21 Sep 2010, 10:29pm
Wildlife Agencies Wolves
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F&G Commission: Open Letter to Hunters and Idahoans

Idaho Department Fish and Game. September 3, 2010 [here]

Wildlife managers and biologists agree that the wolf population in Idaho recovered years ago, and that wolf numbers now need to be controlled to reduce conflicts with people and wildlife.

The recent court decision bypassed science and put Idaho wolves back under the protection of the Endangered Species Act based on a legal technicality. Now we must deal with a difficult situation.

The Endangered Species Act severely limits Idaho’s abilities to manage wolves, and it is tempting to turn wolf management over to the federal government until wolves can be delisted again. But U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials have told us they wouldn’t manage wolves to protect Idaho elk herds, and they don’t share our motivation to protect the interests of our ranchers, pet owners, hunters and rural communities.

We looked carefully at our options and potential consequences. We decided that as long as we are making a difference, we must stay engaged in wolf management to protect Idaho’s interests and rights. Only as a last resort will we leave the fate of Idaho residents and wildlife entirely in the hands of the federal government.

Part of the reason we feel that way is because of how we got to where we are.

With the court decision to relist wolves for the second time, the federal system has failed us. Defenders of Wildlife and other special interest groups are using a parade of lawsuits to tie the federal government in knots, and the result is against common sense, responsible wildlife management, and the stated intent of the Endangered Species Act. While we will work within the rule of law; we will use all of our influence and authority to make this right and put wolf management back in Idaho’s hands where it belongs.

Idaho’s lawyers will ask a court of appeals to overturn U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy’s ruling, but we believe the best solution is to change the law directly. We will work with Idaho’s congressional delegation, Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and other states to resolve this problem through federal legislation. Solutions will probably not be easy or quick. We will need all of the support we can get to make this happen, and we will keep you posted as to how you can best help these efforts.

While we are pursuing change in the courts and in Congress, we will make the most of the authorities available to us. We support Gov. Otter’s efforts to reach a new agreement with U.S. Fish and Wildlife to ensure as much flexibility as possible in managing wolves. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission recommended that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service be in charge of Endangered Species Act enforcement while Idaho focuses on protecting its elk herds and reducing wolf conflicts. It should also be the federal government’s role to fund wolf management, and we support restricting the use of hunters’ license dollars for wolf management as long as wolves are federally protected.

We will continue to insist on population control, particularly in areas where wolf predation is hurting our wildlife. The processes for getting federal agency approvals involve considerable paperwork and time and impose requirements that are an additional source of frustration. For example, because of federal legal requirements, Idaho Fish and Game managers have to use wolf population estimates that are “minimum,” so we know we are underestimating the number of wolves in Idaho.

Likewise, to control wolves to protect elk herds under the “10(j)” provision of the Endangered Species Act, Idaho must demonstrate wolf predation impacts based on data that takes time to collect. We must also have our proposals reviewed by at least five scientists outside our agencies. That means we end up a year or more behind the times, using data that often doesn’t match up with what you see in the woods today. We have gotten to the point where we will soon submit a “10(j)” proposal to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for wolf control actions in the Lolo Zone, and other proposals are being developed. When delisting occurred previously, we were poised with a proposal then, too.

As you can tell, we are in a tough struggle to regain state management, with scientific and legal battles on many fronts. We are concerned that some matters are dividing our community when we need to be united. For example, there are some who want to argue about what happened in Idaho politics when wolves were introduced in 1994. While we commit to learning from history, we do not want to waste our energy trying to attack, defend, or change the past.

We are fighting a national battle of perception. It is easy to paint an ideal world of nature from a desk far away from rural Idaho. We need your help to explain why it is important to manage Idaho’s wolf population, just like we manage other wildlife. Someone who wouldn’t think twice about calling animal control to pick up stray dogs in the city may not think about how wolves are affecting the lives of Idahoans in similar ways - unless we tell them.

National activist groups try to portray the average Idahoan as a wolf exterminator, lazy hunter or crazy extremist. We need your help to prove them wrong, just as Idahoans did when we participated responsibly in the first wolf hunting season in the lower 48 states. We need your help to support change through social networks across the country.

