Scientists protest proposed species rule

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich.- More than three dozen scientists have signed a letter to protest a new Bush administration interpretation of the Endangered Species Act, saying it jeopardizes animals such as wolves and grizzly bears.

The new reading of the law proposed by Interior Department Solicitor David Bernhardt would enable the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect animals and plants only where they are battling for survival. The agency wouldn’t have to protect them where they’re in good shape.

The proposed changes would “have real and profoundly detrimental impacts on the conservation of many species and the habitat upon which they depend,” said the letter, signed by 38 prominent wildlife biologists and environmental ethics specialists.

It [the letter] was being sent this week to Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and leaders of congressional committees that oversee the department.

Read the rest of this Associated Press wire story By John Flesher by clicking here.

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199 responses to “Scientists protest proposed species rule

  1. Marion,
    Please re-read your last post. Are you serious?? What is your point. I would assume that anyone who reads this blog realizes that a wolf is a carnivore and carnivores by definition eat meat. Is this something you just realized?

  2. Wolf advocates show no tear or concern unless it it a wolf that is killed by FWS or authority given to the rancher to shoot problem wolves. There is no mercy or concern for the rancher or livestock owner at all, even though his livestock have been in those mountains or on private land surrounding the mountains where the wolves are long before the wolves were re-introduced.

    So Marion, I like Jeff, have not problem trying to drum up a tear or two for the wolves that have met their demise because of predation. My brother who has a ranch in the central idaho area just lost two cattle last week on private land due to wolves. They are becoming more of a nuisance than another bear, cougar, coyote, deer, elk, or moose that cause no problem for them. It is only the wolves. Too bad the wolf advocates all go to Yellowstone to watch wolves. Maybe they could help keep them wolves out of livestock in Idaho if they would stick around this state to do their wolf watching instead of the wannabes who complain about wolves being killed by FWS because of depredation then travel to Yellowstone to watch their beloved wolves.

  3. No need to shed tears, just face reality. Carnivores survive by eating meat….any meat they can get. Sentiment means nothing, that is one reason they even kill each other at times.

  4. STOP marion STOP, your bringing a tear to my eye.

  5. Jeff, truth and reality are finding your pasture with dead and torn cattle and sheep with wolf tracks all over the place. Truth and reality are having to dig graves for a couple of cows and a couple dozen sheep when it is below zero and the ground is frozen down a foot, but it must be done somehow to keep from being an attractant to more wolves. The reality is finding the bodies of your animals in a far pasture a couple days after the last check when it is 100 + outside and FWS can’t get there to check for another day, then being told that despite the wolf tracks the tissue is too decayed to determine, so it is your loss, but you’d better hurry and destroy the carcass before you attract even more predation. Truth and reality is going out in the morning and finding a half a dozen of your ewes blatting for babies that were there the night before, and dozens of wolf tracks, but that of course cannot be a confimed wolf kill, so it is your loss.

  6. Moderator’
    My apologies if I have offended. It has been my policy to challenge untruths, half-truths, and no truth at all concerning wolves for about 30+ years. After that long of hearing the above repeated time and again it does get, at times frustrating, however I shall refrain from calling a spade a spade and just keep telling the facts concerning wolves or any other subject that I can back up with adequate source material. Thank you for your temperance.

  7. Yet ranchers are to blame for everything gone wrong in our wilderness. That is being civil and not taunting huh?

  8. Yet ranchers are to blame for everything gone wrong in our wilderness. That is not taunting huh?

  9. Rob Edward

    Wolfen,
    Read my note again. I said, explicitly, that I expect civility from everyone. That said, I can understand the frustration that “Jeff & Co.” feel when they must, time-and-again, refute the baseless assertions thrown out here that the only reason wolves were restored was to run ranchers out of business.

  10. Editor,

    How is my general comment to the wolf advocates taunting when the very group, the ranching and livestock industry, I represent is being taunted and despised even moreso by Jeff and company. Do as you wish but you must to likewise to those on the wolf advocates side who taunt the ranching/livestock industry. Treat everyone equally then I will not care what you do with my comments.

  11. This thread has gone on way too long, but it really bothers me to have Jeff insisting that ranchers buy the politicians, if so they are not getting their money’s worth are they? They knew what would happen with the wolf population exploding, and how fast they would be out preying on cattle, so what did they get for all of this supposed power? Wolves, wolves, and more wolves. It seems obvious that environmental pacs had the most money and spent it in the states with huge populations to override the residents of the affected states.
    Moderator, I think wolfen has a good point, one obstacle after another is thrown out. Look at the lawsuits being filed in the Great Lakes states to prevent delisting there, despite a population that should have been delisted many years ago according to Dr. Mech, who is supposed to be the expert of experts. This despite a 5 year moratorium on hunting. Power and control is the driving force, not a reasonable number of wolves.

  12. Jeff, if Wyomings plan is approved what obstacle will you and the rest of the wolf advocates throw up?
    [Editors Note: Wolfen, if you cannot post to this board in a civil and thoughtful manner, you will be banned. Let me be clear: You have every right to post your opinion on things. You do not have the right to taunt other participants on this board. P.S. This goes for everybody posting here. The tone is getting less civil, and that is not a good thing.]

  13. Ah! The long awaited day may soon arrive. Wyoming finally has an approved wolf management plan, or I should say, Mitch King likes it and states that it is now in line with Idahos and Montanas. So, maybe delisting will begin in 2008 for all three states. This is good news for any and all states who manage wildlife. I just might have to put in for a wolf tag. Jeff, I will gladly buy yours and we can hunt together.

  14. Marion,
    All you are doing is repeating an argument that did not pass muster with the 10th circuit court. Won’t fly this time either.

    As for importing animals, 16 U.S.C. 1539 states ” The secretary may permit a prohibited act (importing) for scientific purposes, for the establishment and maintenance of experimental populations, or otherwise to enhance the propagation and survival of an affected species.” I would bet this has been pointed out to you numerous times, probably by Steve.

    I suspect Governor Geringher also had lots and lots of campaign contributions from the livestock industry (wink, wink).
    I suspect all the Governors of Wyoming past and present can claim the same.

    As far as how many wolves may be present or not Wyoming only has itself to blame. Maybe the state should stop suing everyone in site and come up with an acceptable management plan.

  15. First of all, the ESA was not originally intended to take away private property or prevent the owner from using it.
    The wolf situation probably defied the original ESA in that it created an amendment to allow importing wolves to an area outside of “their present territory”. The ESA the way it was written would have protected the existing wolf population, irregardless of how small from the importation of wolves from a foreign country. Actually I don’t believe even the amendment actually mentioned being able to import a species from a foreign country, which is still illegal. That law was bypassed both to introduce the wolves into Yellowstone and Idaho, and also imported the Mexican wolves. By the way here is a link to an article about the ancestry of those Mexican wolves:
    http://rangemagazine.com/specialreports/07-su-land-in-crisis.pdf.
    I suspect that Governor Geringher did have lots of beef in his freezer, and guess what, he raised and fed it out, he is a farmer/rancher. On the other hand one wonders how many packages similar to the one in the freezer of Rep. Jackson (D) Louisiana , could be found in eastern freezers of those intent on passing laws affecting the west.
    Why do you think all of the Wyoming wolves were planted in Yellowsotne if they were acceptable to the people of Wyoming. Even some who thought it might be nice to hear a wolf howl in Yellowstone are disgusted by the totally erroneous information put out by FWS. Either FWS was lying thru their teeth or they had no clue what they were doing when they made their predictions. We have far more wolves creating far more damage than they ever admitted to, and of course there is not enough of either to suit the enviros, and will not be as long as there is a ranch left.

  16. Yes Jeff. I have read those surveys and find them quite interesting. As you know, those surveys were targeted to the general population of people living in the larger cities in Idaho and disregarded those living in the small farming and ranching communities. So, to begin with they were already biased to only a select group of people. Since those surveys were conducted by academia political/social scientists we already know, before the survey, how they will side with the issue. Biased again. Polls and surveys are to be distributed randomly regardless of geographic region, sex, race, income, etc. to be authentic and as close to knowing what the general population wants. These polls were hardly unbiased in those respects.

    Secondly, my comments stem from the fact that I travel throughout Idaho through the small farming/ranching communities to the larger cities and, for the most part, > 70% of the people I talk to do not support wolf reintroduction in Idaho. However, they also have said that if they had some involvement in the decision to bring them to Idaho then many of these folks may have supported the introduction.

    I will trust the people of Idaho whom I talk with before I trust any poll or survey that may be construed and biased.

  17. Marion, doesn’t the endangered species act mandate that wolves should be restored wherever possible in the lower 48 so they can fill their historical range? (Bring on the northeast wolf reintroduction!) Also, do you have thoughts on the numbers that the editor posted above? They pretty much kill your biggest anti-wolf argument (the killing livestock industry one). I would think you would have SOMETHING to say about them. I love how you completely turn a blind eye to any solid evidence that proves you wrong. I wish I could live in ignorance…

  18. Editor, you are using “confirmed kills” as the basis for your claim that wolf impact is very low. The difference in confirmed and actual losses is the problem. Ed Bangs admits that there are from 7 to 9 non confirmed kills for every confirmed kill. Lambs are virtually impossible to confirm, they are eaten on the spot or carried away. Scat containing lambs wool does not confirm.
    One example of non cofirmed kills that were without a doubt actual kills happened a couple of years ago. A pasture with 30+ sheep in it was found with all of the sheep dead, it was summer, and several days passed since the last check on the sheep. One of the bodies was in a cold creek, so the body was not deteriorated as bad and was confirmed, another had enough evidence to be declared probable (half value paid). The rest were presumed to have just fallen over dead I guess.
    Small animals are jsut not able to be confirmed because so little is left. A pile of eaten bones with lots of tracks may confirm that it was eaten by wolves, but not that it was killed by them because there is no tissue left to confirm the extreme trauma. In the summer, hours literally count because deterioration of the tissue happens so fast. Because livestock grazes over a big area, even on private land as well as leased land, it may be a day or more before the body is found, at that point if it is a cow, there is a thousand dollars that the family does not have to live on.
    The Upper Green River Grazing Association has kept the records of their losses since before the grizzlies became so populous, and then as the wolf population grew. They hope to get them published in time. The increase in livestock losses has been much greater with the wolves than with the bears. Yep, they teach statistics in Agriculture colleges too.
    The wolves do not cover the whole state in any of the three states, so you cannot base percentages on whole state ranches, much less try to slip in the whole USA ranches as a basis for showing how little effect it has. That would be like just brushing off the hurricane or earthquake losses becaue it affects such a small percent of folks in the whole country. The difference is the wolf depredations are man made problems introduced for the entertainment of folks who do not have to actually deal with them.

  19. Marion,
    The ESA is the law I’m talking about. Don’t play stupid. I did not say hold a one issue vote, it can be added to any general vote as simply one line added to the ballot, to wit ‘do you support wolf reintroduction; yes or no. That would not cost hundreds of thousands.(see my second sentence). From 1994 onward the governors of each state has said ‘No we dont want them’, never once putting that one line question on any general ballot (as they were depositing the latest ;*)campaign contribution from the livestock industry;*) and making sure the freezer was full of prime aged porterhouse steaks fresh off the ranch.)(see my second sentence).
    Wolfen,
    maybe you should research the surveys done by BSU on this subject in Idaho. They say just the opposite, that the majority were for reintroduction.
    Marion,
    Fortunately the livestock industry couldnt grease enough palms to stop the ESA from being compromised. Did you know that the livestock industry even tried to stop the reintroduction of the California Condor by [[[[[[[suing]]]]]]. Shades of Wyoming.

  20. Regarding the editors note above. Yes those are small percentages, however, a much larger percentage of livestock kills never get resolved because the kill is too old or never found so there is relatively little evidence to point it to a wolf kill. Again, what is important is that ranchers I know are coming up missing a substantial more amount of livestock when they bring them home off the range and these substantial missing livestock started occurring every year after 1995. Although they cannot pinpoint the loss due to wolf reintroduction, that really is the only variable that has changed in the last 12 years.

    I grew up on a ranch and lived on one for over 20+ years. Every year we always ended up missing about the same amount, until wolves were introduced. Those extra livestock missing were not due to predation due to coyotes, blackbears or cougars.

  21. Jeff, you may say it is the livestock industry did not want the wolves and so they had the politicians in their hip pockets. That may be somewhat true however, not only was it the livestock industry but also the hunting/sportsmens groups who make up a large population of this state. Marion is correct in that the state of Idaho did not want wolves and we had no say. Putting it to vote now will only place them back on the endagered species list if the majority votes for removal of the wolves. It is a little too late. You can say all you want about the livestock industry not wanting wolves but when it comes right down to it it is the whole state of Idaho by the majority whether they are part of the livestock industry, recreationists, hunting/sportsmans groups, etc.

    And in response to the editors notes above, the reason for the small percentages you quote to the number of depredations, that is irrelevant. What is important is that ranchers before wolf introductions lost a substantial amount of livestock to predators, disease, etc. and now they loose more without recourse because of politicians, environmentalists and folks in other states pushing their ideas that it would be great to have wolves in Idaho and the other surrounding states. If voting by the affected states would have prevented the wolves from being introduced then I am confident that Idaho would have passed by the majority. However, as Marion stated, we had no recourse or control.

  22. Jeff, you are not even making sense. First you seem to say that a law was passed to make it mandatory to bring wolves in from another country. Then you turn around and say there should have been a vote in each of the states even though it would have been useless, we had NO say at all on what happened to us. Better to save the money to deal with the damage from the wolves. It costs hundreds of thousands to have an election you know. Why would anyone spend that taxpayer money if it could not change anything, nor even affect it, what would it accomplish?
    I’m not at all sure what there is about this whole mess that makes you believe that the ranchers are calling the shots. If you can would you please explain that, do you believe the ranchers actually wanted wolves brought in

  23. Marion,
    FWS was following the law as passed by congress, signed by the president(Nixon, Reagan) and implemented as directed by the Interior Dept. As far as a vote in each of the respective states, each of the states politicians including the respective Governors said repeatedly that THE PEOPLE did not want wolves. Why not vote on it in each state and have the state politicians back the talk with hard facts. The biggest reason in my opinion, is because the livestock industry has each of the Governors firmly stuck in that industry’s hip pocket, head pointing down, nose pointed inward lips firmly puckered. And the livestock industry does not want what the people will say to come out.

