Permit retirement a solution to killing wolves

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife has ordered that the Profanity wolf pack in northeast Washington be killed. As of today at least six wolves have already been killed. The kill order is the result of on-going depredations of domestic cattle that are being grazed on national forest lands. The continued killing of the Profanity pack is emblematic of what is wrong with our wildlife policies, especially with regards to public lands.

The problem is expressed by the attitude represented in a recent quote from Donny Martorello, Fish and Wildlife wolf policy lead, said in a statement. “The department is committed to wolf recovery, but we also have a shared responsibility to protect livestock from repeated depredation by wolves.”

What about protecting wolves from repeated depredations by livestock? What about preserving the ecological role of large predators on our public lands?

The typical reaction of state wildlife agencies to any predator conflicts is to remove the predators, rather than remove the livestock. However, grazing on public lands is a privilege, not a right.

While livestock grazing is a legally permitted use of public lands, that use is contingent upon livestock production not harming other public values. In this case, the killing of a wolf pack is an obvious harm to the public’s right to have healthy wildlife populations on our public lands.

But it goes beyond simply the killing of our wolves so that a commercial business can profit from exploiting our public lands. The mere presence of livestock socially displaces the prey of predators. Elk and other herbivores avoid areas that are being actively grazed by domestic livestock.

This means that predators like wolves may have to travel further to find food or alternatively they simply take the easiest and closest prey which may be domestic animals.

Of course, by consuming the forage on public lands, domestic livestock are taking the food out of the mouths of wildlife like elk and other wildlife that support predators like wolves, cougar, and coyotes.

Furthermore, there is growing evidence that killing predators does not solve answer conflicts in the long run. Killing predators can fragment packs, or eliminate the more experienced hunters in a pack.

Indiscriminate killing of predators as is common in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana also destroys the social bonds in packs, and skews packs towards younger animals. The remaining pack members may be less experienced at hunting and may not know the territory and information like where prey may winter or migration routes that is critical for a successful pack.

In reality we should be demand that livestock be removed from public lands whenever there is a conflict, rather than killing our wildlife.

Ethically we can ask why a private business exploiting our public lands should be given preference over the public’s interest in wildlife like wolves.

A long-term solution to conflicts between private business interests and the public interest in preserving its wildlife can be accomplished through permit retirement.

Permanently closing allotments precludes future conflicts forever and provides ranchers with a golden saddle. They can use the money to retire, or buy additional private lands.

Strategies like range riders, or other ideas that some organizations support to reduce conflicts does not really make the public lands safe for predators—our wildlife. Harassing public wildlife to facilitate private use of our public lands is ethically wrong in my view.

In the end, we should be working to provide safe havens for predators so they can exert their evolutionary influence on the landscape. Permit retirement is one way to help achieve this goal.



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  1. Theo Chu Avatar
    Theo Chu

    A “golden saddle”? I love it.

  2. Phil Maker Avatar
    Phil Maker

    I agree that “protecting wolves from repeated depredations by livestock” should be the primary goal of our wildlife agencies. The land management agencies (USFS, BLM, etc.) are the ones that need to hear it from those supporting wolf recovery. It is their policies/rules/regulations that allow for ranchers to turn out livestock in areas known to be frequented by wolf packs where it is easy to predict that depredation could occur.

  3. Ida Lupine Avatar
    Ida Lupine

    So unnecessary. We were told back in 2012 that steps would be taken to ‘prevent this type of thing from happening in the future’, but it appears this is how the WDFW handles these things as a general rule.

  4. Ida Lupine Avatar
    Ida Lupine

    What WDFW does not want to acknowledge is that Bill McIrvin and his gang have a responsibility to the public also, especially regarding the privilege to use the public land. It’s not all one-sided.

  5. Kirk C Robinson Avatar
    Kirk C Robinson

    Amen! I would sure love to retire the sheep grazing permits in the High Uintas Wilderness. Some of us are working on it and Region 4 USFS is doing an EIS. I was recently told by a trustworthy source that offers were made to the ranch families (a mere 4 families has all 10 allotments) and they, or most of them, were seriously considering a buyout. Then they were told (so I was told) that the Forest Supervisor told them not to worry about it and so they have dug in their heels.

  6. Ida Lupine Avatar
    Ida Lupine

    And what happens when another pack moves in for the easy pickins as this man stubbornly refuses to do anything about keeping his cattle away from them year after year after year? Are we to expect every two years that an entire pack be killed? Very short-sighted and not what I would call good scientific ‘management’.

