc…

  87. Ed Loosli says:

    Bigger Subsidies (Welfare) Under New Farm Bill Program

    This is a big reason our natural prairies are being plowed under and our grassland wildlife is disappearing.

    • Ed Loosli says:

      I especially appreciate the Comment below this Makah whaling article by Frank Wolf.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I just read Mr. Wolf’s comment completely – how can our government in good conscience open the door for illegal wildlife trade? I can’t believe it. 🙁

    • Louise Kane says:

      “The study consisted of five alternatives to Makah hunting, not including total banning of the age-old practice. The alternatives focused on limiting the number of hunts per year and discourages the event in which a whale is severely wounded but not killed.”

      The study should include an alternative for no whale hunting; the proposed action is going to public comment.

      Hunting of whales might be a cultural tradition but where do the justifications end?

      Increased knowledge and understanding of these cetaceans should require some evolution of thinking about how humans treat the world’s largest, rarest and most intelligent mammals.

      Just last year a 260 year old pregnant bowhead whale was killed to allow Inuits to practice whaling. The chunks of whale meat were distributed among the members of the local tribe. The whale was not a primary source of food but a treat.

      That event marked a low of lows. That whale was alive during the American Revolution, survived the whaling era, and made it though the Spanish Civil, World War I and II and Vietnam and Korean wars. At 264 years of age and pregnant what was its ultimate life span. To think it was slaughtered over a 6 hour barbaric hunt that wounded the whale repeatedly.

      Having seen hundreds of whale over the years, the thought of killing them in organized hunts makes me feel physically sick.

      Its time to draw some lines in the sand.

      • Louise Kane says:

        Grey whale populations, one extinct, one severely depleted, one in recovery but may be at risk for habitat issues and hunting

      • Louise Kane says:
        gray whales of three populations one is extinct, another severely depleted and one possibly at risk for habitat and huntin issues.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        I think this is the thing that bothers me most about our modern era, and possibly any era. Nothing seems to have any meaning for us anymore, except our own short-term needs. I hope nobody comes back with a dollars-and-cents justification also, because I probably will get physically ill also. That and Idaho is too much for me.

      • Yvette says:

        Well stated, Louise.

        All humans have a culture and traditions. Some groups have been long removed from that culture and the traditions that were part of the foundation that built their group identity. Humans aren’t static; we evolve with changing technology and increased knowledge about other people and other species. We now have a more detailed understanding of the high intelligence of many species; species like elephants, crows, canines, and many species of cetaceans. We know our DNA is 99% the same as bonobos and chimpanzees, yet we still imprison chimpanzees in laboratories and perpetrate torturous tests on them by academicians and researchers. Not acceptable. Yet, not enough of us have protested long enough and loud enough to stop this torture.

        The difference between now and when the Makah were still great whalers is we humans now know the significance of the intelligence and sentience of this animal. Hunting them now is not acceptable with the knowledge we now possess.

        I had this conversation with another Native American when this came up in 97 or 98. He supported the Makah’s aspirations to practice their lost tradition. It did not fit well with my beliefs, but I had to think about how I justified my position and the dichotomy between tradition and killing a sentient being.

        Not all traditions should be accepted in our world simply because it is ‘tradition’. There is/was a subculture of Vietnamese that ate monkey brain, straight from the monkey while the poor being was still alive. Not acceptable. There are many examples, and Louise mentioned one with the Inuit who killed the 260 year old whale. Not acceptable.

        I read this morning from Captain Paul Watson’s facebook post regarding this upcoming decision about the Makah and the whale hunt. From that post he had the following quote from Makah tribal elder, Alberta Johnson:

        This is not tradition. It was part of our culture to weave baskets and to pick berries in the mountains. It was part of our culture to speak our language. No on want to weave baskets or to speak Makah. What they want to do is to kill a whale with an anti-tank gun and that has never been a part of Makah culture.

        Many of us Natives are trapped in an interstitial space between the past and present life of assimilation. The past with its traditions and culture is when were were spiritually and emotionally healthy. The present is where many of us have suffered the PTSD of assimilation, and with that, all of the outward symptoms like drug abuse and alcoholism. In efforts to heal some have reached backward to revive traditions that were buried at the doors of boarding schools. We should consider that some of those traditions, practiced exactly as they once were, do not fit with our knowledge in the present world.

        I think the dichotomy is captured well in this Orion Magazine article about the illegal killing of a whale in 2007 by a Makah tribal member. It is well worth reading for anyone that wants to try and understand the dichotomy.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          That was a tough read. Totally inept on all sides. I see what you mean about being so far removed from a culture that they don’t know what to do anymore. An animal suffered for ten hours or more! We are gruesome. A lot of it is that indigenous people have had their culture and languages stolen, but also cultures do change and adapt.

          It’s a different world today, changed dramatically; so much depredation of wildlife has occurred by humans that we really can’t hold on to traditions that include life-taking anymore I don’t think. We can protest about it, but in the end, there isn’t much wildlife left to hunt by anybody – since, particularly European descended hunters, have been so greedy about it.

        • Louise Kane says:

          Thanks for posting another of your always thoughtful takes. I was really hoping you would respond one way or another.

          I like how you describe acculturation as a form of PTSD and acknowledge that losing the cultural ties and customs that bind people together creates social problems but also agree that “adaptive management” strategies or practices must be applied when common sense and acquired knowledge dictates.

          I am disturbed that NOAA has offered a new management action that smooths the way for indulgent, inhumane, ecologically indefensible whaling practices that set a bad example worldwide and are indefensible in light of our accumulated understanding about whales. It’s worse yet that this move will provide Russia, Norway and Japan with further ammunition for their arguments to conduct whaling under the auspices of scientific or cultural practices.

