28 Mar 2011, 10:57pm
Wildlife Agencies Wolves
by admin
leave a comment

The Muddier Pro-Wolf Efforts Make The Water, The Clearer Their Intentions Become

by Toby Bridges, LOBO WATCH, March 28, 2011 [here]

Anyone who has followed the gray wolf issue in the Northern Rockies for the past decade or so has seen it make a lot of twists and turns along the way. From the very start, even before the first imported Canadian wolves were released into the Greater Yellowstone Area back in 1995, the introduction of those wolves into an ecosystem that had been “wolf free” for 60 to 70 years came under fire from hunter-based sportsmen groups and many respected wildlife professionals. The very claim that wolves had been extirpated from Montana, Idaho and Wyoming by the 1930s was even challenged, and still is today.

The Northern Rockies Wolf Recovery Project has been plagued with ongoing accusations of relying on manipulated science to dump a non-indigenous wolf into the region, outright lies to camouflage the devastation wolves would deal other wildlife populations, as well as fraudulent claims and predictions purposely made by the “wolf experts” who put the recovery plan together. Among many other reasons for the finger pointing has been the suspected unauthorized misuse of tens of millions excise tax dollars to fund that wolf transplant - tax money that had been collected on firearms, ammunition, fishing tackle and archery equipment, that was to be used exclusively for wildlife habitat and fisheries improvement.

With so many such accusations, an ever growing number of residents in the Northern Rockies are more than a bit perplexed over how the one federal judge who has repeatedly ruled on wolf management issues has turned a blind eye to how unscrupulously this project has been forced upon this country. Instead of questioning the extremely dirty issues which severely tarnish the validity of bringing in non-native and definitely non-endangered wolves from Canada, U.S. District Court judge Donald Molloy, of Missoula, seems to look for the tiniest loophole to jump through in order to decide or rule in favor of the environmental group coalition that keeps wolf management tied up in “his” court. And they’ve gotten good at that. In fact, so good, that even though wolves reached the outlined recovery goal back in 2002, there has been only one wolf management hunt, in 2009, and in just Idaho and Montana. Today, there are 500% more wolves roaming the Northern Rockies than established as a “recovered population” in the original plan.

more »

25 Mar 2011, 11:55am
Endangered Specious Wildlife Agencies Wolves
by admin
1 comment

Rehberg Doubts Wolf Settlement Will Solve the Problem

by Rep. Denny Rehberg (MT), 03/18/11 [here]

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Montana’s Congressman, Denny Rehberg, today released the following statement in response to a short-term incomplete settlement hatched by the Department of Interior and a few environmental obstructionist groups.

Here we go again. Fool us once, shame on you – fool us twice shame on us. But I’m not going to sit around and wait for them to fool us a third time with another lawsuit that once again removes Montana’s right to manage our own wildlife. My bill will fix this mess once and for all, which is why it has broad bipartisan support from around the country. Wolf management needs to be left to the states.

Endorsed by the American Farm Bureau, American Sheep Industry Association, Big Game Forever, Boone and Crockett Club, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Mule Deer Foundation, National Association of Conservation Districts, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Rifle Association, National Shooting Sports Foundation, National Trappers Association, Public Lands Council, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Safari Club International, Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, and the Wild Sheep Foundation.

H.R. 509 has also been endorsed by the following state groups: Arizona Cattle Feeders Association, Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association, Arizona Wool Producers Association, Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, Arizona Elk Society, Arizona Sportsmen for Wildlife, California Cattlemen’s Association, California Public Lands Council, California Wool Growers Association, Citizens for Balanced Use, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Wool Growers Association, Florida Cattlemen’s Association, Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd, Georgia Cattlemen’s Association, Idaho Cattle Association, Idaho Wool Growers Association, Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas, Kansas Livestock Association, Lobo Watch, Maryland Sheep Breeders Association, Michigan Cattlemen’s Association, Minnesota Farm Bureau Federation, Minnesota Lamb and Wool Producers Association, Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association, Montana Association of Conservation Districts, Montana Association of State Grazing Districts, Montana Farm Bureau Federation, Montana Outfitters and Guides Association, Montana Public Lands Council, Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, Montana Stockgrowers Association, Montana Trail Vehicle Riders Association, Montana Woolgrowers Association, Montanans for Multiple Use, Nebraska Sheep and Goat Association, Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, North Carolina Sheep Producers Association Inc., Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, Oregon Hunters Association, Oregon Sheep Growers Association, Treasure State ATV Association, Utah Cattlemen’s Association, Utah Wool Growers Association, Virginia Cattlemen’s Association, Washington Cattlemen’s Association and the Wyoming Stock Growers Association.

Radicals Join Simpson, Tester, Baucus in Wolf Delisting Fraud

In an article prepared by the radical enviro cult and printed in the Main Stream Government Press (MSGP), eco-litigious pro-wolf-anti-everything-else groups have proposed a “compromise agreement” for consideration by retiring Wolf Judge Donald Molloy.

We will parse the news article for your edification.

Feds, wildlife groups agree to delist Montana wolves

By the Associated Press, March 18, 2011 [here]

BILLINGS - Facing mounting pressure from Congress over gray wolves, wildlife advocates reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Interior on Friday to lift the species’ federal protections in Montana and Idaho and allow hunting to resume. …

Note that there is no author given other than AP. That’s a ruse. Of course somebody authored the article; they just don’t want their name used. And the MSGP accommodates, because they don’t their readers to know who authored the article, either.

It came straight from the radical eco-litigious groups. They write the articles and AP distributes them as “news”. The MSGP newspapers print them as if they were the work of independent “fair and balanced” journalists, whereas in fact they are pure propaganda written by the most extremely biased.

Note also that the radical pro-wolfers are called (call themselves) “wildlife advocates” whereas in fact they hate wildlife and want most species slaughtered to extinction. That’s why they promoted the introduction of exotic wolves in the first place — to slaughter elk, deer, moose, rabbits, and everything that moves, and livestock, and pets, and human children. They don’t advocate for those other wildlife species because some species are more equal than others, in their eyes.

The settlement agreement - opposed by some environmentalists - is intended to resolve years of litigation that have shielded wolves in the Northern Rockies from public hunting, even as the predator’s population has sharply expanded.