    There’s a great comment on the article that Mareks linked to – ‘The Landlords would like to exercise their option to change the terms of the lease.’ 🙂

  7. Kenny Avatar

    Always the same solution. ITS NEVER THE PREDATORS FAULT! This problem rarely occured until wolf reintroduction. Studied also suggest people rarley have these problems with bears or cougars on PUBLIC LANDS. The only reason studies are currently supporting that killing wolves doesnt solve the depredation problem is because they are only killing one or two of the wolves that have found a much easier prey, Not all the wolves that have taken part in preying on cattle or live stock. So when the remaining wolves continue to prey on livestock they try to use the numbers to pad their statstics, not because they cant find more prey or become displaced but because they’ve found an easier way of life and easier prey! All you people are just pissed off because by taking out this entire pack, it going to poke a huge hole in your theroy of anti killing tactics and debunk this myth that killing or culling doesnt work. If WDFW does in fact kill the entire pack it will reveal the true scientific evidence that when a pack does in fact acquire the taste for livestock the only true way to deal with it is take out the entire pack. Something alot of people cant come to terms with. When wolf reintrodution became a reality it was a bitter pill to swallow for some people and a victory for others. There will be ups and downs for both sides, and no matter what someone will be left unsatisfied. The simple fact is the land being used is supposed to be for all public use, not just wolf reintroduction! Yes even ranchers, no matter how much it ruffles your feathers! The WDFW and ranchers arent saying they cant deal with wolves on public lands, they are saying they are not going to tolerate wolves preying on livestock on public lands. WDFW job is to look out for ALL public opinion, not side with one side or the other. The wolves were given a second chance and continued to kill livestock. WDFW are doing a great job and the right thing in this senerio. Ranchers shouldnt be expected to give up their livelyhood or public land use just because these wolves keep killing their cattle.

    1. Larry Keeney Avatar
      Larry Keeney

      You’ve been to too many Trump rallies.

      1. Kenny Avatar

        Considering who he’s running against, YOUR D*** RIGHT I”LL BE CASTING A VOTE FOR HIM! Hillary for prison! We dont need Russia owning our forrests!

        1. Immer Treue Avatar
          Immer Treue

          Perhaps you should talk to Trump about that as he buddies up to Putin.

        2. Yvette Avatar

          “We don’t need Russia owning our forests!”

          Defies logic.

          1. Kenny Avatar

            Read “Clinton Cash ” and learn about all Hillary’s sweat heart deals with Clinton Foundation donar’s, then tell me it defies logic.

    2. Bonnie McWayne Avatar
      Bonnie McWayne

      Kenny: What you do not seem to come to terms with is the fact that wolves were there years and years before the livestock. If the cattle barons were not so greedy to make millions more in profits and kept their livestock off the public lands, the wolves would go about the natural culling of deer and other wild animals as nature intended for their existence. It is as simple as that.

    3. Theo Chu Avatar
      Theo Chu

      Part of the rancher’s so far successful argument for paying far below market value for public land grazing has traditionally been that there are higher predator losses “out there” on the national land. So they are already compensated for such losses. They shouldn’t have it both ways, both nearly free grazing AND taxpayer funded predator eradication.

    4. Frank Martin Avatar
      Frank Martin

      Kenny – Your commentary doesn’t even deserve a reply. You are so clueless!! It hasn’t dawned on you that you can’t handle the english language let alone critical thought on issues such as this. People like you are a good part of the problem and its sad that there’s not much the rest of us can do to shut you up or shut you down.

    5. Nancy Avatar

      “Ranchers shouldnt be expected to give up their livelyhood or public land use just because these wolves keep killing their cattle”

      I’m guessing you just blew past this part of the article Kenny:

      “But it goes beyond simply the killing of our wolves so that a commercial business can profit from exploiting our public lands. The mere presence of livestock socially displaces the prey of predators. Elk and other herbivores avoid areas that are being actively grazed by domestic livestock”

      1. Kenny Avatar

        You might want to mention that to the elk and deer I see feeding alongside the cattle and alpacas, I drive by each morning on the way to work, they seemed to have missed the memo on displacment.

    6. Ida Lupine Avatar
      Ida Lupine

      It is a two-way street, though. I keep reading comments about how ‘a deal was made that in order to bring back wolves, if they attack livestock they are removed, or kept at a certain population’, etc.