          How do they get off not even offering a no take alternative? I’ve got to do some more reading on this and ask a friend who works at Woods Hole and is a cetacean researcher about this.

          • Ida Lupines says:

            I am disturbed that NOAA has offered a new management action that smooths the way for indulgent, inhumane, ecologically indefensible whaling practices that set a bad example worldwide and are indefensible in light of our accumulated understanding about whales. It’s worse yet that this move will provide Russia, Norway and Japan with further ammunition for their arguments to conduct whaling under the auspices of scientific or cultural practices.

            Yes, I believe this is the big danger. I realize many wrongs have been done – but things have gotten so bad for wildlife we can’t go back again, I don’t believe. That doesn’t mean that other cultural aspects can’t be revived or that amends can’t be made in other ways.

        • rork says:

          That was a great article, thanks.
          To folks complaining that they don’t kill enough whales to be that essential to their diet, or that they lived without whale meat all this time, I’d ask if you would you like them to kill so many that it’s a major part of their diet. If they are only asking for few rather than many, that’s a good thing.
          I get that whales are smart and that it’s sad to kill them. In time even the cultures with permission may decide to re-enact without whales dying. I don’t think it’s all wrong to tell another culture you don’t like how they do things, though I do limit myself somewhat – I haven’t figured out that algorithm completely (though ecological harm or harming people make me license myself to criticize more).

          • says:

            I like Frank Wolf’s idea of the natives “counting coup” on the whales by paddling out to the whales and touching the whales with their hands (painted with non-toxic water-based paint). This is cultural and a non-lethal way of paying respect to their brother whales. ( I wish we would could “edit” our posts on this site).

          • Ida Lupines says:

            Yes. Or some others have said traditional weaponry, not modern. If they no longer have traditional skills, relearn them. Those weapons are not cultural, or at least not a culture anyone would want to emulate. (and some of us would like to run screaming from!) 🙂

            • WM says:

              I don’t want the Makah to kill whales, probably for the same reasons as some here have already stated.

              The point of using the heavy .50 caliber military rifle (bought with your federal tax dollars) was to ensure a quick kill, and reduce objections to the traditional time it would take to harpoon, follow and ultimately subdue the animal. I have always been troubled by the court rulings on treaties that allowed tribal rights to be exercised (hunting and fishing) “at usual and accustomed places,” only to be told in those same opinions that new and more efficient ways of doing it was allowed under treaties. That means the technology can change. So, that means motor powered boats, or other vehicles. Hi explosive powder fired projectiles instead of spears and bows. It means nylon nets instead of nets made of local native materials, which are stronger, larger and last longer. It means air hoses and compressors and diving equipment to harvest geoducks from the mud in deep water.

              Oh, and that .50 caliber Barrett rifle they use to kill whales, along with a back-up .458 caliber elephant rifle were new additions when whale hunting was resumed, along with the aluminum or fiberglass power boats, electronic communication devices and water safety gear including life jackets made of synthetic materials. The tribal members don’t take very good care of these machined mild metal devices with moving parts, that need to be cleaned and oiled regularly after exposure to saltwater. Saltwater corrodes them in minutes.

              • Ida Lupines says:

                And after all that, they still weren’t able to get the poor whale, tortured him and made him suffer for hours, and disappeared into the ocean. It makes the ancestral hunting all the more awe-inspiring – of course they seemed to take more time and ceremony about it.

                This reminds me of “The Cove” which is playing on one of my cable stations and I just can’t bring myself to watch.

              • Mark L says:

                I agree WM, there’s an artificiality already present in the preparation for hunting itself that never was there. Also, how much right to whale meat do people who are only 1/4 or 1/8 or 1/16 Makah have to begin with? Do they even speak the language or know the traditions? Were their villages this large and well fed with ‘foreign’ food when they hunted? Did they have the same nutritional supplements that now aren’t even being used to row out to the whales? Seems like every animal has to struggle madly to existbut us…why? Makes the current whale hunters seem kind of pale in comparison to their ancestors who did this through necessity…and on a ‘thinner’ diet (yep, sorry for inevitable play on words).

                The counting coup idea makes a lot of sense…everything living eventually dies, just a question of where and when. Why not allow slaughter of beached and/or injured whales instead of the ‘drama’ produced by active hunting? Yeah, I know it doesn’t have the ‘coolness’ needed to keep the young ones interested in other Makah traditions.

                • WM says:

                  This whale hunt is as much about Makah “self-determination,” and asserting treaty rights. It is about focus on an objective that encourages tribal pride and unity, and an affirmation of whoe they were, or are (even though it has its detractors within the tribal ranks).

                  The tribe is not economically wealthy and has no prospects of ever being so. There are no casinos or tribal business opportunities as they are out in the middle of nowhere at the westernmost point of land in the contiguous United States, and no population centers anywhere close. It is a beautiful place in the summer months, with rocky shores just outside of town. The rest of the year it is gray and it rains a lot, nearly 100 inches/year.

                  The tribe has a rich cultural history, and a very nice museum.

                  I stood on a dock in the small marina about 3 years ago talking to a halibut fisherman, and could see as many as a dozen bald eagles perched on adjacent pier pilings or cruising the air. They were waiting for a fisherman to throw fish scraps into the water. Then it happened, a halibut skin with skeletal bones attached was airborne and hit the water with a sloppy plop. With the movement 3 eagles took flight from their perches, lumbering their long wings to get airspeed, but as the carcass hit the water, from out of the blue/gray water came this immense dark shadow, a bulky sea lion bull the size of a submerged volkswagon. His mouth opened and he grabbed the carcass, slapped the water back and forth and then was gone. I saw him cruise effortlessly beneath the dock and under the stationary boats for the next few minutes as the ritual was repeated – carcass slapped the water and he rose quickly and silently, until he broke the water to take possession, sometimes noisily expelling air and grunting as he grabbed the skeleton, and re-submerged.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  It is about focus on an objective that encourages tribal pride and unity, and an affirmation of who they were, or are (even though it has its detractors within the tribal ranks).