If state authorities are further undermined by court decisions or inaction at the federal level, there may come a time where we decide the best thing to do is to surrender and leave wolf management up to the federal government until wolves are delisted. But for now we believe the best place to fix the system and protect Idaho’s interests is by staying involved in management. We appreciate your support.

Idaho Fish and Game Commission

17 Sep 2010, 10:14pm
Endangered Specious Wolves
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Coy Wolves or Coywolves?

The judge fulminated: wolves are endangered because they lack genetic exchange capacity. But the judge was very wrong. Wolves are canines, and canines are famously adept at gene exchange. To put it mildly and modestly.

Last December we reported [here]:

by George Dovel, From The Outdoorsman, No. 35, July-Nov 2009

In November 2007 when Evolutionary Biologists Jennifer Leonard and Robert Wayne announced that most of the several thousand “wolves” being protected in the Great Lakes region were actually wolf-coyote crosses, Utah Wildlife Ecologist Dr. Charles Kay commented, “What a mess!” During their two-year study of the genetic make-up of Great Lakes wolves that were delisted, the study did not find any purebred Eastern Timber Wolves, and only 31% of the wolves tested had any Eastern timber wolf “genes” in their genetic make-up.

When confronted with this information by the news media in November 2007, Eastern Gray Wolf Recovery Team Leader Rolph Peterson admitted they had known all along that the wolves were crossbreeding with coyotes. …

Now the little known but truly excellent Yellow Pine Times has done the research. Kudos to YP Sue, editor, publisher, and friend to all creatures.


by YP Sue


“Gray wolves and coyotes don’t usually play well together in the wild, but sometimes the mood is right and baby coywolves are born. Coywolves aren’t considered a separate species, but genetic research suggests that red wolves (extinct in the wild by 1980, now being reintroduced) originally descended from gray wolf/coyote hybrids. If coywolves persist, they may someday develop distinct enough taxonomy and behavior to require a unique Latin name.”

Quote lifted from [here]


R. K. Wayne and S. M. Jenks. 1991. Mitochondrial DNA analysis implying extensive hybridization of the endangered red wolf Canis rufus. Nature 351, 565 - 568 [here]


THE red wolf, previously endemic to the southeastern United States, declined precipitously in numbers after 1900 because of habitat destruction, predator control programmes, and hybridization with coyotes. Hybridization with coyotes probably occurred as these animals, which adjust well to agriculture, became numerous and moved eastwards. By 1970, red wolves existed only in extreme southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana. In 1967, red wolves were classified as endangered and a captive breeding programme was begun in 1974 after passage of the Endangered Species Act, about a year before they became extinct in the wild. Protein electrophoresis and morphometrics have been used to try to discriminate red wolves from hybrids and coyotes. But because the average substitution rate of mitochondrial DNA in mammals is much greater than that of nuclear genes, mtDNA analysis is a more useful way of distinguishing closely related species. We have now analysed mtDNA restriction-enzyme sites and cytochrome b gene sequence variation in captive red wolves and in 77 canids sampled during the capture period. We also used the polymerase chain reaction to amplify and then sequenced mtDNA from red wolf skins collected before substantial hybridization of red wolves with coyotes is thought to have occurred. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that red wolves have either a grey wolf or coyote mtDNA genotype, demonstrating hybridization among these species. Thus, the red wolf is entirely a hybrid form or a distinct taxon that hybridized with coyotes and grey wolves over much of its previous geographical range. Our findings, however, do not argue against the continued protection of the red wolf.


Red Wolf (from Wikipedia [here])

The Red Wolf (Canis lupus rufus) is a North American canid subspecies which once roamed throughout the Southeastern United States and is a glacial period survivor of the Late Pleistocene epoch.[3] Its natural range extended from Texas to Florida northward to New York. Historical habitats included forests, swamps, and coastal prairies, where it was an apex predator. The Red Wolf became extinct in the wild by 1980.[4] A population of Red Wolf/Coyote hybrids [5]has been successfully reintroduced to eastern North Carolina.[6] Although this population has grown to over 100 animals, it is still highly endangered.