      But, part of the deal is that the rancher to take non-lethal, pro-active steps to protect his cattle too? Stubbornly taking them into known wolf areas while refusing to cooperate is not honoring his part of the bargain.

      It’s like Wisconsin too, continually and deliberately taking hunting dogs into wolf areas so that their dogs are killed, and they can inch further to getting a delisting. I don’t think I’ve ever heard as many hunting dogs being lost to wolves as I have recently. Don’t take them in there! And they get reimbursed by the taxpayers for their lost dogs too. Deliberately sacrificing your animals for political reasons should not be on the taxpayers’ dime. I don’t know why people put up with it.

      This seems to happen every two years – a new pack moves in, and producers and government agencies being to build a case against them – whether naturally occurring attacks or baited and planned attacks. I’m no longer letting the agency off the hook anymore either, to deliberately go along with this rancher.

      Keep a close eye on what happens when a new pack moves in.

      1. Ida Lupine Avatar
        Ida Lupine

        oops, that’s ‘begin to build a case against them’. I don’t know why people put up with this racket.

      2. Robin Cornell Avatar
        Robin Cornell

        Wisconsin is a shithole for wildlife. Wisconsin is the only state that allows hunting of wolves with packs of dogs. I’ve had numerous contacts with the DNR over trapping, and the DNR will never acknowledge that trapped animals suffer. Apparently, it an easy and humane death. I wonder at the kind of people employed by these agencies. They must have to pass some kind of animal hate test to continually advocate such unconscionable practices.

      3. Kenny Avatar

        This so called deal was made by bureaucrats and politicains, not the general public. No rancher would ever go along with the clause that they should be required to monitor their livestock 24/7. That aside the problem with hunting dogs in WI isnt just happening there. A fellow hunting buddy of mine had his dog killed by a pack of wolves here in NW MT while hunting mountain lions 2 years ago. A high school freind of mine, just outside Missoula MT, also had their famlies black lab attacked and killed by wolves on their private property just outside their home. Neither of these cases involved a commercial business profitting from exploiting our public lands. This is getting out of control, at some point problem wolves need to be delt with and sometimes its gonna be leathal. If I deside to go fishing with my family and deside to hike to a mountain lake, like we do several times a summer, and we bring our golden retiver and a pack of wolves attack and kills it! Im guessing its my fault too! Im only asking because last week we hiked all day, in area we’ve hiked for years, and when we returned to the truck and were loading everything up, just across canyon a wolf began howling at us and did so until we pulled away and left around 10 to 15 minutes later, after sitting and listening. Dont get me wrong it was amazing to hear, but in no way am i gonna quit bringing my family or my dog back into the woods there just because i heard a wolf, nor do i think that makes me irresponsible! The pro wolf reintrodution movement cant keep using wolf reintroduction as a vessel to hijack public lands from everyday american citizens just wanting to go out and enjoy themselves or their way of life. Mark my words, keep a close eye on these currenlty isolated events, as wolf numbers increase so will these types of issues and if the only answer by some is to keep people like livestock ranchers, hunters, fishermen, hikers, or any other type of outdoor enthusiasts off public lands, for the sake of the wolves, rather then do deal with the problem. Public oppinion will also swing in a more negitive manner towards wolves if we cant look at these issues more realistically and a more mature manner.

        1. Nancy Avatar

          Kenny – I don’t even let my 25 lb. dog out in her own fenced yard, early morning or late evening without checking first because she thinks she’s a German Shepard and can take on the deer that wander thru on occasion. They could kill her just as easily as a wolf, coyote, elk, badger, etc.

          And FYI – got NO sympathy for anyone who runs wildlife with hounds.

          Re: taking the family dog into the wilderness has its hazards and not just from wolves, especially if you aren’t keeping an eye on them.

          ***”Im only asking because last week we hiked all day, in area we’ve hiked for years, and when we returned to the truck and were loading everything up, just across canyon a wolf began howling at us and did so until we pulled away and left around 10 to 15 minutes later, after sitting and listening”

          So what’s the big deal, you were in their neighborhood, right?

          ***”Public oppinion will also swing in a more negitive manner towards wolves if we cant look at these issues more realistically and a more mature manner”

          Wolves have been back for over 20 years, Kenny, they haven’t killed any kids at bus stops nor dined on the thousands & thousands of hunters & hikers that access wilderness areas annually. They occasionally dine on livestock but those numbers, given the millions of cattle & sheep in Montana, is minute.