                  They could (re)learn their language too, self-determination for humans doesn’t have to mean killing something, or displacing some other living thing to become king of the hill.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  I don’t think it encourages tribal pride and unity when many members disagree. Also, a woman who did disagree, according to the article, had her windows broken, her dog killed, and her son was beaten up. Doesn’t sound like encouraging unity.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  Oh I guess it does encourage unity by creating fear if the tribe doesn’t go along. Silly me. That must be the self-determination part. Did someone say thuggish behavior?

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  Sea Shepherd’s take on it:

                  It was a travesty then and numerous Makah Elders were horrified and a few were outspoken about the disrespect shown to the whale and were punished by the thugs for doing so. One Makah Elder had her dog killed, the windows on her home broken and her grandson beaten up.


                  If the tribe wants to make a case to bring back whaling (and I don’t know that they do), this group is a sorry lot.

                • WM says:


                  You, like some others, assume a tribe has a unified vision of where it is going, with no dissent. They are like any society (maybe even more confused and conflicted by having one foot in the white man’s culture and a changing world).

                  The last thing a “20 something” testosterone loaded male wants to do is learn a new language. There will always be those who treat dissent with acts of violence and intimidation against others.

                  I think I have mentioned here before, I tried to get a fishing treaty obligation and operating rule between a tribe and the state of WA enforced against members who were blatently abusing the agreement by keeping their nets in the rivers on certain days they were not supposed to fish. The WA DFW confronted the tribe, asking that their tribal law enforcement arrest these guys, who left the nets unattended with rotting fish nobody could use, including endangered steelhead run fish. The response from the tribe was, “Well if we did, they would slash our tires, kill our dogs, threaten our children. And, maybe the arresting officer’s house or personal car would mysteriously catch fire.” Even if they arrested them, there was a risk the tribal court (often with relatives as decision-makers) would slap them on the hand with a $1 fine, or just dismiss the matter altogether without any stated reasons and no opportunity for appeal. This stuff happens all the time.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  Excuse me, but I am not assuming anything. Being a member of society, we humans are fairly predictable in our behaviours.

                  We can’t think everyone is the same, in any culture, there are bad apples. I don’t think these obviously inexperienced men ought to be the ones making the decisions. Elders are called elders for a reason – although in our modern culture it is no longer respected. It seems to be a uniquely American thing.

                  Everyone’s confused in today’s culture. Nobody seems to know where they are going. It’s sadly part of the human condition. But I don’t think wildlife have to pay the price for everybody’s self-actualization. We don’t have enough left anymore, and all need to move forward to protect what’s left.

                  I just think that it is too late to go back

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  I’m also not getting the impression that bringing back whaling is a goal of the majority of the tribe. Sure, there are a few ‘spokespeople’ quoted in the press – but is it really desired by the entire tribe as much as is being touted in the media? It was strange also that these men are going to other countries to learn about whaling! It seems to be something the US wants now, so of course it is ok to gain allies to get what it wants. Something stinks.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  An older article, but like everything else hunting related, it always seems to come back:


                  Between this and the wolves/wildlife, it’s no wonder many don’t trust him with the Iran nuclear deal!

                • WM says:

                  ++…not getting the impression that bringing back whaling is a goal of the majority of the tribe…++

                  Well, Ida, at the risk of being dressed down by one of your protectors here (Mareks are you monitoring?), it would appear the Makah Tribal Council speaking through its duly elected Chairman operating under its authority is re-asserted its treaty right to hunt whales. That is what all the fuss is about, with the NEW Draft EIS by NOAA. At this point NOAA endorses no alternative, it just lays several out for public comment.

                  You should also consider that the US has not been so much an advocate of the hunt, especially because of National Marine Mammal Protection Act requirements to protect these animals, but the US government also has an obligation to honor its treaty obligations (a fiduciary trust obligation) to a sovereign nation, the Makah. It thus the US has a legal obligation to carry that message to the International Whaling Commission.

                  Also might want to consider those trips abroad by tribal members (probably at federal taxpayer expense) have to do with the tribe’s exploration of a small whaling industry at Neah Bay – harvesting as many as 24 whales in 5 years. What do you suppose some well-heeled Seattle area Microsofty or other techie with cash to burn and a need to impress would give per pound on the open market for some novelty gray whale flesh for a Saturday night BBQ, or a dinner at a fancy restaurant? $100-1,000/pound?

                  And, last, I bet there is some residual pressure from the hard working Indian civil rights lawyers who represented the Makah in their long struggle to enforce their unique treaty rights to hunt whales (Alvin Zointz, the first tribal attorney, and whose firm has represented the Makah for 50 plus years from Seattle among them – he must be in his eighties now. I even have his autobiography – “A Lawyer In Indian Country,” with a forward by noted Indian Law professor Charles Wilkinson, published in 2009).

                  I don’t mean to sound disrespectful, but I wonder if there is a way to negotiate for something else of value to the tribe in exchange for giving up the treaty right to hunt whales?

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  What do I care about a dressing down. Pfft. You’ll just be ignored. So save your wind. I still don’t believe it.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  My only concern is the whales in today’s world. Have they recovered enough for hunting by anybody who wants a piece of them? As soon as number just barely recover, out come the guns.