That’s false. The so-called “agreement” [here] does not resolve litigation. The eco-litigants promise only to forestall litigation on certain esoteric points of law regarding wolf delisting and only for a period of three to five years:

10. Settling Plaintiffs agree that they will not, either collectively or individually, file a lawsuit, raise claims against, or otherwise challenge in court before March 31, 2016 any final delisting or reclassification rule issued pursuant to paragraph 5, above.

11. Settling Plaintiffs agree that they will not, either collectively or individually, petition Federal Defendants to list either the NRM DPS (as defined by the 2009 Rule), or any wolf population or subpopulation located within the NRM DPS (as defined by the 2009 Rule), for a period of three years after this Agreement becomes operative pursuant to paragraph 1, above.

Read it carefully. The signers promise not to sue for five years over “paragraph 1 above” which is a restatement of Judge Molloy’s August 5, 2010 Order and only that portion of the Order that threw out the USFWS’s 2009 delisting rule in the States of Idaho and Montana. For Judge Molloy’s entire August 2010 ruling see [here]. In addition the signers promise not to sue for three years over “paragraph 5 above” which calls for Wyoming to come up with new wolf management plan. They will sue at the drop of a hat over every other point of law having to with wolves. And their promises aren’t worth spit.

In his August 2010 ruling, peppered with phrases such as “stentorian agitprop” and “Talmudic disagreement”, Judge Molloy wrote:

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.

Clearly the Judge ruled that the USFWS may NOT separate wolves into an Idaho-Montana sub-population and a Wyoming-Utah-Washington-Oregon sub-population. But that’s exactly what the proposed “agreement” proposes to do.

If Judge Molloy accepts the “agreement,” then his August 2010 ruling isn’t worth the paper it was written on. He would have to do a complete about-face, a backwards flip-flop as it were.

In November of 2011 United States District Judge Alan B. Johnson ruled that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) rejection of the Wyoming Wolf Management plan was arbitrary and capricious [here].

Judge Johnson is in District of Wyoming, subject to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Judge Molloy is in the District of Montana, subject to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Molloy cannot overrule Johnson. It’s beyond his jurisdiction. Molloy cannot agree to special strictures on Wyoming because Wyoming is not in his District.

The Obama Administration lawyers know all this. The apparent acquiescence by the USFWS to the “agreement” is just more legal worm food. They know the “agreement” is a crooked one and cannot be endorsed or enforced by Molloy. It’s just more Full Employment for Lawyers. It solves nothing and does not reduce litigation — it expands it.

Those niceties did not stop the Obamaloids, in the form of political operatives Deputy Secretary David J. Hayes, Acting Service Director Rowan Gould, and you guessed it, Mr. Tamper himself, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar from signing on to the “agreement” [here].

ALL the eco-litigants did NOT sign on, however. From the AP article:

Attorneys for Earthjustice previously represented most of the plaintiffs in the case. They withdrew this week citing “ethical obligations” …

“We’re going to defend the judge’s ruling,” said Tom Woodbury with the Western Watersheds Project, referring to Molloy’s 2010 order that reinstated protections for wolves in Idaho and Montana.

Get that? The biggest and richest eco-litigious law firm in the world, Earthjustice (formerly Sierra Club Legal Defense) had some “ethical” pangs and refused to sign. Another refuser was the Western Watersheds Project, now flush with $22 million they extorted from the El Paso Corp over the Ruby Pipeline [here].

There is no honor among thieves, and some of the thieves are already giving the other thieves the finger. Meaning that eco-litigation will proceed apace, regardless of what the “agreement” promises and whether Molloy accepts it or not.

Speaking of thieves, the “agreement” is exactly the trick that RINO Mike Simpson, Holocauster Jon Tester, and Porkulus Max Baucus are trying to pull in Congress [here].

It’s all a fraud. The only rational and fair thing to do is to take wolves off the ESA list because they ARE NOT ENDANGERED, something that everybody involved now agrees about.

HR509 and S249, the “State Sovereignty Wildlife Management Act,” are supported by Representatives and Senators from over 30 states [here]. The SSWMA removes gray wolves from the ESA:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law (including regulations), the inclusion of the gray wolf (Canis lupus) (including any gray wolf designated as “non-essential experimental”) on any list of endangered species or threatened species under section 4(c)(1) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (7 U.S.C. 1533(c)(1)) shall have no force or effect.

Good-bye, adios, so sorry, that’s it.

HR509 and S249 are what engendered all this fraudulent foo-fraw by the radical eco-litigious crowd and their lapdog comrades in the Obama Administration. Because if the SSWMA passes, then the wolfish legal games are over. And it will pass, because majorities in both Houses of Congress have already signed on. And because if it doesn’t, Tea Party-ers will gang up and throw the recalcitrant wolf-lovers out (and they know it).

The game is coming down to the final minute, and rads are too far behind to win.

Simpson, Tester, Baucus Seek To Undermine Judge Johnson’s Ruling on Wyoming Wolves

Note: the following is excerpted from a March 17, 2011, letter written to members of the Wyoming Wolf Coalition by their able attorney, Harriet Hageman. The full text is [here].

Alert! High Priority! Call to Action!

Please ask Congress to stop throwing Wyoming to the wolves

by Harriet M. Hageman

Executive Summary

We reported to you earlier this week that the Federal Defendants in the above-referenced actions have voluntarily withdrawn their appeal to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. We were a bit surprised by the agencies’ move in that regard, but now believe that we have uncovered the reasoning behind it.

* Judge Johnson’s decision has now “gone final” in favor of Wyoming’s Wolf Management Plan, and has the full force and effect of law.

* There are troubling efforts afoot in Congress that are designed to reverse this important victory for Wyoming, to “undo” Judge Johnson’s decision, and to nullify the rights of all States to manage their wildlife resources.

The purpose of this letter is to describe those activities, and to issue a call to action for all of you who have fought this battle over the last several decades.