          **”No rancher would ever go along with the clause that they should be required to monitor their livestock 24/7″

          So the rest of us should just go along (& pay for government predator control) when a rancher dumps 500 to a thousand head of cattle, on our public lands, with little or no supervision?

          1. Kenny Avatar

            Hunter and hounds have just as much right to public land as wolves do. I have the same sympathy for wolves that prey on livestock and pets and end up being mowed down with helicopters or how ever the government feels fit to deal with them. I sleep just fine at night knowing that’s were my tax payer dollars are going. Like I’ve state there is no reasoning with some people. No matter what according to them is it ever okay to kill a wolf. Instead just take peoples right away. That additude is exactly why I said public opinion is going to change drastically in the future. Seems we won’t ever change each others opinion, Have a nice day, Thank you for the lively debate.

            1. snaildarter Avatar

              No Kenny, hunters and hounds have a responsibility to be good stewards of the land and nature. They should respect natural systems which includes bear, wolves and cougars as an alpha predators. Public lands should not be managed to favor hunters preferred game but rather hunters should respect nature for the holy place it is and hunt carefully and respectfully or not at all.

        2. Immer Treue Avatar
          Immer Treue

          My experience with dogs and wolves has been if your dog is close to you, and at the very least under voice control, wolves will have very little to anything to do with you or your dog(s), and the experiences include a dog and me strapped into sleds on the middle of a lake during a winter camping trip when we had a pack of eight wolves come toward us. The sun was behind me, and all I can think is that with the glare of the sun off snow and ice, they didn’t see us until they were within a hundred yards. Eight wolves, me and a dog. No problem.

          The problem is when dogs are away from people such as bear hounds, or dogs doing what dogs do and chase things like deer and, yes, wolves. Always thought it ironic that, at least where I live, during certain times of the year dogs can be shot by land owners for running deer, but if a dog gets killed by wolves for running wolves, people’s panties get in a bunch.

  8. Bob Tuck Avatar
    Bob Tuck

    Seattle Times today reports that the rancher put his cattle out right on top of the den site and refused to allow his cattle to be radio collared so their location could be monitored.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      Yes, this was a deliberate move by a belligerent rancher who has a grazing permit on our public lands. It has happened in Idaho and Wyoming in the past too. They live off our subsidies and have our wildlife killed by government toadies.

  9. Jeff Martin Avatar
    Jeff Martin

    George, I remember reading somewhere that western range beef Cattle are a small percentage overall of the beef market, is this true? Is their damage to wildlife and range health in general a net loss situation, what is their overall net benefit to western state economy? I live half the year in Montana’s Madison valley,the local ranchers generally seam to take good care of their riverside property, but travel a short ways into the Gravelly or Madison range, onto FS leases and the dedgregation is appalling, cattle burnt land with little vegetation left over for wildlife.

  10. Yvette Avatar

    From 2012 when the McIrvins had the Wedge pack killed. Watch the video. It clearly shows the McIrvin’s attitude. “rogue government agency”, etc.

    They knew what they were doing when they placed their cattle near the Profanity Peak’s den, if indeed they did. Given the Trumpish attitude of Bill McIrvine in this video I have no doubt they sacrificed their cattle to get this pack killed.

    1. Ralph Maughan Avatar
      Ralph Maughan

      People commonly assume that if a rancher puts cattle on a pasture the purpose is to feed and grow them in safety. But frequently not. They have many motives, and it can be to sacrifice them.

  11. Ida Lupine Avatar
    Ida Lupine

    From Brooks Fahy:

    The only thing I can say is that over the years, the public has become less and less tolerant of killing wolves this way, and misuse of the public lands by the government agencies and the ranchers. Hopefully, that means change. There are still those misguided comments about ‘invasive’ wolves, although much less.

  12. Rita k Sharpe Avatar
    Rita k Sharpe

    Some kind of land grazing reform is needed. The US Forestry needs to get hammered or whatever you want to call it. Putting cows in harms way is crueler than any predators’ jaw. I know my senator and reps me by now and I guess, they will know me again.

    1. Rita k Sharpe Avatar
      Rita k Sharpe

      I meant to say that my senator and reps know me by now and they will continue to hear my voice or read my letters.

  13. Mark Bailey Avatar

    But hey, it says right in the GOP platform that, “Farmers and ranchers are among this country’s leading conservationists.” See?