The Red Wolf has a brownish or cinnamon pelt, with grey and black shading on the back and tail. Its muzzle is white furred around the lips. Black specimens have been recorded, but these are probably extinct. The Red Wolf is generally intermediate in size between the Coyote and the Gray Wolf. Males can reach up to five feet in length and 80 lbs. in weight. Like the Gray Wolf, it has almond-shaped eyes, a broad muzzle and a wide nosepad, though like the Coyote, its ears are proportionately larger. The Red Wolf has a deeper profile, longer and broader head than the coyote, and has a less prominent ruff than the Gray Wolf.[7] It moults once annually every winter.


Coywolf: Are they a suburban legend, or a natural fact?

By Edie Johnson, The Chronicle, Feb 10, 2006 [here]

Goshen — Coyotes live in our neighborhood in Blooming Grove. They howled in groups at night through the spring and fall, and this year they sound like an inordinately large pack. I have seen three of them, two trotting right up my driveway. One of them, at the end of last summer, was pretty large.

If you have coyotes in your neighborhood, and if they look almost as much like a wolf as a coyote, there is a good reason. Researchers in the Northeast and Canada say the population of coywolf hybrids is growing in the region. Rumors of coydogs — a coyote/dog hybrid — have flourished for years, but now scientists are able to do DNA testing. Coydogs are rare, they have found, but coywolf hybrids are becoming more and more common as they adapt to life on small farms. The eastern coyote tends to be somewhat larger than those found in the Midwest.

“This is known as latitudinal cline - as you go north, animals get larger,” National Geographics expert Robert Winkler said.

A typical Midwest coyote would weigh 22 to 30 pounds, as opposed to a northeast coyote, which would weigh 32 to 38 pounds. This is a vast difference from the coywolf hybrids, which can range from 60 to 80 pounds for females, and 70 to 110 pounds for males. Of 100 coyotes studied in Maine, 22 were more than half wolf and one was 89 percent wolf.


Coywolf (from Wikipedia [here])

The coywolf is a term used to refer to hybrids between a Coyote (Canis latrans) and the Gray wolf (Canis lupus) or the Red wolf (Canis lupus rufus). Wolves and coyotes can interbreed and produce fertile offspring, a fact which calls into question their status as two separate species.[1] However breeding experiments in Germany with poodles and coyotes, as well as with wolves, jackals and later on with the resulting dog-coyote hybrids showed a decrease in fertility and significant communication problems as well as an increase of genetic diseases after three generations of interbreeding between the hybrids, unlike with wolfdogs. Therefore it was concluded, that domestic dogs and Gray wolves are the same species and that the coyote is a separate species from both.[2]

The offspring is generally intermediate in size to both parents, being larger than a pure coyote, but smaller than a pure wolf. A study showed that of 100 coyotes collected in Maine, 22 had half or more wolf ancestry, and one was 89 percent wolf. A theory has been proposed that the large eastern coyotes in Canada are actually hybrids of the smaller western coyotes and wolves that met and mated decades ago as the coyotes moved toward New England from their earlier western ranges.[3] The Red Wolf is thought by certain scientists to be in fact a wolf/coyote hybrid rather than a unique species. Strong evidence for hybridization was found through genetic testing which showed that red wolves have only 5% of their alleles unique from either Gray wolves or coyotes. Genetic distance calculations have indicated that red wolves are intermediate between coyotes and grey wolves, and that they bear great similarity to wolf/coyote hybrids in southern Quebec and Minnesota. Analyses of mitochondrial DNA showed that existing Red Wolf populations are predominantly coyote in origin.[4] Researchers in the Northeast and Canada say the population of coywolf hybrids is growing in the Northeast region.[5]


The red wolf (Canis rufus) – hybrid or not?

Montana EDU [here]

The red wolf originally ranged over much of the southeastern U.S. By 1970, it was extinct from its original range and propagated in captivity. The USFWS has spent a great deal of money and effort on captive rearing and reintroduction in the SE United States.

