31 Aug 2010, 7:21pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Wildlife Agencies Wolves
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A Response to Governor Otter’s Letter to Sec Salazar

by Tony Mayer, SaveElk.com, IdahoForWildlife.com

Dear Representative Barrett,

Thank you for forwarding Governor Otter’s Aug. 30th letter to Sec Int Ken Salazar regarding wolf management in Idaho [here, 3.8 MB].

[Note: Gov. Otter's 7 page letter is in a huge file that cannot be easily converted to text. Sorry.]

It is welcome news that Governor Otter is finally willing to go public with a position expressing concerns about the wolf issue. Albeit, in my opinion, attempting to strike a deal with the Feds at this point is nothing more than a short-term, last ditch effort to salvage some type of continued wolf control mechanism that is far from the decisive action and leadership that this state needs.

As Chief Executive Officer of our state, Gov. Otter has the means and authority to recognize the dire condition brought about by the largely unabated expansion of wolves far beyond any agreements or understanding and to declare a state of emergency — ordering the necessary control measures and reduce wolf numbers to a level necessary to preserve and protect Idaho’s citizens and ungulate wildlife.

Suffice it to say anything less will fall short of what is required at this juncture to deal with the dismal state of affairs on this wolf issue.

Regarding his letter, what is the wisdom of our state entering into another MOA with the Feds regarding wolves? How well has entering into MOA or Management Agreements with the Feds served Idaho in the past? In all instances Idaho has come out on the “short end” and the entering into such agreements has only furthered wolf advocate agendas.

So why believe that entering into another such MOA will “magically” represent Idaho’s best interests? It would again appear that Governor Otter is again yielding to his close advisors (the same ones that have given him such great advice on this wolf issue in the past.)

As I see it, the lines of demarcation are finally drawn before us on this wolf issue. Which side will the Governor and will the legislature take? Will they side with the Feds and the continued “slow bleed” approach leading to the ultimate demise of our state’s ungulate herds? Or will they side with Idaho, its citizens, ranchers, cattlemen and sportsman? When will someone stand up for Idaho and our interests?

Need we learn from our neighbors to the north or from Midwest for examples? How has Minnesota benefited from the perpetual negotiations on wolves with the Feds? How has Alaska fared? Even though wolves aren’t endangered in Alaska, negotiations with the feds have been largely unsuccessful, and the state leadership has found it necessary to decisively deal with this wolf issue in spite of Federal Government objections.

As far as the substance of the Governor’s letter, it is doubtful that any such negotiations will benefit Idaho over the long run. Entering into the requested MOA will serve as nothing more than the continuance of “tying Idaho’s hands” to this perpetual, ill-advised, ill-conceived, Federally controlled wolf boondoggle. This approach guarantees the continued “slow bleed” of our wildlife ungulate populations and ultimately guarantees their ultimate demise.

A new and bold approach is needed to deal effectively with wolves. Strong and immediate control measures are necessary — anything less is shortsighted and will prove ineffective.

If the governor and the state legislature is sincere in their desire to proactively deal with this wolf issue, then my recommendation is that a new approach and an all-encompassing strategy and program be developed. This will require clear and precise objectives, backed by indisputable facts and will require that everyone get on the same page; including the governor, the members of the legislature, the IDFG, livestock groups, sportsman groups, etc. We all need to recognize the problem and all be a part of the solution. The governor and legislature must demonstrate strong leadership including the declaration of immediate emergency control measures. The legislature needs to develop hard hitting control and management legislation and the state’s attorney general must be willing to take up the cause and to litigate through the courts as required.

Further, it is time to recognize the need to be replace the people responsible for placing Idaho in this untenable, disastrous position and those responsible for encouraging and promoting this ill-advised wolf program.

The governor should consider appointing a special independent advisory council that is primarily made up of sportsman and cattlemen to spearhead the states new program on wolves. We need hard-nosed realists that will tell it like it is and stop sugar coating this issue.