Ruling in Favor of Wyoming’s Wolf Management Plan Becomes Law of the Land

On November 18, 2010, the Honorable Alan B. Johnson, the Federal District Court Judge for the District of Wyoming, issued his “Order Setting Aside Agency Decision in Part and Remanding Agency Decision in Part,” finding that the Defendants (the Department of Interior (DOI), the Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Ken Salazar, Rowan Gould, and Stephen Guertin) had acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” in rejecting the Wyoming Wolf Management Plan [here]. More specifically, Judge Johnson concluded (among other things) that the Defendants violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) when they rejected Wyoming’s proposal to designate wolves as trophy game animals in certain areas, and predators in others. …

Key testimony provided by the top federal wolf biologist (Ed Bangs) concluded that the “2007 Wyoming wolf plan is a solid science-based conservation plan that will adequately conserve Wyoming’s share of the GYA wolf population so that the NRM wolf population will never be threatened again.” Id. at 032183. As you know, Wyoming has since adopted even more safeguards that what existed in the 2007 Plan.

The Defendants initially appealed Judge Johnson’s decision to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. On Monday of this week, however, they voluntarily dismissed that appeal. Such action resulted in Judge Johnson’s decision “going final,” thereby ensuring that it is not subject to collateral attack. In other words, Judge Johnson’s decision is now “the law of the land” and cannot be attacked by either the federal agencies or any environmental groups. We are pleased that this common-sense result affirms the science-based reality that Wyoming’s Plan provides adequate protections to Wyoming’s wolf population.

Judge Johnson’s decision was a great victory for all of the citizens of the State of Wyoming, including our livestock producers, our sportsmen groups, and our outfitters. It was a great victory for those cities and counties in Wyoming that have suffered the economic impacts of an ever-expanding wolf population. Judge Johnson’s decision, and the dismissal of the 10th Circuit Appeal, will also allow Wyoming to protect its historically-abundant wildlife species, including those elk and moose populations that have suffered so tremendously as the result of the federal agencies’ intransigence associated with the “wolf experiment.” …


I am now writing to you with great disappointment, as I fear that our victory in the wolf saga is now at risk. Once again it appears that politics may prevail over science and good public policy. Wyoming’s Wolf Management Plan and our victory before Judge Johnson are now at risk as the direct result of an amendment that has been introduced by Representative Mike Simpson, a Republican from Idaho, and Senators John Tester and Max Baucus, Democrats from Montana. The amendment would either be added to the “continuing resolutions” that have been in the news lately (to keep the federal government running as the House and Senate seek to hammer out the 2011 budget), or to the budget bill itself.

The purpose of the Simpson/Tester/Baucus amendment is as simple as it is troubling. It is designed to delist the wolf populations in Idaho and Montana, as well as parts of Oregon, Utah and Washington, while the remainder of the States –- including Wyoming -– are left to fend for themselves. Most importantly, however, the very wording of the proposed amendment appears to be designed to nullify Judge Johnson’s decision in its entirety.

Mr. Simpson’s amendment works by reinstating the USFWS’s 2009 Final Rule (the one rejected by Judge Molloy in Montana). There are two sections of the 2009 Rule that are important here, both of which would become law if the Simpson/Tester/Baucus amendment passes. As you remember, the first portion of that Rule approved the then-existing Montana and Idaho Wolf Management Plans, both of which allowed the States to assume management authority over their wolves (although with federal permission and involvement). The second part of the 2009 Final Rule rejected Wyoming’s Wolf Management Plan, stating that “the Wyoming portion of the range represents a significant portion of range where the species remains in danger of extinction because of inadequate regulatory mechanisms.” 74 Fed.Reg. 15123.

Considering the language of the 2009 Rule, if Congressman Simpson and Senators Tester and Baucus were to be successful in including their proposed language as part of either a short-term “continuing resolution,” or the 2011 budget, and such bill passes both the U.S. House and the Senate, we can fully expect that the federal agencies and the environmental groups will argue that Judge Johnson’s decision has been congressionally nullified. Even more troubling is the fact that their amendment includes language that is intended to then block Wyoming from challenging the statute: “Such reissuance [of the Final Rule] shall not be subject to judicial review.” HR 1, Sec. 1713. To state that this is a real and immediate threat to Wyoming’s ability to assume management of the wolf population is an understatement.

You may ask: “why would Simpson, Tester and Baucus seek to impose a rule from 2009 when, from the States’ rights standpoint, and from the standpoint of wolf management, Judge Johnson’s decision is much more favorable to every State in the Union?” I have asked the same question, and none of the answers are favorable.

The actions of Representative Simpson and Senators Tester and Baucus are beyond troubling, and should be cause for concern for anyone who seeks to protect our wildlife populations, our livestock producers, and our States’ rights. Perhaps as significantly (and of grave concern), there are four groups that have endorsed Congressman Simpson’s efforts, and appear to be willing to sacrifice Wyoming’ interests:

* National Rifle Association (NRA)
* Safari Club International (SCI)
* Congressional Sportsmen Foundation (CSF)
* Boone and Crockett

By supporting only limited delisting in just a few of the affected States, these four so-called sportsmen groups have essentially sold out everyone else that has been affected by this issue. While these groups also support all of the wolf delisting bills, including some very good legislation (discussed below), their actions in supporting HR 1 (with Congressman Simpson’s amendment) has allowed the Representatives and Senators to “race for the bottom” in order to take the weakest stand possible on the issue.

While these groups publicly claim that they support delisting in all western States, as well as in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota, their actions are counterproductive. Their support of the amendment described above will likely undermine other pending wolf litigation that will protect all States. Their actions will also have a more dire outcome: the important victory that is represented by Judge Johnson’s decision, and that resulted from years of hard-fought battles and the investment of tens of thousands of dollars, could be lost. This does not hurt only Wyoming, but will hurt every State in the nation that seeks to manage its own wildlife without the federal agencies’ unlawful (and often-times destructive) micro-management out of Washington, D.C.

There are two other bills currently pending in Congress - HR509 and S249, both of which would return management of wolves to all of the affected States. The Simpson/Tester/Baucus approach not only undermines our ability to get either one of these bills passed, but will likely make it more difficult to obtain any additional Congressional action into the foreseeable future. In other words, the actions of Simpson/Tester/Baucus, along with the NRA, SCI, CFS, and Boone and Crocket, have enabled those who seek to prevent the passage of any other bill that would actually provide for legitimate and effective delisting of the wolves.