  24. Jeff, I asked that question over and over. The fact is if it had been put to a vote and voted down, then that would have eliminated their ability to say the majority of folks “wanted them”. Environmental groups wanted them, and FWS wanted them, there is big money in “research”; they were going to have them come hell or high water. Residents had no choice whatsoever, nor were we offered a choice. This is one of the things that makes me made when folks try to say ranchers have all of this power. They were forced to stand by and watch their livlihoods severely impacted because someone thought it would be so wonderful to hear a wolf howl, and watch them disembowel an elk, or eat her alive.
    Why do you think the Wyoming wolves were put in Yellowstone where we had no say at all? Of course the story was that leaving to kill livestock would be rare, take years, etc if it ever did happen. FWS barely had time to get out of sight before the animals were out killing livestock.
    This study by Bath and Buchannan is the closest I can find of asking the people of Wyoming if they wanted them. Please note the group with the most education, and the groups that predicted the actual outcome of the introduction most accurately:
    http://www.cnr.uidaho.edu/wlf520/pdf/BathandBuchanan.pdf
    [Editor’s Note: As has become custom with this commentor, she makes assertions repeatedly that she refuses to back up with reputable data. This time, it is that ranchers’ livelihoods have been “severely impacted” . Hogwash! The number of livestock lost to all predators in the U.S. annually is very small. The most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture indicate that mammalian carnivores killed 0.18% of the total U.S. cattle in production and 3% of the sheep in production in 2004. With regard specifically to wolves, data do not indicate that depredation on livestock is growing in-pace with the number of wolves. To the contrary, since about 1998, wolf depredation incidents have leveled off at about 1.0-1.2 ranches/pack, despite the fact that the number of wolf packs (and wolves) has increased markedly.
    From 1995 to 2004, only 1.9% (285) of the ranches within the wolf recovery zones in ID, WY and MT experienced depredation; scaled to the entire three-state region, only 0.6% of the ranches in the region experienced depredation (footnote 2). Even if we imagined those numbers to be three-times as big, it hardly indicates that the sky is falling.
    Of the 285 ranches that experienced depredation from 1995-2005, 56% experienced but a single episode of depredation.]

  25. Question is Marion why do you think that if the majority of people in each of the recovery states did/don’t want wolves, why was it never on any ballot at any time? If nothing else would that not show that each state had the support of the majority of each states population?

  26. Pray tell what good is a vote by the state at this point in time? In fact it would have done no good for the state to have even an official vote before the wolves were trucked in, we had no say at all, and still don’t. We have no authority over the federal government. I have been told many times on these sites that NYC can out vote Wyoming any day of the week. The enviros call the shots, we pay the price, and deal with the consequences. You can get bored with it all and go on to the next bright idea, we are the ones stuck with the problems.
    Our state did not bring in the wolves, the feds did as they wished to us, we are powerless in the whole thing.

  27. My bad for trying to make an analogous statement. I should have known. But as a sidebar, Marion, why do you think that in 12+ years that we have been fortunate enough to have wolves once again in the wild, not one time has any of the recovery states put the question to a vote. Would that not make a statement to the feds as to the will of the people? Don’t you find that odd….not once in 12+ years.

  28. First of all, I don’t understand the talk about voting. We had no vote on introducing wolves in our state, we have no vote on who is going to pay for them and their management, at this point we are, like it or not….and we don’t. If a federal fund is set up that would be a help.
    The ONLY say we will have while the city folk talk about it, is for our state to support our ranchers in their losses from what others have imposed on private land as well as what they claim as “their” public land. As it stands now “their” ownership and control over public land does not extend into any responsibility whatsoever for the results of “their” control & experiments.
    I do not know of any claims to $25,000 per kill, however the Nez Perce say each chopper flight to control livestock killers costs approximately $10,000.
    There are a couple of problems with your idea of just paying the ranchers for livestock kills, first we have seen adequate proof is available in only about 10-12% of the wolf kills. There has to be enough carcass to prove the extreme trauma that is the hallmark of a wolf kill. A 15-20 pack doesn’t leave much proof, just bones scattered thru the pasture. Another problem is the fact that livestock killers continue to prey on livestock, and worse they teach their young to prey on livestock, and they in turn, you get the picture. This was the problem with the 10 yearlings they brought in from northern Montana in 96 with the other wolves. Even though essentially pups, they had already been taught to eat beef, and that is where they headed, right out of the park and straight for ranches and the livestock on them.
    Here is the link to the Wildlife Trust fund: There was no vote on this except in the legislature, and the money in it is Wyoming taxpayer money.
    http://wwnrt.state.wy.us/

  29. Wolfen,
    My conversation with Marion has nothing to do with whether or not she votes. I could care less. What it was, was a comparison statement between the oft stated mantra by any number of political groups and if Marion felt such a concept would/should apply to a fund such as we were starting to discuss. (Hence abstract thinking).

    Intelligence is a relative thing. Case in point.

    I have never complained about wolves being killed because o f depredation of livestock. But by any measure how does an average of, and I may be off by a few thousand here, “25,000 per control action” make sense? The government could pay off the rancher and still save the taxpayer a bundle.(that figure sticks in my mind from somewhere. I’ll have to check that out. It could be more).

    As for where I live, that is irrelevant because what happens on public land is my business no matter if it is in Guam, the Florida Keys, or any public lands in between.

  30. With due respect, Jeff I only pointed out my previous comment because you tell Marion to not complain if you and every one has the opportunity to vote. My comment was that I have stated this many times on previous sites that if folks do not like the way things are being managed then vote, get the laws changed then things may go your way. I said this because you have complained many times about the wolves being killed because of there depradation on livestock and you have complained about livestock on public lands yet I have said vote, get the laws changed and quick complaining. Yet I seem to be the one who is unknowledgeable and my comments do not make sense to you. Somehow what I have said many times in the past appears now in your comment yet I am not intelligent enough for you. Well jeff, all I have to say is that people who complain about current practices, laws and regulations but do nothing except complain are called Hypocrites. So, as I say, practice what you preach.

  31. Jeff,

    My apologies. You are so I N T E L L I G E N T. I put this statement in there because in the past you have done just that….attacked current policies for which you and every American had the opportunity to vote.

    I knew when I wrote this last statement that you would be quick to attack just as on all my other posts to this site and Ralph Maughans. Maybe someday you can pass on your upper level knowledge to a lower bound American. I am curious though if you live in Idaho and if you claim to be a scientist?

  32. Wolfen,
    Read my last sentence of my last post s l o w l y. To rephrase; if such a fund is somehow put in place and one group/individual/ industry, chooses not to participate, then would ‘they’ have any grounds to complain about the management thereof. Just like the vote, if you choose not to, Don’t complain about the results. So wolfen I know that you have to be able to use a little bit of abstract thinking to put this all together. Marion has demonstrated that ability. When I am in a conversation with you I keep it in simple, easy to understand and use single syllable words wherever possible.

  33. I find it interesting Jeff that you tell Marion that if everyone is inlcuded in the vote then do not complain about it.

    We already have this process in place. It is called the polls when you vote every few years for your representatives in Washington and your local congressmen. You may not have voted for the Bush administration but everyone is given the opportunity yet people still complain about decisions made by them. Those against livestock on public lands will make derogatory remarks because of their lack of concern for public land, even those who dislike wolves will also derail them. So Jeff, your process is already in place. Better quite hammering on the current administration for issues such as global warming, livestock depredation, oil wells on Wyoming public lands, etc.

  34. Marion,
    Having no knowledge of the Wildlife Fund is there a link that would outline the parameters? Do you believe that all affected/interested groups should be included in that like a vote, if you don’t then do not complain about the results?

  35. It could be managed a lot like the Wyoming Wildlife fund, and each group that has a specific project would present all of the details and apply for the funding for that project.
    If it was a project that was going to impact private property, then the costs of that would have to be included constitutionally, or the property owner would need to be a part of the project.
    In the case of environmental groups it could be a cost share project.
    The good part of that would be that everyone could be involved, small projects would be funded if necessary and could lead to big answers. We really need to get away from the litigious idea of needing to control people, and filing lawsuits to get that control. I really think most everyone is interested in protecting our environment and working together would accomplish a lot more than endless lawsuits. Imagine all that could be accomplished with the money spent on lawsuits.

  36. Marion,
    So we all agree (I think) that a fund that is designated for the management of apex predators is a good idea. Having not read your article that you wrote for New West, if you would tell me how you see such a fund coming together and how it would be managed so that it will not just become another government black hole?
    Sincerely, JEFF

  37. Here it is, I’m sorry about the .com instead fo the .net, I have gotten the furniture place often enough that I should remember. The article was linked on this site for quite awhile.

  38. Marion – Those all look like good suggestions. Could you get me an exact web address for your article?

    Newwest.com is a furniture place, and I seem to have trouble using the search tools on Newwest.net.

    I don’t think you’re really that one-sided, I just think all the disrespect and ignorance you encounter about rural people really gets to you sometimes.

  39. I am not allowed to post on Ralph’s website. Others have asked me to, but as you will note, Ralph’s web site is decidedly one sided. And I am too, so he blacked me right off the bat.
    I think the fund would be a good thing, in fact if you read the article I wrote for New West, one of my suggestions is for a certain amount of money to be put into an endangered species fund every year. All of the expenses for managing endangered species would come from that, and that would include defense in lawsuits, and the costs for lisitng new species. It could be amde up of a board of all kinds of folks including environmentalists, mining people, agriculture folks and so on. It is estimated that Billions with a B are spent every year on endqangered, and yet more species were delisted because they were wrongly listed than were because they were recovered. The numbers are in the article that is on Newwest.com.
    The constant trashing of the very people trying to survive while dealing with all of the restrictions of endangered species is upsetting to me, I will admit. And that does not include all of the things we do as a matter of everyday life for wildlife.

  40. Marion, I think we need to get beyond this “sides” thing.

    There are good people who want to have grizzlies and wolves, and that’s what they want, and they DON’T want to “punish” someone else. They’re not “using” grizzlies and wolves to intentionally hurt someone or destroy their way of life.

    But if we keep talking like it’s an either/or thing, then many people will come to the conclusion that reaching their goal must necessarily entail destroying someone else.

    Maybe you shouldn’t read so much into what one person posts on Ralph’s website. Maybe that guy lives in his mom’s basement and works at the QuickTrip.

    Maybe you shouldn’t get your buttons pushed so easily, and should be devoting your demonstrated brainpower to REALLY figuring these things out.

    Maybe not spend so much time looking for the extremist views and then citing them as an example of why we can’t reach some resolutions that work for all of us.

    I’m realistic about the challenges of living with large carnivores. It’s not easy, and, as you point out, they don’t make good pets. But I try to keep my focus on the animals themselves, instead of focusing on the culture war they’re caught up in.

    By the way: you never post on Ralph’s website. Why’s that?

  41. “The idea is that Congress would provide most of the initial money and create a quasi-governmental fund, to which states, individuals, non-profit and for profit corporations, could add. The fund would take the burden off of state departments of fish and game, and reduce resentment by some hunters for the diversion of funds for these animals. It would also shield the management from the political instability of direct congressional appropriations and keep a national presence in the management of these animals despite their delisting.”

    Marion, this sounds like exactly what you have been asking for. The entire nation paying for predator management through the use of federal tax dollars. Why do you have a problem with this? How can you be so negative? You find the down-side in everything and frankly it is getting very tiring. DOW pays for some depredations, it isnt enough for you. Now the feds want to set up a trust fund and you STILL have problems? I think the only thing that would appease you is for ever wolf, bear, and coyote to be wiped out…

  42. If there is any support for the states that are dealing with all of these predators, then please show me where it is.
    By the way Wyoming has always had grizzlies and spend approximately a million dollars per year for their management, including frequent flier miles for some of them. What does any wildlife protection organization give? What tax money or other money do you provide for their direct management? We didn’t kill off the grizzly, the NPS did.
    Here is the link, and if that is your idea of being concerned about dealing with endangered species fairly, well what can I say? that is jsut your way of dealing with folks.
    http://wolves.wordpress.com/2007/05/18/trust-fund-for-grizzlies-wolves-weighed/

  43. Marion,
    Is there no low you won’t sink to? First of all you are not making it clear that you are quoting a person on Ralph’s site, Dave Jones, who has posted a comment stating only HIS opinion. You then take only a PART of one sentence of that post. Dave Jones whole post states that it would be a good idea to have such a fund so that the money contributed or spent by sportsmen will not be the primary source of funding for predator management, however if states such as Wyo. demand total control of management then they need to pony up the funds. It appears that my original assessment of your character was the correct one. My bad for recently thinking otherwise. Then in looking over the post again, you did not even quote the part of one sentence correctly but even tried to twist that. Your pathetic.

  44. If you want to see where disagreement with the trust fund idea is, take a look at Ralph Maughan’s site. You’ll see statements that the states (with grizzlies) should “not be let off the hook that easily”, etc. That sounds like he wants the griz to punish those he doesn’t like….and you’ll note he has agreement.
    As long as one side sees endangered species as a way to punish those they dislike,(or who do things they dislike), and the ones being imposed on feel like they are being punished, there will never be any agreement over things.

  45. Marion – Thank you for taking the time to read all that and respond. Your last paragraph DOES make sense. I think we’re saying the same thing, for the most part.

    I agree, the Shoshone River drainage is probably full up with bears and you can’t cram anymore in there.

    Probably where we differ is in our assessments of whether there is anyplace for more of these bears to live.

    If I understand you, you are a little skeptical that there are other good places for grizzlies in the lower 48.

    I am a little skeptical, too. I am not sure that 21st Century Americans CAN live with them. For someone who can live with grizzlies, give me a rugged old 19th Century rancher over a transplanted stockbroker any day.

    So, my thinking is this: we’re not sure what this “living with grizzlies” thing really looks like. So let’s not pretend we’ve got it all figured out and make a giant plan to have them all over the Rockies tomorrow.

    Instead, let’s see if we can work WITH folks to have some adaptive management experiments in a few places near where bears already live. Let’s figure this thing out, try to demonstrate that we CAN live with grizzlies without turning the land into a Park or Wilderness.

    And let’s make sure there’s plenty of $$, not just sentiment, from the folks from all over who want more grizzlies. [Note the proposed grizzly-wolf trust fund]

    You’re right, there is a lot of development west of Yellowstone. But there’s still a lot of open country, too, with some of the lowest population densities in the lower 48. There is still opportunity, and we have enough time to think this through (TOGETHER!) and do it right.

    When folks talk about an inter-connected population of 3,000 grizzlies, they’re not talking about cramming them all into northwest Wyoming. Instead, we’d be looking at maybe 600 in Greater Yellowstone, 400 in southwest Montana/Central Idaho, 500 in the Bob-Glacier country, 100-odd in northwest Montana = 1600, well-connected to a similar number in Canada.

    What’s really crucial to that network of grizzly habitat is Central Idaho and southwest Montana. That’s where the potential is. Grizzlies are already moving into some of that in-between country in southwest Montana.

    There’s no good reason to try to keep cramming more into places that are already teeming with bears.

    I still doubt there’s anyone saying that more bears will somehow fix the habitat.

    I do know that people are saying they don’t want bears delisted because the habitat is in decline, particularly whitebark pine.

    The argument is that the bear population will decline to a dangerously low level without whitebark pine and other key foods, so there needs to be a serious plan in place for dealing with that scenario, instead of just documenting the decline.

    [Keep in mind that the agencies are committing to having at least 500 bears around, so the number that matters is 499, not zero.]

    I also agree with you that local people need to be genuinely involved, not just surveyed or consulted. The “resentment” you mention is real, and conservationists need to take it seriously.