Our state is in serious trouble and it will take bold and decisive measures and leadership gets us back on the right track. I recommend that the state legislature recognize this ill-fated quagmire and declare, through legislation, that prior agreements with the Feds regarding wolves are null and void, and at the same time direct the state attorney general to immediately file suit against the federal government for the damages to our state brought about by these wolves.


Tony Mayer



Nutty Grizzly Decision Appealed

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has appealed last September’s ruling [here] by (who else?) Judge Donald Molloy relisting grizzly bears.

Molloy ordered the USFWS to place the abundant bears back onto the Endangered Species list because, as the Judge alleged, global warming is killing the white pines which are a principal food of grizzly bears [here].

The problems with Molloy’s ruling are that:

1. The grizzly bear population is exploding. The species is in no way going extinct;

2. Global warming is a hoax and a scam. Average temperatures have been falling globally and in North America for 12 years;

3. White pinenuts are not a principal food of grizzly bears, which are omnivorous and eat almost anything. Grizzly bears are abundant where there are no pinenuts at all.

Strike three! Judge Molloy fancies himself to be a biologist, but in fact he is a fraud and a nincompoop.

The USFWS under Obama has aborted the Spotted Owl Recovery Plan, relisted non-endangered wolves, relisted non-endangered grizzly bears, and acted in general like a bad day at the insane asylum.

But after a year of dithering, they have decided to appeal one of the many pathetic nutzoid rulings by Molloy.

So that’s something. Don’t count on the USFWS to prevail, however. This is a toothless crocodile appeal, just going through the motions for PR purposes, without any real desire to overturn Molloy’s ruling.

Yellowstone Grizzly Court Decision to be Appealed

FWS Appeal 2009 Decision Putting Bears Back on Endangered Species List

U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, 8/26/10 [here]

Wolves are not the only controversial animal recently put back on the Endangered Species List. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) recently appealed a 2009 court decision, made by Judge Donald W. Molloy of the Federal District Court for Montana that placed the Yellowstone Grizzly back under Endangered Species (ESA) protection. The outcome of the appeal will lead to an important precedent as to how difficult it will be in the future to delist any species once placed under federal protection even when their populations have recovered.

Judge Molloy’s decision came in response to a suit brought against the FWS by a coalition of anti-hunting and environmental groups seeking to overturn the agency’s 2007delisting of the bear. The Service has publicly stated that the Yellowstone Grizzly’s have surpassed recovery goals and they strongly oppose the decision.

Among the reasons cited by Molloy for relisting the grizzlies was a determination that the FWS relied on state regulations to assure protection of the bears after being delisted that he did not believe were adequate.

“We disagree with every point [Judge Molloy] has,” stated FWS grizzly bear recovery coordinator Chris Servheen according to press reports.

Judge Molloy’s decision could have far reaching implications. This case may establish a precedent that could be used by anti-hunters to block the delisting of healthy and sustainable animal populations, such as the Northern Rocky Mountain wolves and the Great Lakes wolves.

The Yellowstone Grizzly population has reached approximately 600 bears. At this number, many biologists believe that the Yellowstone ecosystem is at full saturation level with grizzlies. In fact, the target recovery population to trigger the delisting was set at 400-500.

Lolo Wolf Reductions

by Rod Halvorsen

The effort to reduce wolf populations in the Lolo zone is to be commended, but will represent a minor effort in controlling the game and stock depredations and destruction of jobs, businesses, general economic health, forced lifestyle changes and spread of disease caused by wolves and perpetrated on rural populations throughout the state by wolf recovery efforts.

History is repeating itself with the increase of wolf populations in the state. Prior to 1915, wolf populations suppressed healthy livestock industries and game populations throughout the state. Indeed, the livestock industry of the West teetered on the brink of bankruptcy. Then, after years of pleading from citizens, local governments, state and Federal agencies, on July 5, 1915, the US Congress appropriated funds for the removal and destruction of wolves and coyotes from Federal lands in Idaho and the West. It is no coincidence that elk were translocated into Idaho during the same year; 1915.