  14. Kathleen Avatar

    Animal agriculture is playing in a system thoroughly rigged for its own benefit. A commenter above said, “Ranchers shouldnt be expected to give up their livelyhood or public land use just because these wolves keep killing their cattle.” Putting aside for the moment the fact that ranchers are exploiting the citizens’ public lands at below-cost and being subsidized by said citizens (for a product no one actually needs), compare ranchers to retailers who keep getting hit up by shoplifters. The public isn’t expected to bail *them* out–no, retailers must purchase costly insurance, hire security guards, install security cams, install shoplifting scanning devices at the doors, etc. The onus is on THEM to protect their merchandise. If they eventually have to raise prices to recover their costs, consumers have a choice to shop elsewhere. Taxpayers don’t get any choice in our subsidization of animal ag. Of course wolves aren’t the equivalent of law-breaking shoplifters–and businesses purchase or rent their properties at fair market value.

    Another example of animal ag’s favored position in an unfair, entrenched system: Because alternatives to dairy milk (misery milk) are doing so well, the dairy industry is suffering big losses (35% drop in revenues past 2 years). But instead of taking the loss, adjusting, or going out of business, we taxpayers are stepping in and spending $20 million for 11 million pounds of cheese from private inventories!

    “The massive cheese purchase comes more than two weeks after the USDA announced more than $11 million in government assistance to the Dairy Margin Protection Program, which provides a safety net to dairy producers.” Animal ag is too costly to taxpayers, to wildlife, and to the very earth we live on (consider resource use–a lb. of cheese requires about 382 gal. of water–and climate change).

  15. Gary Humbard Avatar
    Gary Humbard

    I do NOT know the intentions of McIrvine regarding whether or not he intentionally wanted wolves killed, however, the fact that this is the second time an entire pack has had to be removed from his allotment for predation is a precursor to future problems.

    To Kenny, I appreciate your comments and one reason I come to this site is to get different perspectives.

    To Bonnie, I seriously doubt McIrvine is a “cattle baron” and since federal land management agencies (Forest Service and BLM) are mandated to manage using multiple use of which grazing is one of those uses keeping their cattle off public land is “not as simple as that”.

    The author included the ultimate solution to reduce conflicts between predators in general; retire grazing allotments. There are numerous NGO’s that are doing just that of which the National Wildlife Federation is the one I financially support.

    1. Theo Chu Avatar
      Theo Chu

      While arguing in defense of fish and wildlife I’ve had BLM and USFS personnel point out to me that “multiple use” clearly does not mean that all uses must be allowed on every acre of national land. It is hard to support the idea that livestock production should be the highest or best or priority use of any of our public land.

  16. Nancy Avatar

    Gary – an interesting read from 4 years ago re: Bonnie’s comment about “cattle baron”

    “fourth-generation rancher of the largest ranch in Washington”

    6,000 to 7,000 head of cattle? This is no small time cattle operation(s) I would guess the ranch or ranches, support 3 generations of family and a small crew of wranglers. With close to a $mil in cattle inventory, you’d think they could afford a range rider or two.

    “Running cattle either along the Canadian border or along the Columbia River demands more than a well-maintained fleet of trucks and an easily-identifiable brand.

    In the northern property of the Diamond M, the enemies are the frigid winters and mountain lions. Bill, Len’s son who now runs the ranch, once bagged a lion that stretched almost nine feet from nose to tail. This lion was a serial killer, having hunted the livestock for years. It’s now mounted on the den wall of the ranch house. In the southern properties, the weather is less of a threat to the cattle, but the predators are more relentless.

    Packs of coyotes have killed so many cattle in the Columbia River Basin that the McIrvins estimate a loss of $30,000 annually over the past five years due to coyote attacks.”

    Steve Clevidence has occasionally posted on this blog before, so Steve if you’re still a reader of TWN, please weigh in on your conversation with McIrvin, given the fact that McIrvin fully expects yet another wolf pack to be wiped out.

    1. Yvette Avatar

      It was Bill McIrvin in the video I posted above that introduced me to the severity of the wolf controversy. The words, “rogue government agency” still ring. How do people like the McIrvin’s and the Bundy’s whose wealth was acquired by utilizing the advantages offered to cattlemen by ‘rogue government agencies’ justify their anti-government mindset?