  46. I did miss that SAP. The fact is at present the griz are only in the three state area, and primarily in Yellowstone itself and to the south and east. The argument that is being made is exactly that, there is not enough habitat/food, you can read it in a number of places.
    I could understand your arguement perfectly if the focus was on developing alternate habitat somehwere else, but the argument seems to me to be we must have more and more bears until they are able to what take habitat from livestock, people?
    Can you tell me where the other habitat is going to come from? What are we going to do with all of these hungry bears? It is easy to shrug and say that is our problem, you want more of them, and it is up to us to sacrifice and figure it all out.
    I love grizzly, even went to Katmai in Alaska just so I could see lots of them, but I am realistic enough to know they do not make good pets.
    Also you have to realize this area is the only area in the lower 48 with all 5 major predators. One reason it has worked thus far, is that first of all, most of us are very tolerant, we didn’t have large wolf populations added until the last few years, and there were not a lot of people living here. Wyoming for instance is the lowest population state in the 48. How do you think predators will far over the long haul if ranchers and other residents are forced out and the whole state becames a playground for the rich? It is already happening west of Yellowstone, land is selling for hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars for what was once ranch land.
    Again all I can say is find the habitat/food for the bears and start taking excess/problem bears to where you have it, but don’t force even more into an already saturated area. That is a recipe for problems, and it is sure to cause resentment and anger when neither the residents nor our concerns, nor our property are considered at all.
    Does this make sense to you?

  47. You are right, SAP. Anyone can rephrase the argument to make it seem like the burden of saving endangered predators is being forced on a couple of states. The reality is that most if not all wildlife supporters would love to see them spread to as many states as possible (including their own) to minimize the risk of extinction.

  48. Marion – did you ever get to see my too-long reply above (dated 12 May) to your question about why people would want more grizzlies, even though habitat is declining?

    I would be interested in your thoughts on that topic.

  49. Marion,
    Perhaps we are just two good people who are just going to have to agree that we disagree on some fundamental issues. I do enjoy the debate though and will probably take it up another day on another field. As for today I will retire from this field of battle and live too debate another day. Adieu Marion, Adieu and well met.

  50. Jeff, I will grant I had that coming for mixing up the two articles, the one about three dozen scientists (at least some of whom are philosophists) protesting wolf delsiting, and one about 230 scientists protesting changes in the ESA, some of whom are again philosophists. Again, I’m sorry, I don’t know what else to say.

  51. First I have nothing against scientists, as a medical care provider, I have a little scientific training. That being said it does not make me an expert on building rockets, I cede that to experts in that field, and would never presume to tell rocket scientists how to build one.
    As for the abundance of elk, first of all we are in a prolong drought so they want to decrease herds below normal. They can bounce back in good years as long as the calf crop stays good. Second the only elk impacted by wolves are the elk in areas where the wolves are, such as Sunlight and Meeteetse.
    Some areas inundated with wolves are suffering livestock losses because it is easier to hit a corral so the animals can’t get away from them than it is to kill elk, such as the Upper Green. The severe drop in moose would indicate that the wolves are taking them, not elk in the Tetons.
    Wyoming is a big state, and we have elk in pretty much every area of the state, and so far only occasional wolves have gotten to most places, not the huge packs in the northwest corner.

  52. Marion,
    with all due respect you appear to just be confused…………

  53. http://www.jacksonholestartrib.com/articles/2007/04/26/news/wyoming/bd3865054c105281872572c800829bb7.txt Apparantly the elk population is 50% above the target in wyoming. Those wolves better get eating! How will Marion spin this article?

  54. Wow! Is this the longest, most tortuous comment thread in the history of blogger-dom? I’m getting whiplash!

    Ok, I can’t imagine that Marion has anything against Scientists doing Scientist things.

    I think everyone ought to look up “argument from authority” as a logical fallacy.

    See http://www.fallacyfiles.org

    There, you’ll find this quote from Bertand Russell:

    “[I]t is not what the man of science believes that distinguishes him, but how and why he believes it. His beliefs are tentative, not dogmatic; they are based on evidence, not on authority or intuition.”

    I don’t like these “sign-on letters,” even when I agree with the cause. I think they are a case of “argument from authority,” and they further warp our society’s understanding of and relationship with this thing we call Science.

  55. Marion, what do you have against scientists?

  56. My bad, I had this article confused with the “230 scientists” who wrote to Ed Bangs protesting the delisting of the wolf.
    Sorry about that.

  57. Rob Edward

    From the original AP article: “Among them were Pulitzer Prize-winning biologist E.O. Wilson of Harvard University; ethicists J. Baird Callicott of the University of North Texas and Kathleen Dean Moore of Oregon State University; Craig Moritz, director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California at Berkeley; and Gary Meffe of the University of Florida, editor of the journal Conservation Biology.”

    P.S. The link to the original AP article provided in this blog post (way back at the top of this page) works fine.

  58. I’m talking about who the **** these so called scientists are that this article is about. No one, including Ed Bangs nor FWS seems to know. Do you know?

  59. What in the hell are you talking about?

  60. I doubt the state of Montana is too thrilled with those numbers since they have lost over 2000 hunting licenses for that area.
    Many of those would be out of state permits which bring a lot of dollars to the state for the licenses.
    My purpose for writing this time (I was beginning to think we had played this for all it is worth) is that I jsut received an email directly related to the topic of all of this. Apparently some media types have been trying to get ahold of Ed Bangs to see jsut what is going on and who these folks are. Bangs is in DC until the end of June and supposedly knew nothing about this, had not even read it in the papers.
    It is a very long email of back and forths between FWS people, Ed Bangs, and property rights folks, and some reporters trying to get to the bottom of it, and see who these people are and their credentials that caused them to make their comments public. Cory Hatch, who wrote the article for the Jackson Hole paper is evidently trying to figure it all out, and he says he was in contact with a couple of people from Missouri who claim to have organized this.
    Most interesting.

  61. marion,
    What you conveniently leave out of your quote is that “The state plan calls for a winter population objective of 3000-5000 elk north of Yellowstone with 2000-3000 wintering on or near Dome mountain Wildlife Management Area. In the last four years an estimated 3200-4000 elk have wintered in the area with 2100-2800 using Dome Mountain WMA. By the end of winter biologist expect elk numbers to stay within management objectives.” Sounds like the elk are right where the state wants them to be………FOR FOUR GOING ON FIVE YEARS.

  62. The only March count done in 2006 was 3649! First the FWS site said they did not count, then after the information was released by YNP and Mt G&F, and I gave to print out to Mitch King at a meeting, they said on June 30 2006, that it was a classification count, that they did not do a population count. Fast forward to Jan 19, 2007, they said the following quoted from the FWS site
    “2006-2007 WINTER COUNT OF NORTHERN YELLOWSTONE ELK- The Northern Yellowstone Cooperative Wildlife Working Group conducted its annual winter survey of the northern Yellowstone elk population on December 30, 2006. A total of 6,738 elk were counted during good survey conditions. Approximately 2/3 of the observed elk were located within Yellowstone National Park, and 1/3 was located north of the park boundary. Biologists used three fixed-wing aircraft to count elk through the entire northern range during the one-day survey. The northern Yellowstone elk herd winters between the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park and Dome Mountain/Dailey Lake in the Paradise Valley. This year’s count of 6,738 elk was similar to the count of 6,588 elk in March 2006, but significantly lower than the 9,545 elk counted in January 2005. ”
    Go to the Western Grey wolf web page and it is right there. I cannot explain the discrepancy in numbers. I can tell you that the herd size is dropping like a rock. The Norris herd that does not migrate had dropped from a stable 600 over the years to 250 a couple of years ago. The meadow at Norris no longer has elk calves playing there, which breaks my heart.

  63. Marion – there is a new article in Journal of Wildlife Management (volume 71(2)) by L. L. Eberhardt et al, “A Seventy-Year History of Trends in Yellowstone’s Northern Elk Herd.”

    The article reports that the northern range herd dropped from 23,000 to 12,000 from 1995-2004.

    The article also states (p.594) that “reduction of harvests of prime-aged female elk to decrease removals of animals with high reproductive value and increase adult female survival appears essential. We analyzed the relative impact of removals by hunters and by wolves . . . and found that the impact of hunters is far more important than that by wolves, a finding of broad significance.”

    Again: “the impact of hunters is far more important than that by wolves.”

    Probably could surmise that wolves, due to their hunting techniques, do end up killing older cows.

    People, on the other hand, well, we find elk in herds, pick out a cow elk without regard to her age or condition, and pull the trigger. We obviously don’t run them around awhile to see which ones look most vulnerable.

  64. Steve,
    and that would be 96-98% of the rest of the live stock producers nationwide.

  65. Wolfen, we get the public land for free and the rancher pays because we don’t have the option of turning a profit from using public land. One thing that always confuses me is that supporters of low cost ranching on public land claim to be all for the profession of ranching. But do they care about the private ranchers who are put at an artificial market disadvantage because they have to pay full cost for keeping cows on their land and maintaining their land? I would love to hear what a private rancher thinks about subsidized grazing on public land…

  66. marion, its on the Casper Tribune.

  67. Who was asking me about why there are a lot of elk despite wolves? I must have missed it, and can’t find it. he answer of course is simply that so far we don’t have wolves in every corner of our state. We do have elk in virtually every corner and despite claims that the drought is what is killing the elk in Yellowstone, they are doing fine in the rest of the state where the drought is arguably worse. So far only Sunlight Basin and the Meeteetse area, and other areas surrounding Yellowsotne are hit hard by the wolves. The problem is the elk population is getting very low in Yellowstone, so they are going to be ranging out more and more, I seriously doubt they are going to quit eating.
    The second reason for the lower impact outside of Yellowstone is the livestock, they are preying on livestock pretty heavy.
    There are a couple of reasons why wolf predation is having more impact than hunting. One of the most obvious is that hunting is controlled by professionals at G&F. Predation is not controlled in any way shape or form. Second predation by wolves is additive to an increased population of grizzlies in addition to other predators. Third and possibly the most important reason is that wolves as well as other predators prey on calves, so there is no way to replace lost adults. No species can bounce back if there is no surviving young.

  68. As for your post at 18:39 Wolfen, what small business owner does not pay all those same taxes. We are, of course not talking about the conglomerate livestock industry here which is a horse of a whole different color.

  69. Wolfen, read my post above at 13:35.34. The rancher has a grazing lease. That means that the rancher is RENTING that land from the public for a specific purpose above and beyond the normal upkeep and maintenance of that land.

  70. So my question is then why should the rancher have to pay his aum. Yours taxes and the ranchers taxes pay for it but the rancher pays and additional on top of that. Why do you get special priviledges?

  71. Wolfen,
    Because it is Public Land. I own it along with you, Marion, and every other citizen of America. And it is not free. A portion of my taxes go to the upkeep. I wish every dollar of all our taxes that has been spent on by that feces stain in Washington on his war of lies could have been spent on our public land maintenance.

  72. and even without wolves how long can an elk heard sustain a harvest of thousands of prime aged breeding females year in year out before it collapses due to say a extremely harsh winter?

  73. And speaking of taxes……Yes ranchers pay property taxes, take out yearly operating loans just, pay off their operating loans each year then take out operating loans another year. That is part of the ranching/farming industry. Out of their operating loans they pay taxes for fuel, all equipment, property, and others but what is a huge factor is that if they sell they pay taxes for the sale of their property. If the landowner dies then they have to pay inheritance taxes.

    So when it comes right down to it the rancher is paying taxes 2 – 3 times over the lifetime that he owns it, (1) property taxes, (2) sales taxes, (3) inheritance taxes.

    So to tell me that the rancher is doesn’t pay much in taxes is ludicrous.

    Jeff, I agree with Marion in that if you or someone wants access to private land to hunt, fish, camp or do his recreation that you should pay much more just for access of the private property. On public land you get to recreate for free.

    The aum is approximately $1.50 per aum on public land (plus the rancher pays his taxes also since it it his public land too) and $11.00 to $15.00 per aum on private land.

    How come you get to use public land for free and the rancher pays? Likewise you and everyone of us should pay a use fee and if you use private land you should pay much, much more.

  74. Wolfen,
    The norther range heard has fluctuated for decades for one reason or another. You may find of interest the press release of today where Wyoming fish and game states that elk are at an all time high. You can find the link on Ralph’s site. One blogger at the Casper tribune was even asking Marion for an explanation.

  75. Jeff,

    Thanks for the reference to post 1020. However, that just raises more questions. It appears to me that overall the elk population has decreased, not increased, as the population of wolves has increased over the years since 1995. Yes, there have been some years where the ungulate population bounced back but as you state it is due to decreased hunting and other environmental factors. Now factor in wolves. That is my very point that you will not have the large populations of ungulates given all those other factors such as hunting, ecological and environmental changes, and now additionally wolves. Overall the ungulate herd will decrease from its high of approximately 21,000 years ago. We will see.

  76. Sorry, I guess it is you Jeff that made the following statement, not Frank: “The fair fees then charged could then go to help making up the shortages that may exist otherwise in the management of public lands.”
    To me that sounds like you want to be the one that decides what is fair, and it should make up for free access for you.

  77. Marion,
    apparently it wasn’t simple enough, even for you.

  78. Ranchers do pay a user’s fee already when they graze livestock. Frank’s position seems to be that they should pay a higher fee to cover his usage costs so he doesn’t have to pay one. Is that right?

  79. Sap,
    You bring up a very good point that the public still is the boss, all evidence to the contrary, but it’s up to us to TELL our elected representative how we want our tax money distributed.

  80. Frank – you’ve heard the expression “land rich, cash poor,” I’m sure.

    A lot of these guys have to get a whopper “operating loan” every year to keep going. The cash flow is mostly to and from the bank, paying back that loan.

    You’ll see new pickups frequently, but that’s bought out of annual profits as business capital so they don’t have to pay taxes on that chunk of money. If you’ve ever lived in a rural area and your livelihood depended on being able to move horses, cattle, fenceposts, whatever, on a reliable basis, then I’m sure you can see the importance of having a good reliable truck (ie, taking the bus to work isn’t an option for a rancher!).

    You’re right, the land in many places is worth gazillions. Where I live, it’s highly coveted as subdivisions. So, if the rancher wants to stop being “cash poor,” he has to stop growing beef and start growing ranchitos.

    I won’t wade into the debate over whether cheap public land grazing is a “payback” for keeping land in ag instead of housing.

    Steve, I don’t know the primary reason for the USFS road system. In a lot of places, the roads were built for timber cutting, and are kept in place for a hodge-podge of reasons. I hear frequently that “public access” is a big driver.

    As their budgets decline further, clearly USFS is probably headed toward abandoning more roads. What that will mean for hikers, grazers, berry pickers, and firefighters will vary by locale. It will probably end up being a good thing for wildlife, as it will create new “roadless” areas overnight.

    Abandoning roads serves two budgetary purposes: 1) USFS can’t keep roads open if they can’t maintain them — public safety and water quality being two big reasons; so, they save the $$ they would have spent on road maintenance and upgrades;

    2) USFS can’t effectively protect and manage resources — be it noxious weed control, campground maintenance, fire protection, law enforcement — if they don’t have the staff to put in the field. De facto limitations on public access by closing roads means there’s less protection to be done, so they can make do with a skeleton staff.

