6 Jan 2009, 1:15pm
by admin

Declaration of Douglas W. Smith

In this and the next three posts we give selected excerpts from the testimony of wildlife biologists, experts in wolf biology. The testimonies were solicited for the record in the lawsuit brought by enviro groups seeking to enjoin the delisting (removal from the Endangered Species List) of Rocky Mountain wolves. The Plaintiffs prevailed last July when U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy granted a preliminary injunction, throwing out the delisting of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and ordering them put back on the Endangered Species list [here].

Judge Molloy set himself up as a wolf expert and disregarded the testimony of the actual experts. We post what they had to say in order to reveal just how egregious and unsound Judge Molloy’s decision was.


I received a B.S degree in Wildlife Biology from the University of Idaho in 1985, a M.S. Degree in Biology from Michigan Technological University in 1988, and a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1997. I am an employee of the National Park Service (NPS) and have been with the Yellowstone National Park (YNP) wolf program since its inception. I was hired specifically to reintroduce, manage, and study wolves in YNP. From 1994-1999, I monitored wolves in the greater Yellowstone area (GYA). After 1999 the USFWS or States tracked and managed wolves external to YNP. I began work on the Yellowstone Wolf Project as the Project Biologist; in 1997 I assumed duties of Project Leader, a position I have held continuously since that time. …

Overall the annual survival rate is 66% for pups, 71% for yearlings, and 82% for adults, which is within the bounds of a healthy sustainable population. It is generally recognized that populations with a mortality rate (the inverse of survival rate) of <30% are sustainable and not in danger of extinction. The NRM population is within those bounds. …

Further, about 70% of the mortality for the NRM population –- prior to delisting — was due to anthropogenic causes, and the leading cause was, and has long been, legal killing due to conflicts with livestock. Therefore, the population has already experienced significant mortality, yet it did not jeopardize the viability or continued growth of the population (the NRM population has grown each year 1995-2007). …

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5 Jan 2009, 4:04pm
Endangered Specious Wolves
by admin

Programmed Failure in Wolf Relisting

One all too frequent aspect of government initiatives is that they often are doomed to failure from the get go. The design is such that the planned action is guaranteed to fall apart sooner rather than later and never achieve the putative goals. I call that “programmed failure” and the examples are numerous, from affirmative action to welfare. The cases are so numerous and ubiquitous that programmed failure might be said to be the principal function and overriding style of our modern Federal and state governments.

Programmed failure is abundantly evident in the latest “relisting” of Rocky Mountain wolves. The manner in which the US Fish and Wildlife Service put wolves back on the Endangered Species List is so fraught with contradiction and legal screw-ups that it cannot stand the light of day.

Some background: Years ago the USFWS released Canadian wolves into Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming in a (misguided) attempt to “reintroduce” the species. The wolves multiplied to huge (but expected and predicted) numbers. Over the last few years the burgeoning wolf population has decimated deer and elk herds, and wolves have taken to slaughtering sheep and cattle on private ranches. The situation is out of control.

Last March the USFWS delisted (removed from the Endangered Species List) Rocky Mountain wolves. From an analysis by Dr. Charles Kay entitled Is Delisting Rigged? [here]:

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has announced that wolves in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming will be delisted by the end of March 2008. According to a recent USFWS news release, wolves in the Northern Rockies were to be delisted when there was a “minimum of 30 breeding pairs and 300 wolves for at least three consecutive years. That goal was achieved in 2002, and the wolf population has expanded in size and range every year since. There are currently more than 1,500 wolves and at least 100 breeding pairs in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. While most sportsmen think that delisting is long overdue, a consortium of eleven environmental groups has said they will sue to stop delisting because there are not enough wolves! Apparently “wolf recovery” has been a fraud from the beginning!

The “environmental” groups did indeed sue, and last July U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy granted a preliminary injunction, throwing out the delisting of gray wolves in the Northern Rockies and order them put back on the Endangered Species list. [here]

In December the USFWS obeyed the Judge and relisted Rocky Mountain wolves [here]. The USFWS was (is) petulant about the situation, though, and their relisting regulation is a deliberate joke — programmed to fail.

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