      How do we citizens phase out the use of public lands for grazing? People like the McIrvins and the Bundys act like they are entitled to all public lands for whatever and however they wish to use it…..’rogues government agencies’ and all.

      I’d like to see an end to open range and public grazing.

      1. Nancy Avatar

        Yvette – good article from CN regarding the Wedge Park back in 2012. Good questions and answers, in the comment section.

        Experienced first hand this past spring the “removal” of a couple of wolves just down the road from me (after a calf was killed) and the circumstances that probably led to their deaths.

        When you’ve got generations of ranchers who are hardwired to believe “its us, against them” (predators) change is not going to come easy.

        “How do we citizens phase out the use of public lands for grazing?”

        Maybe by setting up a funding project that buys out leases? That’s really what this article by Weurthner, is about:

        “In the end, we should be working to provide safe havens for predators so they can exert their evolutionary influence on the landscape. Permit retirement is one way to help achieve this goal”

  17. Lori Avatar

    I agree with what you say here. But we need to go further. We need to stop buying the products sold by these people.

    Because I care about all animals and then environment, I’ve chosen to go vegan. Unless we drastically lower our consumption of animal products, your strategy will not work, I’m sorry to say.

    1. rork Avatar

      It is your solution that is unlikely to work – it’ll take lots of people eating less meat voluntarily, and that affects all producers, not just those on public land. If the price of cow drops, it just means we can export to other countries more. So you need to convince the entire world. What we each do as individuals matters very little compared to what we can do at the ballot box to change law (and lawmakers). It’s like me personally driving less as a way to change climate – gas taxes work much better.
      A political solution to protect the public lands seems to have much better chances at actually protecting public lands.

  18. snaildarter Avatar

    In the Appalachian south fox hunters never kill the fox. They run them until the dogs get tired while the “fox hunters drink whiskey around a campfire and listen and tell stories about the chase. They’ll shot anyone who kills a fox. This is the only kind of hound hunting I have any respect for; sort of like fishing with a barbless hook.

    1. banannarama Avatar

      That’s neat!

  19. Ida Lupine Avatar
    Ida Lupine

    I’ll ask this again. So is the public to expect that every two years, a wolf pack will be exterminated from this area for this rancher? His cattle are a draw for them, so I would expect another wolf pack at some point will replace the ones killed since 2008? Is this the best we can expect from ‘wolf management’?

    I wish there would be a new script. We hear the same thing year after year, including floating vague accusations that can never be proven, but just to sway any public opinion. Talk about libel and slander!

    WSU really is just saying ‘the views and opinions do not reflect those of the University’. It still says the rancher doesn’t (or won’t) take part in the USFW wolf program, and that he continually runs cattle in a known wolf area, because he’s done it for 73 years and isn’t going to change, just worded in a more palatable way I guess they think. That isn’t in question. I’m just happy that there are still people left in this world like Dr. Weilgus with the integrity to speak up and do the right thing, despite pressure.

    Why not just be honest and tell the public they plan to always keep out wolves in this area of WA (at taxpayer expense!) instead of keeping up this kind of pretense?

    1. Ida Lupine Avatar
      Ida Lupine

      I went back to read about the first sightings of the Profanity Peak pack (I can just imagine when the first one was seen what was said ‘oh, #&$^$!). Then the clock starts ticking for a way to get rid of them. I think it was a little less than two years ago, Sept. 14, 2014:

      I hope that when another pack is sighted, there is a better solution than shooting. Especially since we were promised better back in 2012 with the Wedge Pack removal.

      1. Nancy Avatar

        Ida – do you have spreadsheet abilities on you computer? I don’t but it seems to me looking at the link below (weekly wolf reports Montana) there is a lot of information that could be lined out with regard to the packs with established areas, livestock depredations, repeat depredations, lethal removable, new packs (unknown) cause and effect, etc.

        Go for it if you do – try and figure out (from the link above with PDFs) why most wolves/packs, do manage to stay out of trouble (re: livestock depredations) and out of the line of fire until hunting/trapping seasons roll around and collapses their family ties.

        1. Ida Lupine Avatar
          Ida Lupine

          I’ll give it a try. 🙂

        2. Ida Lupine Avatar
          Ida Lupine

          “The focus will be on ensuring that Montana’s conservation and management program keeps the wolf off the federal endangered species list while pursuing a wolf population level below current numbers to manage impacts on game populations and livestock.”