The concerted efforts of state, county and Federal governments, stockmen’s associations and the general public in removing wolves starting in 1915 was instrumental in establishing stable and healthy game populations and a thriving livestock industry in Idaho. Such efforts must now be reintroduced and hopefully the Lolo action will be the first step in what will eventually be the eradication of wolves from Idaho.

Wolves were not inadvertently, unintentionally or mistakenly eliminated from Idaho but were, rather, effectively extirpated at great cost and effort by residents, state and Federal agencies and private organizations as a response to the great damage wolves caused. The cost was worth the effort and the cost to extirpate the wolf will be considered wholly worthwhile if wolves are successfully eliminated from Idaho in the future. Wolf damage to the economy of the West was so severe that even in 1915, a day when Federal appropriations were severely limited by comparison to today, the Federal government responded to the cries of the people and rightly served to protect them by initiating action to eliminate wolves from Federal lands. Such a great effort must yet again be commenced.

The wolf is more akin to a disease organism than it is a big game animal and should be “managed” in precisely the same way small pox is managed; eradication from the free environment with small populations saved in captivity for research purposes. Wolves and people do not mix any better malarial mosquitoes and people do. No “specific number” of wolves is acceptable. The Federal government at present requires rural people to live with a specific number of wolves. This requirement is the moral equivalent of a Federal Government requirement for restaurant owners to maintain a certain number of rats in their kitchens, or hospitals to maintain a certain quantity of staph bacteria on the chairs in their waiting rooms. Introduction of wolves in the name of “biological diversity” is wholly, morally equivalent to the introduction of malarial, anopheles mosquitoes into the Deep South in the name of “biological diversity”. Wolf introduction was and is an immoral act of great oppression, an absurdity that our forefathers would scarce believe possible. If the US Army introduced wolves into Afghanistan or Iraq, no doubt the US would be charged, rightly, in international court, with crimes against humanity. Such moral bestiality has been perpetrated on the rural people of Idaho against their will. Wolves are, have been and always will be a scourge to rural people and rural pastoral and recreational lifestyles. Wolves are not protected under the Constitution but yet have gained ascendancy in the Courts by misplaced interpretation of the Endangered Species Act and now have gained a bizarre moral equivalency with and/or superiority over people in the courts. The rights of the citizens of this country are deprived in order to support wolf populations. The rights of the people are deprived in favor of a disease.

Some find wolves beautiful from the vantage point of a mountain top. Some also find fleas, typhus and small pox beautiful from the vantage point of a microscope. All are nevertheless organisms that should be eliminated from contact with people.

Indeed, wolves should be eliminated from the Lolo zone and from all other zones. Wolf extirpation was an essential factor in establishing healthy, sustainably-harvestable ungulate populations and still is. Wolves are significant threats to rural lifestyles and economic stability and have cost many jobs, the destruction of businesses and millions of dollars to the state and its citizens.

“Wolf Recovery” is a euphemism for the destruction of lifestyle, heritage, custom, culture and economic health in rural Idaho. New laws must be written to protect the rights, property, jobs, businesses, lifestyle and heritage of the people in the face of uncontrolled wolf populations. After such laws are established, the real work will begin, and it will be tough and at times very distasteful work. Efforts to eliminate wolves will be physically hard, done under tough outdoor conditions in all weather and temperatures, costly, and even at times, repulsive. Our forefathers shouldered this responsibility and we must also. As repulsive as this work may sometimes be, we have misinterpretations of the Endangered Species Act and the deviant behavior of radical environmentalists to thank for it. A surgeon’s work is messy, but the healed patient has great gratitude for the doctor’s efforts. So shall the rural people appreciate the efforts of lawmakers and wolf killers in the days to come.