Hybridization with coyote (C. latrans) suspected as early as 1940’s. Hybridization was implicated in the decline of the red wolf.

Wayne & Jenks (1991) – analyzed mitochondrial DNA (maternal inheritance) and concluded that the red wolf ORIGINATED as a hybrid between coyote and grey wolf (C. lupus).

- also concluded that red wolf mitochondrial DNA is now predominantly coyote origin

- suggested that red wolf has never been a valid species or subspecies

- suggested that existing red wolf population is substantially coyote in origin (coyotes not protected)

Nowak (1992) – red wolf hybridized within last 100 years with coyote, but pre-dates European colonization of N. America as a distinct species in the fossil record

- morphological analysis supports interpretation that red wolf is an intermediate stage of canid evolution from a small, coyote-like form to the modern gray wolf – and distinct from both [the evidence he presents could also be interpreted as indicating hybridization if the skull traits he used are subject to blending inheritance]

Idaho County Wolf Disaster Declaration

On Sept. 16 the Idaho County Board of Commissioners adopted a Resolution declaring a disaster as a result of the introduction of wolves (in 1995-1996 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service).

The Resolution is [here]. It declares that wolves are causing “vast devastation of the social culture, economy, and natural resources of Idaho County” and that “public safety is compromised, economic activity is disrupted and private and public property continues to be imperiled.”

The Idaho County Board of Commissioners requested that Governor Otter issue a Disaster Proclamation declaring wolves to be a “managed predator” to be controlled, and that the State contract with the USDA Wildlife Services to eradicate wolf packs near homes, ranches, livestock, and recreation areas “by any means necessary”.

The Idaho Statesman is reporting that the Resolution uses the words “shot on site”, but that is typical MSM hyperbole. That language does not appear in the resolution. The Idaho Statesman is a trashy rag (well, if it they like to dish out hyperbole, then they ought to be able to take it).

Idaho County declares disaster over wolves

By JESSIE L. BONNER and JOHN MILLER, The Idaho Statesman, 09/16/10 [here]

BOISE, Idaho — Officials in Idaho County want Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter to declare an ongoing disaster that will allow wolves to be shot on sight, citing attacks on livestock and wildlife.

County commissioners declared a local disaster Thursday. The governor’s office was aware of the county’s move but had not seen it and couldn’t immediately comment, said Otter spokesman Jon Hanian.

“We heard about it just at the close of business today,” Hanian said. “Beyond that, I don’t have a comment about it, until we’ve had a chance to read it, review it and make sure the governor has seen it.”

Last night in a 30-minute Idaho Public TV presentation Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game Director Cal Groen and State Wildlife Manager Jon Rachael were asked about this resolution. Groen said he hadn’t seen it. Rachael admitted massive elk declines and said, “That’s not socially acceptable.”

IDFG’s involvement in wolf introductions and the devastation of Idaho elk herds is well documented [here].

Wolf populations have burgeoned in Idaho and Montana since the USFWS illegally dumped exotic Canadian gray wolves there in 1995 with the full (and illegal) complicity of state wildlife agencies such as IDFG. Wolves are in no way endangered, despite the lunatic decisions by Federal Judge Donald “Genetic Exchange” Molloy.

It remains to be seen whether Gov. Otter will heed and side with the elected representatives of Idaho County residents, or with radical jingoists from urban enclaves thousands of miles away.

13 Sep 2010, 9:36pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Wildlife Agencies Wolves
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No Evidence Links Lolo Elk Loss to Habitat

Ed Note: This excellent essay appears in The Outdoorsman No. 40 June-Aug 2010. The entire issue is [here]. Some previous posts regarding elk in the Lolo Zone (upper Clearwater River watershed, Idaho) are [here]. Excerpts from other issues of The Outdoorsman are [here].