                  As I said before, we do not live in the same world anymore for people to revive ancient practices. As others have said, why not a symbolic hunt? The Makah have not hunted whales (legally) since 1920.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  In an ideal world, the small take of whales by the Makah wouldn’t affect the whale population much. In theory. In reality, marine life is under great threat. So while I do staunchly support Native American rights and the obligation of the United States to make good on treaties they have not honored, in this case I make an exception because the whales, the food the consume, and all marine life is threatened by human overpopulation and climate change. None of us can continue to hang on to the past hunting traditions Native American or non.

                  But is it a small take? It doesn’t sound like it to me. 24 whales in six years seems a bit much, if not overly optimistic, not to mention the ones that are botched. But let’s not jump the (50 caliber) guns yet – perhaps a fair, honorable solution can be worked out.

                  We animal rights advocates are a patient lot too – I think the latest elephant freedoms says that. I’m still on Cloud 9 over it. 🙂

                • WM says:

                  Actually, Ida, you are incorrect. The 1999 whale hunt was legal. Here is the notice in the federal register:


                • Ida Lupines says:

                  There’s debate about that.

                • WM says:

                  Should clarify – legal the time it was conducted – the subsequent ligitation deals with a NEPA process appeal, which was not conducted by NOAA at the time. Still could be legal once NEPA compliance is met, which takes us to the new Draft EIS and a possible hunt alternative, which could be, and probably will be, much less than 24 over 6 years, if NOAA even prefers a hunt alternative.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  Thank you!

                • Louise kane says:

                  WM I don’t see negotiating something if value in exchange for no hunting of whales as disrespectful just pragmatic
                  It might be helpful to draft some ideas

                • Yvette says:

                  WM, what chance do you think there is that the Makah, or any other tribe will willing relinquish their treaty rights? I don’t think any tribe would willingly do that.

                  Are their treaty rights specifically for hunting whale or are they general fishing rights?

                  I hope the Makah are able to work this out. Obviously, it is a divisive issue within the tribe, too. As much as I personally believe it is imperitive for tribes to maintain a connection and practice their culture, language and traditions, I still believe a whale hunt will bring them more misery than anything positive.

                • WM says:


                  The response to a “buy out” of some treaty right might be different for each tribe. The right of whaling to the Makah is an enumerated right, and it would appear it could be excised from the treaty without affecting other parts. The question in my mind is whether on the one hand the tribe has stated it values whaling as a cultural/religious right integral to their very being, and then on the other hand entertaining an idea to give up that right for something else – likely white man’s money (using the often quoted vernacular to describe disgust/distrust of the federal government). I see hypocricy, and even blasphemy in that. It certainly would make it a tougher choice. How does one value such a right? That is why I couched my earlier comment, because it would be a sensitive issue to address, and the unforgiving media would have a field day with the issue.

                  Makah Treaty of 1855:

                  ++The right of taking fish and of whaling or sealing at usual and accustomed grounds and stations is further secured to said Indians in common with all citizens of the United States, and of erecting temporary houses for the purpose of curing, together with the privilege of hunting and gathering
                  roots and berries on open and unclaimed lands:…++

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  I don’t know how money got into the picture – I think people are just trying to reach a solution. It doesn’t automatically mean money, I know that is the American way, tho.

                  If the Makah, or anybody, values whales and whaling to their culture, they should take/include steps to take care of the future of the species for the future of their people as well. So far, I have not heard one word about this, not one.

                  A tribal elder said this particular group of men is only interested in killing with a big gun, just like other hunters. Not their language, not their other cultural activities.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  Personally, I had in mind either the symbolic hunt, or something like that – or perhaps cut down the number of whales to be hunted if it comes to that. Money would be an insult, and quite naturally understood to be.

                • WM says:

                  OK, Ida, what do you think the Makah could trade for by giving up their right to whale, and how would those items be valued?

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  That’s up to them, I’m not involved in the process. My concern is the preservation of the whales. Nobody owns them, or any rights to them. Hunters may have a right to hunt, but they are not guaranteed success as part of that right (despite outfitters). Everyone, just like regarding the wolves of YNP, has an interest in seeing that our wildlife and our world is protected and treated humanely. I doubt that anyone who has a dollar sign placed on integral part of their culture by an outsider would find that vulgar and disrespectful, you are right. But it should come from them.

                  I only hope that plans can be made to protect their welfare in all of this ‘my rights, my rights, my rights!’ call from everyone everywhere in this country. What about the rights of the whales? Wildlife is not an inanimate commodity.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  oops, that should be ‘I don’t doubt that anyone who has a dollar sign placed on an integral part of their culture by outsiders would find that vulgar and disrespectful.’

                • Yvette says:

                  What if the Makah had investors willing to help set up some sort of tourism attractions that pertain to the whales and other marine animals in that area? Definitely wild; no Seaworld type of business. Build a nice resort; purchase the right kind and size of boats that could do whale watching for day long or 1/2 day expeditions and/or some other activities that connect the Makah to the whales and other marine mammals. The Neah Bay area sounds like it is stunningly beautiful. Barb’s description makes me salivate about going there to get lost. With the right marketing and the attraction of whale watching maybe those well heeled I-5 corridor and techy Seattleites would have a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

                  My personal opinion is no one wants to see the Makah slaughter a whale, but lots of people would probably enjoy whale watching and other things related to the Makah; both present and past.

                  You’re in the region. Do you think that is something that is viable? Sigh, now would be a good time to be a 1%’er.

                • Yvette says:

                  Okay, looks like they already are doing this to some degree. Shoot, I’m ready to move there.