Passage of the Simpson/Tester/Baucus amendment is not an incremental victory as some would claim. This is not an incremental victory for ensuring that States have the right to manage their own wildlife populations, or an incremental victory under the ESA. Judge Johnson’s decision was a victory. The Simpson/Tester/Baucus effort is designed to take that victory away.

By supporting a weak piece of legislation, these groups have allowed several of the Congressional Representatives and Senators to play both sides of the aisle -– to argue that they support delisting when such claims suit their political aspirations, and to argue that they fought against delisting when such a position will garner them votes from the so-called “environmental” groups. In other words, this amounts to nothing more than obtaining only the slightest and short-term moral victory for a limited number of people, and at the same time ensuring a very troubling defeat for the citizens of Wyoming and for the States’ right to manage wildlife. While we recognize that political compromises are sometimes necessary, I cannot support legislation that is specifically designed to undo Judge Johnson’s finding that the Wyoming Wolf Management Plan is biologically and scientifically sound. This is simply not good science, good public policy or even good politics. …

We fully and whole-heartedly support delisting in Idaho and Montana (and all of the States where wolves exist). Such delisting, however, cannot be done so that Wyoming is sacrificed at the alter of environmental extremism.

Judge Johnson’s decision must stand. We must fight against this effort to use the promise of delisting in Idaho and Montana (and portions of Oregon, Utah, and Washington) as a ruse to nullify the most important decision that the States have obtained in the last seventeen (17)+ years of wolf battles, as well as the rights of States to control their own destiny in terms of wildlife management.

Please contact the offices of Congressman Simpson, and Senators Tester and Baucus and ask them to support only HR 509 and S249. Please request that they not re-introduce the Wyoming-busting amendment described above.

Please contact Representative Lummis’ office and thank her for her strength and continued efforts to fight this battle on your behalf. Please call the offices of Senators Enzi and Barrasso and thank them for their hard work in supporting the right bills on this issue, while fighting against the bad ones. Our Congressional Delegation has stood strong on this issue, and we need to commend them for their efforts on our behalf.

Please contact the NRA, SCI, CFS and Boone and Crocket and ask them to stop their support of an amendment that is specifically designed to undo our important and hard-fought victories. Ask them to instead focus their efforts on passing a solution that protects all of the States that have been plagued by this predator. Ask them to stop throwing Wyoming to the wolves.

Please distribute this letter to anyone you believe could help us to expose what is going on in Congress.


Harriet M. Hageman

16 Mar 2011, 2:38pm
Homo sapiens Wolves
by admin
1 comment

Hundreds Expected To Turn Out For Wolf-Judge Protest Rally At Missoula U.S. District Court Building

By Lobo Watch, March 15, 2011 [here]

Residents of the Northern Rockies have just about had their fill of wolves. Actually, what they’ve mostly grown tired of is how wolves are now making a seriously negative impact on other wildlife populations - namely the elk, deer and moose populations that have made Montana, Idaho and Wyoming famous, and which are now disappearing rapidly in many areas. Rural residents have also become weary of fighting to keep wolves away from their livestock, and worrying about the safety of their children.

Many of those who live close to the land are equally disturbed at how a handful of self-proclaimed “environmental” groups continue to fight the wolf management hunts needed to control wolf numbers at a level where big game herds can still flourish, plus allow ranchers to profitably raise cattle and sheep. Likewise, tax-paying citizens are now realizing that these same groups or organizations have financially benefited from the billions of federal dollars they’ve received through the Equal Access to Justice Act, for the grossly padded legal expenditures for which these “non-profit” organizations are reimbursed. And many Northern Rockies residents are now growing extremely suspicious of the one federal judge these groups continually get to hear their cases, and wonder just what the incentives are for this judge to always decide in their favor.

That anger…that frustration…that distrust will surely be openly displayed on March 24, 2011 as a large crowd of sportsmen, rural land owners, ranchers, and those who have seen their logging careers ended by these same “green” organizations, and the very same Judge Donald Molloy, gather in protest of efforts to once again thwart any control of ever growing wolf numbers, and to stop ever escalating wolf devastation. The issue has reached and surpassed the boil-over point, and hundreds are expected to join in the protest - and there will more than likely be quite the array of protest signs - some targeting wolves, some taking environmental groups to task, and some questioning the motive of the judge inside.

LOBO WATCH has been hearing from groups up and down the western side of Montana…and from across Idaho…and even from Wyoming who fully intend to be standing in front of and alongside the Russell Smith U.S. District Court building on that day. The rally will take place at the corner of East Broadway and North Pattee streets in Missoula, as Judge Molloy once again listens to the wishes of groups like the Defenders of Wildlife, the Center for Biological Diversity, and the Humane Society of the United States, who are opposed to any control of wolf numbers, and especially reducing the wolf populations to an acceptable level. The hearing on March 24 is an attempt by these groups to have the definition changed for the “experimental” and “non-essential” classification of the non-native and non-endangered Canadian wolves that many feel the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service wrongly transplanted into the wildlife rich Northern Rockies. Or to eliminate that classification altogether.

After listening to the arguments of these groups last June, Molloy placed gray wolves back on the Endangered Species List, which cancelled out management hunts that were scheduled for Montana and Idaho. Molloy based that decision on the fact the USFWS did not accept Wyoming’s wolf management plan, and he ruled it was wrong to permit hunts in adjacent states. However, another federal judge in Cheyenne, WY decided that USFWS had been wrong to reject Wyoming’s plan. Still, the management hunts in Montana and Idaho remained canceled - and that will be one part of the issue that draws many angry sportsmen to this protest rally. Some will be protesting for individual state right to manage wolf numbers, others will be calling for the complete resignation or impeachment of Judge Molloy.

This rally is being co-organized by a number of sportsman and land owner based organizations. LOBO WATCH has become the lead organizer. Anyone wanting to participate should contact Toby Bridges at lobowatch (at) yahoo.com. Right now, plans are for protesters to be at the courthouse starting at 12 noon, since the actual hearing begins at 1:30 p.m., and there needs to be a crowd around the courthouse when key players and the media begin to show. Molloy’s court session will likely end around 4 p.m., and some protesters need to be still be on hand. Any time or date changes will be posted on the LOBO WATCH website [here, here].