    That’s where things are headed. It’s not all bad, but if you want to keep some of that infrastructure in use, maybe it’s time to think about user fees. I know it’s not fair to those of us who never wanted to tackle the Iraqi tar baby, but there it is.

  81. Arent most of the roads in national forests etc maintained primarily to allow access when fighting forest fires? With public use being a secondary result?

  82. Oh, OK! I get it! Thanks. Trucks, tractors, cars……it was a little hard for me to grasp, since I just have have a ’99 Toyota. Hundreds of acres of land (worth millions in todays real estate market)……got it! Guess a guy’s bank account would have to be pretty big just to keep something like that running day to day, not to mention pay the taxes!
    Hard for us common folk to fathom all that cash flow, when the biggest financial decision we have to make in the day is whether or not we can afford Mickey D’s dollar menu (no beef BTW) after we fill up the Toyota! I sure am glad they get those subsidies, reimbursements and cheap below market grazing!! Makes me sleep better at night!

  83. Frank, ranchers pay more property tax because they tend to own more property. They also typically pay property taxes on cows and bulls, along with sales taxes (in states that have that) on all the stuff they buy like feed, fuel, trucks, tractors . . .

    Is someone demanding bull prices for stocker cows?

  84. I know……..what was this thread about again?!

  85. If those roads and trails are built and maintained by the USFS and their salaries are paid by tax monies, and you pay taxes, then I guess you are paying for them. You may well be getting a bargain, but then again, if you pay school taxes (for example) and don’t have any kids in school, or are paying to help subsidize grazing and you don’t eat beef, are you getting ripped off? I’m sure it balances out.

  86. Fascinating the way these discussions evolve and morph into something entirely different.

    SCALE is a key concept here . . . I can get my head around the idea that my taxes do pay for a 30 acre park that is accessed via a state highway.

    I cannot get my head around the idea that some tax I pay actually finances my recreational forays onto, say, the Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest. If I drive out to hike up Cave Mountain, for instance, I am going to travel over about 20 – 30 miles of high elevation gravel roads to get there — roads totally maintained by USFS.

    Or, if I want to backpack along the Gilbert Trail, I may drive 30 miles of USFS gravel, then hike up to 40 miles along USFS maintained trails. I won’t see another person out there unless it’s hunting season.

    What tax did I — and the maybe 20 other people annually — pay to keep that trail open? At an average rate of $100 per mile (not counting contract administration!) to clear the trail and clean waterbars, I can’t argue that my taxes are paying for it — not when I know most of taxes go into entitlement programs, defense, and federal debt.

  87. Ranchers pay more taxes than most of us? Mmmmm! I guess that it follows then that ranchers have a higher income than most of the rest of us? What about those ranchers who will go bankrupt if they lose just one more broken down, crippled old cow and don’t get compensated for full fall price for a prime, healthy, prize bull?

  88. …and I would also expect the managers of that park to charge a fair rent so the public would not have to subsidize that usage, wouldn’t you?

  89. Marion Marion Marion,
    If I go down to the public park in my town, regardless of my profession, and want to enjoy that for a walk or picnic or sunning then that is an activity that is covered by the taxes I pay and possibly a user fee for say a zoo or swimming pool. However if I want to rent a portion of that park for say a carnival, or craft fair, I rent that space and time, regardless of whether I also pay taxes, or how much taxes I pay, that go to the maintenance of that park. IT IS THE SAME THING WITH OTHER PUBLIC LANDS. I hope that is simple enough for you to understand.

  90. The ranching industry is also a part fo the taxpaying public. In fact since they own a lot of livestock, and have quite a high value, they probably pay more. since the PILT payments have stopped , it is pretty easy to make the case that residents of a given state with a high percentage of “public” land are paying more since they have to make up the decreased tax base of “public” land.
    Why is it you feel that one taxpayer is entitled to use forests for free, but another is supposed to pay enough to make up the difference? I must admit to a bias, I feel food producers contribute more to the “public” on the whole than recreationalists entertaining themselves.
    Then if you are going to soak the ranchers for enough to cover the expenses of the recreationalists are you going to make it up by paying for the ranch owned food wildlife eats during the winter? How about their use of rancher maintained water sources?
    Remember FS is now crying becaue they don’t get the “subsidies” for timber companies that no longer exist, do you suppose that maybe, jsut maybe they were using the timber “subsidy” to carry other uses like recreation?

  91. Marion,
    We are talking about public land. The public already owns the land. The upkeep of that land is payed for by taxes and various use fees. If that is too much or not enough is a different subject. The livestock industry RENTS pasturing from THE PUBLIC at a currently subsidised by the PUBLIC fee. Lets remove the livestock industry lobbyist from the equation and pay the PUBLIC fair market value for the grazing. I would suggest a place to start would be an average of what is charged nation wide out side of the public lands grazing fees. The fair fees then charged could then go to help making up the shortages that may exist otherwise in the management of public lands.

  92. Fine with me as long as EVERY user of the NFs, including back packers and hikers pay market price for their use. Now who gets to determine market price?
    Be careful what you ask for, you might get it.

  93. OK Marion, if the free market is all that and a bag of chips, Lets have the public lands livestock industry start by paying a grazing fee determined by an average of what all livestock producers across the nation pay for grazing, instead of a government (read that public) subsidized grazing fee that is now payed, and then let the free market run its course.

  94. Well Jeff, if it bothers you to read what I think about these things, I suggest you not go to all of the places I write and not read them. I am going to continue to do it.
    I have posted links to all sorts of references, but never just what you wanted I guess. This article today by Dr, Thomas Sowell seemed so appropriate regarding this discussion as it is evolving, even though it has nothing to do wiht wolves per sey.

    http://www.townhall.com/columnists/column.aspx?UrlTitle=the_anger_of_the_left&ns=ThomasSowell&dt=05/15/2007&page=full&comments=true
    If it is hard to find a principle behind what angers the left, it is not equally hard to find an attitude.

    Their greatest anger seems to be directed at people and things that thwart or undermine the social vision of the left, the political melodrama starring the left as saviors of the poor, the environment, and other busybody tasks that they have taken on.

    It seems to be the threat to their egos that they hate. And nothing is more of a threat to their desire to run other people’s lives than the free market and its defenders.

  95. Wolfen,
    Go to Ralph’s site, look under the subject Uncategorized, post #1020 titled “What do you want to talk about” and read comment # 16.

  96. I have never said wildlife, in general, were bad. All I said was that having an ever growing population of wolves does not mean more wildlife, it means less. I do not have scientific studies before me but have read alot and a prime example is in Yellowstone where the ungulate herd has substantially decreased. It use to be a stable population before the wolves but since wolf reintroduction the population has steadily declined. You are correct however that eventually their will be a balance but that has not yet occurred in Yellowstone. So if this is happening in Yellowstone I am sure it is occurring outside Yellowstone in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Sorry you lost credibility in me but at this point the burden of proof is on you to prove that an ever growing population means our ungulate herds are becoming larger.

  97. Jeff, I have been down this road many times. It is not worth it. Marion, can you name more than a couple of politicians who have won elections by taking money from environmental groups? Elections are won with money from industry and NRA money (especially once you get away from cities).

  98. After all this conversation Marion you have not produced one verifiable source for any of your assertions on any subject. To the contrary your posts are full of innuendo, half-truths, legends, I heard it through the grapevine, and simple opinion. All you do as far as I can see is flit about the Internet making a nuisance of yourself and always refer to yourself as we. Possibly you should get a life.

  99. Don’t you think that it is a good thing that all sides are represented by powerful lobbying groups in washington? Don’t you want a “level” playing field?

  100. They all do. and I’m not talking about just one environmental group. Earth Justice carries a big stick and they don’t even pretend to do anything except file law suits against the American taxpayers. Unfortunately they have lots of money to buy influence and politicians are always looking for money for the next election.
    A good measure of the influence of environmental groups versus ordinary people, including ranchers and farmers is the number of “endangered” species that have been delisted in 35 years. Even those “delisted” by the government are fought tooth and toenail by environmental groups and kept in limbo & delisted for years on end.

  101. Marion, do the NRA, oil industries, and livestock industries spend millions per year buying influence in washington? You keep talking about one environmental group that most likely does not come close to spending what these three industries spend.

  102. Here is one of the articles. I am having trouble finding the article written by Cat Urbigkit.
    Warning it is very slow to load. It also mentions why it is easier for us to live with griz that have always lived here, than it is to live with wolves that were brought in and have had their population just explode.

  103. Marion – I agree with you about lobbyists.

    I can’t agree with you that “environmental lobbyists are at the top of the heap.” Maybe you ought to dig into campaign contribution records to see where the big money comes from. I doubt you’ll see much at all coming from the Greenies.

    I have never heard of the Sierra Club or National Wildlife Federation sponsoring an expenses-paid ski-resort “seminar” for US Senators. But Big Tobacco did. And how about Jack Ambramof and his big-spending Super Bowl trips and Scottish golf junkets for our dear departed Senator Burns and pals?

    [Speaking of Senator Burns, if you really want to get a good idea of what lobbyist influence can buy, look into the Marianas Islands case. Be forewarned: it involves sexual slavery, forced abortions, and Dickensian toil, and our good ol’ Connie voted to keep all that going so we could have cheap underwear at Wal-Mart.]

    That’s the big money. That’s the ruin of our open society and free republic.

    Shall I continue? Any boys from the Bighorn Basin come home from Iraq in a flag-draped coffin yet? Boys from the small towns I come from have. They died for a bunch of lies. Who was pushing those lies? How about Haliburton and Kellog-Brown-Root? They’re turning a pretty sweet profit over all that bloodshed over there. When corporations can influence government to the point that we start a poorly-planned war that has to be fought by the lower and middle classes, well, we starting to look a lot like late Rome.

    And how about health care? Know anybody over there who has lost their savings and their home because they had the bad luck of getting sick? Ever see those little jars at the gas station, begging for quarters so someone can get a brain tumor removed? Do you LIKE our health care system? I don’t, and haven’t talked to anybody in years who does. So why aren’t we reforming it? L-O-B-B-Y-I-S-T-S! And it ain’t Greenpeace that’s keeping this broken system in place, either.

    So, which lobbyists are costing us untold trillions? I look at health care and foreign policy, and I’d have to say that the bad stuff in those issue areas alone makes anything from the environmental/conservation/green “lobby” look like the change in my pickup’s ashtray.

  104. I will pull up the Pinedale online site and try to find the article she wrote of her interview with them. I suspect if you ask DOW themselves why some folks are complaining of delayed payments, they will tell you the various excuses, but I believe they will admit there are some problmes.

  105. Rob Edward

    Marion, you have stated multiple times now, in different way, that you know (or know of) people that have applied for compensation from Defenders, and it has been years before they see their check. Please provide their names and locations, so I can look into this with Defenders and get them their money–otherwise, stop with these assertions. To my knowledge, Defenders has been tremendously expeditious with making payments on confirmed and probable depredations.

  106. Jeff, wildlife has been managed by man since the beginning of time, that is a fact. There is some use by wildlife that is simply not compatible with humans. Wax eloquent all you want about how we need to adjust, a herd of buffalo are never going to be amblind down the street in NYC or even LA. That doesn’t mean the people who live there are not caring, it is simply that free roaming buffalo are not compatible with cities or towns….. and certainly not with freeways. In fact not much is compatible with places like that, I guess.
    It is very easy for you to poo poo the overall affect of wolves on human lives here, in large part becaue it doesn’t affect you personally in any negative way. The problem is the damage done to individuals by the animals. Individual families are losing tremendous amounts of money, and are told they are greedy if they complain. Not everyone is impacted equally. Some have been hit time and again, and control isn’t usually done until the second hit.
    Imagine your payday coming and being told that the computer ate this months paycheck. If you fill out enough paper correctly you may be able to recoup it in a couple fo years or so. If it happens again though they will fix the computer. Then a few months later the same thing happens again, but this time, it must have been your fault, the money just vanished.
    I don’t know how much power you think the enviros need, but right now they have vitually unlimited power, the hundreds of million that flow into their coffers tax free gives them that power. Virtually none is spent on any real projects, nearly every penny is spent on lawyers to take away private property rights and prevent compensation to the owners.
    I believe lobbyists have cost this country unbelievable amounts of money, and environmental lobbyists are at the top of the heap. They are not elected by anyone, but are able to exert tremendous control over other people. They are extremely dangerous to a free society.

  107. Marion, you are asking for a designer ecosystem that consists of ONLY what you want in it, ranching and hunting. “Greenies” are forcing a designer ecosystem on you that includes ranching, hunting AND a complete ecosystem with a keystone predator. One side seems a bit more inclusive than the other… Stop being dramatic. Ranching is never going to be phased out in the west, it will most likely not even decrease significantly. You must not have much faith in the profession if you think 5% (oh hell lets say 10% to make you happy) depredation will kill the industry. I would honestly predict that wolves would be exterminated from the lower 48 again before environmentalists ever gained enough power to end ranching on public land. I know that being pessimistic and constantly predicting the worst case scenario gets everyone on your side charged up to support you, but at the end of the day I think that you and I both know that this wolf controversy will turn out somewhere in the middle, with some hunting allowed in some areas to control numbers and protection in others.

  108. I have read with interest the issues about wolf restoration from Sinapu and another pro wolf site. After commenting for a couple of years I can definitely draw one conclusion. The wolf advocates would much rather have livestock off of public land and with it ranchers out of business and they would much rather see development of this land to resorts, ranchettes, 5-acre lots, and oil and gas development in place of livestock. Why this is I will never understand.

    But I do know that I would much rather see our public lands like they are now even with livestock use rather that seeing them taken over and doted by resorts, ranchettes, and oil and gas development. At least having livestock on them as they are now is as close to 19th century america as we will ever get.

  109. Once again Wolfen, answer the question. How did all wildlife ever make it without man deciding which were good and which were bad? As for wild life or not what did you mean by wolves equal less wildlife. I believe you are ecologically ignorant. And here I was inclined to give you more credit than marion. Sorry, my bad.

  110. What was changed in 1982 was the ability to plant an animal outside of it’s habitat. It also released the FWS from liability if the animal killed or or otherwise damaged another species, including a native species ( Lupus Irremotus). Voila that cleared the way to introduce the non essential wolves into the 3 state area with no repercussions.
    The reason for objections by the owners to putting endangered species on private land is that they take precedence on the use of that land. Farmers cannot farm if it interferes in any way with the species, same with ranchers, they cannot irrigate fields, use them to feed livestock, build barns or whatever if it interferes with a designated species. Meanwhile the landowner is still responsible for the payments, taxes, upkeep, etc on his property. But someone else gets to dictate the use, but of course they pay nothing, that falls on the guy that “owns” it. Fair compensation as directed by the Constitution of the United States of America comes to mind.
    If that is greed to you, I suggest you think about how you might react if it is your property, or the use of it that is being taken.

  111. Oh Rob, I already know of several ranchers who are having difficulties with wooves and are suffering significant financial loss due to wolves which is an economic factor that will drive them out of business. The other ones are contributors to but losses to wolves is also a big part of the financial and economic loss they suffer.