                • WM says:

                  Unlikely for investors, in my view. Wet and gray most of the year. Takes forever to get there, like 5+ hours (maybe including ferry wait), much of it on winding narrow road, and few services beyond Port Angeles. Parts are a beautiful drive, though, but if you don’t like seeing logged over clear cuts and old growth stumps for miles you may not like the trip to Neah Bay. Some features of the Olympic Peninsula, however, are overlooked by tourists. Great trip is to drive to Port Angeles, then take the ferry across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, to Vancouver Island and the city of Victoria (capital of British Columbia Province). They have an awesome natural history museum. There are seasonally a lot of really cool waterfalls on the Peninsula, too.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  It sounds beautiful to me, a trip of a lifetime. Perfect just as it is.

                • Louise Kane says:

                  +1 Yvette
                  sounds like WM knows this area well but the one time I visited the Olympic Peninsula, I loved it wet and grey and all. I think that people forget there are many people who love to travel to the less traveled areas and don’t expect the best ammenities. And development can be geared with green travelers in mind. One place I remember in St John very well and quite successful Maho Bay 200.00 a night for a tent platform, communal kitchen and baths, solar, composting toilets ect its always packed.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  +1 Louise.

                  Part of the appeal of certain places is the lack of stuff like that, and you know that is to keep it green, keeping it as undeveloped as possible. Grey, rainy, and wet can be just as lovely as as other types of weather. It’s the experience of the place you are going that’s important.

                • Professor Sweat says:

                  I’d gladly trade our current 90 degree plus forecast here in L.A. for grey and rainy.

                • Louise Kane says:

                  maybe they give up right to whaling in exchange for an exclusive right to a sustainable type of fishing in other waters. If they are urged to give up something they get quid pro quo but in another fishery in another area?

                • Yvette says:

                  I’ve never been to Neah Bay but hope to get there one day. I’ve wanted to go there for a long time but have yet to make it. I think about the geographical location and it is the furthest point in the PNW. I then think of my own tribe’s aboriginal home and it is far down into the SE part of this country. I’ve met and talked to a tribal member that worked for them, but that is as close as I’ve ever been. He laughed and told me Seattle is sunny compared to Neah Bay.

                  There is the legal aspect with the treaty and their fishing rights and that should be upheld. Must be upheld. If the fishing rights in the treaty continue to be honored by the U.S. that leaves the responsibility of what actions on whale hunting to the Makah. Killing a whale won’t bring money to their reservation. Whale watching might be an option. Tourism might be an option. It’s not my place to tell the Makah what to do but I hope they will find a new way to maintain their relationship with this most magnificent animal. I think if they whale hunt it will bring nothing but misery and unwanted vitriol from the public. They have already suffered from that when this came up before.

                • Mark L says:

                  I agree, Yvette. I think the Makah have a right to hunt whale by treaty. Unfortunately, ‘the Makah’ didn’t hunt that whale mentioned above, several members took it upon themselves to hunt it without a tribal permit (or any other government entities’). I think if the tribe as a whole were allowed to hunt 1, it would be a better outcome than 5 guys deciding to push their ancestral hunting rights alone.
                  I think there’s also a ‘life is tough’ aspect pushed by a lot of younger male tribal members that may put machismo above teamwork…both are needed to make a successful whale hunt for a tribe. I remember talking with my ex grandfather-in-law about whale hunting in the Azores for hours. I didn’t speak much portuguese, he spoke no english, but in broken french he conveyed that the whale hunting men were good at catching whales, not so good at knowing how to treat them when they caught them. The women of the village knew far more about whale physiology than the men.

                • Barb Rupers says:

                  When in the Neah Bay area make a trip to Cape Flattery on around the corner of the peninsula,
                  truly awesome. Such an abrupt and indented shoreline with rocky headlands and sandy coves fingered in between.
                  A second choice of mine is overlooking the Alvord desert from the Steens Mountains in eastern Oregon. The highest elevation to which one can drive in the state. The view from the top to the desert below is spectacular. It is a block fault mountain range with the fault side to the east and the gently slope to the west. It has numerous canyons that were glaciated in the past.

                • Barb Rupers says:

                  Guess I am a day late in my response about your never having been t o Neah Bay. Sorry to break the discussion.

                • says:

                  I guess we should tread lightly when advising the Makah on whaling, even though I think non-lethal “counting coup” on whales is an exciting and culturally viable alternative.

                  James Swan (1990) historian: “The Makah practiced warfare for reprisal, to acquire slaves or avenge a theft or dispute.
                  The heads of those killed in war were decapitated and displayed on poles in front of the village as trophies.”

              • rork says:

                I don’t like WM or Mark L quibbling about methods, except if folks want to ask they be more humane. Folks who don’t want you to kill X, will often complain that your methods work too well, when by that they mean not that the population will be more harmed, but only that it makes it too easy or not as dangerous. Comments wanting wolf hunters to use their bare hands to make it more fair are common. I feel pretty connected to hunters of old despite using an Allen (“compound”) bow. Yes, I could go with no sights on the stick of Osage orange my bowyer friend carved and make my own arrows, fletching and chert points (I’ve done all those) and feel even more traditional, but I’m not as sure at making good shots. Is my skill less than very dedicated deer hunters centuries ago? Yup. Am I gonna tell tribes which parts of their old ways they need to stick to? Not much.

                • rork says:

                  I’ll add a note about how vulgar I find some attitudes in MI about tribal hunting and fishing rights, where folks act like they are giving great gifts (often begrudgingly), when we are merely restoring small pieces of what we took before. I see complaining in WA (e.g. salmon), and I and my brother respond by asking people who is really responsible for any fish problems – it’s so obvious, yet they need reminding.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  It’s interesting that you should mention that, because I wonder if in that area of the country indigenous rights and beliefs and laws about hunting on tribal lands seem to be ignored, run roughshod over, or ridiculed.