Moose Decline in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) has released a Moose Advisory Committee report and a 2011 moose survey [here] that avers that “Northwestern Minnesota’s moose population has declined from a population of several thousand in the late 1980s to fewer than 100.”

In NE Minnesota the moose population has dropped 25% over the last seven years:

Figure 2. Point estimates, 90% confidence intervals, and trend line of estimated moose numbers in northeastern Minnesota, 2005-2011.

and the cow/calf ratio has dropped to below 10%.

Figure 3. Estimated calf:cow ratio and % calves from aerial moose surveys in northeastern Minnesota.

As a rule of thumb, cow/calf ratios must be above 20% to maintain population levels. The current ratio portends continued moose decline. Indeed, the report states, “Estimated recruitment from this year’s survey was at an all time low.”

Surprisingly, the Moose Advisory Committee (MAC) report makes absolutely no mention of wolves or other predators. None, zip, zero, nada. This despite the fact that there are now over 3,500 wolves in Minnesota [here], ten times the population in 1974.

more »

18 Feb 2011, 8:38pm
Endangered Specious Wildlife Agencies Wolves
by admin
1 comment

Wolves in Oregon

by Senator Doug Whitsett (Klamath Falls, District 28), Feb. 18, 2011 [here]

Russian news media is reporting the extreme end-game that results from the introduction and failure to control timber wolves. They report that a Siberian town of 1,400 people has been terrorized for the past three weeks by a pack of 400 wolves. Residents are describing the siege as an “animal apocalypse”. In the Verkhoyansk region, “everyone who can hold a rifle is mobilized to fight wolves”.

Starting February 18, 2011, authorities in Slettas, Norway are currently providing free transportation for school children who live more than 800 yards from their bus stop in order to protect them from wolves. Their representative in Parliament said “it has gone too far when we have to drive children to school for fear they will meet a wolf pack on the road”.

An experimental population of Canadian Gray Wolves was introduced into Montana’s Yellowstone Park in 1995. They were subsequently listed as endangered species, functionally preventing their unrestricted reproduction and migration.

During the past 15 years, they have reproduced and migrated to populate Montana, Wyoming, Idaho and parts of Utah with several thousand of these vicious, imported predators. In those states they have decimated the elk, deer and moose populations as well as causing extensive mortality and other related losses to their livestock industry.

Most recently the Canadian Gray Wolves have migrated into northeastern Oregon.

Last Tuesday an Enterprise cattle rancher found two of his cows that had been killed by wolves in the most cruel way imaginable. The wolves had dragged the heavily pregnant cows down by their hamstrings without inflicting a killing bite wound. These sadistic creatures had then proceeded to eat the still living cows from behind, ripping their live calves from their reproductive tract, and partially consuming the still living fetuses. Wildlife Services, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Services and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife have all confirmed that the cows and their calves were killed by wolves.

The interaction with wolves began in Oregon starting back in March of 2010. Agencies have confirmed at least 11 cattle kills in Oregon. Another 23 calves and 9 cows are missing and presumed lost to predation. It is difficult to document livestock killed by wolves on rangeland because these cattle are often not seen by their owners for weeks at a time. If the remains are found the evidence required to confirm a wolf kill is usually long gone.
more »

16 Feb 2011, 4:47pm
Wildlife Agencies Wolves
by admin

MT Governor Notifies Interior of New Wolf Management Directives

News Release, governor.mt.gov, 2/16/2011 [here]

(HELENA) – Governor Brian Schweitzer today sent a letter to Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar notifying Interior of new directives regarding wolf management in Montana. Text of the letter below (and attached):

February 16, 2011

To: The Honorable Ken Salazar
U.S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20240

Dear Secretary Salazar:

I write to you today regarding wolf management in Montana.

While almost everyone acknowledges that the Northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf population is fully recovered, as the Governor of Montana I am profoundly frustrated by the lack of any actual results that recognize Montana’s rights and responsibilities to manage its wildlife. Montana has for years done everything that has been asked: adopting a model wolf management plan; enacting enabling legislation; and adopting the necessary implementing rules. Our exemplary efforts have been ignored. I cannot continue to ignore the crying need for workable wolf management while Montana waits, and waits, and waits. Therefore, I am now going to take additional necessary steps to protect the interests of Montana’s livestock producers and hunters to the extent that I can within my authorities as governor.

First, for Montana’s northwest endangered wolves (north of Interstate 90), any livestock producers who kill or harass a wolf attacking their livestock will not be prosecuted by Montana game wardens. Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) wardens will be directed to exercise their prosecutorial discretion by not investigating or citing anyone protecting their livestock.

Further, I am directing FWP to respond to any livestock depredation by removing whole packs that kill livestock, wherever this may occur.

Still further, to protect the elk herds in Montana’s Bitterroot Valley that have been most adversely affected by wolf predation, I am directing FWP, to the extent allowed by the Endangered Species Act, to cull these wolves by whole-pack removal to enable elk herds to recover.

At this point, I can do nothing less and still maintain my commitment as Governor to uphold the rights of our citizens to protect their property and to continue to enjoy Montana’s cherished wildlife heritage and traditions.


Brian Schweitzer
GOVERNOR, State of Montana

pdf is [here]

Wolfish Judicial Games

by Mike Dubrasich, Exec Dir W.I.S.E.

The latest twist in the judicial wolf saga [here] is complicated and merits some discussion of the history vis the courts and wolves. We offer a partial history as follows:

On Aug. 7, 2008 US District Court Judge Donald W. Molloy issued a wolf decision [here] that began with his usual flowery though unintelligible verbosity:

This case, like a cloud larger than a man’s hand, will hang over the northwest states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming until there has been a final determination of the complex issues presented.

In that case (CV 08-56-M-DWM) the Defenders of Wildlife et al. challenged the February 27, 2008 US Fish and Wildlife Service delisting of the northern Rocky Mountain gray wolf distinct population segment (DPS). The USFWS RM wolf DPS included all of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, eastern Washington, eastern Oregon, and northern Utah.

