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Northern Rockies Gray Wolf Delisted
A female wolf from Yellowstone National Park's Druid pack. Photo by Jim Peaco, courtesy YNP.

Northern Rockies Gray Wolf Delisted

The Department of the Interior officially announced this morning the removal of the Northern Rocky Mountains population of gray wolves from the Endangered Species List.

“The wolf population in the Northern Rockies has far exceeded its recovery goals and continues to expand its size and range,” Deputy Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett said in a statement.

The latest population counts show more than 1,500 wolves and 100 breeding pairs in the tri-state region, well above the established recovery minimums of 300 wolves and 30 breeding pairs.

The announcement affects only wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains, including all of the states of Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, a piece of north-central Utah and the eastern third of Oregon and Washington. Outside of this area and the Midwest, where wolves were delisted in 2007, gray wolves will remain endangered under the Endangered Species Act.

The delisting decision will not take effect until 30 days after the rule is formally published in the Federal Register, expected before the end of the month. Assuming there are no court challenges — and there will be — the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming will then assume full management for the wolves in their states.

A number of environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife, announced their intent to file suit after the rule is published in an effort to stop the delisting.

“The Sierra Club is opposed to the delisting of the gray wolf right now and we do plan to file suit,” said Melanie Stein, associate representative of the Sierra Club in Wyoming.

Environmental groups around the region called the announcement premature and says it threatens to undo the decades of work and millions of dollars poured into wolf recovery efforts.

“We have spent a lot of time and money and it would be a real shame to see wolf numbers decline due to a premature delisting,” Stein said.

The Defenders of Wildlife spokeswoman Suzanne Stone agreed it was too early to turn wolf management over to the states and said the decision was based on politics, not on science.

“Three hundred wolves in the region is not a viable population period,” said Stone, citing the federal minimum.

Both environmental groups believe the federally approved state management plans are not sufficient to ensure the long term survival of the wolf in the region, and are particularly critical of Idaho and Wyoming’s plans.

“The wolf population will be significantly reduced and that is a step backward,” said Stone.

Conservationists argue current wolf populations are still too low to be considered genetically sustainable. The wolf population in Yellowstone also remains genetically isolated from the wolves in Idaho and the rest of Montana. Some scientists argue that the federal recovery minimum of 300 wolves is insufficient to maintain a healthy population across the region. They say 2,000 to 3,000 wolves are required across the region to maintain long-term genetic viability.

But not all reaction was negative. Jay Bodner, natural resource director for The Montana Stockgrowers Association, said he was encouraged by the federal government’s decision.

“We’ve met recovery goals for four or five years,” he said. “They looked at the science, they based it on science, not on emotion, and we support it 100 percent.”

About Peter Metcalf

Comments

  1. steve kelly says:

    What science? Most of the minimum viable population science I am aware of requires at least 500 breeding adults, whether it’s wolves or fruit flies. Then there’s the connectivity issue. Can wolves actually exchange genes over the entire landscape, or are some groups incapable of interbreeding due to impaired habitat? Without connectivity, long-term viability even less likely. The frenzy before the post-Bush era.

  2. Robert Hoskins says:

    It is probably being obstinate to insist that government decisions be based on science.

  3. rkeith says:

    That’s what you guys always do, isn’t it? Scream “Base your decisions on science!” until you don’t like the science, and then move to tie everything up in the court system as long as you can. You wouldn’t be so contemptible if you weren’t so hypocritical.

  4. Robert Hoskins says:

    Well, rkeith, since you’re so knowledgeable, why don’t you tell us what science supports delisting?

  5. Bob Fanning says:

    Push for 5,000 and you get zero.
    Lawsuits work both ways.
    The ‘service’ turned D.P.S. on the wolf protectors by delisting in reintroduction states.
    Was it not a contract /compact with the States of Montana Idaho and Wyoming when the U.S.F.W.S. requested permission from Congress and the courts to break the Endangered Species Act as per “The Wolf Implimentation Rules of November 18, 1994″ and reintroduce 78 to 100 wolves into Yellowstone National Park ?

    Does it not also hold true, that once the terms of that compact was broken, that every wolf outside the boundaries of YNP exist illegaly? How will you protect something that the courts rule is here illegally?

    Does ‘best science available’ even matter when those who present it come before the courts with dirty hands ?

    Which is precisely why FOTNYEH s’ stated primary goal of litigation is to “first prove the USFWS broke the law in the administration and implementation of the wolf introduction program”.

  6. Jim Greer says:

    So, all these wolves we now have in western Montana and northern Idaho managed to get here from the Yellowstone reintroduction, but all of a sudden there’s a “connectivity problem”? Yeah right.

    If the Sierra Club, Defenders of Wildlife, etc etc etc, were so worried that the recover goals were too low, they should have been filing suit years ago to address that, rather than trying to change the rules in the middle of the game. But then, I honestly believe these groups would be filing suit no matter what. If they were to get their way, then when the numbers reached 3000, they’d still find a reason to keep them on the endangered list.

  7. bob onit says:

    I will set them killers free with my 300 mag when the season opens this year …Yee Haw

  8. Byron Weckworth says:

    Cool heads and thoughtful actions must prevail. Science tells us a lot of things, populations smaller than 1500 have persisted and thrived, and populations greater than that have declined and failed. Minimum population viability analyses are based on theoretical models and, like any model, they have quite a gradient of outcomes when applied to the real world. Science also tells us that wolves are quite resilient creatures and respond to moderate levels of mortality with increased litter sizes, resulting in population rebounds and even increases. Increases in numbers of pups per generation means increases in numbers of dispersers and thus (in this system) likely an increase in their range. I believe these are all goals of any pro-wolf agenda. Science shows that areas such as southeast Alaska where wolf harvests are as great as 30-40% annually, are healthy in numbers and genetic variation. The reason for wolves demise in the first place was federal bounty programs that encouraged aggressive trapping and poisoning regimes. These practices are not likely to ever be approved in the future.

    Again, cool heads and thoughtful acts must prevail. Extreme pro-wolf folks would have no wolves killed, and extreme anti-wolf folks would have all wolves killed…well I hate to break it to them, but neither of these is a likely outcome. There will never be a Golden compromise that we all agree on, but the majority of intelligent and thoughtful people, on both sides can come to a compromise. Sometimes wolves may need to be taken out to protect livestock, that’s a fact, but wolves are also a healthy and necessary component of the ecosystem, an ecosystem that provides for the enjoyment of all, pro and anti wolf alike. With appropriate management, 1500 wolves is enough. Perhaps there is a better way for Defenders and Sierra to spend the millions of dollars that their lawsuits will cost. How about instead they set up objective public education programs to help create a knowledgeable public and dispel the myths and rumors about wolves. An educated public makes educated voters which results in educated policy and management (hopefully).

  9. rkeith says:

    Hey Bob Hoskins- lol!

    and Hey Bob Onit- 10-4 to that, more power to you!

  10. Dave Skinner says:

    Cool head. Yep. Thoughtful action…a Mauser 98 is thoughtfully designed, does that count?
    The “scientists” that advocate for multi-thousand populations are coming from the perspective that all wildlife populations should be “naturally” self-regulating, free from any and all evil human influence. There will be a vastly-diminished or nonexistent pool of surplus game for hunting, which means see ya hunters. Never mind the impacts of depredation on livestock production efforts (see ya ranchers). That’s a political outcome desired by a political movement. Period.
    Madame Stone can huff and puff all she wants, here’s hoping she doesn’t blow the West down.

  11. Marion says:

    First of all, the best science waaaaay back in the 80s and early 90s said 100/300 wolves would be about the right number to delist them. Of course the FWS and enviros giving their word that the wolves would be delisted at the 100/300 proposed is totally worthless. I would not believe an enviro if they said 5000 were enough, they wouldn’t be if it would mean losing control over ordinary people and their property. Now they are too cheap to even pay for their entertainment, push it off on us.
    Remember the 1567 is an estimate based on actual wolves seen, there are probably a total of 2000+ if they ever saw all of them. FWS can lose a 22pack for nearly a year on the elk refuge with collars remember? So it is ludicrous to believe they all have been counted. As for the connectivity, remember the wolf that killed all of the livestock and was a mixture, including Canadian and Great Lakes, well of course that was not one of “your” wolves so the ranchers forced to protect it for a year lost close to 100,000 worth of livestock, that came from their own pockets.
    Environmentalists have no intention of having wolves controlled as long as there is a ranch left, 100/300 was a lie.

  12. Matt Mallery says:

    As a hunter and gun owner, you idiots with the “shoot, shovel, shut up” mentality embarass me. Your comments are more of a threat than PETA ever will be. You are trying to convince an a nation concerned with it’s wild places that hunters are ignorant rednecks who just love to kill anything that moves. I am 100% for wolf restoration. They belong on the land. I am an omnivore,they are carnivores, and hunting and eating meat are natural for both of us. I love a successful hunt, but sometimes success means seeing a rare wild animal, even if I don’t kill it.

  13. jedediah redman says:

    Killing other species is a natural thing.
    I would assume that is the science at work here.

  14. Byron Weckworth says:

    The rhetoric based on myths and rumors are rampant in recent comments. Mr. Skinner, if there is not enough game for humans to hunt than there is not enough game to sustain wolves at any population number. Healthy wolf populations do not mean the end of ranching and hunting. Certainly numbers could go down, but we’ve already proven as humans we’re not very good at keeping ungulate populations at healthy levels. I know more than a couple farmers and ranchers who wouldn’t mind at all there being a couple less deer and elk feeding off their fields and hay bales. Marion, the count of 1500 wolves, as you even said yourself, is an estimate based on those they actually saw. That’s not to say they personally counted 1500 wolves, but rather they used the number they counted along with educated calculations based on natural wolf densities, to come up with an estimation. There very well may be more than 1500, but there could also be less. I would argue the exact number doesn’t matter much, maybe there are 2000, maybe 3000, what matters more than this value is how are we going to manage them in a way that is sustainable to healthy ecosystems that INCLUDE human land use such as ranching and hunting. Now you can rant and rave about who’s lying, who said what, and what have you, and I agree that people need to be held accountable for their words and their actions, but ranting and raving is not very constructive. Your energies and efforts would be better spent in thoughtful and civil commentary as to your concerns. No matter how much you hate wolves, they’re here to stay. And no matter how much you love wolves, some are going to be shot and trapped. Some of you will continue with your witty, self-serving banter on either side, and, God bless you all, our freedom of speech allows any idiot with a keyboard to make a comment, heck maybe I’m an idiot too…But the only way this issue is going to be resolved is by level-headed and thoughtful efforts of both sides. I know that’s asking a lot when any government is involved…But keep in mind, if your primary source of information is the newspaper or popular internet sites and magazines, then you are not well informed. If you really do care, and you really are concerned, educate yourself, go a step further. Remember that the majority (and the majority is not your friends and people you “know”) is closer to the fence on this, and the emotional, uneducated, and ignorant rants that some of you make are just pushing them in the opposite direction, and that does no good for garnering support for your ideas.

  15. Bob says:

    I don’t understand the opposition to wolves. We have an expanding wolf population and there is no reduction in big game herds. Ranchers are paid for their loses to wolves. Why is there such resistance to wolves?

  16. vagabond says:

    Thank you to the cool rational heads making constructive comments above. There are two issues to be considered. One, what is a viable gene pool to ensure that the species is not completely inbred and has the problems associated with that, and two, if there needs to be some management of the numbers…reduction at some point, why not create a very expensive trophy hunting system so it is controled thoughtfully and the money generated can go towards conservation, habitat and research programs. Matt is absolutely correct when he says the yee-haw attitude expressed here is an embarrassment. I am personally not a hunter but believe it has its place both in wildlife management and our western culture.

  17. Marion says:

    Bob, If you truly believe that there is no reduction in big game herds you are listening to the hype that combines all of the elk herds in a state in one statistic instead of identifying the herds in wolf infested areas that are dropping dramatically. No herd has been as dramatic thought as the Northern Yellowstone elk herd, which dropped from 19,000 (over objective) to 6700 over a year ago, no counts since. The Norris elk herd, which does not migrate is nearly extinct, no more calves playing in the meadows.
    Of course you totally ignore the cost to the families living here long before folks too lazy to go to Canada to see the wolves in the wild insisted on bringing them in where they could have beef and mutton and of course a few dogs, horses, etc. These families have paid thousands oout of their own pockets for the livestock eaten by wolves. DOW compensation is nothing more than a fund raising ploy. Even FWS admits they only pay aout 10% of the actual losses, that ranch families pay the rest. Wolfers pay absolutley nothing unless they donate a few buck to various enviro groups to file more lawsuits against us.
    The wolves were present on the east coast and eliminated there, long before the Rockies became a part of the US, that is where the big introduction should have started. But of course thsoe who want them cannot be expected to put up with the problems, that is for the half million people in Wyoming to carry the burden for their entertainment.
    We obviously honored the agreement we didn’t want and let the wolves reproduce like mice and instead fo 100/300 in 10 years we have nearly 1600 counted, and probably at least 2000 total, but the wolfers lied and have no intention of honoring the numbers they put in place in the beginning. If the locals burdened by this whole thing had been even slightly as dishonest as the wolfers they would have actually SSS, instead fo jsut ventilating about it. As a result there is no number enough to the various enviro groups as long as ranch families still live and survive here. There is no end to their greed.

  18. jedediah redman says:

    Gotta maintain that culture, vag!
    If there were Azteks still wishing to maintain theirs would you be so generous?

  19. Jack says:

    There will never be enough wolves to satisfy these radical environmental organizations. Wolf reintroduction was the best anti-hunting tool ever invented. Who do you think paid for Montana’s successful game mangement programs… the hunters!! FWP is funded to a large part with hunters dollars under the PR program.Wolf fans seem to think these animals are there to feed wolves. What is FWP doing in YNP now peddling wolves with wolf people in YNP? “Back from the Brink” crap on TV is funded by the Sierra Club and there is FWP peddling wolves.Shouldn’t FWP be peddling hunting of wolves to protect game herds? They seem confused.Yes,wolves kill livestock we all know that but big game animals 365 days a year,plenty of big game animals. Wake up Montana. The gray wolf was fully recovered 6 years ago according to the USFWS own wolf recovery plan and FWP wants 5 more breeding pair min. than in that plan. Don’t plan on a hunt soon the same environmental nuts with fight it. It’s a hunting and anti hunting issue. Bringing wolves down from Canada was the biggest wildlife management booddoggle in history.The Canadian biologists warned us and said it would be a huge mistake and they will never be controlled..I have their letters.Wolves were also in YNP and Montana before the illegal introduction. FWP please tell us why the wolf hunt…”TO PROTECT GAME HERDS” can you say it?FWP please stand up and fight for the wolf hunt. Support the wolf hunt on “Back from the Brink”FWP,support hunting.

  20. Frank N says:

    What Marion fails to mention, and always fails to mention, about the Northern Range Yellowstone herd, is that the 19,000 was an historical high. Never before was it that high. It was universally considered to be too high, and the State of Montana had a big role in bringing this herd down through the Gardiner late winter hunt, which was put in place for the one purpose of reducing the size of this herd. Also never mentioned is the fact that this herd was already dropping PRIOR to the introduction of wolves. A couple thousand animals died the winter BEFORE introduction (winter kill), and several thousand more in the next couple of winters before wolves were in sufficient numbers to have much of an effect. We often hear how 3,000 bison are too many for Yellowstone National Park to support. Can you imagine what 19,000 elk IN THE NORTHERN RANGE ALONE were doing to the range? They were starving to death before wolves were ever there. They were destroying valuable riparian habitat. Back in the fifties, 5,000 elk was considered by biologists to be the carrying capacity of the Northern Range, and elk above this number were shot by sharpshooters (just as they are planning to do in Rocky Mountain National Park now) to keep numbers down. This information is all available on the Yellowstone web site. In fact, one stated objective of biologists back then was to restore the willows, aspen and beaver to the Northern Range by reducing elk. Oddly, those objectives were not met (even with elk numbers lower than they are today) until wolves returned to keep elk moving around NATURALLY.
    One more time: the 100/300 figures were MINIMUMS (the smallest possible number) to CONSIDER BEGINNING the de-listing process. The numbers were never MAXIMUMS, nor were they promises to anyone that this would be a limit. That’s kind of like your kid comes to you and says, “Can I have some money?” You say, “How much?” They say, “I need AT LEAST ten dollars”. Does that mean that’s ALL they want? That’s all they need? That’s all they will ever want? Come on! I’m REALLY tired of hearing THAT one.
    I have no problem with de-listing. What I do have a problem with are the “management” plans put in place by the states (especially Wyoming and Idaho). They do not insure a sustainable population, they do not insure the ability of wolves to disperse to available suitable habitat (Colorado, Oregon, Washington etc.), nor does it protect livestock interests (as older, more experienced wolves are killed in hunts, leaving pups and less experienced animals to seek easier prey, there will be more livestock loses, not less).
    Minnesota, a state with less habitat, more cattle (than any one of the NRM states), and more people (than any one of the NRM states), has more wolves (than all three NRM states), has managed to come up with a very reasonable, well thought out management plan that protects all parties. Especially considering the amount of antiquated animosity expressed by public officials and others (like some posters to blogs such as this), it is vital that Montana, Wyoming and Idaho do the same.

  21. Matt Mallery says:

    One thing to keep in mind is that cattle do not contribute much to western economies. The idea that the economy will collapse because we as a nation produce less beef is a myth perpetuated by the ranching industry.

  22. Matt Mallery says:

    Vagabond,

    I agree that fees from trophy tags for wolves, once numbers are where they should be and stable,my be acceptable. Look at the African nations. The money made off of lion and leopard tags alone is incredible. It goes back into wildlife management and helps the local people make a living, as well as providing an incentive to preserve wild places.The anti wolf crowd is throwing much revenue to the wind with their irrational fear.

  23. bearbait says:

    Hold it!!!! The Endangered Species Act protections given to an introduced exotic subspecies, the MacKenzie Valley phenotype of the grey wolf, from a species found through out Asia, Europe and North America and hardly endangered, has worked. In a little more than a decade, we are up to our assets in wolves in three states, and more to come. This thread is a bunch of professional whiners who won their fight, now bitching about delisting, which is the realization, the bureaucratic award, of success! You won!! Quit already. Enjoy your success. Dance with your wolves. Howl about your good fortune.

    It is time to quit the phony rancher economics green shibboleths, the personal attacks on any who do not agree with wolf reintroduction. The whole of this deal was based on an emotional virus of compassion for wolves in order to gain control of land and raise money for the green agenda. It worked. It was a grand success. The beef deal is that ranchers are going to get rich raising grass fed beef on less land, because the animal feed industry has moved to making biofuels so greens can motor around with self serving, congratulatory bumper stickers, a moving mini billboard as it were, as they speed down the interstate to the next cause. And if wolves make ranching unprofitable, the land values will make a sale to an amenity buyer or subdivider a forgone conclusion. So long habitat. Hello conflict.

    The corn belt beef feeders will abandon beef to farm for the fuel tank until market pressures make animal feed once again profitable. That, of course, will depend upon how Congress subsidizes the mega farms. Subsidies and tax breaks will determine if Farmer Brown or Farmer Ltd. will grow corn or switch grass. The rancher with little arable land and only graze from undependable rainfall will harvest that growth with cows or sheep, and you and I will buy “range fed” meat at a huge premium. So the pressure to graze more is now on because the farm feedlot fuel is now going into cars and trucks in the form of biodiesel or E10 or E85 or whatever your state calls it. My only complaint is that I pay the same now, for fuel that drives my car 20% fewer miles per gallon. You know about politics being local? That one is about to take a big bite out of the left and their green supporters. Less for more does not garner votes.

    The greens got the change they demanded. Now there are the unintended consequences to deal with. We have wolves a plenty, in sustainable numbers, and with it, greater pressure on Western graze. The conflict issues will be with us for a long time.

  24. Marion says:

    Frank, in the first place no one asked us to give them our money, they used the strong arm of a liberal congress and courts to give it to them.
    Matt, just who are you to say that other people do not have the right to own and protect their own property because you want to be entertained by wolves mating and killing? I believe the livestock is the third largest industry in Montana, further down the line in Wyoming because of our minerals.
    I am well aware of the winter kill of the elk just before or as the wolves were trucked in, I do not know a better example of letting nature control the population instead of bringing the bloody entertainment of wolves to the park. Just because people were too cheap and too lazy to go where the wolves truly ran wild.
    Take another look at the video of the downer cows that has been in the news. There is not a beef cow there, they are dairy cows, probably got them for free or nearly so, is that the beef you want people to eat so you can take the cattle ranches for your pleasure? Look at some of the videos from other countries that we will be buying beef from, that’s really what you want?
    When you get rid of all of the beef ranches with cattle and wildlife grazing side by side and see instead gated communities and trophy properties fenced off, are you going to continue to pat yourselves on the back?
    Why are you folks not putting up thousands of dollars of your own money like the rancher families are being forced to do? Because you feel they owe it to you to provide what you want? Adopt a ranch and help count the livestock and pay the difference in losses to the wolves of actual value and what DOW has paid, which I understand stops when the delisting is filed, even though it may never be allowed to take effect.
    I know I get pretty radical, but I cannot understand the kind of selfishness that is willing to insist on a sacrifice what someone else owns for their own enjoyment.
    By the way Frank, want to take bets on whether the elk will have dropped below 6000 this year….if they ever count?

  25. Dan Ackerman says:

    For those on either side of the wolve issue,and are interested in the TRUTH regarding the wolve and it’s true impact on the lives of game,livestock and humans. Get and read a copy of Will Graves book WOLVES IN RUSSIA. He spent some forty years studying the Gray Wolves in Russia. He documented the infectious and deadly deseases and parasites the wolves spread through game herds, livestock and human populations. He further documented the human deaths and injures,the adults,and children sustained while tending the herds of livestock,waiting at the school pick-up,or just walking through the forests.
    When you think about the wolves in Russia, keep in mind that these villagers are unarmed,have no ability to obtain poisons,and their very limited ability to trap has little no affect on the overall population of the wolve pacts. The wolve has no natural preditore to control its conduct or population. Therefore , it is a fact, that when the wolve population grows and their food requirements change they WILL be in town.
    Mr. Graves was consulted prior to the reintroduction of the wolves into YNP by the FWP. His body of work was completly ignored, AND NOT INCLUDED IN THE RECORD. And the product of that can be seen in the big game herds in YNP and in the Gardner, Mt. area migration,or lack there of.
    It seems to me that we as conservationists should concider sharing our wealth. Live trap several hundred wolves and re-introduce them into Central Park in New York City, the Addarondacs in up state New York, the Pocanos of PA. and last but not least, Golden Gate Park, in the middle of downtown San Francisco.
    It seem only fitting that we share the wealth of our good fortune.
    And every chance we get we should thank the FWP for standing tall in the face of what they knew was a wrong minded idea and protected at all cost, the big game herds, the ranchers, the herds of live stock. But these are the natural resoures of Montana and the property of the people of Montana, things they have taken an oath,and sworn to protect. By their actions it is obvious that they owe a greater debt to the will of the environmentalist groups than they do to the PEOPLE OF MONTANA .
    Those interested in obtaining a copy of WOLVES IN RUSSIA,can go to http://www.willgraves.com or http://www.wolvesinrussia.com

  26. Matt Mallery says:

    Dan,

    Rights. Protect their own property? They are grazing cattle on our land. Land owned by all taxpayers, and most of us want the wolves! As far as going to canada, why should I have too? The wolves belong right here in the USA. Today we restore the wolf, tomorrow the griz, and then the jaguar in the southwest. We owe that to the children of this country.

  27. Marion says:

    Matt, you are a little behind the times, we have recovered the grizzlies that were done in by NPS politically correct policies. Now the trick will be to keep enough food for them with the wolf population growing by leaps and bounds and taking the majority of it. The decline in elk numbers insdie of YNP is especially bad when one considers the dwindling white bark pines and cutthroat trout.
    Cattle are grazed for a few weeks each year at most, the rest of the time they are being killed in their own home pastures, sometimes within sight of homes. Are you really entitled to make folks and their animals unsafe in their own homes?
    I wrote to DOW last week requesting the information on how many of the payments were made for livestock on private land vs, on public land. To date they have not sent an answer.

  28. Matt Mallery says:

    Marion,

    you are a little behind on your natural history of this continent. Grizzlies once existed outside of Yellowstone.The ranged from Canada down to Mexico. From the California coast to the mountians of west Texas.What effort is being made to restore them? None. Too many humans consuming to much, and of course the politcal pressure from ranchers that stop any restoration effort in it’s tracks. As far as cattle on private land, I have not heard anyone say a rancher does not have the right to defend his own property. But since the vast majority of ranching in the west in done on BLM and Forest Service land,what right do the ranchers have to tell me that I cannot restore wolves to land I pay for?

  29. Jack says:

    The wolves from Canada is not the same sub-species that existed here originally they are EXOTIC to Montana.Wait until they get in the Missouri River breaks and bring down that elk herd.Those wolves are larger in size and have no problem bringing down a big game animal but a little more reluctant to take on bison. When they were brought here from Alberta and B.C. the NPS said “the wolves will stay in the pantry and not leave Yellowstone”. But they did… WOW.. lot’s of brain power there NPS!The bison population has been increasing. If you want to talk about range conditions in YNP the last people you ask is the NPS personnel.They haven’t done any range studies in YNP for years. The last people qualified was Walter Kittams 1953-62 and Dr. Charles Kay later.YNP is a national disgrace.FWP hasn’t even been doing winter elk surveys of the northern herd. As far as mule deer and wild sheep are concerned the killing machine wolves took care of them.Wolves have destroyed the diversity of wildlife in YNP including moose ,native coyotes and beaver. Are we going to use sportsmen’s dollars for the Montana wolf program?FWP is yet to answer that question. FWP must justify protecting game herds not livestock and still they can’t use PR money for wolves. Perhaps someone can tell me what a FWP wolf coordinator does. FWP has a room full of them what do they do? Send them out on a dog and pony show to promote hunting of the overpopulated wolf population killing and mauling our treasured big game animals. Now it’s moose feeding killer wolves. FWP says “we don’t have data”…hell, they never had any on wolves not even a literature search on what wolves feed on ‘red meat’ BIG GAME ANIMALS in the literature.Please get that dumb ad off of TV “Back from the Brink” with a FWP spokesperson FWP sounds like the national park service.Look at the Alaska F&G site for information on wolves. Tell FWP to look there as well.

  30. Matt Mallery says:

    Jack,

    It’snot YNPs fault they have not done studies. They can’t afford to do studies.Nor can any National Park for that matter. Bush has slashed the land management budges so severly for his war, that the NFS, NPS, and BLM can’t do squat!

  31. rkeith says:

    Okay Matt-

    You can have the Griz on YOUR land, and you can have the Wolves on YOUR land. Now, that should make YOU responsible when they come onto MY land and kill MY dog on MY porch or kill MY cattle in MY pasture… both of which have happened. (Yes, the griz, too.)

    You said, “As far as cattle on private land, I have not heard anyone say a rancher does not have the right to defend his own property.” Well, you’re hearing it now. We were told by wildlife officials that we were not allowed to even fire over the wolves heads in an effort to make them shy away from the ranch house, because that would be ‘harrassment of wildlife.’

    Marion- keep up the good fight. This thread has devolved, as it always does, it pure anti-rancher and farmer rhetoric. Damn the facts, full speed ahead!

  32. Byron Weckworth says:

    Actually, much research is ongoing in YNP. Take a look at the biology and wildlife programs in your state universities, even abroad at universities in Alberta, people are doing research on YNP, on bison in the park, research on elk populations and wolves, on wolf/cattle relations, on wolf/coyote interactions, on the INCREASE in biodiversity in YNP since the restoration of wolves. Just because you don’t read about it in your Outdoorsman magazines or in the newspaper, doesn’t mean its not happening. YNP itself is not a research organization, and few parks in the country have strong research programs. You have to look elsewhere besides popular pamphlets and cover stories to get appropriate and up to date information. And I’ll be the first to admit that academia does a poor job at disseminating the results of such research to a popular audience, but it is being done.

    And you guys that go on about wolves killing everything and being killing machines. Come on, lets use some common sense. Wolves have been on the landscape in North America (according to fossil records) for almost half a million years…and if you don’t believe in an old world and adhere to the literal interpretation of the bible, that is still thousands of years. Regardless of your scientific acceptance, wolves have been around a long time…my point being, if they killed everything and breed like mice then why are there still millions of big game around? According to your assertions, before wolves were extirpated from the lower 48 states in the last century they would have had plenty of time to kill and eat everything. How about where wolves have persisted without reductions in numbers, as in places in Canada? Why haven’t they bred themselves into the millions and eaten every last moose, caribou, elk, muskox, and deer in sight?

    Some of you make some very valid points, but then when you spout off asinine comments like wolves as killing machines eating everything, I just stop listening, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. When you talk about putting wolves in San Francisco and New York City you just sound like an idiot. Its people like that who create wolf supporters out of people who are on the fence, or who would otherwise not care either way. Your comments are neither original (we’ve been hearing the same not-so-witty comments for ten years) or relevant to a constructive discussion.

  33. matt mallery says:

    rkeith,

    I’ll accept responsibility for what wolves do on your land as soon as the anti wolf, anti environment,pro extractive industry crowd accepts responsibilty for the near elimination of the wolf, prarie dog, jaguar, bison, black footed ferret, and more species of native plants than I care to think about.

  34. bob onit says:

    Bottom Line here boys and girls ….come Huntin season I will be one of the many who get to kill a Wolf and then after the full body mount is done you are all welcome to come see the wiley ole DEAD wolf in my Trophy room Thank You FWP for allowing US the Freedom to Hunt this Creature which does not belong in OUR world

  35. Jack says:

    Matt this may come as a shock but budgets were increased and have been over the past 5 years. The Wildlife Management Institute reports on the budgets and you can recieve their newsletter free. Pres. Bush signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act P.L. 110-161,Dec.26,2007. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service received 1.36 billion 30 million above 2007,National Wildlife Refuge System 434.1 million 40 million more than 2007, BLM 1 billion, National Forest System 1.47 billion 132.4 million for wildlife and fish habitat management and the list goes on .The NPS recieved increases as well. These budgets are considerably higher than the Clinton admin.The NPS doesn’t have a clue on how to do range studies and allowed many range exclosures to fall down.They have no interest in range they are on this ‘natural regulation’ baloney. Problem is the federal agencies are mis-using this money.What is BLM doing with the wildlife budgets? They( MT. State Director) will not respond to my request even as a part of a freedom of information act request.The problem is the agencies are pooling wildlife/fisheries money and the manager spends the money as he or she sees fit in many cases their spending is detrimental to the wildlife resource.BLM for example wasting money on the Pumpkin Creek land exchange.So Pres. Bush has increased these budgets not cut the budgets.This is a matter of public record on budgets so I won’t debate it here.The Wildlife Management Institute is a very reliable source and budgets have been on steady increase.Don’t believe the agency when they say we don’t have money and pin the rap on Bush.They probably have more money than they need. They are not accountable for this money and anyone mis-using this money should be fired!!!

  36. matt mallery says:

    Bob Onit

    PETA, HSUS, and all the other anti hunting factions thank you for your comment. You make hunters look bad and do their work for them.People who have been sitting on the fence regarding the hunting issue now see myself and ethical hunters as dumb redneck hicks.

    Our world? We have only been here 100,000 years Bob. Humans have only been in North America 15,000 years. The humans who decided they could not co exist with wolves have only been here 500 years (amazing how the Indians co-existed with wolves for so long, when you can’t seem to), so how the hell is this “our” world. But if it is our world,many of us have decided we want to share it with wolves rather than being greedy parasites that live in fear of anything that we don’t understand.Bush’s days in office are numbered. The wolves will be re-listed eventually.

  37. matt m says:

    Jack,

    This is simply wrong. I know many who lost there jobs at the BIA, for example. Bush as increased funding for only one aspect of land management, forest management and wildland fire suppresion. Why? Because that is what the timber industry wants. Ask any NPS ranger (whom I choose to believe over Bush) and they will tell you of the outsourcing woes, cuts in programs, layoffs, and lack of funds for hiring that have happened over the last seven years.

  38. Jack says:

    Matt do you believe the Wildlife Management Institute? The figures are there they are not mine look them up I did. I don’t talk to NPS rangers I’d rather talk to the wall!!!

  39. Marion says:

    quote: “you are a little behind on your natural history of this continent. Grizzlies once existed outside of Yellowstone.The ranged from Canada down to Mexico. From the California coast to the mountians of west Texas.What effort is being made to restore them? None. Too many humans consuming to much, and of course the politcal pressure from ranchers that stop any restoration effort in it’s tracks. As far as cattle on private land, I have not heard anyone say a rancher does not have the right to defend his own property. But since the vast majority of ranching in the west in done on BLM and Forest Service land,what right do the ranchers have to tell me that I cannot restore wolves to land I pay for? end quote

    I can answer about California, they are too busy making money, building huge houses, and telling Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho how California wants their states managed.
    As for “endangered” predators on private land, no the rancher cannot kill or as someone else has pointed out even”harass them. Last fall (2006) 4 grizzlies were removed from a ranch just outside of Cody where they had joined cattle on the feedline (grain). Wyoming F&G moved them to a wilderness area. Grizzlies in Wyoming have frequent flyer miles as they get moved from being too close to people to wilderness areas and then griz from that area that get to close are moved to another and so on. Two elementay schools in Park county, Wyoming have had to have grizzly detering fences built around the school yards to keep the griz out.
    what more do you want, griz working as Wal-Mart greeters in Cody?

  40. bob onit says:

    matt mallery CRY ME A RIVER SONNY ……Redneck! well im kool with that and I hate people like you and it is OUR world and I have my belief and you have yours …and I’m retired at the age of 53 and own 300 hundred acres of prime wolf timber in Western Montana ,so if you would like to call me names or include me in what you see as Most Hunters are then whatever …yer the fool at the end of the day

    Bottom Line here boys and girls ….come Huntin season I will be one of the many who get to kill a Wolf and then after the full body mount is done you are all welcome to come see the wiley ole DEAD wolf in my Trophy room Thank You FWP for allowing US the Freedom to Hunt this Creature which does not belong in OUR world

  41. matt mallery says:

    Bob,

    what the hell does you owning land and being retired have to do with anyhthing? Is that supposed to impress me? Is this a mark of the intellegence you believe you have? It is not our world. To quote Chief Seattle “the Earth does not belong to us,we belong to the Earth”. There you go. And you missed my point entirely. My point is that anti hunters love guys like you. You when people over for their side. Good job. Thanks for endangering my hobby.

    Marion,

    Those kids at those schools should be so greatful if they ever get to see a grizzly.Most kids in this overpopulated, over developed, over urbanized country never will.

  42. bob onit says:

    Matt I never got a chance to see a dodo bird and it didn’t change my life and as for me and my retirement with more land then yer whole family! and the fact that I’m retired already makes me a whole hell of allot smarter then you!!!! and dude I could care less what anti hunters think or what you think I just love messin with liberal dirtbags like you and the rest of the schmoes on this blog

    Bottom Line here boys and girls ….come Huntin season I will be one of the many who get to kill a Wolf

  43. Matt Mallery says:

    Bob,

    At least I have a family.I imagine you live a very lonely life in your trailer on your 300 acres. With your personality to keep you company, and your ego. enjoy!

  44. bob onit says:

    lmao GEEK!

  45. Matt Mallery says:

    Bob,

    Your comments speak for themselves.You will never be taken seriously on this website again.You are a disgrace to Montana, but don’t worry, I’ll move there and smarten the place up a bit.

  46. bob onit says:

    Matt,just as i thought you don’t live here so stfu yer a disgrace to the human race let alone where ever you hang yer stinkin hat

  47. mike says:

    Bob,

    Is Matt really correct that you have no family and retired very early just to live alone in a trailer on 300 acres in the woods? Is there more to your story? Do you have a drinking or other drug problem? Do you have a medical or mental issue that drove you to this end? Do you need help? I sense your pain. There must be a way to help. How can we help to release you from your obvious pain?

  48. bob onit says:

    Well mike that is very sweet of you to be thinking of me,and so gay.
    I love the way you city slickers think of us rednecks …its jus too bad you will never get a chance to live in a place like me,and now as the rescission nears it will be even farther from your eyes….its sad that more treehuggers like your self wont get to enjoy the Back country because of money …but I can send pictures

  49. Marion says:

    I really think it is time to taek wildlife management out of the hands of spongers and rich environmental lawyers and make each state responsible for the wildlife in it’s own state. there is not a single state that did not have wolves, so worry about your own state and give up your habitat for wildlife instead of demanding that someone in another state give up theres to make you happy.
    By the way Matt, I am eternally grateful I am a native of Wyoming and am thrilled that I can see griz so often, nonetheless when they start sharing lunch with the school kids that is too much of a good thing.
    As for the wolves, why were they worth all of the money and heartache and grief to move them from their home in the wilderness of Canada to ranch country. I see no big thrill to them, they are wild dogs and a dog is a dog is a dog.

  50. Jack says:

    So has everyone been checking their land access maps where you will hunt your first wolf this year? Let’s see… the chance of seeing one during the day is about as good as winning the big lottery. Are you going to hunt wolves like deer? Tell us FWP how to hunt wolves that are 95% nocturnal. Will FWP hold wolf hunting schools? I sure wouldn’t want to waste my permit on a coyote. I don’t think I will buy the $19 permit unless FWP points out the exact spot where I will find one probably on a carcass somewhere. I don’t have the time to wonder over the ‘wolf landscape’ looking for one. Don’t let the wolf people take delisting to court FWP or USFWS. When will the ‘official’ delisting document hit the street we have been waiting for 6 years now? It’s supposed to be this month and only 1 week left. Can we make it on St. Pat’s day in Butte?

  51. mike says:

    Bob, sweetie, you’re the one living alone and still gay about it. Don’t bother to send the pictures; I live relatively close, but in a much wilder and better area, and can take my own pictures. I also own a lot more than your scrawny 300 acres and sure don’t need to live in a trailer with only my own handshake for company, if you get my drift. You arrogant loudmouthed ne’er-do-wells are all alike.

  52. mike says:

    Oh golly, Marion, I just read through your comment. You think “a dog is a dog is a dog?” I guess you should know.

  53. matt mallery says:

    Bob,

    Y-O-U-R is the the correct spelling of “yer”. Go back and finish High School.

    Marion,

    A dog is a dog is a dog? There are hundreds of species of wild dogs around the world. Learn a little about wildlife and maybe you will appreciate the Earth’s wonderful diversity, which it is our obligation to protect.

  54. bob onit says:

    Hummm! Jack you have brought up some very good points …but I’m kewl I seen 7 yesterday up the east fork near the chain of lakes in the morin and I realize they are nocturnal,but I have them down and havin been a licensed outfitter in western Montana for over 20 yrs I know the land and I know their haunts along with several of my huntin buddies ….and we all cant wait for the day to put the bullet in the bone

    Ahhhwwwooo!

  55. chaka khan says:

    Idiots. Spouting Hate. Name calling. Great………

  56. Jack says:

    That’s good bob. I know there are some on the wolf refuge of the Sun Ranch but we can’t hunt there. Just follow the elk and you will find the wolves right bob? The wolves are pretty much all over SW Montana. Do yo have some information on wolves killing big game where you hunt at bob? What if the environmentalists take de-listing to court bob? There goes wolf hunting for another 5 years or more.I hunted in Alaska bob about 80 miles south of King Salmon. Wolves howling all the time but you never see them. Most wolf kills are when the hunter happens on one feeding on a carcass.Even in Alaska the hunter success is very low.A couple of shots and they will become more nocturnal.Good luck on the hunt bob too bad you can take 6/hunter. There is probably some behind Teds place to but we can’t hunt there either.With all the wilderness proposed by the USFS there will be no hunting about anywhere. Have you bought your tags bob? My guess is we won’t see a wolf season for 10 years by that time we won’t have elk to hunt either. Your thoughts bob?

  57. bob onit says:

    Bob we have great sucess calling them with predotor calls and have got withen 100 yds of them and have a great collection of pictures to show for .I love watching them in the wild they are a great family type animal and are always goofing off ,and yes on my ranch which doesn’t have a trailer on it ,just a small 7,000 sq ft log home we have 2 different packs that visit and yes they kill for fun they are like us ,we have lost cattle a dog and cats don’t make it here ,we have seen many elk,deer and moose killed by wolves and what is funny they don’t eat their kill….It will be just a matter of time before they start hanging out in the more populated areas through the Bitterroot valley and Jack the treehuggers will probably win ….but not on my property

  58. Jack says:

    7,000 sq ft log home bob you must have a big trophy room. If I decide to buy permit can I hunt on your place? I have a .300 Weatherby magnum that should do the trick that is if we have a season at all. I feel sorry for you living so close to Missoula bob.

  59. bob onit says:

    70 miles from the zoo is perfect for me and jack that 300 will work good but a 17 hmr will do the trick they are just dogs remember and yes without braggen we have a big trophy room since hunting has been my love for 40 yrs and I have hunted all over the world…I love the smell of gun powder in the mornin

  60. Jack says:

    Yes bob, I figured you did. I sold about 1/2 of mine but should have kept the 31 ” mule deer head. Got that one in 1956. Lucky if you see a 2 pt anymore. I do have a good caribou I got in Alaska.My close friend I hunt with has hunted all over the world as well.He hunted a lot with Jack O’Conner and was on O’Conners last hunt in eastern Montana. Did you know Dunkan G. over there? No, I think I would use the .300 on a wolf.

  61. bob onit says:

    No I never had a chance to meet duncan,and rarely get over to hunt the east side of Montana,we did up to about a few yrs ago hunt prairie dogs over there and had a blast for years ,but we killed them all so now we jus go over as far as the missiouri breaks and kill everything that moves …on private property

    and chaka dear you need to use spell check or get off the drugs so you can think right

  62. bob onit says:

    will sled I agree with ya totally the treehuggers like sierra club and peta don’t live here and never visit here,they just want to play with people lives from their concrete jungle homes and while not even living in reality …None of them have a clue about the wild

  63. bob onit says:

    yeah not many really have a clue and its sad we have to deal with their fantasies,next they will want to give the Indians back their land which would be the right thing if we are going to be so anal about the preservation of life

  64. bob onit says:

    yeah I jus want a full body mount for my trophy room but 30,000 from cabellas is a good price for a dog

  65. Jack says:

    If you can find a copy of the book “Animal Life of Yellowstone National Park” by Vernon Bailey,Chief Field Naturalist,1930 (I have a copy here) there is interesting information about wolves. “The large gray wolves at times have become abundant in the park and wrought great havoc among game animals. During the summers of 1914 and 1915,they were especially destructive in the park and were following the elk herds to the high pastures of Mirror Plateau,returning with them in winter to the valleys along the Lamar and Yellowstone rivers. They breed rapidly,constant care must be exercised to prevent serious damage to game.” Park Naturalists were not unhappy to see the wolves reduced in large numbers by hunting and trapping. The wolves were very destructive to many forms of wildlife in those early accounts. Game populations increased following the wolf reduction program.The Naturalist referred to them as game species also intersting. So here we are in 2008 with similar problems we didn’t learn from the mid 1900’s.History repeats itself. Also, the bison in YNP originated from game farms and were treated like domestic livestock and fed hay at the buffalo Ranch inside YNP also in that book.

  66. AJ says:

    IF good laws,proper game management and the use of hunting and its associated revenues helped restore our turkey,antelope,deer and elk herds this past 30 years then contolling a expanding and efficient predator like the wolf makes alot of sense.

  67. bob onit says:

    AJ that was the best post in here ! bottom line

  68. jack says:

    Except the wolf re-introduction was illegal and Jamie Clark then Director of the USFWS used PR dollars for it which was also illegal.She is now Executive Director of the Defenders who will fight delisting. We will wait and see but wolves will never be controlled in Montana.Wolves have nothing to do with game management by the way they are the dominant uncontrolled predator.We will sacrifice hunting opportunity to feed wolves.Delisting will not happen and we will see who is correct soon. It will be back in court by radical environmentalists.

  69. Marion says:

    Jack, thank you for that book referal, I am going to try to find a copy. I have posted ad nauseum about the actual number of wolves that were killed in Yellowstone to “extirpate” them. 14 were killed by the army during their 32 years of management. Another 122, 80 of which were pups were killed by NPS from 1916 thru 1926 when they quit killing them. There are more than that 42 year total running in Yellowstone today. And of course the only care taken is to keep them as healthy as possible and keep them breeding and feeding.
    AJ, you are so right, unfortunately the hysteria and rage of some wolf supporters at any removal of wolves for any reason worries me that they may resort to vioolence if the wolves are ever hunted for sport.

  70. bob onit says:

    Ya know I really don’t care if I kill one or not but they are jus a pack of vicious killers that are heading towards being out of control and they will be heading for a small town near you soon ….and our pets don’t stand a chance

  71. AJ says:

    I,m not ashamed of being a hunter or that I’d enjoy a backpack hunt for wolf in the montana wilderness.A few wolves taken per year in what would be a highly regulated hunt, to help manage a delicate ecosystem that we as a whole have heavily altered is the least of of the overall problems that we have on the wolf issue let alone the rest of the wildlife and environmental concerns.

  72. Huh? says:

    Is this a discussion about wolf de-listing, or an NRA dating chat room? I mean, this discussion string contains dozens of statements of misinformation. It is sad that a discussion that could thoughtfully tackle this tenuous issue, turns into an avenue for people who feel strongly about one side, without seeking to understand the “other” side, to boast about their “300 mag”s, large log homes, and “Brokeback” feelings toward one another.

  73. HUH says:

    “more of us THEN your type”?…”you have been pwned”? …What a joke. Maybe there are a great number of people who hate, but that is a pretty sad way to live. In that mind set, other opinions don’t matter — only those opinions of ones self and their immediate cohorts. THAT is not Democracy – THAT is not American.

  74. <:(((>< says:

    Killing all the Native Americans was that done in hate,democracy or was that just being un-American….dont come in and whine because your site has been taken over by wealthy gun toten, liberals haten rednecks like me

  75. HUH says:

    That does not make any sense. Feel free to be a “wealthy gun toten, liberals haten redneck”. Great. I hope you don’t think “killing all the Native Americans” is okay or that you are thinking of killing people….not cool.

  76. <:(((>< says:

    dude you don’t have a clue I never said anything about killing anyone thats in your dna you came in here and started bashing us for speaking our mind

  77. jedediah redman says:

    It appears people whose personhood is completed by the ability to kill animals with a high powered rifle have taken over this site; and now are exhibiting their basic anti-intellectual biases.
    So long as these fools are permitted to buy and use weapons, civilization is threatened more by them than by imperialists like Dick Cheney…

  78. Bruce says:

    It appears the LIES of the pro wolf side are exposed with truth.
    Make sure you carefully read the true documented wolf attack that resulted in a woman and her 2 children death. Your precious wolves kill and eat people. ANOTHER PRO WOLF LIE EXPOSED.

  79. <:(((>< says:

    jedediah redman you have no idea what you are talking about so please keep your stupid comments to yourself …because a unarmed American is a true FOOL

  80. jedediah redman says:

    That is probably not too much of a stretcj <: (((><.
    I have become convinced over my lifetime that most Americans are fools; so it would follow that, if they were disarmed, they would simply become unmanned fools…

  81. jedediah redman says:

    Fools can be led by other fools to believe just about anything.

  82. <:(((>< says:

    yeah and I know you are one of them if you have nothing to say then …..well my folks taut me manners and you have none

  83. <:(((>< says:

    I will bet you don’t within a thousand miles of a wild animal …with the exception of the Zoo unlike me who live with them

  84. jedediah redman says:

    You’re counting the skunks, then..?

  85. <:(((>< says:

    jedediah redman Mister Redman your a joke

  86. jack says:

    Does Jon Tester know it hasn’t happened yet? Praise after it’s official and wolf can be hunted and trapped. It may not happen at all. Praise when it’s a done deal Jon a long way off from that especially if the radical environmentals and Defenders of Wildlife don’t take it to court.

  87. Matt Mallery says:

    So an 1864 article, written at the height of anti predator hysteria, is cited as proof wolves kill people? First, this article is highly dubious considering the ignorant prejudice aimed at wolves back then (unfortunatley, some are stillmentally in the past). Second, forensic knowledge was not quite developed back then. Wolves probably just fed off of bodies killed by some other means. Third, so what if wolves do kill people? North America is not Disneyland. If you want to be safe and sound, stay out of the wilderness. Go to the mall instead.

  88. <:(((>< says:

    Matt you don’t live with them and have no clue what its like …I live in the wilderness and they are moving closer and closer to the small town and ranches …they are just wild dogs and matt you must live in a disney world

  89. matt says:

    I do not live in Disneyland, Ilive in North America, a continent woth wolves, as well it should have them. I’d rather have wolves than cattle any day. Wolves are wild canines, and beautiful ones at that.

    As far as this argument that wolves don’t eat all there kill, of course not. They don’t have tupperware you idiots. The remaining carcass benefits a host of other animals like vultures, ravens, fox, insects etc.It is so important for the ecosystem, in fact, that some African countries require a hunter to leave a certain percentage of the carcass and meat in the field to benefit other animals.

  90. Matt says:

    It’s really funny how all of you tree mugger/nature haters want us to think that the world is coming to an end because of wolves are the same ones who will say “Al Gore wants us to think the world is coming to an end because of global warming”.

  91. <:(((>< says:

    yeah right! …..thats why they delisted them they are pack killers and you don’t have in your lil disney neighborhood killing your pets and scaring your kids ….so matt go hug a cactus

  92. matt says:

    To the poster who said he wishes he could hunt treehuggers, bring it on! You are not as tough as you think you are.

    Prairie dogs should listed as endangered species. Scientists know this. They are a critical part of the plains ecosystem. Cattle should not be allowed to graze in their habitat.

    Cattle keep my wolves well fed. Thank you ranchers.

  93. Hmmm. says:

    Sheeesh. Again, there are few actual discussions going on here. I guess denying that wolves are part of a healthy ecosystem is inherent in the fear tactics, but that has not really been said by jack, bob, <:(((<<, or anybody. It just sounds like rather than talking about why we think wolves are important parts of our world or not, we are talking about getting ready to kill them.
    Also, I guess that <:((<< guy lives way in the wilderness with internet access…..and you really think these guys raring to “hunt” wolves will actually get permits? yeah. I am thinking more and more that trollers are targeting these discussions to distract from actual debate. Pretty sad.

  94. jack says:

    Hi Hmmmm…..we are talking about reducing the size of the wolf population to protect game herds.Do you know ‘Hmmmm’ that the gray wolf was FULLY recovered 6 years ago according to the USFWS own wolf recovery plan? How many wolves do you think we need ‘Hmmmm’? They are increasing at a rate of 30% /yr. Maybe mange will take over and reduce them naturally we couldn’t harvest enough to even make a dent in the population now ‘Hmmmm’. Sure hope mange does the job for us and so natural and the idea makes me so happy ‘Hmmmm’. Where is mange when you really need it??

  95. Courtney Lowery says:

    Folks, once again, this thread has gotten out of hand and several posts, which violate our terms of service, have been removed.

    Name-calling, threats and the like will not be tolerated here so if that’s the game you want to play, go elsewhere.

  96. Craig Moore says:

    I have noticed that NewWest regularly tolerates name-calling and other harrassment in violation of 3.1(g). Now, that is not all bad as a certain amount of rough-and-tumble is merely a means of communication.

  97. jack says:

    I would have to agree with on on that Courtney. I do aplogize if you think I am in that catagory. As you know the wolf issue is a very controversial subject.We should all stay on the subject however.The issue currently is if delisting will actually happen with a fully recovered population. Many wildlife species should not be subject to the impacts to wolves still not delisted and fully recovered that is of course a fact. Many of us are concerned about elk,moose,wild sheep and deer as well very important to Montana.Wolves are very effecient predators. We should all appreciate New West efforts to make public these important subjects I certainly do. New West did a superb job on the Cabella’s issue.

  98. bearbait says:

    The nasty boys just build a record of tastelessness, followed by diminished veracity, but “delete” still works. No harm, no foul. Sticks and stones make break your bones, but names will never hurt you unless you are teenager on You Tube….

    If you follow the contracted helicopters, you will see that mange infected wolves are being taken out of the population as soon as they are discovered. Those are wolves that are being shot, killed, culled, by the government that brought them to you. Ed Bangs self prophesy of spending a few years getting wolves established and the rest of his career killing them has come true. Is there a Healthy Wolf Protection Act I don’t know about? Wildlife ethnic cleansing of the unfit, disabled, handicapped? I would supppose wolf aid stations will be established at intervals soon. A place to get their health check- ups, innoculations. You know, after hunting them is allowed, some will be wounded, have a need to seek the aid station. Maybe get a state of the art prosthetic leg, psychological help, whatever is needed for being victims of the war against them.

  99. Ben says:

    In the interest of seeking to understand others, I’m just asking….
    What is the hurry to de-list? I understand concerns about the sheep and cattle kills. But there are partnerships that try to alleviate this (dollars for losses, etc). There are problems beyond wolf kills that threaten wildlife herds (elk, deer, sheep, etc), so demonizing wolves for that seems less convincing. Also, losses of pets, etc seems to come with the territory of living in wild places. Does it come down to the desire to hunt something for the trophy? I mean no one eats dog, so the hunt defense seems to fall on either to protect animal herds (wild and domesticated) or to trophy hunt a rare species. I’m just looking for a more convincing reason for rolling back protection. Thank ya’ll for trying to stay on topic.

  100. jedediah redman says:

    The same kinds of people who buy firearms from the blackmarket in Boston, New York and Baltimore require them to fulfill their self-images in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

  101. A sledhead says:

    ben ,.. why do we need a better reason than trophy hunting or management ?protection gets removed when a species can sustane its sellf ,… then they get managed through hunting and predation ,.. since there is no preditor to the wolf other than man ,..it stands to reason there needs to be a hunting season for them , a good friend of mine works in the forest service he told me the # of wolves stated was 417 ,.. he said thats just where they quit counting and they hadn’t covered 1/2 the designated area yet ,… i personally think there are way more wolves and packs than they are telling us about ,.

  102. A sledhead says:

    jedediah ..as usual you add nothing to this conversation ,.. you must be 12 years old

  103. bob onit says:

    did jedediah redman say something ….auh what!

  104. Ben says:

    Ok. I agree that predators are few – other than other packs, pup mortality, injuries from the hunt, and humans. But aren’t they also at risk from parvovirus, mange, etc?
    Also, they are important pieces of a healthy ecosystem, not just prey, right? I mean shouldn’t states devise approved management plans before the Feds delist?
    It seems like wolf de-listing as is, would categorize them into either a)trophy hunt or b)predators, which would mean state’s management plans would either be a)let the rich from anywhere come in and hunt -or b)a free-for all hunt that could wipe out important and expensive progress made.
    If MT, WY, and ID don’t have plans in place, then it seems troubling to me to just delist the gray wolf and invite open season,
    They have done better than we thought in 1995 – which is interesting – but open season could wipe out the species progress.
    Also, science seems to say that wolves are not wiping out undulates, so why this fear? Because wolves are scary images?

  105. bob onit says:

    I just wanna kill them legally

  106. A sledhead says:

    ben ,.. there will , as always , be a certain amount of allowed tags game and fish employes very good biologists to determin ,.just how many wolves can survive comfterably in a given area , no regular hunting season has ever distroyed any species of animal in any area , that would be poor management . and not the fault of the hunter but the responsibility of the biologest in charge of the species

  107. bob onit says:

    wait I would just rather wound them and then let them suffer like they have done to my cattle

  108. Ben says:

    The question remains: why not wait until individual states can approve good management plans before delisting? It just seems like we could damage the sustainability of gray wolf genetics, range and numbers. Didn’t we extirpate the gray wolf by having open season? I can see delisting of species (bald eagle ie)…it’s not like they are intended to be on the list indefinitely….but without sound management in place, couldn’t we seriously damage the successes made in the last 13 years? It just seems hasty and not thought out?

  109. A sledhead says:

    if the animal is not delisted .. there will be no management plan the species MUST BE DELISTED before the state may take over management it the seperation between state and federal ,..remember reading in the news , “federal agents killed 2 wolves ” …for what ever reason ? ,.. also we didnt extirpate the gray wolf by having open season, we extripated the wolf in north america by way of bounty hunting when they were deemed a menace to the human way of life ,… people were paid to kill all of them ,..by the government ,.. the extinction of any species or sub species is a crime against nature in my opnion, but certain animals numbers need to be kept to a mininum the wolf is 1 of those , seriously , i see wolves on the east fork almost every time i go off the paved road ,..except last week when i saw 8 wolves running up the east fork road , i hear them by my house at night 4 nights out of 7 ,…ok yeah its cool ,. the hair on the back of my neck stands up when they howl ……but now its getting …..regular ,.. what im getting at is ,..wolves are supposto be some sort of mystical BIG MEDICINE kind of experience something to remember the rest of your life when you experience them ,…. NOT an every day …..”oh look there they are again”…. sort of deal and it has gotten this way because ,… lets face it …they are thriving here doing better than anyone has projected and expected ,…so its time to start managing

  110. bob onit says:

    yeah ! well sled I will fix that and kill as many as I can because they are jus a stinkin varmit and a killer of all animals ….I want mount one on my hood to show the world of treehuggers what a DEAD one looks like ….rofl

    Ahhhwwwooo!

  111. Ben says:

    See, that is the kind of talk that does no good, bob. Thanks for the dialogue, sled. I appreciate hearing your thoughts.
    I see what you mean, but I am still concerned with the delisting without states adding thoughtful input and brokering good plans. Also, it seems like open season on wolves, which it sounds like the plan for now in MT, ID, and WY, would harm chances of long-term sustainability or survival of the gray wolf. What do ya’ll think a good plan would look like? Can I assume something between that desired by extreme right and extreme left would be optimal?

  112. A sledhead says:

    ben , to think the state was caught by surprise on the delisting is a bit far afetched im sure they have been working on a SENSIBLE plan for years now and while im a hard line conservitive , and definatly NOT A ” TREE HUGGER” ,..Im hoping that the management plan when it is put into effect achieves the exact #’s its aiming for ,…in most cases error in the favor of conservation is better BUT ,… thats with a fragile species , ,…. recent history shows that these wolves are formatable SURVIVORS with a 25% adult mortality rate and a 26% increase in overall #’s every year since reintroduction , dont forget this is a big bad dog with litters between 4-8 and up to 10 pups with a not surprising low mortality rate , i truly feel if something serious isnt done soon , peoples hunting privelages and livleyhoods are going to be affected ,.. Besides if the game and fish dpt. act responsibily and set the proposed hunting season at the morally correct time of year it would be very easy to track #’s taken from particular packs in each area ,… this isnt rocket science , its wildlife biology

  113. Courtney Lowery says:

    Folks, a few more comments have been removed from this thread, just fyi.

    Bob Onit, if you can’t help attacking others we’re going to ban you. Just giving you a warning.

  114. Ben says:

    I am not insinuating government “surprise”-just that before a threatened species is widely hunted, states should create, in a transparent and publicly influenced way, intelligent management plans. Also there DOES seem to be a problem with connectivity. Dispersal of packs raises some issues. If we allow hunting, even if not intended to be hunting-willy-nilly, we could immediately affect not only total numbers, but also dispersion. What if we just end up with a cluster of packs in 1. NW Wyoming/South MT, 2. central Idaho, and 3. Glacier NP area? Wouldn’t that be like having small “zoo-like” populations? Agreed, population growth outperformed our expectations, but without allowing connectivity, packs may be isolated, genetics limited, and we could be left with only small pockets of this naturally wild and dispersed keystone species.

  115. A sledhead says:

    ben ,… i hate to say it but that would almost please me , honestly i dont see it happening . i think the longer we wait to control pack size and overall #’s , the more your concerns will fall into play ,.. for instance waiting longer to implement a hunting season will mean higher # of permits ,..and a higher # of hunters …meaning more pressure , which will definatly lead to more animal stress for a longer period thus causing dispersing . or entire packs disappearing or combining with other packs ,..this is not good , so by the same science ,smaller total #’s mean lower amount of hunting permits and less overall pressure ,significantly lowering the chance of stress related problems . as far as genetics go. im sure your aware of the animal trade programs that all species participate in , we will end up trading breeding pairs or males with idaho and wyoming to keep the “family tree ” from looking like a “family stick” this is common practice in every state with good management practices i know arizona and montana trade elk on a regular basis , saying that , ill say , ive spent some time in wyoming and i know the social agenda there ,… all i will say to that is ….if i was a wolf ,..and i lived in wyoming … id move away QUICKLY,….. maybe down to a more liberal state like colorado

  116. bob onit says:

    ok I will be good

  117. Ben says:

    sled,….I think that you hit on some good points. As much as this is a wild species, with the amount of human development and impact of critical wolf habitat, it seems that there must be some sort of “management” in place. I have lived in Wyoming (love it) and Montana (really love it) – hell I even like Idaho, but I think what is most abrasive right now is the politicization of this issue. Dude, the feds sometimes step too far into the realm of dictating what states should do – they should work together. Even opposing players in this debate agree that wolf breeding has succeeded and we can look at this as a landmark in American environmental policy. The problem, I think, is that the public (on both sides) feels disenfranchised. The day Kempthorne was appointed, everyone knew what would happen. So environmental groups will fight this in court until at least November ’08 to see if good policy agreements can be reached. Instead of working with a coalition of public interests and reaching a good policy, politics has, again placed two sides of the issue against each other. Won’t we feel silly when we realize most of us agree, but public servants have not served us, rather tried to divide us? I think there CAN be a consensus agreement on wolf policy in the West.

  118. bearbait says:

    I can’t think of an animal done in by regulated sport hunting. Not one. Add to that the vast territory and mobility of a wolf pack, and killing them all seems even more preposterous.

    This is not the hunting of wolves for a bounty, with traps, coursing hounds, den dynamite, poison, baited traps in a time of paucity of game, the way it was 50 or more years ago.

    A hunting permit is for one animal in a specific time period. Wolfers went at it day and night, all year. It was their job. It was their consuming passion. It took a hard person with few or no other prospects to be a wolfer. Those people, that commercial pay out at the end, is not here today. There is to be no commercial hunting of wolves, unless, of course, you count the Feds and their culling of problem and sick animals. The state regulated hunts are not going to be from airplanes or helicopters over wilderness and roadless areas. People will have a wolf tag and try to call them to shoot one. And while calling, old Grizz might show up unless the regulators only allow wolf hunting while Silvertip is denned up for the winter.

    I just don’t have the total faith that mankind will ever be able, under today’s sensibilities and rules, to kill enough wolves to keep their numbers in control. I would think that the real problem is to keep the wolf population controlled enough that it does not present a problem to humans on a regular basis.

    The fear of wolves is not without merit. These United States have never been inhabited by an unarmed and subjected populace so as to have wolves be a negative factor in every day peasant life. People came west with arms, and the determination not to experience in America the suffering their people had endured under Tsars, Emirs, Emperors and the like. If a wolf killed your only horse, the puller of your plough, and you did not have the means to replace that horse or ox, you went without enough food. That happened very little in America because we are free, with the right to keep and bear arms. It is very hard for us to understand the historical, cumulative effects of wolves in the manner experienced in Asia and Europe. But the fear is here, ingrained, because oral history lives in rural areas. If your total family experience is urban, that same mind set is not there. You have no idea how deep the need to protect livestock goes in rural folks, and how deep the fear of real predators is. But killing wolves to extirpation, no. Will never happen, or even come close to happening. The wolf is a predator that will be very difficult to keep its numbers under control. The later that process begins, the tougher it will be on wolves, game management people, livestock, and interest groups. My guess is that they will go about controlling wolf numbers about like government regulates forest thinning—take too little too late, with catastrophe taking too many in the end.

  119. A sledhead says:

    exactally!!!!

  120. bob onit says:

    finally some good post by some sensible people

  121. Ben says:

    oh brother. One problem is that tri-state “management” plans as they are now, allow killing if the wolf is a perceived threat. Many Americans “just don’t have the total faith” that this “honor” system is sufficient. What is to stop someone from trapping, poisoning, killing in dens, etc? (See above posts about Cabellas buying pelts) I understand the stockman fears, and groups have tried to alleviate this with compensation, etc. But this is a keystone species – a predator that has ALWAYS lived here and is important to a healthy ecosystem. It’s just not so simple. I think the Feds should listen more to the states, and the states should listen to the will of her people. We can’t make everyone happy, but it seems like the scales just tip back and forth, pissing off one extreme,then the other. I think everyone deserves a good pat on the back for 13 years of recovery efforts, but this experiment was intended to “recover” wolves – not breed to a number so that they would be prized trophy hunts. We need to be able to find common ground, but the species needs to be able to sustain.

  122. jedediah redman says:

    The species canis is only as integral to the ecology as is every other species. When homo sapiens begins to designate one or another as keystone the ecoology is in trouble.
    To disregard the well-being of any part of the environment is idiocy.
    To designate any species as an enemy is moronic…

  123. A sledhead says:

    Ben , to make the arguement that the wolf is a keystone species , and the ecosystem cant survive without it is a FOOLISH ERRAND to embark on , if the ecobandwagon is your choice of transportation through life i sugest standing up for global warming or something at least believable, wolf reintroduction is nothing more than a LUXURY ITEM to the enviromentalist ,and another way for them to assault our hunting rights ,and what you say about not having any trust in the honor system ,…. maybe you should seek professional help , this is eco-propaganda , saying your saying “we dont trust the american public to obey the laws set forth ,..so lets make even more redundant laws to over exceede the previous ” ,.. theres 1 thing i will never accept or understand about the inviornmentalist , ,…what gives them the right to attack peoples freedoms , seems like they are always trying to stop someone from doing something fun, while i do understand dumping sewage in our water systems is bad all the way around , things like closing roads , blocking hunting rights , and other libertys we americans have, get attacked in the name of (saving the planet) but i think they are really just angry hateful people who have way too much time on their hands , id like to tell every enviro-freak to worry about themselves and what they are doing , and stop trying to make us live the life you want us to live ,…….. phew ,… i was venting there for a sec

  124. Ben says:

    Well, I guess you tried to actually debate your points. See above comments and notice that when you try to articulate your ideas, they are listened to and others seek to understand you. But again, uninformed ugly sarcasm, condescension, and name calling does you no good – neither does spouting your hate while claiming enviros are hateful. Sorry,..that’s where you lose credibility.

  125. Ben says:

    When we talk about “keystone species”, it suggests “a species which affects the survival and abundance of many other species in the
    community in which it lives”. This emphasizes whole ecosystem conservation. I appreciate everyone on this blog that has opined thoughtfully. It is supremely important, I think, to present a complete picture – not just feelings of citizens, not just science, but compiling everything we can to find common ground. It is fortunate to have a venue like NewWest for people of all opinions to speak with each other – Thanks NW!

  126. bob onit says:

    Ben I really think you may have a mental issue going on and should seek help,your creditability is very questionable since I see that you are not very Intelligent wolves have nothing to do with anything its the Idea that your kind would have us re-Introduce T-rex into the wild with no concern of actual impact of the environment

  127. Ben says:

    That is why you are ignored, bob….I thought you were going to be good. Move beyond the petty “mental issue”, name calling stuff and try to make a point – you haven’t. I appreciate your thoughts, though sled.

  128. bob onit says:

    Well Ben i just laugh at guys like you ….you really have no clue its the same with all environmentalist they are no different in my eyes then al qaeda and I’m being and did not call you any names…and if I’m ignored why did you respond and I did make a point

  129. Ben says:

    Down the sewer we go. Hyperbole like that just attempts to make people mad, in hopes that they miss the point. If there is nothing to add to the discussion about wolf policy,….. Again, I appreciate the positive thoughts of sled (above) and others. I am interested. I wish I could see simple checklists of reasons for and against delisting as-is. I think the emotion in sentences has me unable to pinpoint the main defenses. Again, I appreciate the thoughtfulness of contributors to this issue discussion and I am just hopeful that states can work together to make good policy decisions.

  130. bob onit says:

    they have a good start here in Montana and it will be just fine ,so ben we don’t need your help

  131. bob onit says:

    New West thank you for putting up with me I know that I’m ruff around the edges but at the end of the day I live here in Montana with all of its beauty

  132. Marion says:

    Ben, all of this has been posted before, but I will attempt to make it an easy to read check list for you.
    The most compelling reason for delisting is honor and honesty. the agreed upon number was 300 for the 3 states. We have from 5 to 7 times that many because the residents acted honorably and honestly even as we saw our elk herds melting in heavily wolf infested areas. We also saw ranch families losing tremendous amounts of their own money because of the difficulty of “confirmation”, and delays of several years for some payment after confirming. But we still held to our end of the bargain while FWS played with definitions of a pack and so on before they started the process of delisting.
    The Yellowstone elk herd has been taken down by over 65%, and there is no end in sight. This has also shown up in some Idaho elk herds, the Sunlight herd in Wyoming, and elk herds close to Yellowstone in Montana. The calf to a 100 cow ratio has dropped to single to low teen ratios, 40-60 is needed to maintain a herd, and keep it healthy.
    Ranch families are not only losing livestock but their animals are being run to the point calf and lamb counts drop again due to predation and lost pregnancies due to being run and chased. All of this money comes from individuals trying to make a living, cutting their income by thousands of dollars.
    As the elk continue to decline and the winter killed wildlife is already consumed by wolves prior to the bears coming out of hibernation, the bears, grizzly in particular are going to be very negatively affected. Grizzlies in particular are few in number compared to the wolves. There are tens of thousands of wolves just north of us in Canada, where these wolves came from.
    The only benefit of the wolves is the entertainment value of watching them go about their daily lives in full view of Yellowstone watchers. Probably ther is some research value too, we have learned that fidelisty of the alpha pair is a myth, the wolves breed all they can where they can, and are having multiple litters per pack.
    Listing the wolves as an endangered species was a political decision, not a scientific one. In fact FWS had to come up wiht the 10j , experimental, non-essential designation in order to bring the wolves into a range outside of their own range, otherwise they would have been breaking the law.

  133. Marion says:

    Sorry about the spelling in my last post, I hit the wrong buttton before I spell checked or edited it.
    Hope it is some help Ben.

  134. Ben says:

    Thanks Marion. But I really would like to see it simplified. It seems like you are saying you are in favor of delisting the gray wolf now because: 1. livestock threats 2. Ungulate threats and 3. no value in wolves except entertainment & maybe research
    Is that correct? Also, I’d like to see reasons for opposing delisting now, which I assume, in similar fashion would be: 1. ecological and research value 2. the need for agreeable good management and 3. threats to species conservation/high kills=losing what was gained. Anyone willing to spell things out like that. Thanks.

  135. Marion says:

    Actually Jerry, the danger to private property amounting to thousands of dollars each and who knows how much inaggregate is here and now and real for the individuals carrying the burden. It has been and is occuring as we speak. The supposed threat due to high kills is hype and speculation, sort of like if I were to use the potential for a rabies outbreak and resulting attacks on humans. It certainly can happen and has in early times, but is speculation as to the actual danger even though rabies and plague outbreaks occur in wildlife in this area. The actual possibility of rabies is higher than the possibility of killing too many animals….well unless any is too many. Don’t forget teh residents of the 3 states are the one that did NOT SSS when the numbers grew and grew and grew way beyond the agreements and expectations.

  136. jedediah redman says:

    Homo sapiens is like a green mold on the earth which is like a slice of white bread.
    Green mold is not even important until it gets a foothold; but then it spreads to destroy the entire slice.
    At this stage of the despoliation even environmentalists have made homo sapiens the central issue.
    That will spell the end of everything in the not too distant future…

  137. bob onit says:

    ROFLMAO jedediah redman you are just a funny guy

  138. Ben says:

    Anyone willing to put forth a simple, less wordy defense of one side or the other? It seems to me that the two extremes are pretty far apart, but most people are able to work with one another.

  139. jack says:

    When you read the article isn’t the issue should wolves be delisted and why or why not? The gray wolf was fully recovered under the USFWS own Wolf Recovery Plan to population levels set forth in that plan 6 years ago. In that plan there was much agreement already delisted would occur when those levels are achieved. The gray wolf is fully recoverd and was 6 years ago and increasing now at an alarming rate of 30%/yr. Hunting is an opportuntiy to harvest surplus wolves (remove part of the annual increase) although in reality few will be taken anyway. Can we get back to the issue somehow? By the way the northern yellowsone elk populatoion was finally surveyed and down to an all time low of 6900 animals and going down with less calves and younger age classes in the population not good news. No surveys were done on moose,wild sheep and mule deer.

  140. jack says:

    That recent Feb.14,2008 survey was 6,279 elk and most wintering north of YNP in the Dome Mountain area with fewer wolves there and better forage conditions. This figure represents an all time low. The future of elk is not looking good with the impacts of overpopulated wolves.

  141. parkcamper says:

    Lots of controversy. You would hope there could be some middle ground established.

    http://www.parkcamper.com/

  142. Marion says:

    The problem is parkcamper, how can we compromise with people who keep moving the goal further and further. I have asked on several sites exactly what it is that they want, never once have a gotten a concrete answer. The answer is usually something to the effect that they will accept delisting when there are “enough” and the management plans are “acceptable”. How can anyone compromise with that? How do you even achieve that, ceertainly the numbers that were laid out of 300 wolves were surpassed years ago, and over a thousand wolves ago, but it is not enough, even with the wolves growing at 34% per year.
    Actually there were only 6200 elk counted and only a third or 2000 left inside of Yellowstone. Calf retention rates in the low teens will not bring that back up at all.

  143. HAL 9000 says:

    I fall more or less on the pro-wolf side, but I’m getting tired of all the hype on both sides of this issue. The wolf is part of the natural world. To say it has no place here is just plain stupid. On the flip side, trying to say that allowing some hunting will lead to doomsday for the wolf is also based in emotion and not logic, IMO. Can we just carry the process forward and see what happens over the next couple of years? I’m a hunter, but I won’t be buying a wolf tag. I really have no deisre to go shoot a big dog — or anything else I can’t eat. I guess I’m old-school that way. Hunting merely for a trophy always seemed pointless and egotisical to me. Be that as it may, I’m a big enough boy to accept that not all other people — much less all other hunters — will agree with me on everything. I’m sure there’s plenty of folks who will buy wolf tags.

  144. jedediah redman says:

    I’m donating money to launch a lawsuit which I hope will put the Feds back into the business of seeing that nobody shoots wolves or prairie dogs just for target practice…

  145. HAL 9000 says:

    Jed,
    What if they shoot them to prairie dog fur coats or prairie dog soup? Anyhow, back to being serious… Prairie dog shooting is fine in some places, harmful to the species in others. It just depends. A universal ban on it would not be fair or wise.

  146. bob onit says:

    I agree with Jed,so i will stop shootin them for target practice and jus do it for fun and for money send me some maybe I will stop or use the money for more ammo

  147. Barb says:

    A tiny percentage (less than 2%) of all livestock is killed by predators! Give it a break!

    And Bob, you said: “Wait I would just rather wound them and then let them suffer like they have done to my cattle.”

    How about when you’re sending them to the slaughterhouse? I’m sure it’s not a pleasant experience for “your” animals. Oh, sorry, you “sold” them– I guess profits trump compassion, eh?

    Someone else said that environmentalists claim that wolves ONLY go after the sick and weak; that person is wrong; predators will FIRST go after the weakest and easiest prey. If they are none around, they’ll go after anything they can eat — that would be the cattle that are hanging around like BAIT. That’s normal behavior for any predator. It would be just like your DOG chasing rabbits.

    Would you shoot your dog for chasing and attacking a rabbit?

    If not, why would you shoot a coyote for going after your cattle?

    ANY wild animal can be dangerous. Cattle and domestic DOGS have killed more children than wolves have! Cattle can be very dangerous! Yet we have “Open Range” laws that allow them to roam pretty much without interference — it’s a crime that we don’t have the same COURTESY for our predatory animals who are constantly being hunted, shot at, poisoned, trapped and harrassed from the ground and the air!

    The livestock industry and Wildlife Services are Mafia like organizations.

  148. Sue says:

    I think I am going to purchase a wolf hunting permit, find out where the other wolf hunters are going, and make lots of noise so the wolves flee!!

    To me, hunting these kinds of animals is like hunting large Huskies or German Shepherds!

  149. Barb says:

    Someone posted: “Ranch families are not only losing livestock but their animals are being run to the point calf and lamb counts drop again due to predation and lost pregnancies due to being run and chased. All of this money comes from individuals trying to make a living, cutting their income by thousands of dollars.”

    If you don’t have a fence, what would you expect?!

    And if you can’t afford one, you shouldn’t be in the business.

    You are making NATURAL PREDATORS PAY THE PRICE (the ULTIMATE PRICE) for you to raise livestock IRRESPONSIBLY (without protection and unattended!)

    NOT FAIR TO OUR PREDATORS!

    Making someone else pay the price for YOUR irresponsiblity!

    Shame on you!

  150. Sue says:

    Dear Hal:

    You said: “I’m a hunter, but I won’t be buying a wolf tag. I really have no deisre to go shoot a big dog — or anything else I can’t eat. I guess I’m old-school that way. Hunting merely for a trophy always seemed pointless and egotisical to me.”

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! WE THANK YOU! THE WOLVES THANK YOU! You are one of the “normal” type of hunter who doesn’t hunt animals out of HATRED.

    That is what scares wolf supporters about hunting them. They have a history like no other species; it’s not like delisting the sage grouse or something! The wolf is SPECIAL.

  151. Barb says:

    Marion:

    You said: “These families have paid thousands oout of their own pockets for the livestock eaten by wolves.”

    HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF BEING A RESPONSIBLE RANCHER AND GETTING A FENCE OR SOME KIND OF PROTECTION BESIDES A GUN?

    What can you expect if your animals are NOT SECURED!

  152. Marion says:

    First of all, you guys seem to think you are so much smarter than other people, but let me tell you something you evidently do not know. We have been using fences out here in the boonies for over a hudred years. Not only are the ranches fenced, the different pastures are fences, and do you know what that means to a wolf….aboslutely nothing, except it gives them an advantage to kill when they get the animals run into corners, that way they can kill and tear up a number of animals at once.
    Please try to learn a few facts before you start preaching.
    All sorts of thing are tried to keep the wolves from goin thru or under or over the fences, such things as tying strips of material on the fences, putting noise makers on the fences, etc. All work for a little while until the wolves find out thsoe things are no danger to them and in they go.
    No matter how much ranchers care they cannot stay up 24 hours a day indefinitely watching them. And I bet none of you are willing to volunteer are you?
    When they get in and kill 30-50 sheep in a corral how long and much work do you think it is for the owner to have to dispose of the carcasses as fast as he can so they aren’t attracted back? How many wolf lovers offer to help when it is -20 and the ground is frozen or 102 in the shade and no shade.
    But you feel you are owed that by the animal owner because you love wolves. I think you hate people to do such an awful thing to them.
    I bet it isn’t even a month until one of you again posts that the ranchers should use fences….totally ignoring the fact that they have them.

  153. Hal 9000 says:

    A lot of emotions on both sides of this issue. In a way, that’s a good thing. I’m glad to see people still care about wildlife, and it still evokes such stong emotions.
    Marion, I understand some ranchers in particular areas get hit hard. It’s difficult not to sympathize with them… especially as a guy who spent some of his summers during college working on a ranch to make extra money for tuition and living expesnes. Much of that was spent building fence. It’s brutal hard work.. as anybody who has done it knows.
    Even so, has a single rancher yet actually been driven out of business by wolves? And the larger question is, since the VAST majority of ranchers are not, and never will be affected, is it really fair to suggest the entire issue of wolf recovery/managment hinge only on the concerns of the the few ranchers who live in wolf country and actually have been hit hard? The ranching industry in Minnesota hasn’t collapsed to the best of my knowlege, and they’ve been living with many more wolves for a lot longer.
    I agree we should respect the ranchers’ concerns. I agree wolves need to be managed.. just like bears and cougars are. But the days of the West revolving around the cattleman are gone, and thank the Lord for that. Not the the cattleman is intrinsicly bad.. but when a single interest or a small, related group of interests hold most or all of the power, it’s never good. The power and interests in the West are now being spread out across a wider spectrum. Things chage.. that’s a rule of life. The wolves aren’t going away, Marion, no matter how much you hate them. Nor should the be allowed to run everywhere with no restrictions whatsoever, no matter how much I or others might like them. The emotion-driven rhetoric on both ends of this issue grew stale a long time ago. It’s time for the sensible middle to carry the process forward, IMO.

  154. jack says:

    Just think how many more wolf puppy’s will be out there soon. Then more puppy’s next year…then year after that..then year after that…etc….. etc. Will it ever stop? We will be up to our ears in wolves. Why go to Jellystone National Park? I can hardy wait to see the first ‘neigborhood pack’. When will enough be enough for the bleeding hearts out there?

  155. bob onit says:

    yeah with gas prices rising and the economy taken a dump , the forest are burning and who cares about a wild dog…well I kinda can’t wait to see a wolf hunt on TV with Jim Zumbo killing a black wolf out of a tree stand …well he has money …and that’s what it’s all about

  156. Marion says:

    Hal9000, most of the residents of the area accepted the fact that city folk ooutnumber us and they want wolves..where we are, NOTwhere they are…and we stood by our word and let them continue to multiply like rabbits, rabbits without a predator, I might add. So what do we get for our sacrifices? Being called haters, killers, rednecks, selfish, greedy, etc, and the demand that we raise wolves by the thousands for them……and of course we pay the full cost ourselves. By the way no complaints or cying about the cost, they do not want to hear it. It is our duty to make them think it is 1800 again, what right do we have to our own property?
    One rancher put out of business was mentioned in the articles that ran in the Casper paper. Early on another rancher from Riverton who ran cattle in the mountains could not stand the loss and sold out to that Stankey, remember him? I don’t know what he did finally. Then there is Mr. Weber in Montana, who repeatedly lost his sheep in his own yard within sight of the house, he finally gave up when he didn’t get the gate latched tight to the little chain link pen he was forced to use and the wolves pretty much finished him off. He didn’t get paid becaue it “was his fault”.
    So pat yourselves on the back only a few humans way of life have been sacrificed for your wolves, but you’ll surely get more as the numbers increase.
    I love the argument that sheep & cattle ranching should be eliminated since it is not the 19th century anymore, but we who live here should live in a make believe 19th century with a full complement of dangerous predators.

  157. HAL 9000 says:

    Marion, that last post seems long on antecdotal hype and short on facts. Just the sort of thing I’ve been hearing from the hard-line anti-wolf side of the debate since 1995.
    I don’t want to eliminate ranching. But as a multi-generatial resident of the West, I’m also well aware of the ranching industy’s tendency to want to play the perpetual victim. (Please note, this is as a whole, not individuals.) Before the griping about wolves, there were gripes about there being too many elk and deer.
    Please don’t assume it’s as simple as “us” against the “city folk.” I’m a native with roots in these parts going at least as deep as many ranchers.. and I was glad to see the wolves come back.
    What’s more, part of the risk of being in business is that circumstances can and do change — sometimes because of things totally out of your control — and that can and will affect your business, up to and including shutting it down. Can you be sure wolves were the ONLY factor in those particular ranchers calling it quits? Ranching is a tough business. Capitalism in America isn’t supposed to come with a safety net. I’ve lost my job and everything that went with it and had to pick up and move on a time or two myself. Lots of people have. In fact, it happens every day. It’s called America and free enterprise.
    And you do get that the public land out here belongs to ALL Americans? And the fact that wildlife, as a public trust, belongs to ALL Americans as well? As I see it, ranchers who graze cattle on, and in some cases, over-graze and abuse, National Forests and other public lands lose a little bit of credibilty when they start saying they should have the only and final say about any certian species of the public’s wildlife.
    Once again, I’m NOT saying ranchers are bad guys. But what I did say is this: A monopoly on power by any one group just isn’t good. And the livestock industry had a monopoly on power in much of this country for a long, long time. Therefore, I think it’s created some distorted views, not the least of which is this “victim” mentality we see coming from some (again, not all) ranchers regarding the wolf issue.
    Let me make this clear, I have NO problem with well-managed sport hunting of wolves. I have NO problem with ranchers being able to take reasonable steps to protect themselves. But to say this entire issue should be driven by a small percentage from ONE industry is ridiculous. Plenty of ranchers here and in Canada and Minnesota do just fine in wolf country.
    I’m not for a “look but don’t touch” policy toward wolves. I’m for sensible managment. What I don’t like is the sort of reactionary hype I see reflected in your last post. Please, don’t assume to speak for all Westerners.

  158. Marion says:

    Hal, the fact is those who wanted the wolves brought in felt no sacrifice was too great to make for the wolves….as long as it wasn’t them making the sacrifice.
    How can you say that ranchers are doing “just fine” in wolf country. No where else in this country has to have the vast acreages to raise livestock (even the privately owned land is vast), I don’t know about Canada, but I think they are allowed to kill anything that gets into their stock, they have government trappers working to control them.
    I fully understand that all business has to put up with problems, but this is a deliberately introduced problem done to suit wolf lovers, who certainly have no intention of making the sacrifices necessary to raise wolves themselves.
    The fact is wolf lovers wanted 300 wolves, but they want no control even though there are many times that now. Some of these people are violent in their language even to Bangs and Carolyn Sime, and there is every chance that hatred will be directed at innocent people.
    It really doesn’t matter whether you call it a victim mentality or what, the fact remains, the folks who wanted wolves introduced are taking a free ride on the shoulders of the ranchers who tried to tell them that the wolvesw would breed like rabbits and cause all kinds of problems for privately owned animals.
    Would you be playing the victim card if somebody decided your house was essential for the restoration of termite colonies?

  159. jack says:

    I really don’t appreciate the environmentalists throwing us hunters and native Montanans in with them.They alway go into the attact the rancher posture thinking we all are on their side. I am not. Bringing wolves down from Canada was about most stupid move in the history of wildlife management. Forget about rancher bashing and think about the native wildlife that were here before the killer wolves were brought down from Canada. It was predicted that the wolf lovers would never be satisfied with a recovered wolf populations and they would want more. Fact is the wolf lovers could care less about elk, deer, moose and wild sheep they figure those animals are here just to feed wolves 365 days a year. Please don’t give me the balance of nature myth and wolves take only the sick,ugly and uwanted save me getting indigestion on that one. The entire wolf issue is a giant boondoggle and now according to the article above we are have trouble with delisting a fully recovered gray wolf population 6 years ago…………..Thanks Bill, Bruce and Jamie Clark for the disaster you created we paid for. I have a horses hind end photo(real horses) I would like to donate to the Clinton Library and write “thanks Bill” on it!

  160. Jedediah Redman says:

    Intellectuals like jack and marion are making this forum a real success…

  161. Craig Moore says:

    Jedebare, Marion and Jack make a point and you make a personal assualt. Game, set, match to Marion and Jack.

  162. Jedediah Redman says:

    I’ll be watching for your credentials as far as the awarding of points…

  163. Marion says:

    Jack, you nailed it, but I am sure that you realize that enviros will take no responsibility whatsoever for the mess they have made. I see today that Ed Bangs is trying to claim they may have undercounted the elk by 30%. He gives no reason for why he would decide that, except there was no sight ability figure factored in, perhaps because there was plenty of snow cover and the elk would stand out like a sore thumb. Perhaps part of his reason is because they made it plain only about 2000 of the 6200 counted this year are left inside of the park. That is pretty dismal, and with so many wolves in the park, it will only get worse.
    When the elk are gone or down to the point the wolves can no longer breed and feed inside of Yellowstone and the groupies have nothing to watch in the baren Lamar….except for buffalo, does anyone think bureaucrats are going to take responsibility for this stupidity…..or enviros either? They are going to insist it has to be the fault of the ranhcers and hunters.
    Even delisting will not save the Yellowstone elk, they are doomed, unless disease wipes out the wolves. It will take them years to even become half way normal.

  164. Erin says:

    A similar discussion — albeight, more focused on the merits of the the northern Rockies wolf, and current news — is ongoing on a new blog which is 100% devoted to this topic.

    http://myyellowstonewolves.typepad.com

  165. Marion says:

    Erin, I hope you do not consider that an unbiased site. INteresting that they can start a blog about how wonderful the wolves are, but they cannot or will not answer a question about what percent of the money paid for killed livestock is paid for kills on private land as opposed to public land.
    I might be more impressed if they actually used some facts instead of trying to increase the congregation to worship the wolves.

  166. HAL 9000 says:

    Marion, once again, you’re falling back on gross over-generalization and appeals to emotion. Ranchers are ONE interest group in all of this. And if you want to play the “free ride” card, well, then it can be arugued that the ranching industry got a free pass to slaughter untold amounts of the public’s wildlife for decades. And they have, and continue to, graze their cows on the public’s land.
    Furthermore, who do you think the rancher’s main customer base are? Who buys most of their product? Well, that would be those “city slickers” you seem so quick to curse. Seems to me, the ranchers would do well to not tick off their customer base by slaughtering all the public’s wildlife. Your arguments seem to hinge on the perception that ranchers live in a vaunted bubble, free of any dependancy upon or obligation to anybody or anything outside their direct interest. All Americans pay the taxes that fund the management of this country’s wild lands and wildlife.
    People are quickly getting wise to the fact that over-consumption of red meat isn’t healthy for you anyway — and the American diet will change accordingly. Compound that with a growing awareness of and disgust toward “factory style” stockyards and slaughterhouses, plus a growing sense of ownership of and concern over the country’s Western Wildlands, Marion, and ranchers are NOT doing themselves any favors in the public eye by acting as if they have a God-given right to exterminate a species that many, many Americans place a high value on.
    Look, if you ranch on the edge of some of this country’s most valued wild country — which belongs to all Americans… all of whom buy groceries and pay taxes — then I think you’re going to have to accept some loss to natural predators as a cost of doing business.
    Once again, I think most reasonable people can recognize the very real plight of the few ranchers who really are suffering because of wolves and have no problem granting them reasonable means to protect themselves. But playing the “victim” card and saying completely ignorant things that make it sound like the effect on ranchers should be the only concern regarding the managment of the public’s wildlife can, has and will backfire on the livestock industry.

  167. Marion says:

    First of all ranchers dealt with “natural predators” very well, it was when you hauled predators down form Canada and insisted they had to have protection over any living thing that any one complained. We ahve seen the elk herds of Yellowstone getting close to needing “reintroduction” themselves, in large part because those who absolutely had to have them knew nothing about them except romanticized stories like Farley Mowatts.
    Now they are creating untold damage, wolf proponents cannot admit they are wrong, everyone else actually dealing with them has to be wrong. As I said DOW will not tell me the percent of kills they have paid for on PRIVATE property.
    You simply will not consider any wildlife as being important (except maybe as feed) except the wolves. If beef is not important why do we import it?
    The fact is ranchers provide a great deal that to you seems insignificant because you do not understand. Probably the most important has been water sources in the drought. Ranchers provide reservoirs, clean creeks, springs and waterways that have provided the essential water for wildlife of all kinds. All you seem to care about is wolves and more wolves. Everybody that has to live with them & need to control them, whether in Alaska, Canada or the US just doesn’t understand how important the city folk know they are, because they say so.

  168. jack says:

    Do the wolf loving, ‘bleeding hearts’ consider the gray wolf fully recovered or not? A simple yes or no, please.The USFWS own wolf recovery plan clearly shows they were fully recovered 6 years ago. Isn’t that what this article is all about?The killer wolves are fully recovered admit it and be happy and lets get on with controlling a population fully out of control now and damaging our big game resource.To graze or not to graze livestock has nothing to do with anything and off the subject at hand. Recovered?YES or NO? It’s a YES vote here.

  169. bearbait says:

    Hal…you ought to catch up on the beef market. The wildland grazed cows, which are on the mountain graze 90 days or less, according to a govt. range specialist’s estimate of how many cow calf pairs can be there for that time, are producing the calves that get fed to size and sent to slaughter elsewhere, and that is mostly in states without vast public lands. The downer cow deal is always about dairy culls. Always. Hamburger cows. Cutters and canners as they have been called in the trade. They have nothing to do with the mountain grazed cows. While those cow-calf pairs are on public land mountain graze, the rancher is busting his butt to make hay to feed those mother cows and their next year’s calves until turnout next summer. That allows the ranch to be an economic unit. It also provides winter food for wildlife, as does the mountain graze. You see, there is a whole forage community that needs grazing to stimulate late season growth which is critical to fall fattening of wildlife. Rest a pasture too long, and you lose its viability for wildlife.

    “Free Range” beef is being grown by many ranchers, who use no hormones or the massive antibiotics that go into dairy cattle. By having those cattle graze in the mountains in summer, raising a thrifty calf, getting lots of exercise, the now pregnant cows go into winter in good shape, the calves go to midwestern feed lots to become prime beef, and the wildlife gets a better grade of fall forage, and the rested pasture of the allotment is winter forage for wildlife. They system works even though urban folks don’t take enough time to understand it, and the rabble rousers after donations create the illusion that cows are wrecking the world. Until the allotment, and controlled grazing access, it was public land, the commons, and was terribly overgrazed by transient livestock outfits. That was the impetus of the Taylor Grazing Act, and all the range restoration that has occurred since. Actually, the worst shape range I have ever witnessed is Yellowstone NP. That place is a disaster. And no cows, sheep or horses to blame it on. The un-natural state of no human predation kept the animals camped inside the boundary, lining the trees (you look across the landscape, and there are no limbs or needles or leaves below how high a bison or elk can graze.)

    There are now ranching families that have formed associations to slaughter and market their free range hormone free beer. Much of it spends part of the year on public graze. That should make the consumer feel good, not bad, about free to graze animals utilizing a broad range of forage for a small part of the year. Our food supply is better for public land grazing.

  170. Marion says:

    Jack, I will vote YES (of course), but I’ll bet you will not only not get a single enviro to vote yes, neither will they tell you how many are enough.
    bearbait, the wolfers do not dare admit that cattle are beneficial to the land nor for food. To do so would be to admit they were willing to cause harm to good people, that didn’t deserve to be harmed, with the help of the government those people help support.

  171. HAL 9000 says:

    Marion wrote: “All you seem to care about is wolves and more wolves.”

    You seem to pay attention to less than half of what I say. I’ve said repeately that I favor wolf managment, that I think the states’ plans should go forward… and we can all see the results for ourselves in couple of years and then decide where to go from there. So, I’m not sure who this “you” person is.

    Oh, and the hype about these being some sort of super-wolf from Canada has been soundly debunked time and again. Please quit resorting to it if you wish to be at all taken seriously in discussions or debates on this matter.

  172. HAL 9000 says:

    Bearbait, great post. It’s refreshing to get a well-reasoned, factual reply. I’m also aware of the growing trend toward free-range, grass-fed cattle, and very happy to see it happening. The beef from those cows is far leaner and healthier to eat.
    Thank you, also, for explaining that public lands grazing is often not the land-damaging “welfare ranching” some try to make it out to be.
    I do think it’s ironic that you noted the poor shape of the Yellowstone land. Wolves are helping to solve that problem by thinning the elk out and scattering them across the landscape.
    My overall point was public perception is very important. And ranchers and hunters can’t afford to go frothing at the mouth about wolves.
    Sensible management of the wolf is needed, obviously. I think sport hunting – as proposed by all three states – can be part of that. Knee-jerk ranting and raving about wolves helps nobody, and other serves to fuel the perception among metropolitan Americans that we here out West can’t wait to kill anything that moves. The fact is, many people who are hardly radical environmentalists favor wolves – I count myself among them. I have no problem with a rancher shooting wolves when they pose a clear and present threat. But I also realize that this issue can’t be driven by one interest group or industry. As I said, wolves have a broad base of support… among people who vote, pay taxes and buy groceries. The cattle industry needs to be mindful of that.

  173. HAL 9000 says:

    Jack,
    That’s essentially a rhetorical question, based on the assumption of a false dilemma (the notion that only two possibilities exist when, in fact, there are a myriad of options.)
    My “vote” would be, “It’s too early to tell, but there certainly can be no irreversable harm in giving the states a chance to implement the plans they’ve come up with.” Or, to make it simpler, “time will tell.” My guess is that Montana’s plan will go well, Idaho’s.. who knows.. and Wyoming’s will prove to be too heavy handed. But again, time will tell.
    Public lands grazing is indeed quite relevant to this discussion. That’s because the public owns the land, and all wildlife, including wolves, are a public trust. And some ranchers run cattle on public land and wish to kill some of the public’s wildlife to protect their business interests.

  174. jack says:

    THX Marion we have 2 votes we have enough. Guess everyone else is going to talk about cows and grazing. The subject is wolves.

  175. bearbait says:

    Someone should take some time to go into the stacks in the library at a place like CSU, or Utah State, Oregon State, and read the literature, the papers, the research, that land grant colleges produced 75 to 100 years ago.

    The academics taught the classes that the ranch kids took that taught them how to be successful ranchers, range specialists, stockmen, extension agents, all the vocations from the Range aspect of an Ag degree, whether they worked their own land or for the government. It has only been in the last 30 years that a 3 hour course in explosives was not required for an Ag degree at Oregon State. There were produced many papers on how to control vermin. Predators were considered vermin, and that was what was taught at University. And was for a long time. The issue was to produce the best forage and livestock your range might be capable of. Predation prevention was a part of animal husbandry. Poisons, trapping methods, sex cycle interruptions, the gamut of pest riddance was taught at university.

    So the Land Grant state universities were teaching courses on predation prevention and control of predators. Congress was appropriating money to keep the Government Trapper program funded to keep some kinds of pest under control. A problem coyote or cougar, vole infestations, what have you. It was considered in the national interest that we become the best Ag nation in the world, and we made a commitment to Land Grant colleges to make that happen. Civil engineers built dams and irrigation works. Industry produced farm equipment designed by college educated mechanical engineers. Animal and plant breeders produced new life. It was the national will that we got to where we are. It was not evil, self serving, ranchers. It was the national interest to be the world leader in agriculture, and while we were at it, we educated tens of thousands from other nations about what our research and practicle experience had learned.

    Killing wolves, problem bears, coyotes, whatever, was part of our governance. It was the government’s responsibility to protect the crofter from the government’s predators. The state claimed to own the wildlife in trust for the people, and it was the state that controlled the predation and predator numbers. And the state had an interest in the success of stockmen and livestock raisers. Food and its cost was important to the health of the nation.

    So when the state introduced wolves, there is a body of thought that says they also had responsibility for their control if numbers get to where they become an economic force across a wide landscape. That thought is natural. It is the way it has been. That environmental pilgrims have moved to the wilds to state their point of view as “defenders of wildlife” is a new deal in the traditional relationship between stockmen and government. The new third party in predator control has produced rancor and mistrust, and the people who have the tangible loss feel very put upon. That will not change in my lifetime.

    This vast pile of government land we call the New West, is kinda amazing to me in the historical sense. It was the raw material backbone of our ability to prevail in a world that wanted, wants, to destroy us. Horses for remounts, copper and lead for ammunition, wool for clothing, bedding and food, cattle for food and leather, an array of minerals sought and mined under the Mining Acts in a winner take all free for all, including uranium. Wood for ties, lumber, crating, and myriad other uses. Oil, coal, and hydro energy. All the stuff people bitch about today is the stuff that keeps us speaking English instead of German, Japanese, Russian, or Arabic. We do need to take pause every once in a while, and think about the positive things that resource use in the New West has given to the country in the last 150 years, including the lives and contributions of a whole hell of a lot of good people who were raised on scablands, mining towns, logging camps, ranches, farms, and small towns. Maybe the kids have been the best thing raised here. There have been thousands of Mike Mansfields the world does not know about, but who lived his kind of life, as smart, kind, responsible citizens. And many of those same people do not think unlimited livestock predation and game loss to wolves will be in the best interest of the New West in the long term. There has to be a limit on wolf numbers.

  176. Marion says:

    Hal, the damage to Yellowstone is primarily being done by the buffalo, the elk herds are very dramatically decreased. Most of the fall rut only the big 7×7 was at Mammoth with about 30 cows and a couple of small bulls. One couple watching besided me, said they had expected a lot more elk there, but the ranger told them that the bulls stay in the mountains for the rut. I guess that would explain part of the low number of calves. There were 3 bulls along the Madison, one of which was only a 5x, probably 50 – 60 cows total. One crippled bull and 2 cows at Norris.
    I don’t know if you follow the northern herd elk counts. It was 19,000 the year before the wolves came, was not counted for 2 years, but has steadily dropped, was 6000 this year, about 2000 of which are inside the park itself.

  177. jedediah redman says:

    The science in this forum is amazing…

  178. jack says:

    Still only 2 votes that we have plenty of wolves and they should be delisted ASAP.Wolf people will never admit there is enough and should be controlled. That was all predicted before they brought the “killing machines” down from Canada.The Defenders of Wildlife led the charge to bring the killers down here and could care less about the welfare of other species. What a phony organization of nit-wits. Wolves destroyed the northern Yellowstone elk herd and are destroying the diversity of YNP.They will do the same outside of YNP. Wolf people have tunnel vision and will not face realty and the facts. I don’t consider wolves a ‘public trust’ but a large predator and killer.

  179. zetetic says:

    Ecology–a natural balance–is a human concept which cannot exist in a world so absolutely infected with human technologies. The argument which seems to persist on this forum (despite efforts by a few to interject reason into what has become an emotional financial quarrel) is whether or not wolves will now cause elk to become extinct.
    Absent the human factor this is not a problem.
    Should elk become scarce wolves would have to eat some other type of prey or starve.
    Without adequate food supply wolf numbers would be reduced until an adequate supply of elk–or deer–or mice–or hares–or cattle–or sheep became available.
    The suggestion that humans should begin to shoot wolves takes the argument out of the ecolological arena. It becomes just another kind of farming–in this instance, wolf farming…

  180. jack says:

    Ecology…… fairy tale time……ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

  181. matt m says:

    Scientists now say that increasing populations of wolves is leading to an increase on pronghorns. Imagine that. Natural works together when all of her parts are present. The wolf haters have ignored science once again.

  182. Marion says:

    Matt, did you notice that “study” was brought to you by the other half of the Berger team? You know the “no jack rabbits seen in Yellowstone” Berger.

  183. Hal 9000 says:

    Jack, the ignorance of ecology reflected in your posts is astounding. Everything I’ve read and every knowlegeble person I’ve talked to says wolves have contributed greatly to the biological diversity of the Park — that their effect on the overall health of he ecosystem has been amazing. Bloated populations of elk and coyotes running willy nilly with basically nothing to fear isn’t “biological diversity.”

  184. HAL 9000 says:

    Bear bait, thanks again for a well-thought-out post. My only criticism is that you seem to hinge many of your ideas on the notion that time froze sometime between 1950 and 1980. The economy of the West is now far more diverse, and there are many good jobs that have little or nothing to do with the traditional ag/extractive industy bases. Also, I don’t see this as an “either/or” thing. We can and should preseve vast expanses of land as truly wild… while still keeping reasonably viable industrial and agricultural interests.
    The mentality now is shifting more toward land having an intrinsic value all its own.. .and not just as a vehicle for extraction and profit. Can that point of view be taken too far? Of course. But I think what most people in the reasonable middle want is balance — not to pretend like it’s 1950 all over again, nor to try turning the entire region into a primitive wildlife preserve. The wolves have a place in all of that. And so does prudent wolf control. Too many here seem to think it has to go to one extreme or the other.

  185. zetetic says:

    Many of the posters do seem to have slept through any notion of the ecological concerns surrounding environmentalism, jick…

  186. jack says:

    Natural regulation and the balance of nature is a myth.Research literature and books on the subject of ecology such as Odum and Weaver will verify that.The balance of nature and natural regulation is propaganda put out by the NPS.YNP is a perfect example of the worst management of public land in the nation.When you talk about cattle overgrazing go look at YNP in the Mammoth-Lamar area. Now the range is being devastated by too many bison. The NPS set idly by and watches the bison starve inch by inch day by day.The bison must leave the park to avoid starvation.Where is the balance of nature? As the soil erodes away the range capacity is lowered and fewer animals can occupy the range.The wolves have little impact on bison and that population is at an all time high. In the meantime a double barrel effect on elk. Wolves killing the elk and bison destroying the vegetation important for elk survival. Bring in FEMA to YNP the whole area is a national disgrace and disaster.Wolf people when you go to YNP to view the killer wolf look down at your feet at the devastated range,erosion and destruction of riparian areas.I have never seen a cattle grazing area deteriorated like YNP.Then we have that ‘buffalo committee’ who wants more bison.Want to see what bison can do to range?Go look at our public state land in the Ruby-Robb-Ledford area in SW Montana. Let me see who owns those bison a self proclaimed environmentalist???? DNRC sets by and watches that range deteriorate…. our land and it’s bison ranching not cattle.Wolf re-introduction ,which was illegal and a lie ,remains the biggest mistake in the history of game management and management of YNP.

  187. Marion says:

    Thank you Jack, sometimes I feel like a voice crying in the wilderness. When one tries to point out that only 136 wolves were killed during the 42 years that wolves were killed, it is met by a stone wall of insistance that those numbers cannot be right. The fact that there is absolutley nothing to indicate a wolf population anywhere that even remotely approaches what we now have, doesn’t slow the claims of the need for a huge population at all.
    The loss of 70% of the northern elk herd and the refusal to count any others means nothing, they want more, more, more. When the elk numbers get so low that the wolves leave the Lamar sacrificial shrine, I would bet anything that the wolfers will blame the ranchers, never too many wolves.

  188. bearbait says:

    Hal…I am not pretending 1950 is here or should be. But I will tell you that there is an obligation for the “people” to provide for those whose livelihoods have been taken by the “people.” I have seen none of that.

    Government runs on taxes. Government land does not pay taxes, even though it is inside a state boundary. In much of the West, govt land is the elephant in room, and it is taxation on private property that keeps the elephant crap cleaned up, the elephant housed, the elephant accessible, and they now get nothing for that. Not a dime. No timber revenue, no family wage jobs, no energy, no respect. The Ranger Station is no longer staffed by 50 or 100. Twenty, maybe, or the Ranger Station is gone, melded into another and house in a town now far away. The mill or mills, the loggers, the supply and support business, is all gonel. It means the grocery store has become a gas station and convenience store, a real grocery now miles away on $3.50 gas. That in turn, has resulted in some pretty horrific human and social tolls. That gift keeps on giving. Periodically, a social worker or probation officer from far away comes to town for the day. A sheriff deputy comes by every other day. Kids now ride a bus miles to the open school running low on funds.

    Now it is easy for someone from far away to say that all the economic dislocation was inevitable, but that was not the plan nor is it the case. The timber was being harvested, replanted, roaded, on a continuing basis for perpetuity. Long term harvest rotations, thinning, road maintenance, attention to wildlife details, road gating to allow only govt or periodic harvest traffic. And all that stopped. Away went capital, human effort, public and private infrastructure and declines in government services. Many, many rural communities got just plain hosed by an uncaring country, and by people who did not, do not, nor ever will, live with the consequences. Instead, today we just let this wonderful resource burn, burn, burn. If that destruction is not enough, now we have turned the wildlife part of it into a wolf feeding program and reproduction experiment that has no brakes, no plan, no legal justification.

    So this is an election year. And the Democrat bedfellows of the enviro side of politics are being sucked up to by the candidates looking for money to garner votes, and you know that nothing has happened of consequence in Congress since the Senate flock of turkey baster fathers went campaigning a year ago, leaving the Senate undermanned and underwomaned. Now there are just three missing every day. There will be no answers on the legislative front for the next 4 years. Maybe never. We are at a legislative non-accomplishment time of rhetoric, posturing, strict partisan votes, and nothing of good has or will come of it. We are fiddling while Rome burns. The supplicants for status quo have the Congressional ear, and we are going to live with outdated law and administrative rule for the foreseeable future. Nothing is going to be changed, improved, modified to bring us to consensus on anything concerning the wildlands issues. No more wilderness, no ESA modifications to recognize the shortcomings and build a better process, no real fuel reduction program (unless you count burning it all up in conflagration which is a current USFS practice of fuel reduction accounting), no logging, no mining law revisions. Stalemate.

    On the bright side of all this, though, is the very real prospect that the wolf thing will get bad enough that non-resident hunting will not be allowed in wolf states, which will anger folks across the country who have the money to indulge in that sport. The money not spent on trespass fees, licenses, and guides might well go to political causes to change the process. And again, out of state money will be calling the shots. Just a pipe dream, I imagine. But change has to happen. You can’t land use zone whole states, creating protected open areas, without lowering the tax base over time. No PILT money from Congress added to reduced property taxes locally will not make the trains run on time. Nor will it educate children if there are going to be any. Service help for McMansions seasonally is not a sound foundation for family wage jobs and thriving children, and even less so when no non-resident hunting reduces the recreational season.

    I know there are chi-chi places with new jobs, but those areas have become more urban than rural. Those jobs go to people from elsewhere who have come to smell the snow. Small towns have become large towns in a dozen places. And a thousand small towns have diminished. Growing Beverly Hills does not improve life in Compton, bring meaningful jobs to Watts.

    If you really want to have a visual of what is happening to the West, go sit in Livingston and watch the trains go by for a day. I saw, after 9/11, two whole trains of military vehicles going east in one day. I told my buddies that Bush was going to war in the Mideast because I had not seen whole Army trains in 40 years. You can see unit trains of coal going to Boardman, Oregon, all with the little red rose painted on the side of the car. Going east, unit trains of containers, all carrying imported goods headed for Target and Walmart, Circuit City. Unit trains of lumber, 90% of Canadian origin, headed east. And unit trains of grain going west to the grain docks in Portland. Now and then cars of logs from the east go west. Logs from ranches as far away as the Dakotas going to western Montana mills. And whole trains of empty containers headed west, to be filled with hay, straw, slip loads of scrapped autos, aluminum, and someday, the statue of Sacajawewa in the Park, after the tweakers steal it for its metal content.

    Instead of being a part of the jobs-in-America economy, the West has become the pass through state for trains, as well as airplanes, a place for dilettantes to dabble in a lovely landscape, spending money earned elsewhere to change a place long term residents’ toil and treasure created. A job designing clothes for Americans to be made in China does not replace the missing logging and sawmilling jobs. Those jobs are in Canada cutting the Canadian forests, making lumber for export to America. How can they have enough wolves to export with all that logging, grazing and mining going on? We have to do better. There has to be a better way. And it all has to start in Congress, working on behalf of everyone, not just the special interests of the Green Lobby or for Big Timber, the megapulps, which are one and the same, making their secret deals with the NOGs of Green in Congressional halls. Like Spitzer’s whores, the Big Green lobby provides a service for money, and they get it where it is available in quantity. The tax protected foundations and trusts of Big Timber are but one of those spigots of wealth, conveniently keeping competition suppressed and their bottom lines healthy. It is time for people to know that Big Timber is the beneficiary of no public land logging. It is they whose assets have vastly appreciated by having no competition from Federal timber sales. Big Timber is not asking for more logging. County commissioners and small town city councils who are trying hard to find ways to provide an equal level of government for their citizens want the timber harvest increased, and fuels reduced to dampen fire intensity and scope. After the fires go through, the recreational traffic goes away also. And incomes drop even further. Add rampaging wolves to the meager economy, and there is real economic danger to those people in their little part of the world. Wolves have a negative economic impact on the whole scope of rural living. And it is about the economy. It will always be about the economy.

    If wolves are such a damned good deal, then they first should have been loosed on the Adirondacks and along the Applachians, on those public lands, to stray to eat those folks livestock unabated. If it works there, then bring them West. Putting them in the areas of low population and then demeaning the locals for not liking them is disengenuous and wrong. Go do it in places with many electoral votes, large representation in Congress. Idaho, Montana, Wyoming…gee…4 whole members in the House. Legislative bullying. Beating up on the little guys. It might be smart but that does not make it right. Creating the Emperor’s Club for wolf faeries will never make it right. But, when wasn’t stepping on the little people the right of the smart set?

  189. Marion says:

    Thank you so much bearbait. One of the important things you brought out is there is no plan for managing the wolves, anything that will invlve killing them will never be acceptable to those who live elsewhere and have a fairy tale view of wolves. Dreamers who have no clue about reality are certain that there is no need to control them, no matter what they destroy.
    No country whose main focus is on recreation can survive for long, in my opinion and looking at history. No human can survive without food and shelter, yet those who provide food and shelter for the masses are suddenly the bad guys because they interfer with fun and recreation for the idle. If that continues things do not look well for our country.

  190. HAL 9000 says:

    bearbait,
    I too lament the “yuppie-fication” of the West. After all, this is where I and generations of my family before me grew up. But much of that has little to do with environmental policy. Mainly, there’s two things going on. First, technology has made it possible for many jobs to be done from a remote location.. there’s not need to work in the central office for many. Secondly, as a result, many people were able to sell there homes or property for many times what they would be valued out West.. and then take all that money and move West.. buy up property, build a trophy home and keep working their jobs through technology that allows them to be productive without physically being at the company headquarters.
    The first great influx of such people to the West started in the early 1990s, before the wolves ever came. I might not like it, you apparently do not either.. but things change. And if we want to be totally honest with ourselves than we have to admit that at least these newcomers to the West are being far kinder to us than our forebearers were to the Indians that they drove off the land so the legacy that made our lives could be built.
    Also, I think you still fail to realize that land can and does have an intrinsic value all it’s own. I see wild land as a birthright.. and I’d rather not have all of my birthright logged into below-cost timber sales “just because.”
    Furthermore, I think you attribute way too much power to both wolves and the “Big Green” groups. The livestock industry has plenty of dollars, lobbyists and lawyers too. It’s hardly a David and Goliath battle in the halls of Congress in that regard.
    And if wolves are so damned destructive, both Canada and Minnesota would have ceased to exist… except as playgrounds for the independantly wealthy looking for a way to bond with nature. Last I knew, there’s plenty of salt-of-the-earth working people in both Canada and Minnesota.
    And as far as hunting goes, it seems to me, plent of idle rich set of the hunting fraternity are still willing to pay big bucks to go to Canada or Alaska.. and there’s significant wolf populations in both those places. And some of the snottiest guided hunt opportunites for the “once in a lifetime” trophy exist far outside anything that will ever be wolf habitat. Eastern Colorado and eastern Montana, for example. I lived in eastern Montana for a few years. Finding a place to hunt if you’re not an outfitter with enough money to grease a landowner’s palm into exclusive access rights can be quite the challenge. And I’ve heard it’s even worse in eastern Colorado.
    To say wolves will ruin hunting is just flat-out ignorant. They might CHANGE it in some places. But then again, the lazy-assed style of “hunting” that is encouraged by over-populated, half-tame elk herds is just the sort of thing that was rotting the sport form the inside out anyway.
    I’m sorry, but I think much of what you’re saying along those lines is hype.. not unlike the hype from those who say that any hunting or control of the wolves will make them go extinct here again.

  191. Marion says:

    Hal, if you say that saying wolves will ruin hunting is ignorant, how do you explain the loss of caribou and moose in the native villages in Alaska? If you read those reports you will see that is a fact, whether you consider it ignornat or not. Alaska has far more recent experience dealing with the problems wrought by inadequate wolf control, and even there we have the do gooders living in cities who know far more about it that the follks who have lived there for a lifetime.
    Where do you live that you have so much expertise?

  192. Marion says:

    By the way, there is a program on versus at 5 pm MDT about Wyoming dealing with the predators. It is 151 on Dish.

  193. HAL 9000 says:

    Marion, that the wolves have “ruined” the caribou and moose harvests in Alaska is still very much up for debate. And like Idaho’s govenour, Alaksa’s has pretty much made an idiot of himself with exaggerated, inflamitory statements regarding wolves. In any case, conditions in the Alaskan outback might be different than those here, and more agressive wolf control might be needed in specific areas there. For one thing, they are dealing with a well-established population, not one just coming off the endangered species list.
    Why does it matter where I live? Where do you live to make you an expert?
    But for the record, aside from small breaks here and there, I’ve lived my entire life within the general area of YNP. I’ve also as an adult lived and hunted in all three states — Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

  194. Craig Moore says:

    The Alaska governor is a woman, not a “himself.” It’s not just wolves by the expanding population of wolves, bears, and cats.

  195. Craig Moore says:

    s/b “but” not “by.”

  196. bill says:

    To say wolves will not damage hunting is ignorant.Remember the objective of wolf reintroduction was anti-hunting motivated especially by the Defenders an anti-hunting organization.There is little hunting left in most hunting districts surrounding YNP.The Gardner hunt was very popular,sporty and brought in much income to the area.We are losing elk,moose,deer and probably wild sheep as well from these killers now out of control.The NPS in Yellowstone had to trap and shoot wolves to protect elk back in the 1930’s.We will continue to lose hunting opportunity with out of control wolves. How many wolves do you consider enough Hal?Are you a hunter Hal? Alaska is a good example. In Alaska they have to aerial gun,trap and hunt wolves to protect caribou and moose.These wolf people will never admit there are enough wolves. The killers were fully recovered 6 years ago. Get real bleeding hearts.Wolves will cost us much hunting opportunity and loss of wildlife valuable for other recreational uses as well.If I see a wolf I will probably get sick because I can’t shoot it.

  197. Marion says:

    Hal, how can you dismiss the folks in Alaska so easily, it is arrogant to insist the natives living there know less about how the wolves are impacting wildlife than you do.
    I live 100 miles east of the park, grew up in Fremont county Wyoming. I grew up on a sheep ranch and lived with the effects of predation first hand, fortunately we could control coyotes (my Dad, not me). I talk to the ranchers that are losing the livestock, have seen the photos of dead livestock within view of the house.
    I have watched the elk and moose in Yellowstone vanish. I realize it appears more dramatic because as the years go by the wolf numbers increase and the elk decrease. I was disappointed in the program this evening about Wyoming and the predators, especially since Bangs said that bears are the predators of elk calves. He did not mention the fact that 40% of the winter kills are calves.

  198. HAL 9000 says:

    Bill.. you get sick seeing a wild animal because you can’t shoot it? That’s a pretty twisted point of veiw for a hunter to have. That’s just the sort of thing anit-hunters love to hear and turn against us. (trust me, I engange strident anti-hunters and animal rights activists in fierce debates on other blogs.) Yes, I hunt. Since I was old enough to hold a .22 and follow my father around. But trust me, this wolf-hating hype I’m seeing from some other hunters is not doing us any favors in the public eye. And the perception of the sport of hunting is important and will grow even more vital as the population becomes increasinly urban or suburban and fewer people hunt. Again, Bill, crap like what you just posted does anti-hunter’s P.R. work for them. It’s just the sort of thing that turns non-hunters in to anti-hunters.
    Wolves CHANGE hunting. They can make some animals, elk specifically, harder to hunt. So what? Are we hunters such a bunch of inept cry-babies that we can’t improvise, adapt, overcome? Isn’t that what hunting is all about.. a tradition of skill, meeting new challenges and being fit and smart enough to change tactics once an old tactic doesn’t work any more? Or, have we really become such a bunch of wimps who are so depenant upon our ATVs and two-way radios that none of us have the gumption or skill to actually hunt any more?
    Bill, I am all for wolf control. Though I don’t plan on getting a wolf tag myself, I support the proposed wolf hunts. I think they are a great idea.
    Overall, elk hunting in all three states is better than ever.. look at the numbers, Bill.. elk are at all-time highs in all three states! Yes, in some specific areas, wolves might have had too big an effect on the herds. Well, is throwing a hissy fit about wolves going to solve anything? No! Do what wildlife managers and hunters have always done. Don’t hate the animals.. simply open up a season, hunt hard and with good ethics, and take a reasonable number of wolves out of those specific areas.

  199. HAL 9000 says:

    Marion, I did not “dismiss” the people in Alaksa. Did you not get the part where I said the situation is different up there… so therefore more aggressive wolf control measures might be needed there than here?
    I’ve never said wolves should just be free to eat all the cows and sheep they can manage to cram down their throats. Again, I am for reasonable measures for ranchers to protect their stock. If that means shooting some wolves.. well, so what? Wolves are smart and adaptable, reasonable control won’t wipe them out.
    It seem to me you just want me to hate wolves. I can’t and I won’t. I am happy to see the wolves back and I think they are valuable to the ecosystem. And regardless of your or my feelings, they are here to stay.

    Craig, thank you for correcting me on the Alaska governour’s gender. Are you sure it’s just expanding predator populations.. and not an expanding human population.. perhaps both?

  200. Marion says:

    You said the situation might be different, but you also dismissed any discussion that there might be a problem. Wolves are not the problem, know everything people who actually have no knowledge and no problem with the cost and difficulties some have dealing with the wolves are what I object to. I also object to the lies, we were supposed to have 300 wolves, now enviros point out that was the minimum, they didn’t specify the actual number necessary to get them delisted, nor is any number acceptable to them as enough.
    Trophy hunting as a means of control is a joke, after the first shots are fired, it will be an accident if another license is filled. FWS has taken out hundreds, and still the numbers increase 20-30% per year.
    They have professional hunters and trappers in Alaska and they still cannot keep them under control, even in the outskirts of anchorage for goodness sake.
    I don’t really appreciate increased taxes on my state to make city folks some entertainment and make them think “they are saving nature”.

  201. Craig Moore says:

    Hal 9000, the growing griz population has been devastating on elk and moose calves.

  202. Marion says:

    Last night on the program about Wyoming and predators, Bangs made the statement that bears are killing the elk calves and to emphasize that point they shwoed a clip of a griz taking an elk calf over and over seveeral times. He did not mention the fact that 40% of winter killed elk are calves.

  203. bearbait says:

    Hal. I have watched from the front porch steps as APHIS shot 4 wolves from a helicopter some years back. They were shot because they had become habituated to people in the Park, and had moved onto a ranch to eat spring calves. Wolf faeries and ranchers no longer frightened them. The wolves followed the elk north out of the Park in winter, and onto ranch fields and private property, where they showed distain for efforts to run them off the spring calving areas inside the ranch fences. They killed a couple of spring calves, and four died for it, and 6 others went scurrying off into the Absorkies…for a while…the thinking being that killing a few will be a “come to Jesus” moment for the wolves, and they will stay far into the wilderness…yeah…..sure…..in a pig’s sphincter…As long as the govt kills lots of them, every year, and they can from helicopters, you really don’t need to depend on hunters to pay to shoot them. This is the Hew Hess Hay….we gots lots a money and lotsa helicopters….we can train the US Cavalry to shoot them off helicopter backs, as a training exercise…probably could do it at night. Wow. Would that get the black helicopter folks in Idaho excited.

    Of course that all sounds crazy. And so does a lot of the wolf advocacy. I DON’T HATE THE WOLVES. I HATE THAT THEY KILL PEOPLE’S LIVESTOCK…which is a hundreds of years old Russian saying…think about it. If “hating” was so extensive, how could we, as people, live in these United States….and I truly believe that if there had been a hard, fast, simple accounting for predation and the ranchers were paid for their losses at a fair market rate in the beginning, by the Govt., not an NGO, there would be far fewer problems today.

    In the paper I saw that a soldier from Hornbrook, California was killed in the mideast warfare..Hornbrook is a cowboy town of 260 souls north of Yreka in Siskiyou country. That is a place where several local ranches are about to sell their AUMs to the US Govt, AUMs in a BLM recently designated botanical reserve with considerable private inholdings. Operative word: sell. Another person from small town USA loses their life fighting in our military. Hornbrook, pop. 260. And 400 miles to the south, not one person from Oakland, pop. 400,000 has died in the military since 9/11, nor has anyone from Richmond or Daly City. The all volunteer army is about poverty, rural values, the need for the National Guard check every month, the sure pension at the end, the money to go to college. And certainly the struggle it is to keep kids close to home in areas of vast public land being whipsawed daily as to how those lands might or might not contribute to the local economy.

    And it does not mean much to wolf advocates espousing their littany against folks who don’t think their way, but there have been 700 murders in Oakland since 9/11..and just last year, 665 people were shot but not killed in Oakland. No hue and cry for those people. And there are similar problems in every major city in this country. Oakland is only the 4th worst place to live in terms of personal safety, with major crimes per 100,000 residents pegged at over 4000 per year. Detroit is numero uno. The wolves there are two legged. I DON’T HATE PEOPLE. I HATE WHAT THEY DO TO OTHER PEOPLE.

  204. jack says:

    I don’t hate wolves either there ok in the Yukon,NWT,Alaska,Alberta, and B.C and they can be hunted there as well. It was just a bunch of dumb burearucrats that decided in Washington D.C. we needed them here for some dumb reason and brought them down illegally.The bureaucrats violated federal law but they are use to that. The wolves would have been happy where they came from B.C. and Alberta.

  205. HAL 9000 says:

    So what’s your answer, bearbait?
    Do you think the states’ plans will work?
    Me, I’m skeptical that they might be too heavy-handed. But I think wait and see is the best approach right now.
    It sounds to me as if you would rather all the wolves be killed. I think that’s wrong-headed, but I’m tired of trying to change the minds of folks who think like you do.

    I know you like to try to paint this as a terrible thing that was bullied upon the poor little rural people. Well, as a poor little rural person (worked hard and lived pretty much paycheck to paycheck my whole life), maybe I was getting tired of the livestock industry being the big bully on the block when it came to land use issues. And you can’t tell me that even to this day, half the Legislature in any of these states won’t get up and run to the bathroom every time the ranching industry says “aw, crap!”

    So, the ranchers lost this one little round. So what? Life goes on. They might have to compromise and share with other intersests for a change. Well, welcome to the real world, guys.
    Yep, wolves are going to eat some cows. And yep, some wolves are going to be shot as a consequense. And life will go on.

    The intrinsic value of our wild lands here is not, IMO, what they can contribute to the local economy. What that usually means anyway is an extractive industry company comes in, causes a big boom until the resourse is depleted from the land and then moves on. Look, I grew up in Butte.. I’ve seen it happen first hand. The real fight was never to leave the land untouched for a bunch of granola-munching greenies to sit around and meditate in — as much as some like to play up on that sterotype. The fight all along was to keep greedy, short-sighted companies from coming in and stomping the crap out of the land until it was no longer profitable.
    It’s supposed to be tough to live out West, that’s what sets us apart. It would be far easier for me to go ply my trade in a big city and not be as ridicoloulsy poor as I am. But that’s beside the point. Being able to live out here is worth more to me than a fat paycheck. So, I stay here and stay poor. I’m not willing to let the land in my backyard be exploited just on the chance I might end up with a few more bucks in my pocket. And like I said, most of the time, extractive industry is just a boom-and-bust cycle that doesn’t do much for those small towns anyway.

  206. bearbait says:

    HAL…I don’t like the specter of federal agents hauling some poor jaboney off to some far away federal lockup because he shot at a wolf that was trying to kill his horse or Labrador retreiver. The feds are pretty hard handed and the expense is huge. Just ask what a retainer now is for your having to be represented in federal court as opposed to local district or circuit court. Just accused by the Feds can result in bankruptcy.

    I don’t think all wolves should die. Or even most of them. All I believe is that there is a balance. There are way, way more people in the world that were ever here, and bad as that is in some ways, it is good in many others. Either that, or there is no need for the Peace Corps, or world AIDs relief, smallpox eradication. So there can only be as many wolves as there is wild habitat for them. That land is finite, and so should wolf numbers be.

    No matter how you feel about ranchers, you have to know that they, and they alone, are the guardians of the last great expanses of open, undeveloped land. Make their economic venture not viable due to wolf predation without remedy, and the future of that land is in other uses, most likely with more human development. And, by barring the public from their lands, the wildlife there is not harrassed, the land not strewn with garbage, stuff shot up, dead whores dumped in the canyon, dope growers using the water and eating the wildlife, broken appliances and bags of garbage are not dumped hither and yon. There are areas that are without public access, and that is good for the whole of wildlife, and most ranches are providing that. And, in my opinion, ranch timber management, grass mangement, water management, all are better than the feds provide on their land outside of wilderness, and even some of that is suspect. Much more diversity. There was, after all, a great deal of human impacts on the land before whitey ever got here. Ranchers understand that way more than city kid urban enviros taught by academic zealots with not enough practical experience to get out of the rain.

    I have a rancher friend who saw a wall of flame coming at his outfit, and he climbed on the cat, and lined ahead of it, and his neighbors and some buckaroos got the water wagon going and they stopped the fire before it climbed into the wilderness or burned all his fall range. For that he got a ticket for building fire line inside a wilderness study area. The fire was set by an environmental teacher and guide who was burning his just used toilet paper and the wind caught it and away went the flames. Of course, he did not get a ticket. The bad ass rancher got the ticket, had to travel hundreds of miles to defend himself. He was found not guilty due to an unsurveyed boundary that was no more than stakes in the ground. All because an idiot thought it environmentally sound to burn his ass wipe in range fuels, low humidity, and a twenty mile an hour wind. Coyotes like those turd tickets which flag a certain meal. Just let it blow in the wind. And in rocks, burying Mr. Grumpy is not an option.

    I admire your being able to grow up in Butte and find your way in the world. I had business at the US Courthouse (USFS had an office there), and I drove by the High School, and the cheer girls were working out on weights along with the football boys. Tough place. One of the most telling acts of kindness I witnessed in a little greasy spoon lunch dive. The waitress saved the used coffee grounds for a couple of old guys with limited means. After they had left, and before our lunch was done, we listened as she called a social service agency and asked to advance food money to another down in his luck old timer. A working social service program of kindness in a place that was not the Ritz, directed to people who needed the help. I have never seen that kind of kindness from a waitress, which of course, meant I left a way too large tip. I have no idea what I ate, but I do know the experience will never leave me.

  207. A sledhead says:

    it still bothers me that we have people trying to stop others from doing as they please ,..what has happened to OUR RIGHT TO PURSUE HAPPINESS ,….some folks are so willing to give up these rights our forefathers fought so hard to get and protect , its completly odvious there needs to be a management system for the reintroduced wolf , just like every other animal in the forest ,. so there is going to be a hunting season for them , why fight it , the only lives its going to effect is the person who is hunting it , are you antihunter ecofreaks going to be affected physically , or mentallly in any way?,…truth is that youll never pull yourselves away from this blog long enough to miss the few wolves who are taken by hunters ,…..SOME PEOPLES KIDS ,….SHEEEESH

  208. Marie says:

    If you want to understand what is going on with the truth wolves order a copy of Undue Burden the real cost of living with wolves.
    http://www.prosts.com/Documentary-Undue-Burden.htm

    Every hunter, rancher, fisherman, hiker, wolf lovers must see this film to understand the terror children are living with.

  209. HAL 9000 says:

    Sledhead, I see no reason to freak out yet. The States’ managment plans are set to go forth on March 28, so far as of today (March 19) there’s no indication the injunctions will stop them.
    So, the states’ managment plans are probably going to take effect. That’s going to involve some wolf control — including wolf hunting this fall.
    I say, let’s everybody calm down… see how the states do with the wolves over the next couple to three years.. and then we’ll all have a much clearer picture.

  210. HAL 9000 says:

    bearbait.. Yes, I recognize the ranchers’ value in forming a barrier to stop the developer’s bulldozers and the pox of subdivisions on the land.

    I’ve told greenies more than once — If you think you don’t like ranchers, then you really aren’t going to like what happens when they are forced to sell off their land.

    Be that as it may, the ranching industry as a whole seems to have this perception that their interests trump all others, and they should somehow be beyond reproach. I don’t hate ranchers… far from it. But, they are but one interest group. Not THE interest group.

    Despite the ranting and raving on the extremes, I think the reasonable middle from the hunting, environmental and ranching communities can, have and should continue to work together. I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes — the Nature Conservancy, some sportsmens’ groups and a few ranchers all getting together to set aside valuable elk habitat for permenant protection from any sort of sub-dividing or development. I see no reason why these groups can’t work together on wolf managment.

  211. Marion says:

    Hal, I think you are missing the point that the ranchers are the ones with everything they own on the line. They are the ones with an actual investment, and let’s face it when you are talking about the future of THEIR land, they really are THE interest group.

  212. bearbait says:

    Hal: Ranchers might not be THE interest group, but money talks and b.s. walks. Ranchers own their land, and tied to that land’s viability is access to summer graze. They go hand in hand. It is an economic unit deal. A lesson in scale. Is a bale hand tractor cheaper to run for 100 head or 300 head? How many head does it take to pay the taxes? How many head to buy health insurance? How many before you can have an IRA?

    If the public land graze goes away, and the economic unit is no longer there, the route becomes one to find the buyer who can pay the most for what you have left. That means you probably won’t get rolled into another outfit, which no longer happens because the economics of winter range is so driven by amentiy property values. So amenity property it is. And when the amenity property gets sold, it will be to the next level which is ranchettes, your little piece of heaven. At that time, when the winter range is inhabited by dogs, cats, kids, llamas, horses, goats, sheep, what have you, and lots of cross fencing, the wildlife value is gone. The question becomes, then, was it really worth it to get rid of the rancher? Has there evolved a greater wildlife value in the empty grazing allotment? Who is keeping the water improvements going? Or are they? Who is pulling weeds, putting out salt and mineral blocks? And now that the fine fuels are not eaten, when the fire goes through, have you improved the wilderness or just burned it because some idiot told you that was good for it? Logged, eaten by cows, or burned, the resource is gone. Loggers never took it all nor did cows. Fire does. Sometimes it takes it all and then some.

    And that out the gate access to range the ranch had is not an automatic. Public access goes away with many ranches losing their graze. So there really is lots to think about. No matter how you think ranchers are in the driver’s seat, that they have driven the process, you do have to realize that they hold some cards, including trump. It might be one of those deals where when you win, you really lose, but get to say you won.

  213. bill says:

    Does anyone have a wolf or wolf/wolverine arctic hood for sale or know where you can get one? Is the Hudson Bay Company still in business in Canada they use to sell them. Do you know a place in Alaska as well?Thanks for any information.

  214. HAL 9000 says:

    Bill, why spend all that money, when you can just get squirrel/chipmunk fur at your local city park and make a hood that’s probably darn near as warm?

  215. bill says:

    Thanks Hal but not the same quality by far. Wolf fur is some much nicer and wolverine fur won’t frost.Together they make a beautiful hood anyone would be proud to wear.I will keep looking anymore suggestions Hal?

  216. bearbait says:

    Bill: Persian or Siamese cat would work, and you could really do something positive for the environment. Sometime measure the length of the pet food aisle at the megamart, and then measure the baby food section….that is a social comment in and of itself.

  217. bill says:

    Hal I just have to have wolf fur its one of those mocho things you know what I mean? It’s got to be wolf I won’t accept a substitute. I guess I could hunt one now myself the season may open soon. Do you know if you can apply for more than one permit Hal? I could get one every year. Maybe a family member could apply to. I hear there is nothing to finding one just lay on a haystack and wait.I pack a good lunch and always take a 6 pack of Bud Light.I hear the season could open soon but the fur won’t be that good.Are you going to try it to Hal? Maybe we could hook up for a wolf hunt.

  218. HAL 9000 says:

    Bill,

    I hear that the most effective way to hunt wolves is to dress up like Little Red Riding Hood and head to Grandma’s house.

  219. Craig Moore says:

    Hal, does Red get to wear those slutty stiletto heels and have collagen injected into her lips?

  220. HAL 9000 says:

    Bill,

    I don’t know… are you saying wolves are suckers for the Angelia Jolie look?

  221. A sledhead says:

    there aint enough MEAT on that HO’s bones for even a mouse to get a meal , let alone a whole wolf

  222. Matt M says:

    Hal and Bill,

    Have you guys ever tried hunting ignorant redneck hicks? You set a TV in the woods playing something like Pro wrestling or monster truck racing and use that as bait. Or you can drive them into a cage by chasing them with books. Scientific journals work best. They hate actual facts that challenge their version of reality. Books about evolution work well.

  223. bill says:

    Hate to tell my hunting secrets Hal but I have two elk calf silhouettes that I will set up I also have a few sheep ones to and a call or two. Billy Jr. can hardly wait to shoot one of them wolf critters. Billy wants to use his new .300 Winchester short magnum on one.A haystack provides good cover. Maybe we could both get one every year that would be great. I have been thinking about starting a wolf hunting club.I think I will call it “save a 100 elk- shoot a wolf club”. What do you think Hal?

  224. ryans gay partner says:

    yeah bill i have hunted with some of yer type retarded beer drinkin libral hunter that love the outdoors but cant go out into the wild without be drunk ….hey bill i will join yer club but do you care if I use yer family for wolf bait …ya got any lil ones work …probaly not since yer retarded

  225. bill says:

    Well thanks sleddog. I don’t want to charge any membership fees either. Folks are all stressed out with the price of fuel
    for the truck and 4 wheeler these days and just can’t afford dues.I have a friend who just graduated from auto mech. trade school and he’s pretty smart he said he would work out the details for a club.

  226. ryans gay partner says:

    I think i would like to rub sticks with ya bill …you turn me on with all that fur talk and hay stack stuff….yeehaw …squeal like a pig bill

  227. bill says:

    Don’t take this personal but we don’t allow gay folks in our huntn’ camps.

  228. Matt M says:

    Sledhead,

    You are a smart man and your mother and father are not first cousins.

    April Fool’s Day!

  229. ryans gay partner says:

    hey bill I like it all and im not gay but I thought a retarded dude like you would like it in the rear …makes yer type of huntin camps more fun

  230. bill says:

    rayans gp.. my guess is you don’t hunt anyhow.So whats your position on wolves?..doggy? ha ha ha ha.

  231. ryans gay partner says:

    well bill wolves and retards like you suit me jus fine …you even laugh like a retard ….boy that really turns me on bill ….I will bet you like in the rear even with my ultra mag …squeal lil pig boy

  232. HAL 9000 says:

    Okay… if I’m on a hunting trip with any of you guys.. and you invite me to share a bottle of whiskey and head for the pup tent.. I’m outta there…

    But seriously… Bill, you go on ahead and hunt them wuffs. I’d really rather not.

  233. HAL 9000 says:

    Matt, the best way to bait in Redneck Hicks is to play “classic” episodes of The Dukes of Hazard on a big-screen T.V., with a cooler of cheap beer nearby.

  234. bill says:

    Lets all pop a cap the gray wolf is off the endangered species list!

  235. A sledhead says:

    im really very UNCOMFTERABLE with all these guys who seem to have feelings like women ,….matt , i bet you never miss an episode of oprah ,. dont you understand that MEN have been hunting literly since the stone age who are you to take a stand against it , its human nature ,.. im sorry but your GUY CARD IS REVOKED ,…. go sit with the women ,.and dont forget your midol

  236. A sledhead says:

    hal ,
    if you were ever to hunt with us ,.youd be so busy SNIPE HUNTING ..youd never find your way back to camp

  237. Matt M says:

    Sledhead,

    I am a hunter. Unlike you, I am an ehtical hunter that understands that wolves play a role in the ecosystem. I don’t watch Oprah, just as you don’t read much.

  238. ryans gay partner says:

    matt what do you hunt ..i mean what type of guy do you hunt for at gay bars

  239. A sledhead says:

    matt , matt, matt,
    i think your confusing the subject matter here , ethical hunting practice ,….. and the delisting of the wolf , what really are you trying to say? the only thing ive seen you write is how to unethically hunt rednecks , i mean seriously mat ,… hunting us with big screen hdtv sporting wwf or monster trucks even dukes of hazzard is definatly UNFAIR ,…what about fair chase,… and the couch with the nearby tapped keg is way over the top people loose their hunting rights for doing such unfair things in an effort to bag their quarry i mean god knows just the low soothing hum of the generator is sure to draw us in from miles ,.
    P.S. Matt I still think your a homosexual oprah watching liberal scumbag bent on distroying all FREEDOM to support your selfish agenda

  240. HAL 9000 says:

    What’s with the constant need to bring up homosexuality? Is there some kind of Freudian vibe going on here?

    Sledhead — oddly enough, there is a small species of waterfowl known as the snipe, which is legal to hunt. Good luck hitting the little suckers though.

  241. HAL 9000 says:

    Matt, not to worry. There are some members of our grand hunting fraternity who seem to think you can’t be a “real” hunter if:

    *You read anything besides Feild and Stream and use words with more than two syllables.
    *You actually enjoy movies with dialouge and a plot.
    *You are any more “liberal” than John Birch.
    *You respect opinons different from your own.
    *You look for qualities in a woman beyond a full set of teeth and big breasts.
    *You really don’t want to kill anything and everthing that moves.
    *You are capable of functioning without an ATV, snowmobile or pickup without a 5-inch lift kit. (In other words, you’re in shape and actually know how to use your legs.)
    *You understand and appreciate complex things, like a fully-functioning ecosystem and the role of top-tier predators, like the wolf.

    Yes, Matt… trust me, I know how annoying it is. But we hunters must do our best to nurture and gently guide our own problem children… lest they end up doing all of PETA’s anti-hunting propoganda work for them.

  242. Jack says:

    We are so far from the subject now any chance of going back to the subject at hand? Everyone re-read the article there may be a test.The article is at the top of the page.

  243. Jack says:

    No problem Craig the entire wolf reintroduction has been a fairy tale from the start and still is.

  244. HAL 9000 says:

    Jack,
    Yes, the topic at hand. Sorry to digress.

    My take — Montana’s wolf plan is sensible. Idaho’s… not so much, but we’ll have to see. Wyoming’s plan is two steps on the wrong side of stupid, and will continue to trash the state’s already tarnished image regarding wildlife managment. I predict there will be a boycott of Wyoming tourism — similar to what Alaska suffered when they decided it would be fun to just mow down their wolves and flip the finger to the rest of the world. That will put immense pressure on state officials when they figure out that tourism, not ranching, is actually the primary economic powerhouse in much of the state. That, coupled with the fact that too many wolves will probably be killed in Wyoming, will probably have wolves back under federal protection in Wyoming in the next year or two. And the state will either grow up and learn to play well with others, or continue to whine about “gubbamint oppression.”

  245. Marion says:

    Ahhh, Hal, two of the states with the best and most complete wildlife populations in the country, and the city enviros are going after them for not protectin one species above all others. Tourism is not our big money, it is minerals and agriculture. All of the crying over wolves in the world is not going to plug a well.

  246. Marion says:

    By the way Alaska is in pretty much the same place with minerals.

  247. HAL 9000 says:

    Marion, you’re extremely Naive — or maybe stuck in 1950 — if you thing tourism doesn’t have incredible leverage in Wyoming and the other states. I watched with my own eyes and the tourism industy put the screws to the gas industry a while back, because of the threat of over-zealous gas exploration damaging some of the state’s better scenery and wildlife habitat.

    Read the national press.. not just local yokel papers. The list of people pissed at Wyoming is growing every minute. And regardless of public sentiment, I think the state’s heavy-handed policy is going to end up killing too many wovles — so right back on the endangered list they will go.. and it will all be back to square one. Once again, Wyoming has to learn that they can’t exist in a bubble and give the finger to the rest of the country when it comes to managing the public’s wildlife. If they need to be slapped around a little to get that through their thick skulls.. then so be it.

  248. Marion says:

    Hal, if everyone stayed home this summer, it would be the best thing in the world for the environment and the fuel consumption in the US. We could get by the oil/gas coming out of the ground in the good ol USA and not have to beg our enemies for more. I am quite happy to do my part and not travel more than 200 miles from home. I’m quite sure our state will do just fine.
    I doubt if any of the three wolves killed in Wyoming were even counted, a lot aren’t. We know 253 was thought to be dead long ago. One wolf was in cattle that are calving, that rancher will not be compensated for wolf kills from anyone, now if you personaly want to pay for the cattle killed, the rancher might be willing to let the wolves eat them, but I doubt it.

  249. Jack says:

    Hunting wolves during a licensed hunting season will harvest very few wolves. It’s more like a ‘recreational sport’ lots of looking but no seeing and no shooting.Even in Alaska with thousands the hunter success is less than 5%.Hunting wolves is not like hunting deer or elk.Wolves are very nocturnal as well. No need to worry about over hravesting wolves if 700 licenses were issued tomorrow they will be lucky to harvest 5. Since wolves are increasing at an alarming rate of 25-30% /year there is no way that hunting will even keep on top of the annual increase.My concern is the impact these wolves are having on big game species and hunting opportunity.If anyone thinks they will just go out and hunt a wolf for a day or two you will be disappointed you will be lucky to even see one.With thousands in Alaska you rarely even see one. Now I see most of the caribou are gone on the Alaska peninsula and about 1 calf/100 cows. I hunted there in 1992 and wolves were everywhere and the caibou population was beginning to decline. The moose population had already declined and we seen no calves, not one.For an update look at Alaska Fish & Game web page.So what will state wildlife agencies do to maintain big game populations with the out of control wolf population? Please get off the livestock loss kick wolves are killing big game animals 365 days a year and a few livestock.The northern Yellowstone elk herd went from 19,600 animals to 6200 the 2007-2008 classification, that all happened in 11 years. Go to YNP and you will see few if any moose,mule deer and wild sheep now. Wolves have destroyed the diversity of YNP and should never have been reintroduced.Don’t believe the NPS as well they are overpaid liers living in government provided housing.

  250. HAL 9000 says:

    Jack,

    I think it’s quaint that you fancy yourself to know so much better than the numerous scientists who have said the wolves have done the ecology in Yellowstone loads of good. I can’t speak directly to the situation in Alaksa.. but I must say, I’m dubious to these anectdocal claims I keep hearing that wolves vitrually wipe out any species in their area. How, pray tell.. did they or their pray species survive for millions of years if that really is the case? If that’s really the case, the first White Men who landed in the New World would have found virtually no deer, elk or moose, lots of really mean wolves and a few starving, pissed off Indians.
    As for Wyoming, Jack, the numbers don’t lie. The elk numbers across Wyoming and Idaho and Montana are at all-time highs. And why, oh, why, Jack does the Wyoming Fish and Game continue to issue liberal cow/calf and general, over-the-counter elk tags in the wolf zones if they elk herds have been ruined? The FACT is, the Yellowstone herd was grossly overpopulated, way over-concentrated and doing horrendous damage to the land. The herd was not decimated.. it was brought in to balance. And people like wildlife biologists and range managment specialists have told me these things themselves or written about them. Are they all liars and part of some huge government conspsiracy?

  251. HAL 9000 says:

    Marion, also quaint is your notion that Wyoming, especially it’s agri/industy, exists in a self-substaining bubble.. exaulted above and unaffected by the rest of the world. That would be nice if it were true. In fact, if it were true, I would consider Wyoming an ideal place to live. Who would not want to live in a place totally cut off from the world? A place with no annoying tourists.. or wealthy outsiders coming in to build trophy homes… hell, sounds like paradise to me. I might even be willing to sacrifice every wolf that walks in Wyoming for such a alternative reality.
    But that’s not actual reality. The acutal reality is, Wyoming has demonstrated it can’t play nice with others.. and, I think, will suffer accordingly.

  252. Jack says:

    My mistake Hal it’s a wildlife wonderland!! When were you there last Hal? What scientists?? You mean with the Defenders and World Wildlife Fund? The scientists/biologists in this area also say a big mistake. Have you watched the hunting permits and success decline Hal? In Montana 1/2 what they were 5 years ago.When you go to YNP Hal take your little notebook and record the number of elk,mule deer,moose and wild sheep you see.

  253. Marion says:

    Hal, when was the last time you were in Yellowstone? Elk are seen in Norris only occassionally, in Mammoth, but not on the hills around it anymore. There are a few elk in Gibbon Meadows some times, a couple small herds on the Madison. Very few calves.
    It is true hunting across the states overall is good, but in areas where the wolves are heavy the story is different.
    Moose numbers are falling in the Tetons, but the herds in the Big Horns and the Snowies are doing fine.
    If you have not been to Yellowstone for 2-3 years I urge you to go perhaps during the rut, that is when elk begin to congregate. Spring isn’t as bad since a lot of elk are migrating in. Last spring I thought things had improved becaue I saw more than the previous fall, but by fall it was terrible.

  254. Jack says:

    Right on Marion. Gibbon Meadows and Indian Creek was always one of the best areas to photograph elk in the rut.Go there now you are lucky to see three. Gardner-Mammoth and east of Gardiner Creek was always a great area for wildl sheep.I got some great wild sheep photos there before the wolves.Now you see few wild sheep.You can’t find a mule deer and haven’t seen a moose in YNP in 8 years. Also you see few coyotes. The gray wolf from Canada killed most all of them. Beaver have been severly reduced by wolves. Yes, you see bison but wolves have little impact on them they are too defensive. Now the bison population is at an all time high. The range conditions inside YNP have deteriorated due to high bison populations. Bison leave the park to avoid starvation. The NPS will have to shoot more or they will starve inside YNP.Forget about any balance it’s a myth. Wolves have decimated the native wildlife in YNP. Interesting since the wolves are exotic from Canada and not the same wolf that even existed in YNP and larger in size,Bergmans Principle.Then the NPS itself. All that new development inside YNP. Houses,gas stations,power lines not underground. That development should have been outside the park.Better living quarters for park employees.YNP is a national disgrace.

  255. HAL 9000 says:

    Marion… you’re missing the point. Back in the days when you couldn’t go four feet in Yellowstone with out dodgin and elk.. and yes, I clearly recall those days.. that was NOT a natural, normal or healthy situation. What we’re seeing in Yellowstone now (and yes, I’m in the park a couple of time a year, at least) is NORMAL elk densities. You’re trying to take the gross over-population and un-natural density of elk there in the past and say that was “normal.”
    And that’s simply not the case.

    Why do you think there were no deer in the Park before, Marion? Or that the populations of beaver, fox and numerous other critters were down? There were WAY too many elk.. and they were pounding the crap out of the land and driving other creatures out. The only critters that were benifiting was an over-population of coyotes. I don’t know where you guys are getting your information, but just ONE source I’ve talked to .. a person who was a range specialist with the Forest Service for decades.. has said the recovery of flora and fauna in Yellowstone since the wolves were brought back is amazing.

    Jack, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming are all issuing MORE elk tags… and hunter harvests are UP across the board.

    Saying wolves destroy the ecosytem is insane. As I said before, if there were any truth to that, the first White Men who landed here would have found only a biological wasteland and starving Indians.

  256. Hal says:

    Your wrong Hal. Hunting districts 313,316,317,301,310 and 314 shows a decline in elk and elk hravest as well. Elk harvest statewide is down.The either sex licenses you mentioned were unsuccessful.Moose permits in those hunting districts are nearly something of the past. Wolves are now distributed all over SW Montana and harassing elk off of winter ranges as well.We have only begun to see the problem with out of control large Canadian wolves.Most importantly however the reintroduction was illegal from the beginning.The Canadian wolf was dumped on top of the Rocky Mt. wolf already in the area.That wolf Canis lupus irremotus should have been allowed to recover under the ESA.The Canadian wolf is larger in size 90-160# while the Rocky Mt. wolf is 70-110#. In addition the gray wolf was fully recovered 11 years ago and increasing at alarming rate of 25-30% /yr and taking Montana big game animals in the process.How many wolves do you want Hal? Hal the wolf re-introduction was the best anti-hunting tool ever invented. The wolves were supposed to “stay in the YNP pantry” according to the NPS and USFWS. They left the “pantry” in large numbers.When did you elk hunt last Hal?The diversity of wildlife in YNP has been destroyed with the larger exotic Canadian wolf. Please don’t give us the balance of nature- natural regulation myth. The range in YNP is being destroyed now with too many bison. Who was the USFS expert with all that wisdom? Maybe he should look at the scientific literature on the subject.When were you in YNP last Hal? what did you see? Did you see elk,moose,wild sheep and mule deer? Where ? Tell us. I want to see them to.

  257. Marion says:

    When I was in the park last fall during the rut, one big bull and a small bull were hanging out at Mammoth with about 25-30 cows. A tourist couple told me (while we were watching the big bull rest) that the ranger told them the reson the bulls were so few is because they stay in the mountains during the rut.
    When the Washburn Expedition made their trip, they estimated 30,000 elk, they mentioned and described all of the flora and fauna carefully, but guess what the only mention in the diaries about wolves was by Mr. Evart, stating he heard a wolf howling the last night of his being lost and nearly starving.
    What makes you think you are doing any better job playing God in Yellowstone and destroying elk, than those who got rid of the wolves? I suspect another 25-50 years will have those “experts” ranting about the selfishness of those that were willing to destroy the moose and elk to entertain city folk, and try to drive ranchers (food producers) off the land, so it could be saved for recreation for themselves.

  258. Marion says:

    Hal 9000, that last sentence shows where the problem is, you & the rest if the wolf lovers don’t live with them and never will if you can help it.

  259. Hal 9000 says:

    Marion.. what is a “wolf lover?” Sounds like some sort of bizzare sexual fettish I’d rather not think about.

    I am an earthy person who loves being close to nature and surrounded by it. I happen to recognize the complexities of a healthy ecology, and the role top-tier predators play in that ecology. I also realize this part of the world is settled enough for human interests to come into play. How many times do I have to say “I have no problem with some wovles being shot” for you to get it through your skull that I’m not a member of PETA.. or Earth First or whatever sterotype you want to slap on me. Never mind, don’t answer that. I’ve concluded that unless and until I start posting things like “wolves suck and I hope they all get roasted alive by vengeful ranchers with flame throwers…” you’re going to think I’m some sort of radical environmentalist.

    Gay partner.. “city slicker?” Yes, I know my way around the city, and love visiting it. For one thing, there’s that 20-1 ratio of hot chicks for every guy in many metropolitan areas. But, I’ll wager I was bucking hay bales into the back of an old pickup truck (we didn’t have no sissy stack wagon on the ranch where I worked) with a wad of chew in my mouth back when you were still just a little squirt playing with Tonka trucks. I’ve long since quit the chew (nasty habit), but I can hillbilly it up with the best of ‘em.

  260. Marion says:

    The opposite of a wolf hater.

  261. bill says:

    Don’t forget ‘wolf hunter and trapper’. When can we get out there and get some hides? The hides are not too good now they should have delisted in Jan./Feb. when the hides were prime but the bleeding hearts held it up.So I will wait until Oct/Nov. I would like to get every color phase and make floor mounts in a couple of years.

  262. ryans gay partner says:

    hal I live in the big hole and i doubt you can hang with me son I’m in my fitheis and mind my own business un like you and yer buddy’s but I did have a tonka truck jus as my kids and my grand kids ya see son I still work a 1200 acres ranch in wolf country and I could care less what the law or wacko libs say about protection or management
    if they threaten me or my family they die….but I too think they are good to have around …but there is jus way to many

  263. Matt M says:

    I wish they would open a season on cows on public land.Considering they are a non native, invasive species that is terrible for the eco system I think a cow hunt is in order and long overdue. I could get a lot of free meat that way. Also, since my tax money props up the ranching industry, I’m entitled to some free meat.

  264. bill says:

    But Matt you are a vegetarian!!! Wolves are to they are grazers and browsers!

  265. ryans gay partner says:

    yeah matt and I get your money every time a wolf kills one of my cattle…..and bill you and matt must be but buddies

  266. bill says:

    How much money do you make when a wolf kills a cow or calf?Your lucky no one pays us when wolves kill our big game animals.How many have you lost so far and how much did you make?

  267. Matt says:

    Bill,

    I’m not a vegetarian. and “our” big game animals?The elk, wolves, and humans belong to the Earth. Not the other way around.

    Ryan,

    I know I pay for your cattle. I do weather a wolf kills one or not. It’s called welfare ranching and we taxpayers prop up the cattle industry so ranchers can play cowboy.

  268. ryans gay partner says:

    bill I get market price and matt all I can say is I don’t play cowboy I have quads, but thanks for your money ..jus got a New Harley thanks to dummies like u

  269. bill says:

    With all those farm subsidy checks you probably have 5 and spend the winter in Hawaii. How many mail boxes for all those subsidy checks? You probably have some not cashed.Stay on marked roads and trails with that Harley. Do you travel with the Harley group to S.D. and Butte every year?

  270. A sledhead says:

    I cant believe im gonna admit this but ;….. I agree with matt this 1 time ….cattle are the single most distructive animal in the forest , the rancher is ALWAYS whining ,… the elk are eating my grass !!!! as they quietly graze their distructive cattle through our national forest leaving huge nasty trails where ever they go , the up side to this is that some of the local ranchers here have officaly hired me on incase i see a wolf harrassing live stock i now have the right as an employee ,….stop the wolves,.. my selection is the ever famous 22-250 it gets the job done ,…i suppose im sorta self serving but what the hell

  271. HAL 9000 says:

    Well Marion, you just sank your own battleship.
    What’s formally known as the “false dilemma” is a whopper of a logical fallacy, in which it is falsely asserted that only two choices exist. When – in reality – there are at least three, and likely dozens upon dozens of choices, opinions and optiosn.

    Are you saying one has to be either a wolf lover or wolf hater, Marion? Ha, classic false dilemma…. there is a wide continuum of choices and opinions between wanting all the wolves dead and wanting not a single hair touched upon any wolf’s head. And of course, there is the dead center middle… of really not giving a damn either way.

    If you were to put “I want them all dead” on the far right of the continuum, and “harm not a single one” on the far left.. with “I don’t freaking care, what’s on Ophrah?” dead center in the middle.. . I would say I fall somewhat to the left. I don’t mind seeing some wolves killed, I just think it’s unwise and unhealthy for the environment to try looking for excuses to kill wolves at every turn.

    If that makes me a “wolf lover” in your book, Marion, then so be it. Just give me a nice stuffed plush wolf doll that I can cuddle up with and sing a lullaby to every night. Heck, he’ll go great with my “hero rancher”, “drunken redneck hunter on a snowmobile” and “sniveling city slicker” action figures – plus my “gory, bleeding elk calf” toy.

  272. HAL 9000 says:

    Well Marion, you just sank your own battleship.
    What’s formally known as the “false dilemma” is a whopper of a logical fallacy, in which it is falsely asserted that only two choices exist. When – in reality – there are at least three, and likely dozens upon dozens of choices, opinions and optiosn.

    Are you saying one has to be either a wolf lover or wolf hater, Marion? Ha, classic false dilemma…. there is a wide continuum of choices and opinions between wanting all the wolves dead and wanting not a single hair touched upon any wolf’s head. And of course, there is the dead center middle… of really not giving a damn either way.

    If you were to put “I want them all dead” on the far right of the continuum, and “harm not a single one” on the far left.. with “I don’t care, what’s on TV?” dead center in the middle.. . I would say I fall somewhat to the left. I don’t mind seeing some wolves killed, I just think it’s unwise and unhealthy for the environment to try looking for excuses to kill wolves at every turn.

    If that makes me a “wolf lover” in your book, Marion, then so be it. Just give me a nice stuffed plush wolf doll that I can cuddle up with and sing a lullaby to every night. Heck, he’ll go great with my “hero rancher”, “ hunter on a snowmobile” and “city slicker” action figures – plus my “gory, bleeding elk calf” toy.

  273. Matt says:

    Bill,

    Thanks for the tip about the taxadermist.When logic and science eventually take over irrational hatred, they will open up a cow season to rid my beloved North American wilderness of the invasive cow. I think I’ll get a few cow head mounts. Maybe I’ll get lucky and get one with an ear tag.

  274. bill says:

    This may come as a shock…but I would rather see cattle on the range any day before a wolf!!!!

  275. HAL 9000 says:

    Bill, I think there’s a shop called “Big, Dead Things R Us” — located right between the hippy coffee shop and the stripper bar in the heart of downtown Missoula.

  276. A sledhead says:

    did they make a doll after me ?

  277. Matt M says:

    I’ll call that taxidermist. Once the general public wakes up and realizes how destructive cattle are to the landscape, we can open a season to rid the public lands of them. I’d like to get a bull, but I’ll take a cow. What would make a better mount, Holstiens or Angus?

  278. Barb says:

    The problem with ‘delisting’ wolves is that wolves are hated by ill informed and superstitious ranchers and rural folks who still think of them as the devil!

    Wolves should be permanently protected against hunting — forever, especially in light of their terribly undeserved persecuted history due 99.9% to the cattle industry, who arrogantly belive that open lands should be “sanitized” of all predators!

    Read Michael Robinson’s Predatory Bureaucracy to open up your eyes about wolf persecution.