Wolves must be eradicated throughout the state and expanded methods of take must be legalized and utilized by state and Federal agencies and the public to eliminate wolves from the landscape of Idaho. The theobromine/caffeine canid-specific toxicant delivery system should be approved by the USDA immediately and utilized throughout the state to eliminate wolves. It should be provided to stock owners free of charge with costs borne by revenue generated by wolf hunting tag sales, wildlife license plates and donations. Private and government aerial gunning and no-closed season hunting and trapping must be legalized and promoted by Idaho Fish and Game. IFG should seek out and employ experts in wolf trapping and hunting and seminars on wolf destruction should be provided to the public. Identification of wolf dens and the practice of wolf denning should be taught and promoted by Idaho Fish and Game. County and state bounties need to be established to encourage wolf killing throughout the year, especially during denning season when wolf populations can best be reduced.

Many of these operations are indeed distasteful and will be to those who engage in them. The elimination of an epidemic is never easy. The people never asked for this epidemic yet they must rise to the challenge and eradicate it with the support of the Governor, Legislature and local governments.

Boy Scouts, community groups, churches and schools should be provided materials identifying the economic, wildlife management, livestock depredation and disease threats wolves pose. The people must be educated to the facts of wolf behavior and impact on rural people and economy.

For roughly three quarters of a century, since the early 1930’s when wolves were effectively reduced to very low populations, Idaho reaped the benefit of a wolf-free environment. We now see exactly why wolves were removed from the landscape.

For all human history wolves have been despised as destroyers of health and economic welfare. They still are.

As pro-wolf organizations use the picture of the wolf to amass vast fortunes, wallowing in the revenue collected from uneducated, mostly urban donators, the wolf himself is proving to be the only honest member of that pro-wolf camp. No amount of polemic sugarcoating can change the facts of what the wolf does and what the wolf is. He was a wolf. He is a wolf. He always will be a wolf. He will continue to prove to the world why he is universally despised by those with whom he lives. Given a bit more time as the facts of his life-cycle and behavior amass, that proof will one day again be as self-evident as it was to our forefathers and as it is to the informed population now. By that time he will, unfortunately, destroy, infect and threaten with horrific effect.

It is far past the time necessary to solve this great problem. State, Federal and Local Governments must work in concert to change the laws that have caused the introduction of wolves and must now work in concert to change them into laws that protect the rights and serve the interests of the citizens of this state and region.

RMEF Calls on Congress to Reform Endangered Species Act

Black Bear Blog, August 7, 2010 [here]

Editor’s Note: Below is a press release sent out by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in response to the recent ruling by Judge Donald Molloy to return gray wolves in Idaho and Montana back to Federal protection. Perhaps if the RMEF had been on board with opposition to the rapid expansion of gray wolves earlier on, we would not be looking at further destruction of ungulate populations, more particularly, the elk they so much cherish. The same holds true for the outdoor sportsmen. By the time some got on board, it was too late. With the passing of every court ruling, the process to reverse the tragedy foisted on a population of people who were lied to and became victims of ignorance and activism, becomes more and more difficult. Please get involved before all proven and practical wildlife management is destroyed at the whims of environmental extremists who own the Courts. — Tom Remington, Black Bear Blog

News Release, RMEF, 08/07/2010 [here]

MISSOULA, Mont.–The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is calling for immediate Congressional review and reform of the Endangered Species Act following a judge’s decision yesterday to reinstate full federal protection for gray wolves.

The Aug. 5 ruling means state wildlife agencies no longer have authority to manage skyrocketing wolf populations–even in areas where wolf predation is driving cow elk, moose and elk calf survival rates below thresholds needed to sustain herds for the future.

RMEF says the judge has opened a door for perhaps the greatest wildlife management disaster in America since the wanton destruction of bison herds over a century ago.