  112. Rob,

    Maybe you did not notice the thread to the Defenders of Wildlife. The are an anti-ranching group which means they are in the business of driving ranchers out of business. And what does DOW do…..they vehemently support the reintroduction of wolves no matter the financial loss to livestock producers. So do not tell me they are not conspiring to drive ranchers off of the land, and that is the truth. Go to the link I posted early on and it states their purpose when it comes to wolf restoration.

    Jeff, glad you knew wolves were wildife. That means another major predatory wildlife eating and killing all other wildlife which also means less opportunity for the hunters. A

    Also glad to know you know that cows are not wildlife. Would have hated to educate you in this manner.

  113. Marion,
    Wolves were reintroduced as a result of enforcing then law of the land, the ESA. A law by the way signed into law by President Nixon in 1973 and given “teeth” in 1982 by President Reagan. Among other species besides the wolf, were the bald and golden eagle and the California Condor (can you believe the livestock industry was party to a law suit to prevent the California Condor from being re-introduced.) Point is that the livestock industry mindset is that there should be nothing that remotely interferes with there agenda, be animal or human. Along with the oil companies present the biggest threat to the freedoms of the people in the west.

  114. If we want to eat, we’d better hope that ranching never ceases. Can you imagine being at the mercy of terrorist regimes for food and fuel?
    There is probably no way our points of view will ever converge. I consider it a far worse wrong to force folks out of business and out of their homes to make room for predators, than it was to rid the area of predators to allow humans to survive. Do you feel your home and business should be eliminated to make room for predators or any other species? My point is Rob, we can’t put the genie back in the bottle, we live in the 21st century, you can’t pick a certain group of people and say their rights are going to take back seat to species that we presently deem more important than people. And we both know there is no way you are going to make every person in the US live a 19th century life over again to make wildlife the dominant species.
    Some years ago I questioned environmental groups about why they wouldn’t allow beaver in DC. The editor of Sierra said that city folk could not put up with wildlife, but “somebody has to sacrifice”, to me that is not a generous and caring statement.

  115. Rob Edward

    The idea that ranchers are not in power is ludicrous! All one need do is look at how the Wyoming legislature has steadfastly refused to cooperate in the development of a management plan that will ensure the long-term viability of a wolf population to see that the livestock industry is calling the shots.

    Further, wolves were reintroduced to right an ecological (and dare I say “moral”) wrong. Although some of the commentaries by visitors to this board posit the idea that wolves are simply a conspiracy to drive ranchers off of the land, nothing could be farther from the truth. Ultimately, economic and ecological factors will bring an end to large-scale ranching in the arid West; subsidies will end, fuel costs will sky rocket, the curtains will come down and none of it will have anything to do with the presence or absence of wolves.

  116. C’mon, the wolves were introduced in order to fulfill a dream world held by those who have no idea what is going on. Let’s face it, what is being done by the greens of today is just what was done by the YNP managers a hundred years ago. The “ecosystem” is being designed the way certain people with power have decided it should be designed, just exactly what was being done then. The only difference is they thought they were preventing prey animals from all being killed off. Now it is to kill off prey animals. Either way it is trying to manipulate nature to suit a preconceived idea.

  117. it’s about an ecological balance. How did all the wildlife inclusive ever make it up to the point that man started to decide what animals were desirable and which were not?

  118. wolfen, wolves were not reintruduced so there would be “more wildlife”. They were reintroduced and will hopefully be reintroduced elsewhere in the united states to create a more complete ecosystem.

  119. cows are not

  120. Wolfen,
    wolves are wildlife

  121. Oh Jeff. Now that wolves are here there will never be too much wildlife eating feed for the livestock owner to complain about. It is simple mathematics. More wolves = less wildlife. Where did you come up with the idea that more wolves = more wildlife?

  122. First of all, I am not complaining about wildlife feeding on public land, nor private for that matter. Whether you want to admit it or not, tens of thousands of head of wildlife are fed on PRIVATE land in the winter. That seems like a fair trade off for any perceived “subsidy”.
    Again much of the livestock is killed, not only on private land, but within sight of the house. The first massive kill of sheep in one night happened to an 85 year old rancher who kept sheep, was eating his breakfast when he noticed magpies and ravens fluttering about his sheep corral. When he went to investigate, he found a sight guaranteed to destroy anyone’s appetite, 30 some head of dead and mutilated sheep lying in blood and guts all over the place. That would make you very happy, I’m sure if they belonged to you. He has incidently been hit several times since. One dog was attacked while being walked to the barn by it’s owner, (because several other dogs had been killed by wolves by the house), that is the delightful reality of this mess.

  123. I also have wolves where I am at Jeff. In fact, wolves have been responsible for a documented 8 losses of livestock and many more than normal have come up missing since the wolves have recently established themselves.

    It is also a fact that the wolve advocates will not tolerate livestock because it interferes with their agenda……to have as many wolves as possible. Most wolf advocates I know do not care, or have the integrity to care if the impact a persons life financially or drives them out of business. They want their wolves in Idaho and they want it to be like Yellowstone for all wildlife which will never happen.

    Only a matter of time and the wolves will severely impact our wildlife then hunters and livestock owners will have all the reason to whine. When that happens, and it has already started to occur, then they can whine all they want about the impact wolves are having on our ungulate populations. Go to yellowstone to see your beloved wolves. Idaho has too many as it is. It was long an agricultural/livestock state before wolves and now wolves are here you guys want to turn it into Yellowstone.

  124. I have wolves where I am, Marion. It is also a fact that the livestock industry will only tolerate so much “wildlife” before they start whining about too much feed(on public land mind you) is being eaten by wildlife, be it elk, buffalo, deer, or what have you and demanding depredation hunts. how about you keep cows on your private land like 90% of the rest of the country does?

  125. Who is saying they don’t want wolves from coast to coast?

  126. Wow, there is a lot to answer here. Steve, it is one thing to manage a business well, and it is another to have someone deliberately come in and bring something that has the right to destroy what they have. Wolves kill whatever they can get to, that is why they were brought in, some folks find that entertaining.
    As a matter of fact Wyoming has a compensation plan to pay for grizzly losses. It is funded by the livestock groups and the hunters…..even though they do not hunt griz. the introduced wolves are a different story and they are overwhelming. I know we are never going to agree on this, you seem to feel entitled to create all of the problems for other people, and it is up to folks that did not want them introduced to begin with to pay for them. Do you really feel you are so special?
    Think how much more difficult your parent’s cleanup would have been if everyone in town had been allowed, or even encouraged to throw their trash out on their property, and empty their used oil since they had to clean it up anyway, that was a part of doing business.
    By the way Jeff, they could pay double fees and be fully reimbursed at the same aum for the wildlife wintering on their land. What you cannot or will not realize, wildlife, as well as livestock in this country need high mountain meadows in summer, and low country meadows ( privately owned pastures) in winter. What we have always done has worked well, now we have folks who want our whole state turned into a resort, preferably at our cost, I’m sure, and the residents can go jump in the lake…or serve the good guys who want control.
    Why do you not want wolves and every other predator where you are? think of the hassle it would save, for those who want them to have them instead of forcing them on those who don’t. Wolves lived everywhere in the country in the beginning, so you live the 19th century life you want, and take your wolves, and leave us alone.

  127. Oh…..and how about the mercy of mother nature which can be much worse than government implied regulations. Most farmers/ranchers will live or die by the weather. Look at what Twin Falls is attempting to do to Southeast Farmers. Threatening to shut down their wells to some 49,000 acres. That will drive them out of business.

  128. It was a service station that had been in operation since the 50s. Because of government imposed environmental regulations, my family has had to spend over 300k cleaning up the property in order to be allowed to sell it. I think we know a little something about being at the mercy of the government (we are not asking anyone else to pay by the way). Maybe you should think before you write…

  129. MARION: I can’t believe you haven’t gotten an answer to your above query:

    :::::::::::::::::
    “I have asked this question over and over, why would anyone feel we should have even more grizzlies because there isn’t enough food and living space for them? That just doesn’t seem logical to me, and no one can explain the logic to me, can you?”
    :::::::::::::::::

    If you frame the question as you have above (“the idiotic situation of arguing that we need more of a species because there is not enough food and living space for it.”), yes, it does sound absurd.

    But back up a minute: Is anyone saying, “the solution to declining habitat quality is to have more animals”?

    I don’t think anyone is putting it that way, are they? I think maybe the arguments have kind of gotten mixed up, in part due to some folks getting way out of their depth on topics like population viability.

    But no one is saying, “the cure for declining habitat is to cram more animals into it.”

    Instead, I think you’re probably seeing a mix of arguments, but I think the core logic is something like this:

    We want a large population of grizzlies, maybe as many as a few thousand total. That few thousand DOES NOT need to be crammed into the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, but could be composed of grizzlies spread out over western Montana, central Idaho, the Canadian Rockies, and the GYE, with low densities of bears forming demographic connections in between.

    Why would we want this? Because it is evident, from the field of population viability analysis that such populations have a very low risk of disappearing, and also may retain what we call “evolutionary potential” (ie., they function naturally enough and have a broad enough diversity of alleles that they continue to evolve in response to their environment, rather than being a tiny population whose traits are largely selected by humans).

    Let me stop right there and point out the VALUE PREFERENCES that run through what I just wrote. The degree to which we subjectively value Yellowstone grizzlies is our basis for deciding how much risk of them disappearing we’re willing to tolerate.

    IF you value grizzlies a lot, then you want to minimize the risk that this population will disappear. IF you value diversity within a species and want it to maintain evolutionary potential, then you may want the population to be quite large.

    It is critically important that we acknowledge the role our values are playing in these debates, rather than pretending that one side is following “Science,” and the other side is bad and greedy.

    So, some people want big populations of grizzlies because (if I can ascribe my own motives to them) they value them a lot and want to minimize risk of extinction.

    By this logic, simply deciding to make do with a smaller population of grizzlies that could make a living on the diminished habitat inside some imaginary line is not an option.

    Of course, one could argue that we should then try to “pump up” the carrying capacity inside the imaginary line by putting out food for the bears (John Craighead suggests that in his 1995 magnum opus — he actually argues for feeding them garbage again).

    Why not do that? Well, we get right back to values again. We have a subjective preference for “wild” populations, instead of “husbanded” populations. There’s never a clear, bright line between those two extremes in practice, and we’ll always do some management. But I think we all know which choices take us closer to “wild,” and which take us closer to “husbanded.”

    Nothing wrong with husbandry, mind you, it’s just a different concept from wild, and wildlife, in my view, should be WILD.

    So, to sum up, people who raise concerns about the declining quality of habitat for Yellowstone grizzlies are aiming for a goal of having a large, WILD (to the extent possible) population of grizzlies that has very little risk of disappearing over the next few centuries.

    Their logic is that the declining habitat quality in Yellowstone will likely IMPEDE us from reaching that goal, and that therefore we need to keep protecting grizzlies from excess mortalities. And, ultimately, give them the freedom to spread out so they can still find enough food for a growing population, and to re-connect with other grizzly populations.

    Let me say it again, though: the GOAL here comes from our VALUES, not from something called “Science.”

    Science can help us refine our goals, can tell us the trade-offs of choosing one goal over another, can help us design ways of pursuing our goals, and can help us discern whether we’re reaching our goals. It doesn’t dictate our goals to us.

    To some extent, your logic of applying livestock principles is sound. If you have a drought and your land can’t sustain 500 pairs, you either need to reduce your herd OR find more acres for them. Keep that second part in mind: culling isn’t always your only option.

    I hope I’ve shed some light here on what people are thinking. It’s a good point you raised, and a catalyst for thought and discussion.

  130. Steve,

    Maybe you ought to think somewhat before your write. You can say all you want about DOW but they started out and still are an anti-ranching group which is why I will never/ever support them. My dollars are better spent wiht sportmens groups who manage our ungulate herds better than DOW ever did.

    Ranchers have to be businessman just like your dad but even moreso. The also have to be excellent at financial management, resource management, market management, etc. During good years they have to save all they can to prepare for the lean years when demand for beef is low and the prices are low. This is highly unpredictable from year to year unlike most traditional businesses in a city.

    First, not knowing your dad’s business, I will bet that you can hardly compare the two. Let me expain. Livestock producers are at the mercy of mother nature. Mother nature will make or break them as mother nature governs moisture to water crops of corn, grain, alfalfa that the livestock eat. It also sets the stage for how abundant forage is on the public land. Did you also know that the demand that is making the news about corn based ethanol is driving the prices of beef up. So your beef in the store is going to cost you more.

    Second, they are somewhat at the mercy of the government. The Feds make the rules along the lines of importation/exportation which drives the price of cattle/sheep. You know, import alot of cattle from Canada, or elsewhere and the price drops. This hardly occurs in a traditional business.

    Third, when you talk about a loss of 2-3 % from depredation this is on top of the already few percent they had experienced before 1995. Since wolf reintroduction depredation loss is more along the lines of 5% and I would bet that is an average. Since their whole livelihood depends on the weather, government, etc. many ranchers cannot afford any more additional losses and particularly those that had been forced upon them without them having any recourse. Yes, I know that you will talk about DOWs compensation, which by the way is marginal and remember it is a cover up to DOWs real intentions. That is not to help the rancher.

    Better yet, since the wolf advocates are the ones who pushed for this reintroduction, you folks ought to be the ones out there patroling the public lands and interferring with the wolves to make sure that livestock depredations do not occur. It is your guys program so you should manage it like a business from the wolf advocates point of view and keep these depredations from happening. I know, most wolf advocates will say the rancher needs to spend more time on the range or hire a full time range rider but once again you guys made the wolf reintroduction happen and not the rancher. You should pay for the full-time range rider. He did not want it so you guys should be out there patrolling the public lands diligently.

    One last note. You folks wanted the wolves, ranchers did not. Therefore, they are entitled to whine about the wolves as much as they feel the need. It is there livestock losses at hand. On the other hand you guys are not entitled to whine about the rancher and him not taking more diligence in patrolling his livestock, proposing non lethal means of diffusing wolf livestock interactions. It is not his program and was forced upon them. They can and do have a right to whine. You do not!

    I doubt that your dads business is at the mery of the weather, government regulation and

  131. …… also would be able to fund repair of livestock damage done to public lands, thereby compensating the “public” for damage to “public lands.”

  132. Steve,
    I believe a very good idea would be to double the grazing allotment fees, take that extra money and invest it and then use that to pay ranchers for livestock losses. I believe that over a relatively short period of time with a wise investment strategy, all livestock losses could be compensated regardless of the reason. Also as an added benefit, the public lands rancher would become more self-sufficient and maybe move away from the welfare lifestyle currently enjoyed.

  133. Another thing, why do you keep bringing up this “digging graves”? Both sides could try to bolster thier argument by trying to use emotion. Do you feel bad for wolves and coyotes that suffer from poison, trapping, shooting etc. so that livestock can survive? Do you value all life or just those that you can make a buck off of?