Molloy reinstated (relisted) wolves as endangered because, as he reasoned, the USFWS had made “no plausible showing of genetic exchange” between wolves in Yellowstone and wolves in Montana and Idaho.

This was a strange finding, since the Canadian gray wolves in Montana and Idaho were direct descendants of the Canadian gray wolves the USFWS dumped in Yellowstone in 1995. They were the exact genetic strain. Was Molloy saying that brother and sister wolves were failing to mate, or first cousins, or what? It was difficult to decipher his irrational rationale, but he did mention “genetic exchange” no less than 67 times in that decision and concluded:

Absent genetic exchange, the wolf will not likely be able to withstand future environmental variability and stochastic events. 1994 EIS, App. 9. Plaintiffs therefore have demonstrated a possibility of irreparable harm.

The reaction to this nonsense was swift and loud, and more than a little bit derisive [here, here]. Obviously there was genetic exchange. The wolves were one big happy family. They not only interbred, they mongrelized with dogs, coyotes, and attempted to do so with whatever they came across that looked half way mate-worthy, successfully or not.

more »

Molloy Strikes Again

District Court Judge Donald Molloy has ordered parties to the gray wolf delisting/relisting lawsuit [here] to show cause why the case should not be dismissed due to the absence of a population meeting the statutory requirements for 10(j) status.

Judge’s ruling could threaten state’s ability to kill wolves

Lewiston Tribune, January 28, 2011 [here]

A federal judge in Montana is asking parties to a lawsuit over gray wolves if the animals should lose their experimental, nonessential designation and revert to a fully endangered or threatened designation.

Such a move could torpedo Idaho’s request to kill wolves in the Lolo Zone.

The order, issued this afternoon by District Court Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula, Mont., stems from a lawsuit filed in 2008 by environmental groups over new rules issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service making it easier for states to kill wolves for the purpose of protecting deer, elk and moose herds. States like Idaho can petition the federal wildlife agency for permission to kill wolves if they are found to be harming wild ungulate herds. The petitions are allowed under the designation of wolves in Idaho and parts of Montana as an experimental nonessential population.

Wolves were reintroduced to the Northern Rockies in 1995 and 1996 under that designation, known as 10(j). To qualify as an experimental population, the wolves must be “wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species.”

Molloy said that was the case at the time of reintroduction. However, he wrote the federal government documented in another lawsuit that wolves in the Northern Rockies are now breeding with wolves from Canada and a portion of Montana where they are not designated as an experimental population.

Molloy issued an eight-page order to show cause asking parties to the case to file briefs showing why the case “should not be dismissed as moot due to the absence of a population meeting the statutory requirements for 10(j) status.” … [more]

I disagree with the interpretation of the Lewiston Tribune. Elimination of the 10(j) status will not necessarily do away with wolf hunts. It could have just the opposite effect. Let me explain.

Recall that in 2008 Molloy ordered wolves relisted because, in his view, there was insufficient evidence that RM wolves were genetically connected [here]. He was wrong in his science. Wolves can travel thousands of miles and breed like rabbits when they get there. There was and is ample evidence of genetic connectivity.

Last year Molloy admitted his error, sort of [here, here]. The machinations are too many to list, but wolves have been delisted and relisted like yo-yos since 2002. Suffice it to say that last August Molloy relisted wolves for the third or fourth time on the grounds that “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…”.

The implication was that Molloy finally recognized that all Rocky Mountain wolves were indeed genetically connected and one population. The USFWS could not, Molloy ruled, delist woves in Idaho and Montana but not in Wyoming. They couldn’t carve off a “distinct population segment” based on state lines.

His ruling hinged on the way the USFWS subdivided the wolf population into DPS’s — illogical, unscientific, and political chicanery that the USFWS has indulged in with many species.

Molloy relisted the wolves because the USFWS was still claiming that some portion of their population was endangered. The USFWS didn’t like Wyoming’s wolf management plan, but they approved Idaho’s and Montana’s. The USFWS delisted wolves in the latter two states, declaring those wolves to be 10(j) experimental, nonessential populations, but retained full endangered status for Wyoming wolves.

No can do, said Molloy.

If Rocky Mountain wolves are genetically connected, then there are no distinct populations that are “wholly separate geographically”. Wolves in Wyoming, Oregon, Montana, and elsewhere are all one population. Either that population is endangered in its entirety, or it isn’t, in its entirety.

Last week Molloy ordered the parties to brief him on all that. When he gets their briefs, he will rule yet again.

Molloy could rule that Rocky Mountain wolves are endangered throughout their range, or that they are not endangered throughout their range. We don’t know how he will rule.

But the scientific evidence is strong that wolves are not endangered, and are in fact breeding like rabbits and expanding their population as much as 25% per year. They have spread out from the original infection center in Yellowstone NP (where Canadian gray wolves were illegally dumped by the USFWS in 1995) across five states.

The offspring of those wolves have decimated elk, deer, and moose populations, killed livestock and pets, and threatened people hundreds and even thousands of miles away from Yellowstone.

If Molloy applies the best available science, then he must rule that Rocky Mountain wolves are not endangered. Whether he will or not remains to be seen.

It is easy to point the finger at Molloy. He has relisted wolves again and again. The direct result has been the tragic destruction of game herds, livestock depredation, etc. But the finger should also be pointed at the USFWS, which engendered this crisis through illegal actions during the Clinton Administration. The USFWS is a political hornets nest, and their science has been (and still is) atrociously bad. And if we are placing blame, it all rests on Congress for creating a horrible law (the ESA) and failing to repeal or revise it for nearly 40 years.

26 Jan 2011, 8:55pm
Endangered Specious Wolves
by admin
leave a comment

Bill Introduced in U.S. House to Delist the Gray Wolf

by Ryan Benson, Big Game Forever [here]

The House announced the introduction of new national wolf delisting legislation today. The bill is attached and included below. The original cosponsors of the legislation this year are: Jim Matheson (D-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Mike Ross (D-AR), Rob Bishop (R-UT), Leonard Boswell (D-IA), Dan Boren (D-OK), Paul Broun (R-GA), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), John Kline (R-MN), Raul Labrador (R-ID), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Greg Walden (R-OR) and Don Young (R-AK). We have commitments from several other co-sponsors that appear to not be listed primarily due to timing issues. Thank you to each of these 15 cosponsors from 12 states for their willingness to work on a bipartisan basis.