“When federal statutes and judges actually endorse the annihilation of big game herds, livestock, rural and sporting lifestyles–and possibly even compromise human safety–then clearly the Endangered Species Act as currently written has major flaws,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “We have already begun contacting the Congressional delegations of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to ask for an immediate review of this travesty–and reform of the legislation that enabled it.”

Allen pointed out an irony, if not an outright error, in the decision issued by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy.

“Judge Molloy said wolves in the northern Rockies are a single population that cannot be segmented based on political boundaries. But he essentially did that very thing himself, because he considered only the wolf population within the U.S. There are 75,000-plus gray wolves across Canada, yet Judge Molloy stopped at the border and did not consider the entire Rocky Mountain population. The gray wolf is simply not an endangered species,” said Allen.

Animal rights groups who continue to litigate over wolves are “gaming the system for their own financial benefit,” he added, saying, “There are no elk in Iowa, but we are not suing folks to reintroduce them. This is simply a financial scam for the animal rights groups, and it’s all being paid for by the American taxpayer.”

Additionally, Allen urged the governors in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to begin the process of formally implementing “the 10(j) rule” as provided within federal law. For all species reintroductions classified as a “nonessential, experimental population,” as is the case with gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act, the 10(j) rule allows states more flexibility to mitigate for unacceptable impacts on big game populations, livestock and domestic animals.

Molloy Relists Wolves

Thursday U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy ordered the US Fish and Wildlife Service to place Rocky Mountain wolves back on the Endangered Species list.

Judge orders protections reinstated for wolf

By MATT VOLZ, AP, Idaho Statesman, 08/05/10 [here]

A federal judge has ordered endangered species protections reinstated for the gray wolf in Montana and Idaho.

The federal government last year removed protections for wolves in those two states but not Wyoming. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy says in his ruling Thursday the government’s decision was a political solution and does not comply with the federal Endangered Species Act.

Molloy says the entire Rocky Mountain wolf population must be either listed or removed as an endangered species, but the protections can’t be separated by state.

The implication include:

* Wolf hunts in Idaho and Montana have been canceled. State fish and game departments are offering refunds on purchased wolf tags [here].

* Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, and Utah wolves are also now relisted [here].

* The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Wildlife Services (APHIS-WS) proposed program to control wolves in Idaho is now moot [here].

Canadian wolves were (illegally) introduced into Yellowstone by the USFWS in the mid-1990’s. By 2002 wolf populations had exploded, leading the USFWS to recommend delisting (removal from the Endangered Species list). Despite numerous attempts to do so under two Administrations, all delisting efforts have been thwarted by Judge Molloy.

An estimated 5,000 to 6,000 wolves now roam the Northern Rockies in the U.S. Ungulate populations have fallen 90% or more as wolves have decimated deer and elk herds. Livestock losses to wolves have skyrocketed.

Judge Molloy’s decision is [here]. With flowery language (”stentorian agitprop”, “Talmudic disagreement”) Molloy ruled:

…[I]t is not necessarily the case that threatened or endangered status can be determined solely on the basis of scientific evidence alone. Beyond the question of risk is the issue of the acceptability of risk. kl at 73. The decision that a risk is acceptable regarding a specific species is, in turn, an ethical and policy judgment. That means, in many respects, the complications are political. …

…[T]he Court finds:

* The Endangered Species Act does not allow the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to list only part of a “species” as endangered, or to protect a listed distinct population segment only in part as the Final Rule here does; and

* the legislative history of the Endangered Species Act does not support the Service’s new interpretation of the phrase “significant portion of its range.” To the contrary it supports the historical view that the Service has always held, the Endangered Species Act does not allow a distinct population segment to be subdivided.

Accordingly, the rule delisting the gray wolf must be set aside because, though it may be a pragmatic solution to a difficult biological issue, it is not a legal one. …

The plain language of the ESA does not allow the agency to divide a DPS into a smaller taxonomy. For this reason, the Rule delisting the northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf DPS must once again be vacated and set aside. …

Thus the ruling hinged on the way the USFWS subdivided the wolf population into “distinct populations segments” — illogical, unscientific, and political chicanery that the USFWS has indulged in with many species.