                  I wonder why some rights are defended and others not by the dominant culture.

                • Yvette says:

                  +++ rork. Also, we have to remember these are treaty rights that were often part of a negotiation for giving up most of their aboriginal home.

                • WM says:


                  I get your point. But when the rules are not followed symmetrically, and one side of the treaty obligation/rules ignore them, it sends the wrong message to everyone and there is no deterrent for either party. This escalates the matter for both sides to ignore the “rules,” and creates greater animosity.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  That’s not entirely true – many ‘folks’ are very, very concerned that already low populations will be harmed further. Have they recovered enough? The reason Makah hunting stopped is because the numbers became so low. So, modern weaponry makes a kill more certain and more effective. Where ancestral hunters were not guaranteed success each time they went out, today’s hunters, for the most part, with more effective weapons and tracking equipment, much more successful. Combine that with low whale populations, and it doesn’t look good.

                  With new and more obstacle courses set up in our oceans all the time, between offshore wind, oil drilling sites and spills, sonic boom energy exploration, sonic naval testing, pollution, shipping and boating, plastics and netting entanglements – it’s going to be very hard for our marine life to survive into the future. It’s more than just about humans and their needs and rights. Why can’t people voluntarily give up a right so that wildlife can survive into the future?

                  Taken by itself, no one would want to interfere with an indigenous tribe’s rights. There’s certainly many others that can be restored besides whale hunting. But in our modern world, it may just not be the right thing to do. There’s internal disagreement in the tribe as well – so it isn’t just outsiders telling the tribes which rights they can have. But in some ways I think whatever damage has been done cannot be undone.

        • Louise Kane says:

          Yvette, interesting in the Orion piece not one comment considering the whale’s rights Many comments addressing tribal rights but none addressing the right of a highly intelligent mammal to live without persecution of harvest, regardless of treaties or hunting regulations. This is an evolving legal strategy that is just being explored/tested.

        • Nancy says:

          “The difference between now and when the Makah were still great whalers is we humans now know the significance of the intelligence and sentience of this animal. Hunting them now is not acceptable with the knowledge we now possess”

          Yvette – just about half way thru the 1941 book Kabloona/written by Gontran de Poncins.

          Editor’s Preface – This is an extraordinary book. Ostensibly a study of Eskimo life, it is actually a study of the Stone Age mind. There is nothing in or out of print quite like it, and it is not probably that anything like it will ever be written again. Books like this are really accidents; they are born of the wildly improbable chance that a particular kind of odd personality will encounter a particular kind of odd subject and their meeting will ignite a totally unexpected flame. These things cannot be predicated; they just happen”

          • Yvette says:

            I missed your post before the new open thread was started. I’m going to search for that book.

  88. Louise Kane says:
    Those sorry sobs are at it again.
    Never any good news for wildlife in the fd up state of Idaho

    • Ida Lupines says:

      Cloaked in secrecy, so that no one knows what is going on until after the fact, or how many wolves are actually killed, or how many actually exist. Constantly complaining about elk numbers, either too high or too low. What a huge mistake giving them control of the poor unfortunate wildlife who pass through that place.

      • Ed Loosli says:

        One thing that really bugs me about the way Idaho and other anti-wolf states often try to “manage” wolves (that don’t need managing) is by using FEDERAL TAX DOLLARS from all U.S. taxpayers by partnering with the U.S. Dept. of Ag’s Wildlife Services to do their dirty work.

        • timz says:

          “Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshiping.”

          Hubert Reeves

    • Cody Coyote says:

      or, ” How Not To Do Wildlife Conservation”

  89. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Russia: Extremely rare Pictures of a whole Family of Amur Tigers (including dad!)

  90. Peter Kiermeir says:

    Why would anyone want to shoot a sea otter?

    • Nancy says:

      Because there’s a market for their hides Peter, in a sick little circle of our species, who continue to dictate the fashion world.

      “A few minutes later, the Jenna pulled up alongside two floating bulges of sleek fur. Both females: a “sub-adult” (or teenager) and a hefty “old-timer”, with distinguished white hairs, maybe 5ft 6in long. “There’s times when I go out to pick up the animal and it’s still alive,” said Williams. “That’s what I bring the aluminium bat for. Life is a powerful force.” He maintains that “clubbing is a really efficient way of killing something, especially if you do it right, you club it in the head.”

      • Ida Lupines says:

        “Life is a powerful force.”

        And yet people like him are determined to destroy it. Ugh. How could anyone be so devoid of compassion and empathy. Blech.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          I really can’t imagine why there’s been an uptick in fur wearing. It looks like from the articles that they take the ‘fur’ look out of it (as in real, living, animal’s coat) and trim, dye and shape it into something that looks like it could have been manufactured as something faux. How can they justify killing an animal for it’s real fur, and then change it to look phoney? The designers and wearers don’t want to acknowledge that it came from a living being at all, just how tactile and sensual/sensory it is to them. It’s something we were not given, and it’s like we covet it. It’s really bizarre.

  91. Yvette says:

    New Mexico House bill 586 was defeated! Mountain lions will not be designate vermin. Sheez, what was Zachary Cook thinking when he introduced this bill.

    • says:

      Prof. Sweat:
      Thanks for this latest scandal within the US Fish & Wildlife Service. As the saying goes, “a fish rots from the head down”… I wish President Obama and his Interior Secretary, Sally Jewell would FIRE the Dir. of the USFWS, Dan Ashe now, if not sooner, but I am not holding my breath — This trio (Obama, Jewell & Ashe) is tragically bad news for our wildlife, as all these whistle-blowers can attest.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        This trio (Obama, Jewell & Ashe) is tragically bad news for our wildlife, as all these whistle-blowers can attest.