  134. Marion, at what point do ranchers need to start blaming themselves if they have problems? Maybe if someone can’t cope with a couple percent wolf losses, a couple percent weather losses, a few percent disease losses etc. they should be in a different business… My father owned a business and his business lived or died based on how well he ran it and coped with many factors that negatively impacted it. Also, if there are enough like minded people like yourself, why don’t they form their own fund to pay for wolf kills? Is it because you like to complain without offering solutions? At a certain point people need to stop whining about how the whole world is against them. Why do the enviros have to donate to a fund that they get no credit for and get criticized for? If you think you can do better than defenders of wildlife, by all means get up off your but and try. And they fund a lot more than compensation programs, so don’t throw how much money they took in last year at me.

  135. One more thing. I looked up the 2005 numbers, DOW accepted approximately 100,000 worth of “confirmed” kills. How much of that they actually paid, evidently they are or were way behind in payments. One couple I talked to in Riverton, had been waiting then for almost 3, yes THREE years for payment on compensated kills.
    A Wyoming newspaper interviewed a spokesman for DOW and they said they had jsut been too busy. What did they take in in donations in 2005? 21 million +.
    How many wolf introduction supporters have ever offered to go help dig graves for all of the cattle, sheep, horses, and other livestock killed by wolves? That is quite a chore, and digging holes might give you a different perspective on how wonderful wolves are, especially as you had to look at traumatized bodies as you dug. By the way, extreme trauma is how they confirm wolf kills. Of course calves, lambs and other small animals are often carried off or completely consumed, so tough luck guys. We can’t confirm there was a kill just because the corral is covered with blood and full of wolf tracks, and you have a couple of calves missing.

  136. I appreciate your remarks however, they are highly inflated. I live in ranching territory in Idaho and the ranchers have been hit hard. And they have not been nearly compensated at fall prices but have been undercompensated. Of all the ranchers I know none have ever been overcompensated. And that is a personal judgement anyway. The wolves may have killed one of their price calves from a cow that they bought for thousands of dollars because of her genetics, etc. It becomes more personal if it is your own property but how can you place judgement and say they have been adequately or overly compensated. I think the ranchers would just soon not have the compensation system if they could take matters in their own hands.

    On another note, You are correct that no one has to compensate livestock owners. It is a cost of doing business. Ranchers business until 1995 did not have to deal with any extra costs placed unwantedly by the environmentalists so their losses are greater that before 1995 when the wolves were re-introduced. Since this introduction is a cost of doing business, that was basically forced upon hunters and ranchers, then they should be compensated at much higher value then fall prices. This would obviously cause the ranchers to love the wolf advocates because they get paid more than market value and this would be an added benefit for the wolf advocate as this is their whole mission to have as many wolves as possible. Feed the cattle, have as many wolves as possible, compensate the rancher at higher than market value, then wildlife services would not have to waste all that money on killing wolves that have depredated on livestock.

    Remember the link I sent in a previous thread. It said that DOW was not originally began as an anti ranching group against predator control. So you cannot support both DOW and livestock ranching.

  137. The money paid out by DOW is donated by individuals, such as myself, and I think that most of those individuals would like to know that the money is used to compensate for wolf kills; not coyote kills, dog kills or just a calf that comes up “missing” because its owner failed to keep track of his property. Livestock loses to wolves amount to about one half of one percent of loses (even using liberal figures). Yes I know that some individuals have been hit harder than others. I also know that entire wolf packs have been wiped out for killing a couple of calves! 1300 wolves in the northern Rockies. How many cows? I have said before that I would like to see more money go to help those ranchers who ARE hit harder. We should be doing everything we can to help those ranchers and stop throwing thousands of dollars into “controlling” wolves. Non lethal answers are out there. Many are used around the world where ranchers co-exist with wolves. Even in the Great Lakes, they have more wolves and fewer problems. For some reason it seems that ranchers in the Northern Rockies seem to throw up their hands and say, “We can’t outsmart the wolves! The wolves are smarter than we are! All we can do is kill them!” A cowboy, buckaroo attitude left over from the 1800’s. You will never eliminate depredation with any means, lethal or non lethal; but you can REDUCE IT dramatically without killing very many wolves (there will always be a few “hard cases”).
    As for compensation. Some are under compensated. Some are over compensated. DOW compensates at FULL FALL PRICES. Not bad for a calf killed in the Spring. Don’t have to feed or care for it all Summer! As I said, it is NOT A PERFECT SYSTEM. But again, NOBODY HAS TO COMPENSATE ANYBODY FOR ANYTHING. Depredation is part of the COST OF DOING BUSINESS. Just as shoplifting is part of the COST OF DOING BUSINESS for store owners. COSTS OF DOING BUSINESS are and should be past on to consumers.
    Of course DOW isn’t concerned about ranchers. They are concerned about wolves. That is why they are called Defenders of Wildlife, not Defenders of Ranchers.

  138. Here is one link that reveals DOWs real intent…..to remove livestock and ranching practices for restoration of wildlife. And to top it off, they are very sneaky in that they do not reveal where their funding comes from. Hmmm. I am all for wildlife but could not contribut to an organization that hides their finances. I think sportsmen groups do more for the restoration and preservation of ungulates than the DOW.

    http://www.undueinfluence.com/defender.htm

  139. Frank,

    Do not get me started on the Defenders of Wildlife issue. For one, I know many ranchers and most of them do not get compensated the full amount that the market demands. Also, their are many more that are not compensated because as you state, the so called wolf scientists could not come to any definite conclusion that it was killed by a wolf. However, more livestock have been lost since wolves have been reintroduced. Hmmm! Though there is no solid evidence of a wolf kill, it it highly probably since before wolves ranchers did not loose the significant amount as they are now.

    Lastly, and I wish I could remember the article, Defenders of Wildlife only got involved in the compensation plan for one reason. DOW is doing all they can to sufficiently give the public the image that DOW is definitely concerned about the rancher, his livelihood, etc. etc. In reality, it is a cover up to allow the wolves to establish resident populations in cattle/livestock areas so the wolf advocates will fulfill their political agenda. It never was about the cattle/livestock owner and his livelihood. It is all about establishing populations of wolves as quickly as possible in all areas possible, regardless of livestock conflicts. Politically, DOW is attempting to come out smelling like a rose while those livestock owners come out smelling like ******.

  140. Marion,
    I DID NOT say you were Old. (;>}

  141. 1. Why did President Roosevelt say in 1903 that there were no wolves in Yellowstone? Good question since, as you state over and over, 136 wolves were killed in 42 years ending with the last one recorded in 1926. I’d say that Mr. Roosevelt was obviously mistaken, wouldn’t you?
    2. Are you a birder? Are you aware that if a rare species is sighted that it must be verified by at least two VERY EXPERIENCED birders before even being considered valid. Not merely glimpsed by some guy out hunting or cruising down the highway. The experts, the researchers, the biologists (not to mention the reintroduced wolves) couldn’t find any. There are reports, photographs and video of “Bigfoot” in the Pacific North West all of the time! Funny how legitimate researchers can’t find any sign of them. UFO’s are spotted by thousands of people, yet legitimate researchers have failed to turn up any “little green men”.
    Also, NO ONE ever said that there weren’t ANY wolves in Yellowstone prior to re-introduction. There may well have been an occasional disperser passing through desperately seeking a mate. 3-4 wolves over a period of 68 years does not constitute a VIABLE POPULATION.
    3. The wolves spotted just prior to reintroduction were insignificant because..over twenty years of research BY LEGITIMATE researchers had failed to turn up a VIABLE population. If these sightings by inexperienced individuals (in an atmosphere where certain individuals were desperate and willing to say or do anything to stop re-introduction BTW) turned out to be true, one or two individuals still did not constitute a VIABLE, SUSTAINABLE population.
    4. Come on! I live in Montana. I have many, many friends (some are ranchers) who live in Montana, and not one has ever expressed to me a feeling that residents of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho are being “punished”. Even some of my most adamant wolf-hating friends understand why wolves were re-introduced here. They may disagree with it. Some would even like to take a shotgun to all of them (we agree not to talk about wolves), but none has ever expressed to me that they don’t believe that wolves were ever here or that they personally are being persecuted. Many are glad that wolves were re-introduced and are proud to live in the last intact ecosystem in the lower forty eight (even some of the ranchers (gasp!!). I think that the whole “persecuted, us against them….they’re out to get us” mentality must be a Wyoming thing. In reality, the federal government and private conservation groups such as Defenders of Wildlife have bent over backwards to assist ranchers. In 2006 more wolves were controlled (killed) in Montana than cows killed by wolves. Defenders pays out hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s not a perfect system, but hey!, nobody HAS to pay anybody anything!
    5. 1300 wolves are not enough? I don’t know. 7,000 elk in the northern range aren’t enough? That’s a question that should be answered by the carrying capacity of the land. Not by politicians. Not by you. Not by me.

    Maybe the ranchers had so many wolves to kill because the wolves were fleeing the killing fields of Yellowstone National Park? Running from the game rich park and her greedy bounty hunters, they may have been driven into the surrounding ranch lands. You may well have answered your own question regarding why so few were killed in the park. One thing is indisputable: wolves were once the single most numerous predator in North America, numbering over twenty million coast to coast. Is 1300 enough? I really don’t know.

  142. OK, since I am old and dumb, let’s see if I can get this straight.
    1. The Washburn expedition did not mention wolves or howling because there were so many, that they considered it to be commonplace. (Why did President Roosevelt state in 1903 that there were no wolves in Yellowstone?)
    2. There were no wolves in Yellowstone prior to the introduction because only sightings were reported, not howling (I don’t know if that is true or whether howling reports were ignored like sighting reports, or blown off as coyotes).
    3. The documented sightings of wolves just prior to the introduction was insignificant because…because…becasue, well because those who had the say said it was insignificant. The one killed was/was not a wolf…depending on the pint to be proved, at any rate it was not the “right kind of wolf”, nor were there enough.
    4. People in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana deserve to be punished with every problem that wolves can cause because it must be their fault there are no wolves in the US, since NPS killed 56 adult wolves and 80 pups over a 42 year period.
    5. 1300 wolves are not enough.
    Have I got it straight?
    Actually the wolves killed by ranchers were after YNP had been delcared a park.

  143. “Ours is the truth………. and ours is also the burden of proof. We are the minority, the followers of lies being the majority, and we gladly accept our burden, if in the end that acceptance means ridding the world of the foul half-truths…..”

    There will always be those who will ignore scientific evidence, no matter how compelling that evidence may be. There will be those who will insist that the moon landing was faked; filmed on a sound stage at Norton Air Force base in San Bernardino, Ca. That God magically “plopped” Adam and Eve into the Garden of Eden 2000 years ago, despite overwhelming evidence of creatures that roamed the earth millions of years before, and the slow evolution of Man. Those who will stick their collective heads in the ground and ignore the mounting evidence of Man caused global warming. Why? Because Al Gore uses a lot of energy! Or because it was cold yesterday! Those who will insist that study after study, by scientists who had been successful locating remnant populations of wolves and other animals in other areas of the globe, that failed to turn up any evidence of a viable wolf population in the GYE must have been faked by left-wing environmental wackos who’s entire mission in life is driving ranchers out of business, causing those few folks who rely on hunting to feed their families to starve to death (maybe they should take a bath, get a haircut, brush their teeth, put on their Sunday best and get a job, so that they can afford to go to the grocery store like the rest of us?!) and giving Bob Landis something to film! Mr. Landis, BTW, is an extremely talented filmmaker who could make a very good living if he never saw a wolf. Those who will claim that wolves never existed in Yellowstone because the Washburn Expedition didn’t mention them howling! (Did it ever occur that the howling of wolves was so common across the country in those days that it wasn’t worth mentioning, whereas the screaming of mountain lions was?) Louis and Clark certainly mentioned wolves; packs following the great herds of ungulates everywhere (Louis and Clark must have been “enviros”). Records indicate thousands of wolves killed in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho; but of course those wolves stayed clear of what would later become Yellowstone National Park! Just as the “Canadian wolves” never crossed the imaginary line that would later become the Canada/US boundary!
    Such folks will never be convinced.

    The quote at the top is from “The Flat Earth Society”

  144. Wolfen
    Surly you realize that among any group of people you are going to have a full spectrum of thinking on the subject matter at hand. I no more believe Marion represents the entire ANTI sentiment than you believe I represent the entire PRO sentiment. You may notice that I never use that all inclusive “we” when I post. In addition the amount of available habitat is probably open to debate as there is surly areas in Colorado, Utah, Washington, and Oregon that could and maybe should be repopulated.

  145. This has been many of my comments on another wolf advocates website that the advocates have always wanted to remove livestock and ranching and hunting from public lands. Why? They state that it is to improve wildlife habitat so their will be more wolves and more wildlife. However, this can never happen as there are already more wolves out there then what the current habitat we have can support. Removing wolves livestock, ranching, and hunting will only cause the current population of wolves to remain as they are, which is another wolf. No more, no less. However, I guess I would be in support of removing livestock from public lands if the wolf advocates would support open hunting of wolves.

  146. Marion,
    I am, of course, referring to that point in history where the Government and livestock industry had all but exterminated all predators, including wolves, in the inter mountain west forward to the present era. Please re- r e a d the last sentence of my previous post. once again there is a difference between being skeptical and deliberate ignorance. You fall into the second category.

  147. I have heard both wolves and coyotes howl in yellowstone on many occasions. Perhaps you are going at the wrong time of year? Coyotes are much smaller than wolves and travel in small groups but I have heard them. I think that when the “mute wolf” is classified it shoudl be named after you.

  148. At least you are admitting that there was never a population in YNP that needed to be replaced. That brings up the question of why it was deemed necessary to truck in so many wolves. the answer of course, IMHO, is to eliminate hunting and ranching, which certain groups hate.

  149. Marion,
    after spending a little time going over some historical accounts about wolves in Yellowstone a few patterns begin to appear. The main thing that comes out is that there were none or very few reports of wolf sitings(none confirmed) in the park or Idaho until Canada, in Alberta and British Canada, started to ease up on there predator control in the southern portions of those states, starting in the late 1960s. Then there started to be more reports of wolf activity in the seventies including the first documented pack , the Magic Pack, in Glacier NP.(By the way this pack had blood samples taken) As wolves started to disperse out of Canada in to Montana a few packs started to form including the nine mile pack just north of Missoula. It was from this pack that most dispersers are believed to be migrating into YNP and Idaho prior to re-introduction. In Idaho it is a documented fact that reintroduced wolves met up and formed one of the first packs in the Bear Valley area with some resident wolves,Probably original dispersers from Canada via Montana. The “teton wolf” was genotyped as being directly related to the nine mile pack and the Magic Pack (there’s that pesky DNA again) on the Maternal side. Just for the record there has never been a “Yellowstone wolf” subspecies, and the wolves that are now, happily, once more roaming around YNP are no larger than or otherwise different than what was historically present.

  150. First let me say, I’m proud to be a redneck and don’t consider it bad at all. Second, I suspect the introduced wolves did kill off whatever wolves they came across, as a matter of fact.
    As for howling I go to the Park several times every year, and only have heard them once, even though I have seen wolves more often, usually singles. Howling or not, whether there were wolves or not is not the question, there is proof that there were. The problem for the folks living here is that their was no concern for the possibility of finding the true remnant Yellowstone wolf. They wanted LOTS of wolves and that is what they were going to have. And that is what they do have, no matter what the cost.
    By the way when they have lost the packs of wolves, they neither heard them howling, nor picked up their radio collars, and in both cases they were packs over 20 animals. What chance would people have of hearing 3 or 4 animals?
    I will admit there were undoubtedly not anywhere as many wolves in Yellowstone as there are right now. But that is the case historically too. and that makes sense if you think of it, and the wolves were indeed smaller wolves. There is a recorded population of both black and grizzly bears frequently seen by early explorers, as well as enough lions that they were heard frequently. Their screams is one thing mentioned over and over again in the journals that were kept on the Washburn expedition. In fact President Theodore Roosevelt recorded seeing one eating it’s kill. How often are lions heard now, even though we know they are there? I have never heard one there or in Rocky Mountain NP, have you? I think that is because there aren’t as many as there were in the early days, and I suspect that is why so few wolves.
    We are bitter because no consideration was given to anything or any fact except wolves and those who would benefit by their presence. The impact on prey species, elk especially, in 11 years has been very dramatic and much higher than anyone predicted. The calf survival is extremely low, which means the herds are getting older and older. They cannot survive long term if there is no calf replacement.
    The impact on livestock has also been much higher, and much more difficult to “prove”. On top of that reimbursement is sometimes taking years to be paid, even when “confirmed”. And of course the numbers are much higher, but there still aren’t enough, and of course we are not to be trusted.
    I know, I’ve said all of this before, and it doesn’t matter because folks who don’t live here want more wolves, and we are greedy to object.

  151. Just like you blow off evidence that contradicts you? You don’t find it strange that the original radiocollared wolves didnt find the “native” wolves immediately and kill them upon release? Does it seem strange to you that the “native” wolves never howled at the reintroduced wolves when they were in their pens? How do you think all of these wolves hid in one of the most “watched” areas in the world? I think any animal would have a hard time hiding in yellowstone. What are you talking about wolves posing for photos? Your arguments keep getting more bizaar… Yellowstone draws thousands of people with professional grade photographic equipment per year to photograph all animals, not just wolves. Does it surprise you that people are getting amazing photos of wolves, bear, elk etc? I am sure if the “real” wolves existed there, people would still flock to yellowstone to photograph them.
    Does it make you feel comfortable to label the other side “enviros”? By calling us a name does it help you to discount everything that you read on here? Hunters want to preserve the land as well from all forms of development. Does that make them “greenies” or “enviros”? There is a label for the anti-science anti-wildlife set too… but we are confident enough in our arguments that we don’t have to resort to that. (redneck is what I was shooting at)

  152. No it was NOT settled, it was DECLARED settled by enviros who wanted control at he expense of a potential remnant population of native wolves, but not ever proven one way or another, and never will be. Those invested in the introduction and all that it included were the ones that could not find any evidence of pre existing wolves. They were able to just blow off reports by the hundreds, by simply refusing to investigate. Actually one of thier remnant offspring may be what the “lower 48” breeding consisted of.
    By the way isn’t hiding supposed to be what wolves are all about? Weren’t they supposed to be shy and secretive? But enviros wanted those that pose for photos, make Bob Landis rich, and beg for food.

  153. “These previous resident wolves….had escaped detection by researchers for twenty years by employing some highly unusual behaviors, including refusing to howl, not traveling in packs, and steering clear of roads and trails. In truth biologists have been remarkably successful detecting wolf packs in locations around the world. Yet beginning with a landmark study by biologist John Weaver in the mid 1970’s, no one ever managed to find a viable population of wolves in greater Yellowstone. While arguments of stealth wolf packs never made much legal headway” (in stopping reintroduction), “in the end it was the wolves themselves who settled the matter. No one, after all, is better at finding wolves than other wolves. When our reintroduced animals dispersed-all of them, by the way, wearing radio collars-traveling alone across hundreds of miles for months at a time, often on the lookout for potential mates, not a single one ever managed to hook up with an un-collared, non reintroduced wolf”……..Douglas W. Smith “Decade of the Wolf” copyright 2005, Douglas Smith and Gary Ferguson.

    Goodnight! Put it to bed! There was no viable population of wolves remaining in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, nor had a viable population migrated there, prior to the re-introduction. You can discuss that issue until you are blue in the face…..it has been settled.

  154. Nor does it prove a viable population did not exist. Nor can we ever go back and find out if there was indeed a remnant of the original population. There was definitely something different about that wolf that was killed, but the power and the money was too important to FWS biologists and environmental groups to allow time to find out. Something very important may have been lost for all time, that is a tragedy that cannot ever be fixed. What was the big hurry? There was nothing to gain by rushing the project, at least not to Yellowstone itself.

  155. Read through it, tells me that there were wanderers before reintroduction but does not prove that there was a viable breeding population. Wolves wander into maine as well, but the obstacles for them to get there make recolonization almost impossible.

  156. This link provides a lot more information on the wolf killed outside of Yellowstone.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=wp1fZIwCl4AC&pg=PA211&lpg=PA211&dq=wolflike+killed+wyoming&source=web&ots=dZAs4nei07&sig=tmWempVbeZw8fwuUuu529A90iqE#PPA212,M1

    As you can see there was a lot of parsing and hem hawing so they could bring in the Canadian wolves. I think it is also pretty clear why we don’t have much confidence in the honesty of any of those involved in the whole thing.

  157. Marion, you are starting to sound like a broken record. How many times can you say the same thing over and over without backing it up? Show me some proof that wolves were alive and well in wyoming before reintroduction (heresay and opinion are not proof)! If not, stop wasting everyone’s time.

  158. The Montana population was a natural migration and are not DNA’d, in addition to that there was a naturally occuring population of at least one, and in all likelihood more than one. It was photographed feeding on a carcass of an elk that may have been killed by bears, died, or taken down by more than one wolf. Was it a “lower 48” wolf, did it survive, did others? We know FWS lost packs that were collared a couple of times despite collars, one a 22 pack was on the Elk Refuge, and they couldn’t fnd it! The other was lost for over a year, and as Ralph speculated that those nasty oufitters had gotten into remote country and killed them, lo and behold they showed up.
    If you think all of this means I don’t trust enviros and the FWS, you are 100% right. This whole thing has been lies, coverups, etc from the beginning. We were told 30/300 wolves, now we’re told that was only the beginning, they must have many times that. There is NO number that is enough. I do not believe there is any number that will allow the wolves to be delsited without a fight from enviros. I truly believe the whole goal is control of all of the land by environmental groups, and that includes private land.

  159. Marion Marion Marion,
    DNA samples were taken of all the wolves that were re-introduced in both Idaho and Wyoming. All are on file at both Ashland and UCLA. Ashland maintains the biggest data base of Wolf, Wolf Hybrid, and candid samples in the world with 1000+ separate samples. UCLA is currently mapping the family trees of all the reintroduced wolves and I understand are getting close to releasing that. Being skeptical is one thing, deliberate ignorance is quite another. You fall in the second category.

  160. There is no such thing as a “pure bred Yellowstone wolf”, the only chance to have found one was to have tried to check out those seen before the introduction. It was evidently more important to have a lotta wolves than to have found another supposedly extinct species alive and well in Wyoming. Maybe it would have been a Canadian wolf, maybe it would have been a Great Lakes wolf, but now we will never know.
    Those wolves now in Yellowstone are the Canadian wolves that may be also bred with Alaskan wolves, at least so Canadians claim. This is the only wolf I know of them checking DNA on, but that would have been a pretty big bill for DOW since there were over a hundred confirmed kills at stake.
    Yep, I am suspicious of motives in the whole thing, it usually pays to be sceptical when a lot of money is involved.

  161. Aren’t all dogs “domestic wolves”? Marion, i bet if the DNA evidence showed that it was a pure bred yellowstone wolf you would be the biggest cheerleader in the world for the accuracy of genetic evidence. I can read you like a book…

  162. Marion Marion marion, I did not write the report. Your question needs to be posed to the labs that did the testing. They have phone #s. Once again the point is is that domestic wolf was HUMAN BRED. It was born in someones house or backyard, raised as a domestic aniamal and for whatever reason escaped or was let loose into Eastren Montana. What is so diffacult to comprehend about that.

  163. By the way, there was no doubt that the wolf was guilty of the killings, he was finally killed in the act. The question was whether the wolf belonged to FWS & the enviros or not. I only know of 4 “lower 48” wolf populations, the Rocky Mountain wolves, the Great Lake wolves, the Mexican Grey wolves, and the Red wolf. I suppose it is possible that some of the remnant population of native wolves could have been present, and given an odd DNA, which might be what the mean by “lower 48”. The first 2 were already mentioned (Great Lakes & Canadian-Alsakan), and they would be the most likely “lower 48”.

  164. I would have to question DNA that said it came from the “lower 48” for sure. Just tell me exactly what wolves are included in the “lower 48”. Simple.

  165. So Marion if you were on a jury for someone accused of a major crime such as murder, sexual assault, vehicular homicide and all the evidence pointed to the individual on trial to be guilty….. except a DNA profile of the individual says that it could not be him. What way are you going to vote? Or conversely you have a friend or relative that that has been in prison for years and all the evidence presented at the trial indicates guilty, but then some evidence is run through a DNA profile and shows that your friend/relative is innocent, is the validity then in the eye of the beholder?

  166. These horrible creatures! Killing everything in sight! Cutting down woods that have stood for over a thousand years. Burning down others through their carelessness. Paving over miles upon miles of pristine beauty, chasing away the game that was once our food and replacing it with a foreign, invasive species. Then killing our babies for daring to make the mistake of trying to eat. Killing us even when we hid in the deepest wilderness, even when the only contact we ever had with them was on the day they killed us. Building huge mechanical monsters that dig deep into mother earth, screaming and cranking 24 hours a day seven days a week. Building homes and towns deeper and deeper into the wilderness, shrinking our land to a minuscule fraction of what it once was. First, legend says, there were only a few. Then hundreds, thousands and millions. And still they come. When will it stop! When will it stop! All we want is to live in peace! All we want is a place to raise our babies.
    We don’t want to run the world. All we want is a small slice of it. Oh, the pain! The pain! My poor baby! Shot by some coward flying in some screaming monster in the sky! Run! Run!

    I wonder what wolves (and other wildlife) think about the over 300 million PEOPLE “running loose” trying to play God in this country?

    Are you seriously suggesting that the National Forensics Lab in Ashland Oregon and the UCLA Department of Evolutionary Biology are incapable of determining the genetics of an animal? I would ask, in good spirits of course, “Were you on the O.J. jury?”

  167. They decided that it was domestically bred based on DNA that supposedly could not happen in the wild. Like much of the science that has been a part of this great experiment with people’s lives and property, the validity is in the eye of the beholder. It had to be protected when someone “not authorized” had it in their sights ready to kill, but son of a gun, nope, not one of ours when it is actually killed. With 5-10,000 wolves running loose in this country and another 60,000 or so north of us, we are to believe they know how the genes came together?
    Nothing has changed from the days the government dealt with the Indians. Whoever has the money and the power is able to make the government go back on their word. Enviros are jsut like the gold seekers and settlers that demanded the right to take what someone else had, treaties or agreements be hanged.

  168. Marion,
    The point is that this domestic animal was bred by HUMANS. Where the breeding animals came from is a moot point. There are any number of places that domestic wolves can be had. But again the point is is that this animal was a domestic animal bred by humans. It was not a naturally dispersing wolf from any wild wolf populations. If you want more specific data I’m sure that the national lab in Ashland has a phone #. Maybe that is a place you could start. As far as the loss of livestock that was probably a significant loss but dogs of all types have been killing sheep for eons and still are. Why isn’t that a big news flash?

  169. Maybe the sport hunters should get the last shot at permits then so the peopel who really need them can get them first.

  170. I’ll buy it if you can tell me what makes up the “lower 48” wolf population. Where are the wolves located other than the Great Lakes, the Rocky Mountain wolves, the Mexican wolves (really interesting article and photos in the Summer issue of Range Magazine), and the Red Wolves in the south?
    Are you saying they know the DNA of every single wolf in the US? Or that not a single wolf imported from Canada could have Alaskan DNA?
    Wolves have been reported in the Dakotas, are they from the Rockies, Canada, or the Great Lakes? How much money would you want to bet on any ONE of the three and against more than one of those locations? The ranchers are forced to bet thousands.
    Perhaps you prefer not to believe it, but many families meat supply comes from wild game. The fewer permits that are available, the more these families are impacted. My sons and their families are among those that primarily eat game, so I know how important it is.
    Last year WY G&F gave away thousands of pounds of elk meat from the elk killed in the test and destroy brucellosis program. They ran out of meat at each location within minutes, because of the demand. My granddaughter and her family were among those too late, even though they were in line with hundreds of others when the time started. Fortunately her Dad shares with them and they too hunt for their young family.

  171. Marion, what hunters are beleaguered? I would agree that they could be beleaguered if they actually had to hunt for their food but they are doing it for fun… Jeff, I am sure that you will be accused of being an “activist” for disproving Marion’s failed points with ::gasp:: scientific evidence. The beautiful thing about hard data such as DNA evidence is that it can’t get clouded by human emotion. Taq polymerase, the enzyme making DNA replication possible was discovered in yellowstone hot springs and then used to exhonerate wolves in livestock deaths. Maybe the reintroduction was destiny… Spooky, right marion?

  172. Marion,
    I have seen you yammer on about this domestic wolf a time or two so I took the liberty of looking up the information on Montana’s official FWP website. The animal in question was determined to be a human bred animal by two independent labs. One was the National Forensics Lab in Ashland Oregon, the other was the UCLA Department of Evolutionary Biology. Both reports determined that DNA was present from the great lakes region, the lower 48, and Alaska. “The hodgepodge of DNA found does not occur naturally in wild wolves in North America.” If you need further edification go to the site mentioned above. It’s explained to the lowest common denominator.

  173. Ahh, yes DNA. DNA was used to determine that the wolf that killed over a hundred head of livestock in eastern Montana. FWS stated that the DNA showed that the wolf had genes from Alaskan wolves, Canadian wolves, Great Lakes wolves, and Lower 48 wolves, (since Red wolves, nor Mexican Greys were mentioned, one would assume that would be the Rocky Mountain introduced wolves). Since it would be conceivable that the Rocky Mountain wolves introcuced, or traveled naturally would have both Canadian and Alaskan genes, and certainly traveling between the Great Lakes and the Rockies would be anticipated since there are probably 5-7000 of them spread out between the areas.
    All of that lovely DNA got DOW off the hook and left the owners of the livestock killed twisting in the wind.

  174. Marion, how did you like first day in the park?
    You have to remember also that there was nothing natural about Man wiping out an entire keystone species from the Northern Rockies 100 years ago. Also there is nothing natural about “management” period. You are right, returning wolves was not natural either…but there simply is no way to go back in time and undo what was done. Everything that has happened since reintroduction, however, has been natural. The population in the park (and elsewhere) increased, and the introduction was a success, because the habitat and prey base were adequate.

    Something that I find interesting about these numbers. I’m not trying to throw any significance into them….I simply find them interesting; perhaps fascinating. One hundred (or so) years ago, a total of 136 wolves were documented as being removed from Yellowstone. The number of wolves in the park at the end of 2006: 136 wolves! Historically the number of animals in the Northern Elk Herd: average around 7,000. The last count of the Northern Elk Herd: right about 7,000! As I said, I’m not trying to find some magical significance here; and I know that the wolves were removed over a period of years. I also realize that, as Steve pointed out, many more wolves may have been removed illegally….every other animal in the park was poached in those early days, why not wolves? Also thousands of wolves were documented having been slaughtered in Montana and Wyoming, and knowing how widely wolves travel…. Still, I can’t help but find these numbers fascinating!

  175. Marion,
    I am talking about DNA fingerprinting. The same science that is used world wide in courts of law. It’s not simply adding or subtracting a subspicies. Although I strongly suspect I’m wasting my breath.

  176. Once more there is nothing natural about any part of the wolf reintroduction, none at all. There was nothing about the bringing them in and nothing natural about the management. Anyone who thinks numbers are not important, offer the suggestion that it would be no problem if disease or something else dropped the numbers to 100 overall. I’ll bet we would not hear any call for letting nature take it’s course, except from the beleaguered ranchers and hunters. What you really mean is there is no number that is too high, no matter how much pain and suffering it causes for humans…..well maybe if you happened to be one of the humans impacted.
    Jeff, I am very much aware that a lot of subspecies, etc have been dropped, and of course added when it served the purpose. While the focus changed to allow one subspecies to be introduced to an area in place of another by the simple expedient of dropping a classification, adding them has allowed a field mouse to be listed and impact private wheat fields, prevent building homes, etc. there have been attempts, so far unsuccessful to add various subspecies of sage grouse so they can be listed here and there. Landowners and other private individuals are working within states to improve habitat, etc to prevent enviros from getting a tighter grip on our lives.

  177. Marion,
    I have noticed in a couple of your posts that you asked for some literature to maybe clear up some taxonomic questions. May I suggest the book “WOLVES, BEHAVIOR, ECOLOGY, CONSERVATION” edited by Mech and representing over 300 years of combined knowledge from around the world. Maybe pay particular attention to the Chapter on genetics. Also be aware that more study and information is coming available on that subject. Just a note of caution though, Once you read and understand the information in that book you may need to revise some of your oft repeated assertions.

  178. Rob Edward

    Marion, it not a numbers game. The number of wolves that Yellowstone (or anywhere else) can support should be determined by Nature, period. Wolves and their prey will reach a dynamic equilibrium, if humans will just leave them alone.

  179. Better yet, show me the proof that indicates 1-200 wolves in Yellowstone is natural in any way shape or form. Show me any historical precedence for such a thing.

  180. The information is hardly concrete. Sure those numbers are in “the wolves of yellowstone”, but do they actually tell us anything about year to year wolf populations? Your “concrete evidence” creates more questions for me than anwsers. Were the majority of wolves wiped out by hunting before the bounties were initiated (and thus not counted)? Poisoning can result in many animals not found. Do these account for large numbers? Also, wolves are very intelligent, do wolves adapt to hunting pressure? Do they vacate and area that they associate with heavy hunting? If you can’t back up a point, don’t present it as fact. And don’t expect me to do your research for you… Am I to believe that this original “smaller” wolf subspecies had a density of 2 wolves per year in all of yellowstone??????

  181. But that does not negate the fact that it took 42 years to kill 56 adult wolves and 80 pups. They were getting a bounty for each one killed, so I suspect at least part of the pups were coyotes or german shepherds or whatever in order to get the bounty. Killing that number of wolves supposedly wiped out the entire Yellowstone population.
    Instead of complaining because you don’t like to hear the only concrete evidence I have available, try to find different information if you can. The very same numbers are in Doug Smith’s book “The Wolves of Yellowstone” written in 1996.

  182. I can say that because you keep using (I have seen you use the same evidence multiple times) historical accounts to somehow tell us that there were no or few wolves in yellowstone historically. I fail to see how these accounts prove anything. You could place anyone into a wilderness area for a month with no spotting scopes, access to radio-collared wolf locations, or helicopter monitoring and chances are they could not verify the presense of wolves or at the very least make any kinds of estimates of the number of wolves in an area. Put someone on foot or horseback and the job of accurately measuring wolf presense becomes that much harder.

  183. Steve, how can you say that, I went thru the whole litany just today of the wolves in Yellowstone, you didn’t even read it! sob sob, I’m devastated. All kidding aside, if you can find any information on wolves in Yellowstone prior to the introduction, please just tell me where.
    Frank, it is funny, when FWS got DOW off the hook with that eastern Montana wolf that killed over 100 head of livestock over a year’s time. I pointed out about the traveling. They said it must be domestic becauseit was a mix of Great Lakes, Canadian, Alaskan, and lower 48. I and a number of others pointed out that the Canadian wolves in northern Montana could easily have Alaskan wolf mixed in, especially since that is supposed to be where the white wolves came from. Mixing with the Great Lakes wolves would be no problem, and our wolves are the lower 48 wolves.

  184. Thanks for the info Frank. The wolf consumption amounts are fascinating. A small red wolf is the same size as a medium to large eastern coyote! Makes me wonder if wolf reintroduction to the northeast is even necessary if there is already an animal filling the wolf niche.
    I am going to look into my crystal ball and predict that marion is going to shoot back with her “wolves were never historically in yellowstone” argument (havent heard that one in a while). I guess I have a 20% chance of being right since she seems to keep recycling the same five arguments over and over…

  185. Some interesting facts from the International Wolf Center:

    “Adult female gray wolves in northern Minnesota weigh between 50 and 85 pounds, and adult males between 70 and 110 pounds. Gray wolves are larger in the northwestern United States, Canada, and Alaska where adult males weigh 85 to 115 pounds and occasionally reach 130 pounds.” (A “small” gray wolf male 70 to 110 pounds, a “large” 85-115 pounds with only an occasional larger. Wow!! Quite a difference!)….”Gray wolves can survive on about 2 1/2 pounds of food per wolf per day, but they require about 5 pounds per wolf per day to reproduce successfully…….The smaller adult female red wolf weighs 40 to 75 pounds, while males weigh from 50 to 85 pounds.” (Ahh! Perhaps a wolf such as these inhabited Yellowstone!!)….”Red wolves eat an average of 5 pounds of food per day.” (Oops! Guess my wife hasn’t been lying to me all these years, when she said that size doesn’t matter!!) “Wolves may travel 10 to 30 miles each day in search of food. Dispersing wolves, those leaving packs in search of their own mate, have been known to travel distances of 550 miles away form their home territory.” (Mmmm! Montana is only 321 miles from its most northerly border (Canada) to its most southern! Which borders which states again? Oh yes! Wyoming and Idaho! One, just one, generation and Canadian wolves are in Wyoming and Wyoming wolves are in Canada. Two or three generations and Canadian wolves are in Colorado and visa versa. All interbreeding!)
    Yes, animals tend to get larger as you move north, but a few hundred miles doesn’t make a difference, especially not in an animal that travels as widely as wolves …..else why don’t we have all the “monster” elk in Montana?

  186. Since I hear hunters overestimate weights (they should be as good at that as anyone) I am inclined to think that it is very difficult to eyeball a weight. I can’t find any solid onfo on the subspecies differences but i have read enough about wolves to know that what we have in yellowstone now is functionally and behaviorally what was there in the past.

  187. I have to assume that the ranchers and wildlife people were relatively able to estimate weights even without helicopters & scales in those days.
    I can only give you the information available. Since there is no written record that I have been able to find of anyone seeing wolves in Yellowstone, itself, in the early days, what I gave you is the best I can do. If you can find anything more accurate, I would really appreciate you sharing it. I’m always willing to learn.

  188. That means nothing, most people where I live estimate 30 lb coyotes to be 70 lbs. How can you make difinitive statements about how the current wolves are so much larger when you admit yourself that you have no idea how large the “real” wolves were? 50-75 pounds would not make them big enough to kill anything larger than a mule deer (if that) it makes no sense that wolves in yellowstone would be that small…

  189. Ahhh, rats, I got so enthused about the books, I forgot, most of the early people who mention the wolves in Wyoming described them as being in the 50-75 pound range. I read somewhere that the wolves got bigger as they got closer to the arctic, and were usually white. Don’t know the authenticity of that, becaue I do not know where I read it.

  190. There were so few wolves in Yellowstone historically, that there are no records that I can find of what their prey may have been. A number of early folks, including President T. Roosevelt in 1903, expressly stated there were no wolves.
    They are only mentioned in context of the 14 killed during the 32 army years and the 122 killed during the years NPS offered a bounty, 80 of the later were pups. There were a total of 56 adult wolves killed during 42 years.
    I actually cannot find a record in the early writings of bears or lions even killing buffalo. Poachers seem to have been the culprit. One of the worst was a man named Howell caught in the dead of winter on Astringent Creek in 1894.
    Cougars are mentioned as preying on antelope and elk, but not buffalo, I know there is mention of “buffalo wolves” following buffs across the plains, but even there I don’t know if they actually prey on them or jsut took sick or injured animals that fell by the wayside.
    I can’t even find mention of size in old writings, again because no one mentions seeing them, the closest is Mr. Evarts who became lost for 30 days and was starved to a skeleton. He reported hearing a wolf howl that last night before he was found.
    If you love Yellowstone and can get a copy of the book “Battle Drums and Geysers, the Story of Lt. Gustavus Doane” read it. He was assigned to lead the Washburn expedition into Yellowstone, which was the first expedition, and the first written account. It gives you a look at the park before it was a park. wonderful, I can feel the excitement of that first glimpse of Old Faithful all over again, even though my first look at it was almost 65 years ago.
    If you can find any reference to wolves in Yellowstoen in the early days, I would love to know the name fo the book, as you may be able to tell, I am really interested in old western history.
    Another book dealing with wolves in Wyoming is called “Reasons for Decline of the Wildlife in the Big Horn Basin” by Calvin King, an early game biologist in Wyoming.

  191. Rob Edward

    Current info on the taxonomy of wolves can be found at:

    http://www.fiu.edu/~milesk/intro.htm

    Note that the current science indictes on six subspecies of wolves, and commonly understands that these varios subspecies overlapped and interbred freely. The argument that it was inappropriate to put wolves from Canada into Yellowstone is a red herring. The species of wolf roaming the Greater Yellowstone now is ecologically appropriate, and we should be happy to have them there.

  192. Who wants wolves in downtown areas? That seems like a real stretch. How much smaller? 10%? 20%? Any smaller than that and they wouldnt be able to hunt elk and bison so they must have been pretty close to what we have in yellowstone now.

  193. There isn’t a lot of information, because they simply did not have all of the science available at the time that they do now. Basically it was a much smaller wolf, but somewhat larger than a coyote. In fact coyotes were also called wolves frequently, which confuses the issue. They were called prairie wolves.
    The introduced wolves are pretty much the arctic wolves that are considerable larger.
    I’m not sure what has given you the idea that anyone wants to shrink grizzly territory, but neither do we want it expanded into downtown Cody.
    Already the wolf territory that FWS proposed and Wyoming rejected, included the town of Cody, plus other towns. I must admit to being hard headed enough to object strenuously to making grizzlies and wolves protected inside of towns. I simply do not understand why you want them there. I’m sure you don’t want griz or wolves roaming around your neighborhood, but you seem determined to have them in towns here.
    It is true there is private land already in grizzly territory and they have to abide by certain rules, which is also fine. I do not however feel that you or anyone else has the right to forbid them to use their land so the grizzly can expand more. You do however have the right to buy that land and leave it in it’s natural state.

  194. Humans destroying everything they touch has nothing to do with evolution. If we go by your logic that every animal that does not stand a chance against humans should not be saved then we would not have any animals. Why do we play god and manage elk and other game species across the country? God made them, why dont we just leave them to their own devices to survive without setting hunting limits? How about preserving the number of grizzlies we have now, and the habitat that they exist in now instead of forcing them and other wildlife to live in tiny areas that we think they should live in.

    I am having trouble finding solid info on the subspecies of wolf that you say used to live in yellowstone other than a very general classification online. Can anyone provide me with any info on canis lupus occidentialis vs irremotus? What are the differences?

  195. I don’t decide what species exist, circumstances and God decide that. It is a source of amusement to me that those who believe in evolution, not creation, are the ones most determined to play God and not allow any evolution to continue.
    At some point we have to make choices, we cannot expend the resources to try to make every mouse, or flea “endangered” to protect someone’s property values or prevent home building.
    Banning DDT did most of the saving of eagles, the only problem is people in 3rd world countries are dying of malaria without DDT. Is it playing God to choose eagles over humans?
    Is saving a mouse worth more than building schools? We do not have unlimited resources in this country even though it is a rich country. We do have to make choices. Was 24 million to speed up wolves in livestock worth it? There were wolves in Montana, Yellowstone, Idaho, and seen in other places in Wyoming. A guy in Pinedale had one running thru his cows the second year of the introduction, and called FWS several times and they told him there were not wolves. Finally one day he roped it and put it in a horse trailer and called them. They of course started in about harassing an endangered species, etc. He reminded them it was their imagination, there were no wolves around. I don’t know what they ever did with it, probably took it back to the park, but needless to say Wyomingites love the story.
    Steve, you mentioned the grizzlies. I have asked this question over and over, why would anyone feel we should have even more grizzlies because there isn’t enough food and living space for them? That just doesn’t seem logical to me, and no one can explain the logic to me, can you?

  196. By the way, who are you to play god and decide what species are worth saving? Why shouldnt a mouse be protected?

  197. I agree that delisting criteria needs to be outlined from the beginning. I also feel that there are some animals that would never be safely delisted because of ongoing loss of food/habitat (the yellowstone grizley comes to mind). I dont think that a species requiring unending federal protection is an indicator that the ESA is a failure. This ruling is a huge mistake, however. For every controversial species that this act saves, there are 100 other less polarizing species that it saves. Under this rule, if climate change for example makes elk or pine trees or anything else in the lower 48 in danger of extinction, the federal government wouldnt have to do anything as long as they exist elsewhere (eg. Canada).
    Also, you can blame environmental groups all you want for fighting to suppor the ESA. I think that the act has benefitted and is supported by the vast majority of average american people rather than only by a minority of “activists” as you seem to think. Marion, doesn’t it make you feel good that we now have safe populations of the bald eagle, the peregrine falcon, the american alligator, the whooping crane, the florida manatee, the florida key deer, and the southern sea otter? (I can go on and on)

  198. It will have a very positive effect on the people being targetted by enviro organizations. You won’t have the idiotic situation of arguing that we need more of a species because there is not enough food and living space for it.
    Criteria for listing needs to be tightened up so we aren’t protecting mice. The delisting needs to be laid out at the beginning and not subject to lawsuits. This is a good baby step.