However, when seen as a whole, the introduced Canadian wolf population is in no way endangered of going extinct. The population of introduced wolves has exploded. There is no evidence that the wolf population has or will decline, and ample evidence that wolves are spreading into states hundreds of miles away from the original dumping ground.

But Judge Molloy did not rule on that point. Instead his ruling was based on a technical interpretation of certain specific language in the ESA.

The USFWS brought on this tragedy in so many ways. First they illegally dumped the Canadian wolves into Wyoming in 1995. Then they immediately declared the (illegal alien) population “endangered” based on no evidence. Then after the wolves multiplied, the USFWS decided to backtrack, but in a manner that twisted the ESA into knots never intended.

Meanwhile the States were cowed and subservient, with the exception of Wyoming and Utah. Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game welcomed wolves with open arms, a misguided gesture that eventually decimated Idaho elk herds and has cost the state hundreds of $millions in mitigation and lost hunting revenues. The IDFG is today under extreme duress from outraged citizens and is hugely disrespected by the taxpayers who fund it.

No informed observer, including Judge Molloy, the USFWS, IDFG, etc. still maintains that wolves are endangered. The USFWS, however, maintains that wolves are endangered in Wyoming but not elsewhere. That is a backhanded way to inflict special punishments on one state by power-drunk Federal civil servants. Judge Molloy ruled that the USFWS cannot hack off Wyoming wolves from the rest of the population, and that if Wyoming wolves are endangered, then they all are.

Further, in 2008 Judge Molloy ruled that Wyoming wolves are genetically isolated [here]. The lunacy of that ruling is that Wyoming (Yellowstone NP) is where the Canadian wolves were dumped in the first place. All the wolves in the Rockies came from wolf genes in Wyoming. Instead of being genetically isolated, Wyoming wolves are the infection pustule that spawned all the wolves.

For some reason Congress has not fired every last USFWS employee and shut the doors of that supremely incompetent and worthless agency.

One Congressman, Rep. Chet Edwards of Texas, has introduced H.R. 6028 which would prohibit treating wolves as an endangered species under the ESA:

H. R. 6028


A BILL — To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to prohibit treatment of the Gray Wolf as an endangered species or threatened species.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


Section 4(a) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1533(a)) is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

“(4) The Gray Wolf (Canis lupus) shall not be treated as an endangered species or threatened species for purposes of this Act.”

That would solve the wolf problem but not the USFWS problem.

Meanwhile, state fish and game departments and commissions should prepare for a thorough housecleaning as they have failed miserably to protect citizens from a Federal system gone mad.

Federal Wolf Control in Idaho Proposed

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Wildlife Services (APHIS-WS) has proposed a program to control wolves in Idaho including lethal removal of wolves to mitigate livestock depredation problems and wolf impacts on ungulate populations.

An Environmental Assessment (EA) [here] has been prepared in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), and in consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, Idaho State Dept. of Agriculture, Idaho Dept. of Lands, and the Nez Perce Tribe.

Four alternatives are offered in the EA:

Alternative 1 - Continue the Current Wolf Damage Management Program (No Action)

Under Alternative 1, wolf damage management has been and would continue to be conducted on private and public lands in Idaho when the resource owners/managers request assistance to alleviate wolf damage, wolf damage is verified by WS, and an Agreement for Control or other work authorization documents have been completed.

Alternative 2 – Expanded Wolf Damage Management Program (Proposed Action, Preferred Alternative)

Under the Proposed Action/Preferred Alternative, WS would be able to employ all the methods included under the Current Program for protection of domestic animals, but could additionally provide assistance to IDFG to protect ungulates in those situations where IDFG has determined that wolves are impacting the ungulate population in a specific management area.