          How low can they go, I guess. Not one word about coexisting or keeping a healthy population for a healthy ecosystem. 🙁

          1. Kenny Avatar

            WOW , I’m guessing you missed the part about KEEPING THEM OFF THE ENDANGERED SPECIES LIST BUT MANAGING A THE CURRENT NUMBERS TO HELP MANAGE OTHER GAME POPULATIONS. Sounds alot like conservation and management to me. That is what keeps a healthy ecosystem.

            1. Ida Lupine Avatar
              Ida Lupine

              To me, by the use of the words ‘game population’ and ‘livestock’, it strictly focuses on keeping sportsmen happy with high deer and elk numbers, and ranchers happy by no depredation whatsoever, not necessarily whether these things are good for a healthy environment. To many elk and deer and too many cattle are not.

              How about ‘being careful not to trample delicate native plants and grasses due to trampling by herds (of all kinds). 🙂

              1. Ida Lupine Avatar
                Ida Lupine

                sorry, ‘being careful not to destroy delicate native plants and grasses due to trampling by herds (of all kinds). 🙂

    2. banannarama Avatar

      Blame Congressman Joel Kretz and his butt buddy Mitch Friedman of CON servation Northwest. They have dinners and parties at each others properties and make back room deals on wolf packs. Every deal these 2 criminals make causes another wolf pack to be murdered if they happen to be in Kretz constituency. No wolf is safe East of Tonasket and I heard Stevens County commissioner and sheepman say so at the Wolf management meeting in Spokane in Fall of 2009. He told the WDFW at the meeting “We don’t want ANY wolves here, and we will not tolerate them.”
      On paper they pretend to obey the laws. In reality, they should be imprisoned for their underhanded poaching taxpayer fraud and lies.

  20. Eric T. Avatar
    Eric T.

    looks like WSU is walking back Wielgus’ comments to the Seattle Times. Pretty strong rebuke by the WSU College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resources Sciences.

    Apparently the cows WERE NOT turned out on a den site.

  21. Autumn Avatar

    Wolves should not be killed just for cattle. There are only around 90 wolves in Washington State and thousands of cattle. The ranchers can be reimbursed for the kills, so they shouldn’t be allowed to decide if the wolves get killed or not. Most people want to see more wolves not less. It’s only a handful of unreasonable ranchers and wolf haters that want them killed. We should protect these animals, not kill them.

    1. Kenny Avatar

      Dont be Mr. Wielgus and genralize public opinion to your personal point of view. Most people i would agree dont want wolves wiped off the face of the planet, a large chunk of those same people feel they do need to be managed. Meaning if wolves choose to eat livestock or pets they need to be delt with the WDFW did the right thing in this case. As Eric and WSU are pointing out.

      1. jon Avatar

        Wolves don’t need to be killed. Stop being so ignorant.

        1. Kenny Avatar

          If you want to see someone ignorant look in the mirror! Stop basing the issue of wolf management of how your heart feels and start using your brain. You seem to have gotten the two mixed up. The public never would hae went alomg with wolf reintroduction if they wouldnt have the option to deal with problem wolves. Some wolves are going to have to be killed. To think otherwise would be ignorant.

      2. jon Avatar

        Livestock does not belong on public lands. Livestock and the welfare ranchers should not be allowed on public lands.

  22. banannarama Avatar

    American government again proving their unparallelled stupidity. Spend millions of dollars and dozens of years healing the wolf, only to turn around and kill them all off for political and financial greed. Paid criminals. Why don’t we just shut the criminals down?

  23. Kenny Avatar

    Whats wrong banannarama? Facts coming out and you cant handle them? Erics right in pointing out that some people like Wielgus and others are blatantly fearmongering and skewing the facts to rile up the public. Damaging what many have worked hard to achieve, to improve human and wolf relations. WSU is right to distance itself from Wielgus for misrepresenting the facts and I admire Eric for pointing that out because I’ve heard some of those same false talking points recirculated here on this very sight!

    1. Immer Treue Avatar
      Immer Treue

      ” Facts coming out and you cant handle them? Erics right in pointing out that some people like Wielgus-

      ++++and others are blatantly fearmongering and skewing the facts to rile up the public.”+++

      When I see you make the same sort of comment on Rockholm’s site, than you have credibility.


George Wuerthner is an ecologist and writer who has published 38 books on various topics related to environmental and natural history. He has visited over 400 designated wilderness areas and over 200 national park units.

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George Wuerthner