        You can say that again. I can’t believe they are Democrats.

      • Professor Sweat says:

        On the positive side, at least there are good people in the agency who aren’t willing to keep their mouths shut and roll over for political interests.

        Obama and Jewell have done no worse than their respective predecessors, but I agree that protections for endangered species are being under the bus for other agendas. I’d imagine Jewell is more interested in promoting outdoor recreation, which as we know doesn’t always mesh well with wildlife protections in some regards.

        At this point, I’m convinced Ashe is just concerned with his legacy of keeping species off the list. He’s a disgrace to the office.

  92. Immer Treue says:

    Very serious question here that requires very responsible answers, regardless if positive or negative.

    But who in the world is Tim Kemery?

    The only place I see his name is with anti-wolf comments, in particular in regard to the “indigenous”wolves claimed by many to have hung on in small pockets.

    I inquire with respect, yet, remain deep in doubt. This comment, in particular, attributed to Kemery, makes me leery in a number of ways.

    “Tim Kemery on “indigenous” wolves:
    * Very much an opportunist when different prey was available. Spent great percentage of hunting effort on rodent acquisition, (moles to rabbits). ”

    This is a reinvention of basic wolf ecology, as wolf economy as per caloric intake requires preying upon animals larger than themselves.

    Also, the antis like to refer to “predator pits”, Louis and Clark starving because wolves had killed all the big game, and the we got rid of them for a reason mantra (certainly not for eating rabbits to moles).. You can’t have it both ways. Either a wolf is a wolf, or it’s not. Mowatt’s premise that wolves could sustain themselves on voles/lemmings, rather fictional or not, is laughed at by anti-wolf individuals, yet they buy into what Kemery observed.

    If indigenous wolves existed, which I seriously doubt, why did their populations not increase as did the reintroduced wolves? Parvo epidemic in the 80’s, or the I thought it was a coyote crowd. Can’t get in trouble for shooting something that’s not here, or was it? I’ve read Urbigkit’s book, and i don’t recall him as mentioned. Or, the most logical explanation that these wolves that were occasionally observed were merely dispersers from Canada?

    Any critical information about this individual would be appreciated. And whether the information is positive or negative, please keep it tactful.


  93. Immer Treue says:

    Sorry for the duplicate post, but for some reason by inquiry was buried above

    Very serious question here that requires very responsible answers, regardless if positive or negative.

    But who in the world is Tim Kemery?

    The only place I see his name is with anti-wolf comments, in particular in regard to the “indigenous”wolves claimed by many to have hung on in small pockets.

    I inquire with respect, yet, remain deep in doubt. This comment, in particular, attributed to Kemery, makes me leery in a number of ways.

    “Tim Kemery on “indigenous” wolves:
    * Very much an opportunist when different prey was available. Spent great percentage of hunting effort on rodent acquisition, (moles to rabbits). ”

    This is a reinvention of basic wolf ecology, as wolf economy as per caloric intake requires preying upon animals larger than themselves.

    Also, the antis like to refer to “predator pits”, Louis and Clark starving because wolves had killed all the big game, and the we got rid of them for a reason mantra (certainly not for eating rabbits to moles).. You can’t have it both ways. Either a wolf is a wolf, or it’s not. Mowatt’s premise that wolves could sustain themselves on voles/lemmings, rather fictional or not, is laughed at by anti-wolf individuals, yet they buy into what Kemery observed.

    If indigenous wolves existed, which I seriously doubt, why did their populations not increase as did the reintroduced wolves? Parvo epidemic in the 80’s, or the I thought it was a coyote crowd. Can’t get in trouble for shooting something that’s not here, or was it? I’ve read Urbigkit’s book, and i don’t recall him as mentioned. Or, the most logical explanation that these wolves that were occasionally observed were merely dispersers from Canada?

    Any critical information about this individual would be appreciated. And whether the information is positive or negative, please keep it tactful.


  94. Ed Loosli says:

    Kill The Bison Bills, Not The Bison
    from the Buffalo Field Campaign

  95. rork says:

    Yvette. I’m at U Mich. We started on land given us by Ojibwa, Odawa, and Bodewadimi (=Potowatomi or 5 other spellings) through the Treaty of Fort Meigs, 1817, the year the U started.
    “believing they may wish some of their children hereafter educated [they] do grant… to the corporation of the college at Detroit, for the use of the said college, to be retained or sold, as the rector and corporation may judge expedient.. [the land they gave us]” (We later sold that and bought land in Ann Arbor.)
    MI tribe members can come here for free as a result.

    WM: “Buy them out” is a solution that often works for all. Good idea. Hopefully deathless re-enactment rituals, and new rituals, will be satisfying too, and maybe we can all celebrate the old history as well as the new settlements between people, and between people and whales. I’m gonna get weepy now.

    • Yvette says:

      That’s interesting, rork. I need to learn more about the GL tribes. I hope they are taking advantage of the free tuition.

      “Hopefully deathless re-enactment rituals, and new rituals, will be satisfying too, and maybe we can all celebrate the old history as well as the new settlements between people, and between people and whales.”


  96. Ed Loosli says:

    Federal Court Dismisses Nevada Cattlemen’s Anti-Mustang Lawsuit

  97. Yvette says:

    Given how depressing this Makah whale hunting is for me have a look at something that came across my facebook feed. It’s good to have an uplifting whale story.

    After reading this it shows me why I believe whales should not be hunted, IMO.