Thanks to everyone who has been working so hard to make return of wolf populations to state wildlife managers a reality. The list of wildlife groups who have officially endorsed national wolf delisting continues to grow. I would encourage all of us to reach out personally to these Congressman and thank them for getting in the fight for responsible wildlife management.

You will notice that the language is a bit different from 2010. The effect is largely the same as both HR 6028 and S.3919. We anticipate that the Senate will introduce a similar bill early next week. We don’t have a final list of cosponsors, but here are the Senate cosponsors from last year. Risch (Idaho), Crapo (Idaho), Barrasso (Wyoming), Enzi (Wyoming), Hatch (Utah), McCain (Arizona). We expect Lee (Utah) will join the bill as well. We are also in conversations with a number of other potential cosponsors but have not seen any final lists.

We have seen the politics of divisiveness used to pit sportsmen against sportsmen, multiple use group against multiple use group, state against state, and party against party in the past. I strongly urge us all to recognize that we must avoid politics, stick together and avoid all efforts from wolf delisting opponents to divide and conquer.

Administrative attempts to delist have been and will continue to be blocked due to numerous lawsuits to use federal laws to block any wolf management. Returning balance to our ecosystems and our wildlife populations simply cannot wait any longer. We strongly feel that Congressional wolf delisting, pursuant to agreements with the Federal Government and wolf advocates, is the right course to protect our rights to manage wildlife responsibly.

Working together as a nation of united sportsmen to support our friends in Congress we can be successful in this important endeavor.


1ST SESSION H. R. ____
To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide that Act shall not apply to the gray wolf (canis lupus).

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Mr. REHBERG introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on _____________

To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide that Act shall not apply to the gray wolf (canis lupus).

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


Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 6 U.S.C. 1533) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(j) EXEMPTION OF GRAY WOLF.—This Act shall not apply to the gray wolf (canis lupus).”

25 Jan 2011, 1:30pm
Fire Wolves
by admin
leave a comment

Wolf Forum at Upcoming SRM Meet

The Society for Range Management will host its 64th Annual Meeting in Billings, MT February 6-10, 2011 [here].

Of particular interest is the Wolves on the Landscape session on Thursday, Feb 10th. Lectures include:

8:00 am Predicting Wolf (Canis lupus)- Cattle (Bos taurus) Encounters and Consequential Effects on Cattle Resource Selection Patterns by Patrick Clark1, D. Joseph Chigbrow2, Kelly Crane2, John Williams3, Larry Larson4, Douglas Johnson5; 1USDA Agricultural Research Service, Boise, ID, United States, 2University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, United States, 3Oregon State University, Enterprise, OR, United States, 4Oregon State University, La Grande, OR, United States, 5Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, United States

8:30 am Wolf Diets and Depredation Patterns in Southwestern Alberta by Andrea Morehouse; University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

9:00 am Wolf Reintroduction: A Montana Perspective by Jaala Wickman; Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, Missoula, Montana, United States

9:30 am Alberta’s Wolf Report: Quantifying the Impacts by Callum Sears; Flying E Ranche, Stavely, Alberta, Canada

10:30 am Ranch-Level Economic Impacts of Predation in a Range Livestock System by Benjamin S. Rashford, Thomas Foulke, David T. Taylor; Department of Agriculture & Applied Economics, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, United States

11:00 am Wolf Damage Management in Minnesota by John Hart; USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services, Grand Rapids, Minnesota, United States

11:30 am Crossings, Corridors and Trophic Cascades: Wolves and Woody Vegetation in Banff National Park by Clifford A. White; Scientist Emeritus, Parks Canada, Banff, Alberta, Canada

1:00 pm Wolf Management in Alberta, Canada by Mark Boyce; University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1:30 pm The Rise and Fall of Western USA’s Great Elk Herds by David Allen; Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Montana, USA

2:00 pm Wolves & The Natural Law by Jim Beer, Eagan, Minnesota, USA

2:30 pm Wolf Recovery: An Independent Analysis by Charles E. Kay; Utah State University, Logan, Utah, United States

3:00-4:00 pm Panel Discussion, Chaired by Kevin France, Sustainable Resource Development, Alberta Govt, Lethbridge, Alberta

Also of interest to students of anthropogenic fire are two lectures in The Role of Fire in Sustainable Rangeland Ecosystems session:

8:20 am “Burn early, burn often” - Contrasting Aboriginal Versus Modern North American Fire Management Regimes by Cliff White; Parks Canada, Banff, Alberta, Canada

8:40 am Aboriginal Burning and Keystone Predation: A New Paradigm for Range Management by Charles Kay; Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA

15 Jan 2011, 1:03pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Homo sapiens Wolves
by admin
leave a comment

Which Is The Greater Criminal?

by Jim Beers

Wolves Attack Cattle, Kill Sheep In Central Montana

Flathead Beacon, 01-13-11 [here]

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - State and federal authorities have confirmed that gray wolves recently attacked and injured two calves on a Fergus County ranch while wolves killed more than two dozen sheep on two ranches south of Ulm.

USDA Wildlife Services state director John Steuber tells the Great Falls Tribune that the attack on the cattle was the first confirmed instance of wolf attacking livestock in Fergus County. Wildlife Services officials say ranch personnel witnessed the Dec. 31 attack.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks asked Wildlife Services to capture and radio collar one of the wolves, but the wolves haven’t been seen recently.

Wildlife Services is also investigating the killing of 27 sheep near Ulm.

Biologist Craig Glazier says two wolves were responsible. On Dec. 21, Wildlife Services shot a 3-year-old male wolf near one of the kill sites.

11 hunters convicted of illegally taking elk in Montana

Billings Gazette, January 4, 2011 [here]

GLASGOW, Mont. - A multi-year investigation into the illegal killing of elk in southern Phillips County, Mont., has resulted in criminal convictions for

11 hunters, including seven South Dakota residents.

A total of $37,300 in fines and restitution was collected in the case, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Criminal Investigator Lennie Buhmann.

Eight of the 11 defendants also lost a total 22 years of hunting, fishing and trapping privileges in the 36 states involved in the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact. …

In all, 11 unlawfully killed bull elk were recovered. Two of the bulls were trophy class, which resulted in $8,000 in restitution being charged for each. Another animal, a cow elk, was also unlawfully killed but was not recovered. …

FERGUS COUNTY, Montana (where the livestock is starting to be killed by wolves spreading from western Montana) is just west of Phillips County, Montana where some South Dakotans unlawfully took a dozen elk recently.

Three months ago I was watching some elk in southern Phillips County on one of the two National Wildlife Refuges that comprise the ENTIRE southern boundary of that county along the Missouri River. The hills above me (on the Refuge) were alive with hunters while the Bottoms where I was is a Closed Area where watching elk bulls assemble “harems” makes for a pleasant roadside evening with a few others with binoculars, cameras, and some enjoyable conversation.

When I told one local guy that soon the wolves would reach this area and this would become but a dim memory, he laughed and said the “experts” said wolves wouldn’t come this far into central Montana and beside they would only take a “few” of the elk. I told them they would be here sooner than he thought and that they were probably already here, he laughed again.

I tried to point out that bugling elk and concentrations of 100’s of elk would attract wolves like a dinner bell he shook his head and smirked. When I said that first the elk would try to go back into the woodlands but soon enough would be fewer and fewer in number as they began keeping more quiet and breeding opportunistically and clandestinely like deer so as to be safe, he just smiled and walked away.

more »

15 Jan 2011, 12:36pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Endangered Specious Wolves
by admin
1 comment

Yellowstone Is Dead

Scott Rockholm and the folks at Save Western Wildlife [here] have been filming a full-length documentary about wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. The final movie is not complete, but two samples have been placed on YouTube.

The first is a 13-minute short entitled “Yellowstone Is Dead” [here]. The second is a 2-minute trailer [here].

These videos are stunning and revealing. Please watch them and tell your friends to watch them. And if so inclined, you can send Scott and SWW a donation [here] to help them continue with this important work.

15 Jan 2011, 12:31pm
Wildlife Agencies Wolves
by admin
leave a comment

Counting Elk And Distorting/Withholding Information

by Tom Remington, Black Bear Blog, January 13, 2011 [here]

It absolutely blows my mind that any half-brained, uneducated person couldn’t look at the elk situation in Northern Yellowstone and easily determine that one thing and one thing only is the major attribute in a disappearing elk herd – wolves. What is so difficult? On the same year that wolves were dumped into Yellowstone, there was an estimated 19,000 elk. Today? Around 4,500.

Not much has changed around the area where the Northern Yellowstone elk herd hangs out. There’s more bears that munch on elk and there is little debate about that fact. There’s been some severe winters, but haven’t there always been? There’s been some dry summers, but haven’t there always been? There’s a bunch of coyotes, but haven’t there always been? There’s a bunch of wolves, but haven’t there always been? Oh, wait back up. No, there hasn’t always been a bunch of wolves.

Wolves are a pet project of some and those some will say and do most anything to enable the further destruction of wildlife systems in order to protect wolves. Sadly, it’s very much like the parent who lies and distorts facts in order to protect and cover for their drug-addicted children.

Unfortunately, the citizens of the Greater Yellowstone Area were treated to a media event that included the announcement that elk numbers in the northern zone continue to shrink. Matthew Brown, writing for the Associated Press, informed his readers [here] that the “Famous Yellowstone elk herd suffer[ed] decline.” That decline, he writes, was attributed “mainly to predators and hunters.”

Numbers of elk are not an indication of the health of a herd or what can be expected of that herd into the future. Doug Smith, a Yellowstone Park Service biologist, told Brown that, “a smaller herd is healthier in some ways because it gives the animals room to thrive.”

In addition, according to Brown’s reporting, Smith said, “there was no reason to suspect a continued decline”.

Neither one of those statements can stand on its own merits as being factual. Readers have no way of knowing if they are reading incomplete information, meaning the reporter failed to present pertinent facts offered by Doug Smith or whether Smith withheld facts to begin with. Elk studies 101.2.1 tells anyone who opened the text book, that the canary in the coal mine for elk health is the age structure of a herd.

Consider, if you will, an article found in the Bozeman Chronicle [here], dated December 16, 2005, when discussion surrounded the shrinking size of the Northern Yellowstone Elk herd. In this article, Tom Lemke, a biologist with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department was sharing information about not only the shrinking size of the herd but the age structure as well.

The northern Yellowstone National Park elk herd isn’t just getting smaller, it’s getting a lot older, too.

“The northern herd is fast becoming a geriatric elk population,” said Tom Lemke, a biologist here for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The average age of elk harvested during last winter’s late hunt at Gardiner hit a record high: 8.2 years for cows and 9.1 years for bulls.

Ten years ago, the average was 6.2 years and 5.9 years, respectively.

Statewide, the average elk is 4 or 5 years old.

Lemke considered at that time the age structure, which showed half of the elk herd to be over the age of 9 years. This advancement of age within the herd, Lemke said, is due to an elk calf recruitment ratio of between 12 and 14 per 100 cows. That’s so low that it makes it very difficult to recover shrinking elk herds. …

Even with proof from biologist Lemke, yanking teeth out of harvested elk for nine years, that the age structure of elk in Yellowstone was skewed, Doug Smith laid claim that the reduction of elk numbers was due to climate and harvest numbers. …

After 2005, hunter harvest was substantially reduced, enough so that Lemke said results would show up in the future.

If hunting was a major factor in the herd’s size, there should be changes coming in the age structure and size of the herd, Lemke said.

As I’ve already pointed out, herd size has continued to shrink and there is little or nothing to indicate the age structure has improved.

The problems being presented here are multiple. The media are pumping the public full of information which is neither factual nor complete. Whether this is due to poor reporting or intentional misleading, that’s for someone else to investigate. I have my theories. What is unfortunate is that the taxpayers are being told that it is good that the elk herd in Yellowstone has shrunk 70%, that the herd is healthier at that size and that there is no reason to believe the herd will shrink any further. How much longer do we wait? … [more]

  • Colloquia

  • Commentary and News

  • Contact

  • Follow me on Twitter

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Meta