By George Dovel, editor/publisher The Outdoorsman

Shortly after World War II ended, the Washington, D.C. based Wildlife Management Institute recommended the Idaho F&G Commission invite thousands of out-of-state hunters to harvest “trophy” Idaho big game animals in remote backcountry areas allegedly to prevent damage to habitat. The result of similar recommendations to other western states is evident in the sudden big game harvest increases during the 1950s followed by eventual severe harvest declines during the mid-1960s and early 70s.

Elk Study Proves Habitat Did Not Cause Decline

By 1964, elk harvests in the Clearwater had declined dramatically so the “Clearwater Elk Ecology Study” was launched – with the first five years devoted to evaluating habitat quantity, quality and elk use. The next four years found high conception and calf birth rates but very poor survival during the first two weeks after birth.

The result of the first nine years of careful study was that 13 years of extended either-sex hunting seasons and too few surviving calves – not habitat – were responsible for the mid-1960s elk decline.

The next 10-years of study proved that reduced cow elk numbers could no longer provide enough newborn calves to feed the black bears during the brief calving period, plus feed other predators later and still provide replacements for the elk that die each year. Trapping and relocating 75 bears in 1976 tripled the number of surviving elk calves, and doubling the bear bag limit in year-around seasons restored the elk in a few years.

The 19-year study and a dozen similarly extensive peer-reviewed studies in Canada, Alaska and the Great Lakes all arrived at the same conclusion. Where multiple predators, including wolves, existed with alternate prey species, it was necessary to reduce the number of predators dramatically once prey populations were reduced – regardless of whether the prey reduction was natural or man-caused (as in excessive hunter harvests).

By 1985 even wolf expert David Mech admitted he was responsible for resurrecting the “balance of nature” myth as a graduate student and wrote “Far from being ‘balanced,’ ratios of wolves and prey animals can fluctuate wildly – and sometimes catastrophically.” He illustrated the necessity to dramatically reduce wolf numbers whenever their prey declined and F&G agencies in the Northern Rockies promised wolf numbers would be carefully monitored and controlled if they were introduced.

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Rep. Rehberg (MT) Seeking Your Solutions To Wolf Problems

by Tom Remington, Black Bear Blog, September 10, 2010 [here]

Ed Note: this is another excellent commentary from the Nation’s premier hunting, fishing, and outdoor activities pundit, Tom Remington. I strongly encourage you to visit and bookmark Black Bear Blog [here].

Montana Representative Denny Rehberg (R) Montana, in an editorial [here] in the Missoulian, is asking us for our ideas and solutions to the ancient and stalled atrocity known as Wolf Introduction.

If you think there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that anything other than what can easily be described as “Groundhogs Day”, (a la, the movie with Bill Murray, where he wakes up each day to the exact same events over and over again.) can be done to blow up that damned alarm clock, then jump on Rep. Rehberg’s bandwagon and give him an earful (be nice now).

He says he listens first to his people and then reacts to what they want. Is this true? If it is, this is at least your chance to take action so you can say you tried. Sounds like Rehberg is suggesting a legislative solution.

He offers sample questions, assuming these are answers he’s also looking for. Let’s see if we can help him out.

What is the responsibility of the government to reimburse producers for livestock killed by predators that are protected by federal policy? The private funds that have been used for these reimbursements in the past ended on Sept. 10, 2010.

Reimbursement for damages never should have been put in the hands of private entities. You can read this as environmentalists. But this is water under the bridge and they have reneged anyway.

This entire debacle was the doings of the Federal Government and they should be held solely responsible for reimbursements to all citizens who have lost property and damages of any kind, physical and emotional. They should be held responsible for all costs of litigation, damages amassed over the years and what lies down the road. The Federal Government should be paying for all costs of wolf management, if you want to call it that, and directly paying the states for all revenues lost and expenses accrued due to wolves and the destruction they have done.

If this liability bill gets large enough and angry taxpayers realize how much of their money is being spent to aid and abet the perverts who think wolves are above humanity, then perhaps efforts to do something legislatively can be done.

[My thoughts: the Federal government has 100% responsibility, since it was through the Fed's horrendous decision-making and intransigence that these damages were inflicted.]

Do we want to use a legislative scalpel to address the gray wolf issue narrowly, or is it time for a much broader reform of the entire Endangered Species Act? One option will be easier and faster, but the other may prevent similar fights down the road.

Why not both? What Idaho needs or wants may not exactly match what Montana or Wyoming, Oregon, Utah, etc. wants. Those needs, based on geography as well as social demands, will be different. However, in line with the answer to the first question, it’s time to wake up all of America to the intrusion of Government. It isn’t just taxes, health care, and mosques being built. The berries are ripe. People are waking up and pushing back against totalitarian governmental control.

Many people have been asking me what my bone of contention is in this fight? The answer is simple. I’m an American. Wolves forced dishonestly onto American people and them being held as prisoners in their own land by environmentalism, the Courts and the Federal Government, is a hammer looking for any place else to fall. I want to prevent that from happening.

Actions need to be implemented to assure that nothing like this EVER happens again, that no peoples will be rendered to such dictatorial uselessness.

[My thoughts: reform the ESA. The idea that Constitutionally guaranteed human rights have been usurped for the alleged rights of animals is the most unAmerican thing ever perpetrated by our government. All of Congress took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Abide by it.]

Is it better to focus only on Montana for now, or should we expand our effort to national solutions that will include other impacted states like Idaho and Wyoming?

Answered already!

The truth is Montana, Idaho and other states, including the Great Lakes and Southwest Regions can’t wait for the long legislative processes. Emergency actions need to take place. If Washington was burning, I don’t think Congress would let it burn while they argue about how much to appropriate for a fire truck… or maybe they would. The good people of these states want to run their own affairs. No effort of the Endangered Species Act should be this far reaching and locally destructive, leaving citizens at the mercy of ridiculous court rulings that aren’t even based on existing laws; only political agendas.

Rep. Rehberg, let’s not turn this into a dog and pony show. If you are serious, then it’s time to get serious enough to do something that will immediately relieve the problems and then we can get to work on long term, long lasting solutions. Let’s give the citizens back their power of self government and sovereignty and then find a long term solution to stop the travesty that has become the Endangered Species Act.

[My thoughts: The issue is national.]

These are only some of my ideas. What are yours? Speak up! Let Mr. Rehberg hear what you have to say. You can send him an email. Or you can write or call. All that information can be found [here].

It’s time to call the good Congressman out on his offer to LISTEN. Give ‘em hell, Harry! Let freedom ring!

8 Sep 2010, 2:42pm
Bears Cougars Homo sapiens Wolves
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How to Confirm a Suspicion

By Jim Beers

There is a growing suspicion by rural residents that “pro-wolf” advocates are releasing wolves to supplement and extend the presence and future growth of wolf packs in the Lower 48 states. One wolf was killed in Ohio recently, a small pack was killed in Indiana, and a wolf was photographed by a trail camera in Illinois.

Where wolves now occur in the Upper Rockies, the Southwest, and in the Southeast; they have been forcibly introduced and militarily protected by federal bureaucrats utilizing federal laws and regulations that they drafted for politicians concerned with their reelection. This has resulted in:

- A spectacular loss of State Sovereignty over everything from resident wildlife, hunting programs, ranching, and rural economies to federal bureaucrats.

- Loss of big game populations like elk, moose and deer to wolves.

- Loss of livestock from cattle and sheep to llamas and pigs to wolves.

- Losses of pet dogs, watchdogs, working dogs, sporting dogs, and trailing dogs to wolves.

- Complete reorientation of rural lifestyles from how children go to and from school, what activities children can engage in outdoors, and where small children must be watched, to what disease potentials are from wandering wolves and how to keep any dogs safe from wolves.

- While it is still denied that wolves kill people; Russian records, American historical records, and recent killings by wolves in Saskatchewan and Alaska expose that lie. Wolves have killed numerous people worldwide for eons and at certain times in astonishingly large numbers.

- Diseases carried by wolves are both deadly and debilitating to humans, livestock, pets, and wildlife; yet no veterinarians or wildlife biologists will even comment on the dangers for fear of being exposed as either a coward or “politically correct” whenever one or more of the deadly diseases and infections are shown to have been or being spread by wolves.

Therefore, it is neither surprising nor improper for rural residents to be concerned that wolves are being spread surreptitiously in the Lower 48 states.

Wolves are NOT ENDANGERED in any sense of the word. They are “Listed” as “Endangered” and/or “Threatened” under the Endangered Species Act only to assuage animal rights and environmental radicals’ agendas and to make federal rule over all remaining wildlife under state authority subject to federal rules and regulations.

So, for all you rural residents worried about whether these radicals are releasing wolves in your neighborhood, there is a simple remedy. In those states where wolves do not currently occur (this is where the radicals will dump them) your state still has authority over resident (as opposed Migratory wildlife like certain birds named in treaties and species claimed as “Endangered” by federal officials and their “Cooperator/Partners” like The Defenders of Wildlife and Center for Biological Diversity et al) wildlife.

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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.


Truth Coming to Light Re Grizzly Bear Fatal Attack

The facts are coming to light regarding the June 17 fatal attack by a grizzly bear on Erwin Evert, noted botanist.

For background see [here, here].

On July 16 the US Fish and Wildlife Service released the Investigation Team Report — Fatality of Erwin Evert from a bear attack in Kitty Creek on the Shoshone National Forests on June 17, 2010. [11.5 MB here].

Dave Smith, Bear Attack Examiner of Examiner.com, analyzed the Report:

Report incriminates feds in fatal bear mauling

by Dave Smith, Examiner.com, July 20, 2010 [here]

Ever since a grizzly bear near Yellowstone Park that had just been trapped, tranquilized and released by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team killed Erwin Evert on June 17, agency representatives have told the media Evert had no one to blame but himself. They claimed the trap site was closed and posted with warnings.

On June 19, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service grizzly bear recovery coordinator Chris Servheen told the Billings Gazette, “We try to do everything we can to minimize the risks. But we can’t protect ourselves against people that ignore every warning we give, and we can’t protect people against themselves.”

On July 16, the U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service issued a 105-page report about Evert’s death that said, “There were no warning or closure signs at the incident location where Mr. Evert approached this site when he was killed.”

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) had been trapping near Evert’s cabin on Kitty Creek in the Shoshone National Forest for about three weeks before his death. The IGBST failed to notify Evert, or 13 other cabin owners in the area, of it’s activities.

The IGBST did not do a news release so the local media could warn people about bear trapping at Kitty Creek.

The cabins along Kitty Creek are located on Forest Road #448. The road ends just beyond the cabins, where Kitty Creek Trail #756 begins. There were no warning signs at the trailhead.

Evert was killed about two miles up the trail. It was perfectly legal for Evert or anyone else to head up the trail.

The IGBST set bear traps at numerous sites in the Kitty Creek drainage over the course of three weeks. The trap sites were posted with signs that said, “closed.” Evert was well aware of bear trapping in the area, but never went beyond the closed signs.

The 430# male grizzly bear that killed Evert was released at trap site #3 at 12:30 p.m. “With the bear showing signs of recovering, the crew removed the snare equipment and closure signs in the area and left.”

It was noted that “the bear had a large open wound behind its left shoulder and numerous scars and fight wounds on its head and neck.” … [more]

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team (IGBST) abandoned a wounded, drugged, male grizzly a mile from the Kitty Creek cabins and a Boy Scout camp, took all their signs down, and departed.

The only sign of a “dangerous bear” that Erwin Evert had seen was at a different site a week earlier. That sign did not mention trapping and drugging, nor did it mention the site where he was killed.

Following the fatal attack, the IGBST deliberately spread misinformation to discredit and disparage the victim, although IGBST employees were well aware that they had taken down all the warning signs before Erwin Evert had even left for his hike. IGBST knowingly lied to the media and falsely claimed that Evert ignored the removed signs. IGBST also told the media they has closed the trail (false), that Evert’s wife was their employee (false), that Evert had knowledge of bear trapping and sites (false), and other lies as part of a clear campaign to blame the victim.

The IGBST is administered by the USGS Biological Research Division. They are died-in-the-wool global warming alarmists [here]. They claim global warming is killing off grizzly bears, when in fact grizzly bear populations are expanding. They are allied with radical environmental groups who are suing the government to drive human beings off the land [here].

The IGBST operates in the shadows, with an extreme political agenda that taints any “science” they do. Hiding their shadowy existence is why they took the signs down. The IGBST had never informed the media that they were trapping grizzly bears in the area. They think they are the CIA of bears, and that the public should be kept in the dark as to their machinations. They also seek to hide their research data.

As a consequence of the IGBST’s clandestine operations, an innocent citizen and taxpayer has been cruelly killed.

It is imperative that the US Attorney investigate, indict, and prosecute IGBST officials for negligent homicide and for the attempted cover-up of their crimes.

See also: Bear researchers gamble with lives of citizens by Dave Smith [here]

Court suits involving bear researchers are inevitable by Dave Smith [here]

Attention All States: Prepare to be Sued Over Wolves

“If we don’t get some reform in federal laws very soon, we’re all going to be living in Jurassic Park.”

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation News Release, July 21, 2010 [here]

MISSOULA, Mont.—With their latest petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, animal rights activists are preparing to sue for federally mandated release of wolves in every state, warn officials with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

David Allen, RMEF president and CEO, says animal rights groups have learned that introducing wolves translates to major fundraising, and activists have found a way to exploit the Endangered Species Act—as well as taxpayer-funded programs that cover lawyer fees—to push their agenda and build revenue through the courts.

“There are now about 100,000 gray wolves in the U.S. and Canada, and over the past few years in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, activists discovered that every wolf is also a cash cow,” said Allen. “If we don’t get some reform in federal laws very soon, we’re all going to be living in Jurassic Park. This is not about saving a lost species. It’s about money and special interest agendas.”

“Americans need to wake up,” he added, “because when you respond to those fundraising letters with photos of cute little wolf pups, you’re writing a check that our country’s rural and traditional lifestyles can’t cash. You’re eroding the fundamentals of America’s model for wildlife conservation.”

Allen said undermanaged wolf populations in the northern Rockies are compromising the health of other wildlife species—especially elk and other prey. In areas of Montana and Idaho where wolves share habitat with elk, calf survival rates now are too low to sustain herds for the future.

“How do animal rights groups who claim to defend wildlife justify elk calf survival rates below 10 percent? Clearly they have another agenda,” said Allen.

Participation in hunting and the funding it generates for conservation also are being negatively affected, as are local economies, livestock production and potentially even human safety.

Continuous lawsuits by activists have setback wolf control and management efforts, compounding problems and costs for states.

“Now imagine bringing these kinds of impacts to more populated states elsewhere in the U.S., and I think we’re looking at an unprecedented wildlife management disaster,” said Allen.

RMEF has helped to successfully restore elk populations in Kentucky, Tennessee, Wisconsin and other states where habitat is suitable and citizens support the effort. Elk restoration is being considered currently in Virginia and Missouri using these same criteria.

“There are two proven ways to restore a species,” said Allen. “Our way is offering to help with funding and expertise so long as the local public wants the species and the state can manage them. The other way is using lawsuits and loopholes to shove a project down people’s throats.”

Animal rights groups filed a petition July 20 complaining that wolves now inhabit just 5 percent of their former range in the U.S., and that wolf populations should be recovered in all significant portions of that range. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) responded by saying that it is reviewing “what is realistic and where the suitable habitat would be.” The agency’s review could be complete by late 2010 or early 2011.

“We urge USFWS to be very cautious in this evaluation and reject the rhetoric of the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Earth Justice, Humane Society of the U.S. and other animal rights groups. Wolf re-introduction in the greater Yellowstone region was a classic example of ‘let’s get our foot in the door and then move the goal line,’ and should be warning enough. This is a fundraising strategy with anti-hunting, anti-ranching, anti-gun impacts, and the public needs to understand and see it for it is,” added Allen.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.8 million acres—a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. RMEF also works to open, secure and improve public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.

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