    • says:

      Thank you for sending us this very moving story – with a happy ending. Special thanks go to Chris Garcia and Sam Morrison for deciding to stay overnight to tend to the stranded whale. What an amazing human-wildlife connection.

  98. Louise Kane says:

    an inside look into predator hunters

    • Yvette says:

      Good find, Louise. I bookmarked and saved this one.

      IF YOU BAN COYOTE CALLING CONTESTS, we are going to kill coyotes anyway and probably at a much more efficient rate!

      So, if we agree that coyote contests are not as effective as other forms of predator management, then why do you want them banned?

      1) I think it will be much harder to ban the contests in many states. The NM House Ag, Water and Wildlife Committee did not pass the bill. Other states will be just as difficult.

      2) Craig Steel’s argument that more coyotes will be killed since coyote calling contests are less efficient than other forms of predator management fails to consider several factors. A few of those are; coyotes are legally designated vermin,(is there a state where they are not?) so there are no hunting seasons—they can be killed any time, any day; and, WS’s spends millions every year killing coyotes by multiple methods and I don’t see this changing in the near future.

      His argument is inaccurate without considering that anyone can already kill a coyote anytime and, that WS kills as many coyotes as they can kill at any time of the year, every year.

      What Craig Steel’s argument does is provide another sound reason why states should apply legal protection to coyotes by changing the legal designation from vermin to game animal and apply hunting seasons. Ease up on the rate of the killing and their litters will taper off, thus reducing population; allow ranchers/farmers to protect livestock and encourage non-lethal methods; allow hunters to buy tags and hunt in specified season; and overhaul WS coyote strategy and policies.

      • Louise Kane says:

        yes Yvette exactly
        Additionally, I have a real issue with advocates relying so heavily on the argument that coyote killing does not achieve management objectives because of the compensatory nature of coyote birth rates under hunting duress. Its become easy for the killers to argue that their slaughter has no ill effect.

        1) without legal protection as a designated game species and with no reporting requirements how does anyone know what the takes are or the impact on a local population?
        2) at what point do the scales tip and the hunting pressure becomes so acute that populations might be threatened? I wonder does it follow that because coyotes are moving into new territories that they are actually at healthy population levels in all areas they live?
        3) what kind of long term implications are there for the species under such heavy pressure? surely no species was meant to evolve in tandem with another species under this kind of mayhem.

        Perhaps Jon Way can address these questions but I find it unsettling to speculate on the health of an overall population of animals when no data is required or recorded because the species has no protection whatever. I have these objections to the claims that coyote populations are healthy, in addition to the repulsive nature of slaughtering animals out of hate or “just cause” they like to kill yokes or because agencies don’t have enough common sense or decency to provide protection for these fascinating and long persecuted carnivores.

        • JB says:

          “Its become easy for the killers to argue that their slaughter has no ill effect.”

          No adverse effects on the POPULATION. They don’t, at least not at the frequency and scale that they are being held. We (as a society) tried to exterminate coyotes when we were working over wolves and other predators. During that time there were traps, poisons and hunters on the landscape. How did coyotes respond? They dramatically expanded their range and grew in number. There is no way that a few coyote derbies will have adverse effects on the meta population. That’s being honest, Louise.

          Now that’s not to say that coyote hunting (in general) doesn’t adversely impact pack behavior, and, as others have noted, it likely increases the chances of of depredations (at least under some conditions).

          The argument that these killing contests do not achieve the intended management objective(s) raises the question of why they are allowed. If wildlife should only be killed for a legitimate purpose, and the purposes are not being achieved through the management action, then it is time to do something different.

          This also corners supporters of such contests–they are forced to acknowledge the real purpose of the contest: recreational killing.

          • Louise Kane says:

            JB How can you be sure these contests are not affecting local populations? Where is the data? There are no reporting requirements, no quotas and no data. Just recently one advocacy group began collecting contest data. There are several states that hold scores of contests with participants coming from all over. I have seen post contest images of truckloads of slaughtered animals. Mark L makes other excellent points as the contests pertain to southern states where red wolf populations and genes are possibly co-mingled, more than is appreciated. I think without real data it is not factual to make the claim either way. Better to err on the side of caution. Wolves were also thought to be impossible to eradicate. Coyotes are hunted year round, with traps, baits, poisons, and in contests. I would like to know how this impacts local populations without claiming they are impossible to eradicate. One last point, these animals travel great distances even in one night sometimes 15+ miles and so animals that are spotted in one place or another locale may be the same animals. With evidence only anecdotal what is really known.

        • Ed Loosli says:

          A big +1

      • rork says:

        The argument was that the contests have little effect. I’ve not seen coyote hunters argue that there should be no seasons or bag limits – we have seasons in MI, but they are ridiculously long. We count coyotes trapped, but not shot. I agree that banning contests will likely not lead to more coyotes killed, but I don’t think less killing will make less coyotes either – at least no big effect for either measure. So I think the author is mostly right that banning contests in mostly cultural.

  99. Mark L says:

    JB, are you stating that meta-populations are not changed by derby hunting? I disagree, as those coyotes with greater ratio of red wolf genes will be selected almost singularly in a derby that focuses on size for a reward. Would a higher mix of red wolf genes in coyotes in the southeast not be larger in size? Maybe. How many studies have been completed on this in Miss, Ala and Tenn? If there are pockets of coyotes with greater red wolf genes are they apparent visually, and would they be selected for in derbies in the south? I suspect yes. But how would we know? We’re not even sure what we are shooting in some locations.

  100. Barb Rupers says:

    My cousin lives in Fairbanks and sent pictures showing where redpolls had burrowed in the snow plus a link to possible reasons for this behavior.


February 2015


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey