Hey buddy, can you spare some change for my wolf?

I don’t like bullies. Few people do. Yet, it seems like we live in a world where all of the rules are written by (and for) the bullies. Whether corporations seeking to absolve themselves of their responsibility to be good global citizens, governments seeking to secure natural resources (usually for corporate gain) or special interests striving to maintain the status quo, it’s the bully’s way or the highway.

So it is that we find ourselves, now more than 30 years into the effort to weave wolves back into their rightful place in the West, with wolves still only represented across less than 5% of their historic range; this despite the fact that we’ve got plenty of prey, land and public support to ensure the survival of wolves in the region for the foreseeable future. Clearly, 5% is better than nothing, and the government has managed to keep the species from going extinct. Were it not for the bullies, however, we’d be much further along the road to a restored wolf population.

Wolves - government Sponsored Terrorists?

 

Bullies with guns drove wolves (and grizzly bears) to extinction throughout much of North America, and the lobbies and legal firms that defend the legacy of those bullies continue to bully decision-makers into “keeping America wolf-free” (no doubt a patriotic act on par with fighting terrorism). Amazingly, these neo-bullies act as if every rancher (and hunter) in America hates wolves, when the truth is a few shades different. Amazingly, these neo-bullies represent a tiny fraction of our population and economy, yet their voice rivals that of The Mouse That Roared. Amazingly, most people are not aware of how disproportionately powerful these neo-bullies are.

Consider this: according to the Center for Responsive Politics, between 1990 and 2004, the livestock industry contributed an average of $3,310,896 to political campaigns and candidates for each two-year national election cycle (that’s right, every two years). Notably, these numbers do not include contributions for state-level offices.

During that same period, Sinapu’s annual budget has never breached the $250,000 mark. Money is muscle, and the livestock industry had enough muscle left over to give a hefty chunk away to politicians every couple of years, while groups like Sinapu struggle just to stay in the fight.

If the story of David and Goliath is starting to seep into your subconscious mind by now, it’s because you’re paying attention. Wild carnivores don’t have political action committees throwing down thousand-dollar checks for their favorite sons (oh, what a different world it would be!). In short, we have got to get stronger (and bigger) in order to successfully rein in the legacy of these bullies. I’m more confident than ever that we can do it though, because we have you and a growing legion of good citizens like you who dream of a wilder tomorrow.

So, herewith, I offer a challenge to all who want their children to inherit an America that once again has a writhing, howling, tail-wagging, elk-chasing, wild heart: for every dollar you spend on meat (especially beef and lamb), set aside a dollar to contribute to organizations that work to defend and restore wild America. How’s that for poking a finger in the eye of those wolf-hating bullies! If the scrappy tack doesn’t do it for you, then think of it as tithing for wildlife. Whatever works—just be disciplined about it.

At the end of the day, we will beat these bullies, and the wolves will sing up the moon. The more money we have coming in the door, the more staff we can hire to help us counter the political influence bought by industry lobbyists. Indeed, the more successful we are, the wilder America becomes.

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37 responses to “Hey buddy, can you spare some change for my wolf?

  1. Marion, nobody on this board denies that wolves kill livestock. I even give you the benefit of the doubt that wolves kill far more livestock than are compensated for. But as I have showed above, that amount of money is dwarfed by the amount that the federal government already gives away as subsidies.
    What are pictures of dead animals supposed to show me? They were killed by something, most likely wolves, but it also could have been bear, dogs, coyotes, mountain lions, a number of things. Those pictures also show me that a dead animal looks 100x more greusome after every animal under the sun has picked a carcass clean. Those pictures do not show me that wildlife is a danger to people. Death is never a pretty thing, you would be just as sickened if I showed you pictures of human hunted animals, cows killed for meat processing, wolves killed by poison or otherwise, and a number of other things.

    Your pictures show me what animals are capable of doing to eachother. Here are some pictures of what humans are capable of. Far more disturbing in my opinion.

    http://www.heartofthewolf.org/TheOppressed.htm

  2. For those who feel that calf kills are “occasional”, here is the FWS report for one week. Please not they will only receive half the cost of the calf care because they didn’t see the calf get it’s leg broken while being chased by wolves.
    http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/mammals/wolf/weeklyrpt07/wk04062007.htm

  3. What in the world are you talking about eliminating American Indians? That is absolutely crazy. We have as much right as anyone else.
    If you think the ranchers are perfectly happy with the wolves you don’t read much. They are very unhappy withtheir losses, and the tiny reimburssment. Who in the world do you think got our congresswoman to push FWS into finally holding a Wyoming meeting outside of Cheyenne where there are no wolves? Even so they are planning to bus enviros in to protest delsiting.
    Here is one rancher’s story, and some photos.
    http://www.propertyrightsresearch.org/2004/articles11/my_official_oregon_wolf.htm

  4. Marion, they also eliminated native americans as they moved west. Do you want to form a posse and finish them off too? I am not sure modeling your values systems around settlers is very smart. Where are wyoming ranchers singled out (I think you have a complex)? Everyone posting here is not fighting a group of people, we are fighting the MINDSET that says that it is impossible for humans and wilderness to coexist. I am sure that most ranchers cope just fine with the challenges of making a life amongst wildlife without people like you speaking for them.

    You don’t think that someone should keep an eye on kids doing chores? Especially on a dangerous ranch?

  5. Yep, it’s a mantra.

  6. [Editor’s Note: The following comment is, from our perspective, a diatribe.] In the first place, I again will remind you that wolves were eliminated from the first settlements onward as civilization moved. Exactly how that can be blamed on Wyoming ranchers is beyond me. Now I suppose you guys are absolutely certain that you know far more about living around wolves than any of those early settlers, and more than those of us who had them imposed on us.
    I’m sure it is difficult for anyone with Wal-Mart or Safeway down on the corner to imagine the meat for the next year, or the milk, or the wool for clothing being dependent on the protection the settler could provide. It is beyond your ability to imagine fighting for survival. I’m sure attrocities occured in a lot of places from the 13 colonies east, especially when a family was left facing starvation thanks to wolves.
    Steve, this may be unbelievable to you, but our kids actually have chores, and are out milking, herding cows, sheep, checking a colt or goat, or just hiking and playing. Our dogs are stock dogs, who work stock for a living.
    I and many others believe the introduction of wolves was to push ranchers off the land. They use the thinly veiled grazing rights, but many of the animals are killed close to residences on private land. Even ranchers have to sleep.
    It is an attempt to make a designer system, that I do not see anyone attempting to put in place in their cities.
    We are real live humans that you guys want displaced so you can feel like it is once more the 18th century for you to visit and go home feeling proud of all you have done….which is actually to impose your will on others.

  7. Thanks for the quote, Frank. I was positive I read that in one of my books and could not remember where I read it until you posted it…

  8. “First of all Steve, are you saying you would have no problem with wolves in your yard with your kids, dogs, cats, and whatever other living creatures you might have?”

    Lets see. I am not a moron, so I would probably keep my cats indoors to prevent them from getting sick from fighting with another cat, attacked and killed by wild animals, or hit by a car. If I had a dog, I would definitely keep it leashed or fenced in to keep it from getting into trouble with other dogs, poison, cars, and especially wildlife. And I LOVE when idiots give me the “wildlife will eat my kids” argument (that got old sometime in the 1500’s). First of all, history has shown that your kids are many thousands of times more likely to be bitten by a domestic dog than they are to be bitten by even a sick wild animal. Secondly, YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE WATCHING YOUR KIDS!! Turn on the news, every day there are stories of kids getting in accidents, getting attacked by adults as well as eachother, and getting sick. How many children have been dragged into the woods and eaten by wildlife that you can remember?

    PS. Don’t accuse me of not caring about children and pets because I do. It is irresponsible people who do not pay attention to their children and pets and then want sympathy afterwards that I have no use for…

    http://www.cdc.gov/MMWR/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5226a1.htm

  9. Mike: What does dumpster diving to do with being on the endangered species list? Are the black bears and foxes that are doing it now on the list? Wolves are strict carnivores and unlikely to join in this activity. Sounds like what your community needs are animal proof containers. (People problem.)
    Marion: You speak often about environmentalists wanting to create a “designer ecosystem”. I submit to you that the folks who did that lived a hundred years ago. A quote from “Decade of the Wolf” (copyright 2005, D. Smith and G.Ferguson…Ron, I apologize if this is too long):
    ….wolves were wiped out with a vengeance applied to no other animal on earth. “Wolfers,” as American hunters were often called, went far beyond the usual killing tools of rifles, snare traps, and cyanide baits. Many staked steel wires near den sites, attaching to the free ends large fish hooks wrapped with pieces of chicken. Pups coming out of the den at night swallowed the morsels whole, sometimes literally pulling their stomachs out trying to get loose. Others gobbled hunks of meat laced with razor blades and nails, or in some cases were set on fire. Once captured some had their jaws cut off or wired shut, later released to slowly starve to death. Half a century later, soldiers returning from WWII quickly took up the sport of shooting wolves in northern Minnesota and Michigan, referring to the activity as “killing Nazis.” (As an interesting aside, wolf hunters in the early twentieth century routinely laced the carcasses of wolf-killed prey with strychnine. When the animals returned for a second round of feeding, which is typical wolf behavior, they were of course killed. In a remarkably short amount of time some animals adopted new feeding habits, no longer returning to a carcass after the initial kill. Far from earning respect for being smart, people began accusing them of wasting meat, of killing for fun.) (End quote)
    This slaughter of an entire species wasn’t to protect livestock or livelihoods. Wolves that had never even seen a cow or domestic sheep were sought out in the deepest wilderness to satisfy man’s greed and lust for sadistic pleasures. This was nothing short of a crime against Nature.
    The re-introduction was an attempt to correct a horrific wrong. “Playing God” and creating a “designer ecosystem”, that happened a long time ago.

  10. [Editor’s Note: The following comment is, from our perspective, a diatribe.] First of all Steve, are you saying you would have no problem with wolves in your yard with your kids, dogs, cats, and whatever other living creatures you might have?
    Colorado Mike, I guess there is nothing that rural folks can do against big city bullies alright, but I am too old to accept that someone in NYC has more right to determine what has priority on my property, and I will continue to speak out against it.
    The whole environmental movement was pretty well summed up by the editor of Sierra magazine some years ago:
    “We certainly cannot put up with wildlife in our cities, but some one must be made to sacrifice”.

  11. Colorado Mike

    Society or the economics of the area I live imposes restrictions on me, WHETHER I LIKE IT OR NOT. I can only accept them. The various environmental groups have managed to convince a majority or a large minority of the population, presumably in cities, that wolves should be in the American West and in the National Parks. So there will be wolves in the American West and the National Parks, WHETHER I LIKE IT OR NOT. The National Parks, and certain other federal lands, were designed for preservation, not the use of one economic group, so if the Federal Government adds another predator there, that’s fine by me. At least it’s fine by me as long as adding another predator, in this case wolves, is part of some sort of wilderness management concept. The key word here is ‘wilderness.’ I live in a Colorado ski town and I’m not comfortable with an apex predator that runs in packs, namely wolves, dumpster diving up here along with the bears and the foxes. But the wolves will come up here, as long as they have some sort of protection from the Endangered Species Act, and, quite frankly, political support for their return to this area. There is absolutely nothing stopping the wolves from returning to this area; their return is inevitable. And I can do nothing except accept it, and hope that tourists will come up here to see them, like I hear that they do in Yellowstone. I feel sympathy for that person who has some sort of purebred horse, that’s probably worth more than I make in a year, in an area with wolf packs. But only this person can take adequate precautions to protect this animal on their land. And only I can take adequate precautions to protect myself from a worst case secenario, which since I work nights, will probably involve a handgun, at a minimum. AND THAT IS THE WAY THINGS WORK.

  12. They are dangerous now? I would feel far more in danger of being hit by a stray bullet from a hunter than i would from being attacked by a wolf.

  13. First of all, while I appreciate links to enviro sites, I would like to see a breakdown of exactly what expenses they have for grazing leases. Also a breakdown of expenses for recreation, especially back country recreation, including cleaning up the forests, plus the income for it. Is playing subsidized? We all know it is, and it benefits no one except the individual playing.
    I haven’t seen a breakdown recently, but the majority of the payment for wolf kills have been on private land, not leased land. In many cases within sight of the owners home.
    We will never agree, in my wildest nightmares, I cannot imagine deliberately planting dangerous predators that I knew would cause harm to an owner’s property. Then to feel that they deserve every problem that they have and that they should pay for the privilege to boot. No, I cannot understand that type of reasoning.
    This manipulation of wildlife has been done to create a designer ecosystem for folks who know nothing at all about the area, and has cost the tax payers millions.

  14. 30%+ of my paycheck goes somewhere every week, Marion. The more I learn about where it goes the more sick it makes me to pay my taxes… Thanks for the numbers Rob, very interesting. I am honestly not even sure if I am really against grazing on public lands entirely (those people have to make a living too). I just have a big problem with people seeking sympathy on their behalf (I would love to know the opinions of ACTUAL ranchers on wolves, defenders of wildlife wolf compensation, public lands etc) for financial losses brought on by wolves that total only a few percent of all of their losses when they get such a sweet deal from the federal government to be on those lands to begin with. Ontop of the subsidized use of our public lands, the feds target and kill entire wolf packs who threaten livestock AND a portion of those losses are covered by private funds. It seems that as much as possible (maybe too much considering the continued whining from the other side) has and is being done to make the return of the wolf as bearable as possible.

  15. Public lands in the West cover nearly 60 percent of the region’s acreage, and ranchers graze their livestock on greater than 90 percent of our Western public lands. Notably, cows produced in the West account for less than five percent of the country’s total beef production. Yep, that means that if all grazing on public lands ended tomorrow, you’d not even notice the hiccup during your next visit to Burger King.

    In a 1994 study for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, the economic insignificance of public lands grazing hit home. The study included many factors, endeavoring to truly capture the “inputs” of public lands ranching to local economies. All told, the study concluded that if public lands grazing in the eleven western states were to end suddenly, the economies of those states would stop growing (not decline, just stop growing) for eleven days before picking-up again. In sum, ranching in the West accounts for less than one-half of one percent of all income received by western residents.

    Aggregate Federal Grazing Statistics for Eleven Western States

    » Federal grazing jobs 17,989
    » Federal grazing jobs as percentage of total employment 0.06
    » Federal grazing income as percentage of total income 0.04
    » Days of normal job growth to replace all federal grazing jobs 11
    » Days of normal income growth to replace all federal grazing jobs 6

    Source: T. Power. 1996. Lost Landscapes & Failed Economics: The Search For a Value of Place. Island Press. Washington, DC: 184-185.

  16. Colorado Mike

    Thank you for getting those statistics, Steve. I knew that American agriculture was heavily subsidized by the government, but I didn’t know where to find the exact amount. And the answer to the question of what Steve and I do for wildlife AND AGRICULTURE is to pay taxes.
    There wouldn’t be much water for anything if weren’t for federal water projects in the last century, including irrigation,either. To say that these water projects weren’t cost-effective would be an understatement.

  17. [Editor’s Note: The following comment is, from our perspective, a diatribe.] First of all, let me see if I understand you, you would like to see all uses of “public land” uses charged at a market price, is that correct? You do realize that the $80 it now costs to use forest land since enviros kicked out most of the timber industry will be a drop in the bucket if you manage to get rid of grazing. Make no mistake it brings in millions of dollars, and if you think all fo the folks now working for those agencies like BLM and FS are going to give up their jobs easily you’d better think again. In other words push the paying users off, and someone is going to pay….and that someone will be the recreationalists. Since the hikers are pushing any motorized use out too, it is going to cost them a lot…and should.
    Have you ever seen a breakdown of what the costs of grazing are? I can tell you they sent my uncle a bill every year for the fee for x number of cattle, he made out a check and sent it back. Now I don’t know what it cost to send someone to the bank to deposit the check, but I really doubt they lost money. He maintained the water ways, kept weeds down, repaired fences, etc.
    How much wildlife do you think will be supported by the subdivisions that will spring up when you get rid of ranches? I can tell you a lot of wildlife survives just because of ranches, ponds and reservoirs during hot dry summers, to say nothing of irrigated hayfields. Meadows in the winter.
    What exactly do you provide to help wildlife?

  18. “Again I remind you no one in all of history attempted such a thing as this bringing in lots of rapidly reproducing predators into a relatively small area.” THEY EXISTED THERE!!! You sound completely crazy when you keep making this assertion. You act as if there was never a wolf south of canada. If you followed events around the world, you would know that wolves are spreading around europe into areas where they havent existed in decades.

    I am pretty sure wolves don’t cost you anything either… You know what costs us both something? Federal grazing subsidies. In 2004 the federal government spent over 140 million and only recovered 20 million in fees for keeping cattle on public land. Maybe if ranchers paid their fair share, the federal and state governments would have some money for wolf control and some money to help private ranchers cope with livestock losses. If I owned a private ranch I would be mad as hell that some are allowed to keep their cattle on federal land at 1/7 my cost. Sounds like unfair competion to me that costs far more than wolves ever could. You constantly say that wolves kill livestock at a rate 10 times higher than defenders of wildlife pays out. Lets say that you are right. In 2006, they paid out $200,000, your figure would be 2 million. That is still far less than the 120 million that the federal government hands ranchers every year!!! If the feds charged lets say $2 per animal per month instead of 1.50 per animal per month they could raise enough money and thensome to cover all of your perceived wolf damage on public and private land.

    Sending me on a wild goose chase through google hardly backs up your arguments. If you cannot present and back up any solid data here, you are just wasting my time.

    http://uwstudentweb.uwyo.edu/w/wyowild/project%202.htm

  19. Steve, it is uleless to argue, for you wolves are all a positive, they cost you nothing, they are no problem to you, you have no responsibility to or for them, we have all of those thing, and no control. That is a recipe for never agreeing. The only way to get it all the way folks want it would be to give the wolf lovers the wolves to take care of and support to those that want them, and let the rest of us be.
    You would have to sift thru FWS reports to see discussions of calf retention rates in the GYE speicfically. However a recent Wyoming report mentioned the concern at the drop below 20/100, and the fact that about 40 will sustain a herd. The Montana report that got a lot of publicity last month show a retention of 8 in some areas impacted by wolves. You might want to google elk calf retention rates.
    Again I remind you no one in all of history attempted such a thing as this bringing in lots of rapidly reproducing predators into a relatively small area.

  20. I would much rather look on the wild as a place for me to see my “pets” than as a place for me to kill stuff, cut stuff down, and and dig stuff up for my own personal gain. I would love to read up on historical calf retention rates in the greater yellowstone ecosystem. Can you tell me where i can find this information?

  21. [Editor’s Note: The following comment is, from our perspective, a diatribe. The assertions contained therein should be considered in that context.] Steve, first of all, they have had idea numbers all over the place for both elk and buffalo. They originally thought the buffalo numbers were getting out of hand when they reached a thousand. Now if wolves truly killed buffalo like they do elk, you’d hear screams of the buffalo people raging beside the wolf people. Both groups think Yellowstone is there for them to see their pets.
    A 6000 elk count with good calf retention rates is not likely to slide further, and should grow. On the other hand a sliding 6000 elk count with single digit calf retention is going to continue the slide until they are gone or the causative factor is taken care of. I see an article on the West Yellowstone page that says the last count of the Norris -Madison herd has slid from 600 to 240 last count, of course that is being touted as “natural”. Since it appears the Hayden pack moved over there, that should be down a lot.
    I dispute that an introduced predator in large numbers is any more natural than planting more elk, moose, or anything else some special interest group would want. Nor do I believe the impact they are having is natural. Will moose or elk rebound? Time will tell, but I think the fact that the moose viewing kiosk was removed from Willow Park pretty much tells us what the experts think the chances are.
    Rob, I know that non-profits are able to use pacs and 527s to make donations, but I have to do more research to figure it out, which I probably can’t anyway. I believe the IRS is still trying to figure all of the twists and turns of the TNC and their shenanigans, and have been for what 3 years.
    I realize that filing lawsuits is a big part of how they get their way, but when I see easterners presenting bills that representatives of the affected states object to, I figure they are being spurred on by something. I don’t think anyone would argue that money is what motivates most of them.
    When I saw enviro groups painting the big target on Pombo’s back, I felt strongly that was organized.

  22. Maybe they should keep all of the hunters in Idaho’s fenced in canned hunt elk lots.

  23. They should just keep them all in Yellowstone, that would solve everything. Put collars on em all, when one leaves, go get it and bring it back, they were brought there for a reason, dont let them be lazy on the job. Need to be workin in Yellowstone, not runnin off to infect other states.

  24. The harsh punishments afforded by the ESA is one of the only lines of defense against extremists who would otherwise shoot everything that moves. Sure I just identified 3 cases of illegal wolf killing. I could have added a lot more (google it) but somehow no matter how much information you are presented with you still find a way to shrug it off. You always come up with some anecdotal story about how the links I provide are invalid but you provide no links yourself.

    How do you feel about the other thread (rocky mountain national park elk story) saying that the carrying capacity determined in the 1930s of the northern range of yellowstone was 6000 elk? (I notice you conveniently never responded to it) Do those numbers tell you a story? Wolves were reintroduced into an area where they used to exist. You can try to fudge that all you want, but your case just doesnt hold water. Your argument would basically be valid if hyena or lions were brought in and caused problems.

  25. Your assertions that environmental groups hold sway over the political system is just plain goofy. First, 501(c)(3) non-profits (which includes Sinapu, Defenders of Wildlife and every other conservation group you can name) are prohibited from donating money to political campaigns. Period.

    Secondly, PACs (political action committees) that have a focus on the environment rank 73rd in terms of total donations to political campaigns. When stacked against agribusiness, those environmental PACs gave just over $2 million during the 2004 cycle (see http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.asp?Ind=Q11 for the breakdown), compared to almost $53 million by agribusiness (see http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.asp?Ind=A for the breakdown). That’s over 25 times as mush money donated by agribusiness during the 2004 election cycle. So, please stop with the whining about how oppressed the livestock industry is. It just isn’t so.

  26. I forgot to address the situation of wolves eating themselves out of house and home. No I cannot provide a reference because in all of history I cannot find a situation where anyone introduced a major predator into an inhabited area, much less when there is no control over that animal, poor tracking at best, and then sitting back to see what happens.
    As for the politicians most of them are out for the power, and their own enrichment. I fail to see how protecting Joe Blows right to grow wheat on his wheat farm in southern Wyoming or northern Colorado despite mice ,is going to enrich him. On the other hand an environmental groups who wants that shut down and has a whole lot of tax free money to donate to a politician carries a lot more clout. As for the guy who wants to build homes for people on his land, even he cannot match the money that can be given to a politician by an enviro groups that want the developers land kept open.

  27. You just identified 3 wolves killed, I’m not sure which of those Sundles was responsible for. I can’t remember the controversy about the 1080 and where it came from.
    The dog poisonings were just that, dog poisoning. I said almost from the beginning that dogs were the target because of where the stuff was found, in virtually every case it was where one would expect dogs, not wolves. I wrote to FWS about this and speculated that idea and they said there was one bait that killed an eagle found in a back country area.
    You notice those poisonings stopped cold when they picked up the guy in Jackson walking at midnight wearing arm length gloves. A local radio story the next day said the person would be questioned further, he was reported to hate dogs invading wildlife areas. there was dead silence after that and no more info could be obtained. I will always believe that person was a well known wildlife advocate and that is why it was hushed up. They were attempting to cast anti wolf introduction folks in a bad light and get rid of dogs at the same time. At any rate, there was never another poisoning case.
    I have no use for Sundles, he is as radical on one side as those who insist that ranchers deserve to have their livestock killed and we who make our homes must take a back seat to however many wolves can be imposed on us.
    I still stand by the fact that the numbers tell the story, the wolf population has far exceeded predictions, and that would not have happened if there had been significant illegal kills.
    An example of slanting the facts occurred after that poisoning when they found 4 dead wolves in Wyoming back country, and sent them for autopsies. They speculated poisoning, Ralph Maughan actually headlined his article “Wyoming finally poisons wolves”. A year later when we had heard no more about it, I emailed Ed Bangs and asked him what the autopsies showed, he referred me to Jimenez, who insisted that it was still under investigation, and refused to answer why if they were not poisoned that was not made public. Several years have passed and I guess it is still under investigation! Mighty slow labs they use, is all I can say.
    One problem I see with the whole thing is that deep down enviros know they imposed their will on us to our detriment, and they have to try to justify it (at least in their own minds) by making us out to be the bad guys, who somehow deserved all of the pain, cost, and losses we have suffered.

  28. Burying your head in the sand again. Google “Tim sundles” if you want to learn about just ONE case of and attempt to poison wolves (without regard for the possibility of people’s children/ dogs getting into the poison).

    Here are a few more articles about illegal wolf poisoning. And this is WITH federal protections and steep penalties in place. After delisting this will only get worse.

    http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?issue_date=06-03-2005&ID=2005103363

    http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4155/is_20040608/ai_n12545702

    http://mtexpress.com/2000/02-09-00/2-9wolves.htm

    How is this animal cruelty insulting and wrong to you? Would you rather not know about it?

    You constantly exaggerate in your assertion that wolves will eat themselves out of food and into starvation. It has never happened and just because you say it will happen does not make it fact. Please point me to a reference proving me wrong.

    I think you need to re-evaluate who wants to control our land. Most politicians who say they are interested in private property rights are more interested in rights for their friends and wallets. Your private property rights hero Richard Pombo (whom you have praised on other websites) didnt give a damn about you or our public lands. He was all about mining and energy companies coming in and doing whatever they want with our lands.

  29. [Editor’s Note: The following comment is, from our perspective, a diatribe. The assertions contained therein should be considered in that context.] Steve, you are sure of no such thing (exact numbers). That is the problem, there is no way of counting or proving the calves and lambs that are totally consumed, or drug off. This has been one of the problems of people who know nothing about ranching deciding that we can afford to lose a few head of livestock. The animals that are in pens by the house can be seen and counted by the next day when a wolf kills them. Even so the carcass has to be covered with tarps, that are tied down, and an attempt to keep other scavengers away until FWS gets around to coming to check the carcass. On hot summer days the proof , which consists of severe trauma, can be pretty hard to protect .
    The Upper Green River Grazing Association has stats going back even before grizzly became common up there showing the loss percent, each year, including the increase as griz increased and the bigger jump when the wolves moved in.
    If you read any of the wolf reports, Mr. Bangs has admitted that ranchers probably lose about 9 animals for every claim. That means those individual folks are paying the price of you wanting to hear a wolf howl.
    The reason elk hunting is still pretty good overall is because the wolves have not yet blanketed the three states, and they wouldn’t have if environmentalists word was any good and we only had to spread 300 among the three states.
    It breaks my heart to see the wolves moving into the Big Horns, we have wonderful moose up there, but they will be among the first to go, just like Yellowstone and the Tetons. No I don’t think every elk in the three states will be gone, the back lash against the lying and stalling and lawsuits will finally happen.
    You accused me of exaggerating, could you please point out an exaggeration?
    I will point out yours, the accusation of illegal kills is insulting, wrong, and is an attempt to try to cover the greed of those who want to control our land. Look at the facts, we have many times the number of wolves that FWS predicted at this stage fo the game, despite the fact they themselves have killed some 550. Now we can plainly see that they didn’t have a clue how fast the wolves were going to spread, but even so it should be obvious if any significant killing was going on, the numbers could not have exploded like they have. I think you owe the people of the 3 states an apology for that.
    As for predictions on the wolves eating themselves out of house and home, that may happen in Yellowstone and face it this is an artificial situation that has nothing to do with nature. The wolves were trucked in and are protected so they can kill the maximum possible. The Yellowstone elk have been impacted severely, and there is nothing that can be done about it, except cry. I thought the fires of 88 were terrible and I cried then, but I cry more now when I see prime bulls with a half dozen cows or less…..and only see an occasional yearling.
    I work for no one, but I grew up during the depression and WW11, and feel very strongly about private property rights. And I never thought I would see the day that they are trampled on like they are with the ESA, and that crowd of lawyers. I often wonder why any American would treat others like this, the only answer I can come up with is greed for power.

  30. Why has the elk hunt in idaho had 20000 plus elk taken for the past few years and why are the states saying that they are meeting elk population targets? I feel that you are exagerating the degree to which wolves are taking livestock, and minimizing other causes. Show me some actual numbers. I want to know how many livestock were lost and what the cause of death was (what percentage killed by wolves, coyotes, disease etc.) I am sure those numbers exist somewhere. You dont think that when wolves lose ESA protection there wont be a free for all with illegal poisoning, shooting etc??? It has already happened when they were protected, i dread what will happen when they lose that protection. There has never been a wolf population in history that has eaten itself into starvation. If the elk population gets too low, wolf hunting success will drop off and so will reproductive success etc, causing a drop in population. If there was a wolf population that ate itself into starvation, I would like you to tell me about it (somehow I dont think you will). Are you paid by a special interest group or something to go on websites to spout out the same exagerrated propaganda over and over? You never respond to anything directly without throwing the same tired arguments out over and over and over and over.

  31. Wolves were originally eliminated by a combination of means, not the least of which were paid wolf trappers, who used everything at their disposal, including traps and poisons. Those things are not options now.
    I’m sure the livestock kills are pretty minor to you, to the folks who lose a few thousand dollars, it is pretty significant. And of course the dogs, that are only pets, I’m sure that is insignificant to you also.
    I guess you can see that even FWS has finally admitted that the impact on other wildlife may need to be controlled. The situation will be pretty bad by the time it goes thru all of the legal hurdles, because of course wolfers are not going to ever admit that they may be killing too many elk.
    King admitted to Fruedenthal last year that it would probably take at least 3 years to try to get a control law passed.
    One thing that perhaps you can explain, why do enviros recognize the fact that ungulates can and will overgraze and eat everything they can, but insist that only wolves, and (of course buffalo), will limit themselves to eating only what can be replaced and will never eat themselves into starvation, and elk out of existence in a particular area. Do you really believe wolves will back off when they see the elk numbers getting too low?

  32. Did you know that there are much more wildlife today than in the late 1800 and early 1900s. Wildlife have coexisted quite well with livestock and an ever increasing wolf population. Eradicating or removal of wolves will not yield many more wildlife today in our forests or public lands with the removal of the wolf. All that will do is possibly increase the wolf population until the predator – prey relationship balances out. The wolf population is already at a stronghold and much larger than is required by the delisting plans. So Steve, why then are you crying wolf. It is not for more wildlife but for more wolves only.

  33. How were they eliminated from the lower 48 then? Before the advent of aerial gunning no less? And there are active plans to bring wolves back to the northeast, a huge step in restoring them to their former range. For the comparatively small number of livestock wolves kill compared to other causes (weather, disease etc.), and continued hunting successes (i think Idaho had another year record year for elk take) you certainly are getting pretty upset. Maybe you should just take a deep breath, realize wolves existing in your state are by no means close to the end of the world, and enjoy the fact that you have the privelege of living in one of the most beautiful places on earth…

  34. Is that what I said? My point is that we cannot be expected to keep raising more and more wolves to the detriment of everything else in our states until enough of them wander into whatever areas they want them. If they want them in Oregon, Colorado, California, Illinois or where ever, go get some, if FWS won’t let you have some of ours, Canada is only too happy to get rid of a few of the 60,000 or so up there.
    I don’t understand why they were not put where they were wanted to begin with….well yes I do they wanted to be rid of ranchers, so hikers didn’t get poo poo on their fancy hiking shoes.
    Make no mistake, wolves are not in any danger of ever being eradicated, control, even, is almost impossible. Calling them endangered is a dirty joke. They may never live in cities, but there is no way that forcing other people to be overwhelmed can ever make up for that.

  35. Marion, where does he ever say he doesnt want them spread over their entire former range? I havent read anything anywhere on this site that says that only wyoming, idaho, and montana should have wolves.

  36. Let’s see you feel bullied because you don’t feel we are raising enough wolves for you? By the way you do realize they were in every part of the country, don’t you, what do you do to restore all of the wildlife, including wolves that once lived where you do?
    When you got the figures for how much the livestock industry donated to political campaigns, did you also obtain the amount given by environmental groups as a whole entity?
    As for bullying let’s look at just how bullied we feel. We did not want wolves, knowing they do not hesitate to kill livestock and in fact had nailed a calf right after they were turned loose…not confirmed of course, despite a wolf eating it.
    I suspect Robinettes at Dubois felt bullied when their dog was killed practically on their back porch, then later when Mrs. R. was walking the remaining dog to the barn, it was attacked by a wolf. Then again I would imagine they felt bullied when a registered colt was killed by wolves. They have been one of the hardest hit as this has gone on and on and on over the years.
    I expect Mr. Weber in Montana felt bullied when he saw magpies from his breakfast table and went to investigate and found 30 wolf killed sheep, and even more when he was told that they would not attempt to kill the wolf unless it came back, then again when it hit his brother’s the next night, and FWS still didn’t want to do anything because it wasn’t the “same pen”.
    A Meeteetse family felt bullied when FWS refused to move a den of wolves very close to their house because they “don’t proactively manage” wolves. There is a photo of the Mrs. and her little boy beside a tarp covered wolf killed cow just yards from their house in the summer issue of Range Magazine.
    A Meeteetse rancher felt bullied when FWS placed 4 tranquilized wolves in his calving pasture…yes private, posted land. Even more bullied when a judge said the FWS guy couldn’t be charged for doing wrong as a part of his job.
    Ranchers are told to hire more cowboys, quit sleeping, put up special fences, if they don’t like feeding beef or mutton to wolves, that tends to make them feel bullied for someone else to decide what they can spend their money on.
    Many of the residents of the target states feel bullied and lied to, we were told they were forcing us to raise 300 wolves, now we are told 1300+ are not enough, there aren’t wolves in Chicago yet or NYC, so they haven’t been restored to all of their territory.
    On top of that we are told we are going to have to pay for maintaining and managing these wolves to suit those who want them. We have all of the problems, all of the cost, all of the responsibility, and you have all fo the control. That makes us bullies right?
    By the way it was NPS that almost wiped out the grizzly bears in Yellowstone, when an environmentally correct biologist came in and closed all of the dumps, then killed off the bears who got in trouble. So don’t lay that on ranchers.
    I can’t speak for what happened to California grizzly, they may have been bullies for all I know, they sure seem to like to use the ESA to bully people.

  37. If the livestock industry donated 3 million dollars a year to ranchers to cover wolf losses, the wolf debate would be over.