An additional lethal method which might potentially be employed under the Proposed Action would be considered only in limited circumstances when attempting removal of entire packs of chronic depredating wolves. IDFG authorizes removal of entire packs of wolves in those cases where a pack has been implicated in repeated depredations on livestock over a period of time. When these types of removal efforts occur during the spring months, there may infrequently be situations involving a pack with pups in a den. If the entire pack is to be removed, this would include the pups in the den. Excavating the den to reach the pups could involve unnecessary health and safety risks, and the most practical, humane approach to this infrequent scenario would be to employ the use of an EPA-registered den fumigant to euthanize the pups in the den. …

An additional management strategy under the Proposed Action could potentially be the infrequent use of sterilization of one or both alpha wolves from packs implicated in chronic depredations on livestock, or from packs targeted for removal at the request of IDFG to protect ungulates.

Alternative 3 – Nonlethal Wolf Damage Management Only

This Alternative works in much the same manner as the Preferred Alternative except Idaho WS would only use and provide advice on nonlethal methods for wolf damage management. The IDFG and property owners would still be able to use lethal methods in accordance with state laws and the Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan (ILWOC 2002) and Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan 2008-2012 (IDFG 2008a) guidelines.

Nonlethal methods used or recommended by WS could include animal husbandry practices, installation of fencing, electronic guards, fladry and turbo-fladry, aversive conditioning, nonlethal projectiles, use of livestock guarding animals, and/or other nonlethal methods as appropriate. WS would still investigate complaints to determine if complainants meet criteria for wolf damage compensation, and could assist IDFG with radio-collaring wolves for monitoring purposes and/or to enhance effectiveness of nonlethal deterrents…

Alternative 4 – No Federal Wolf Damage Management in Idaho

Under this Alternative, WS would not be involved in wolf damage management in Idaho, but the IDFG and property owners would still be able to use lethal and nonlethal methods in accordance with state laws, ILWOC (2002) and IDFG (2008a) guidelines.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) is a cooperator in the preparation of the APHIS-WS EA. The IDFG’s current management is referenced by the Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan 2008-2012 [here] and is summarized in the EA as follows:

IDFG Management Direction (IDFG 2008a)

The goal of IDFG (2008a) is to ensure that populations are maintained at 2005-2007 population levels (about 500-700 wolves) during the 5-year post-delisting period through adaptive management under the guidelines of the Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan (ILWOC 2002); the current management goal is 518 wolves (IDFG 2009a). Consistent with the delisting rule, the State goal is to ensure the long-term viability of the gray wolf population. In order to ensure the population goal is achieved, IDFG will maintain =15 breeding pairs (floor threshold). The IDFG will also maintain balanced wolf and prey populations, ensure genetic transfer among states through maintaining connectivity and functional metapopulation processes, and manage wolves to minimize conflict with humans and domestic animals.

Ideally, population objectives will reflect the ability to monitor packs, breeding pairs, and total wolves, as well as harvest, and monitoring objectives in neighboring states. Therefore, the long-term objective is to maintain viable wolf populations in Idaho, achieve short-term harvest goals to reduce conflicts, provide annual harvest opportunity, and provide for non-consumptive benefits (i.e., aesthetics of wolves in the environment) as well. Based on stakeholder input, the most important objective within IDFG (2008a) is conflict resolution, when populations meet or exceed the population goal. Future population goals will reflect knowledge gained each year. However, the statewide population management objective will range between the 2005 and 2007 levels and not be allowed to fall to a level where management of conflicts has to be restricted (20 breeding pairs (Table 4-1). Twenty breeding pairs is not an objective, nor is it a prejudgment about the population level of wolves necessary to avoid conflict. It is however an IDFG management trigger that would require additional protections to ensure the population goal is maintained and achieved (IDFG 2008a).

There are numerous other details in the 106-page EA, which may be downloaded [here]. If a determination is made through this EA that the proposed action would have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment, then an EIS would be prepared.

Public comments on the EA are requested and will be accepted through August 31, 2010. Comments can be submitted via e-mail to: or by mail or fax to the Idaho WS State Office:

Idaho WS State Office
9134 W. Blackeagle Drive
Boise, Idaho 83709
telephone: (208) 378-5077
fax: (208) 378-5349

More information from APHIS-WS regarding the EA is available [here].

Comments should be as specific as possible, and include factual information or refer to credible information which supports the comments.

For questions or requests for additional information, please contact the Idaho WS State Office (contact information listed above).

Wildlife and People readers are encouraged to share your comments with us by using the “leave a comment” form below.

2 Aug 2010, 2:06pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Jackalopes Wolves
by admin

Who Is Stupid?

The following very annoying piece of accusatory idiocy drained into the Internet last week:

When It Comes to Wolves, It’s the Habitat, Stupid

Leaders with the Montana Wildlife Federation argue increasing habitat functionality is the conservative, financially smart way to boost game herds where needed.

By Skip Kowalski and Tim Aldrich, New West, 7-30-10 [here]

We originally set out to write a piece about wolves and how hunters can manage all wildlife, even large carnivores, under the North American Model of Fish and Wildlife Conservation. We quickly realized that this topic has been “rode hard and put away wet” so to speak. What we discovered, through our own reflection, is that there seems to be an important lesson learned and not being adequately applied by those who hunt – the lesson of the importance of habitat. …

Whether it’s noxious weeds, loss of winter habitat due to fragmentation, or the loss of access that helps disperse wildlife across our public lands, it’s the habitat, stupid, as the saying goes. …

Skip Kowalski is chairman of the Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat Committee and Tim Aldrich is president of the Montana Wildlife Federation.

All of which demands a rejoinder.


Dear Skip and Tim

No, it’s predator prey relations, you stupids, not “habitat”.

Population dynamics in animals is governed by predator-prey interactions [here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here].

That is true of elk, deer, sage grouse, spotted owls, you name it.

There is no shortage of habitat. The Feds own 30 percent of the land in the U.S., twice that much in some Western states [here].

In 1995 wolves were introduced into the Lolo Wildlife Management Zones 10 and 12 of the Clearwater River watershed in Idaho [here]. The elk cow count subsequently dropped 90%, and the calf count dropped 94 to 96%. Did 90% of the habitat suddenly disappear? You stupids blame that prey population crash on “habitat”, whereas every other analyst blames the wolves!

Is everybody stupid but you? Or is it the other way around?

In 1994 25 million acres were set-side into No Touch Zones for the Northern Spotted Owl. Since then the NSO population has crashed by 60 percent or more. Looks like your stupid “formula” didn’t work.

Nowhere has the “habitat” formula worked. Setting aside habitat has no effect of wildlife populations. Instead predator-prey relations govern population dynamics. Where predator control has been applied, prey population flourish. Where predators have been uncontrolled, prey populations crash. In every single case.

So-called “fragmentation” is eco-babble garbage, stupids. Animals move around through all kinds of “habitat” including cover habitat, foraging habitat, and “edge”. The same people who decry “fragmentation” swear by the vegetation “mosaic”, yet the mosaic and fragmentation are exactly the same thing. The latest eco-babble desire is to “diversify forest continuity” [here], which is fragmentation by holocaust. If “fragmentation” is such terrible thing, why do you promote it via catastrophic fire?

You stupids are not promoting wildlife conservation, you are promoting environmental destruction.

You stupids are perpetrating a war on the West [here]. You are war-mongers. You seek to drive humanity out of the West, by any means, including through the extirpation of prey populations by uncontrolled predators.

You regurgitate junk science and Big Lies in order to inflict suffering on your fellow human beings and wildlife. Your motivations are repulsive.

We are smart enough to realize that. We have you pegged. We know exactly what you are.

So go easy on the “stupid” remarks. You are not fooling anybody.


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