Operation Estes Storm

Wolf packPark Service releases controversial plan to slaughter elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, eschews wolves

For Immediate Release

(Boulder, CO) The National Park Service today released a final plan to use sharpshooters to kill thousands of elk in Rocky Mountain National Park, ignoring important lessons learned in Yellowstone National Park. The plan calls for sharpshooters and other unnatural management activities to be used to reduce and redistribute elk in the Park instead of considering wolf reintroduction.

“Today is a sad day for Rocky Mountain National Park,” said Rob Edward, the Director of Carnivore Restoration for Sinapu. “Today, the Park Service let politics and timidity triumph over science and common sense,” said Edward, referring to the fact that wolves released into Yellowstone National Park had done–in less than a decade–what the Park Service plans to do in Rocky Mountain National Park over many years using sharpshooters.

Edward stated that Sinapu and Forest Guardians intend to sue the Park Service over the plan, and said that other litigation is presently in the works regarding the National Park Service’s refusal to restore wolves as part of the agency’s legal mandate. The two groups filed a notice in November with Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and National Park Service Director Mary Bomar indicating their intent to sue over the National Park Service’s lack of planning for wolf recovery within Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. The notice gives the government 60 days to respond to the claims raised.

“The managers of our federal lands must be good stewards of the wildlife on those lands,” said Edward. He stated the Endangered Species Act makes very clear that federal land management agencies must act to further the conservation of endangered species. “Why the government would choose to spend millions of dollars and turn our national park into a nocturnal shooting range for a problem that should be solved eloquently, by wolves, is puzzling,” said Edward.

John Horning, Executive Director of Forest Guardians in Santa Fe, underscored the need for the Park Service to be proactive on wolf recovery. “The vegetation of Rocky Mountain National Park is being rapidly depleted by scores of elk, and the Park Service’s plan is to have sharpshooters kill thousands of these elk under the cover of darkness,” said Horning. “Yet, as we’ve seen in Yellowstone, reintroducing wolves to the park can quickly and permanently restore the balance of nature and bring the entire ecosystem back to life.” Horning pointed to published scientific information from Yellowstone that shows that native plants regenerate more quickly if elk are kept on the move by wolves, and that culling elk is not necessary if wolves are present.

Edward indicated that the plan to cull elk in the park would cost millions of dollars and stands little chance of long-term success.

The Endangered Species Act’s Section 7 requires federal agencies to conserve federally protected species, including taking all measures possible to achieve species recovery. Horning and Edward agreed that the National Park Service is missing a perfect opportunity to meet two conservation objectives under the present plan: restoring wolves and protecting the park’s plants from sedentary elk.



106 responses to “Operation Estes Storm

  1. Marion, here is a list of literally hundreds of non-profits furthering the cause of renewable energy through both investment and education. It is curious that there are none listed for wyoming… perhaps you want to keep using fossil fuels? Contrary to your warped views, organizations do more than sue. Also, our legal system is a good place to fight many of these battles especially with such powerful anti-environment opponents buying influence in washington outside the law….


  2. Again, how much money is anyone going to be willing to invest if they are facing a constant barage of lawsuits opposing them? That costs even mroe money.
    Why don’t environmental groups invest money in helping find technology instead of lawsuits to delay anything someone else comes up with and running up their startup costs? Cooperation woould be much more effective and a lot cheaper.

  3. Marion, with that kind of stone aged thinking we will never stop using fossil fuels. I read a good book in college. You might want to check it out…


    Also, cape wind is very much a possibility (I am from massachusetts). It is also supported by a majority of massachusetts residents as well as cape cod residents. There are even proposals for a second wind farm to the west of the current proposed site. I guess you can’t fault people for not wanting to ruin their views.

  4. Marion,
    That’s why we switched to solar. Duh!!!

  5. Cat, what did you use to keep that generator going, surely not that nasty fuel that comes out of the ground. Steve, if there is no fuel mined, generated, or pumped, people will freeze if they cannot get wood to burn. Our fuel comes from the ground.
    AS for the wind, enviromentalists will not allow power producing windmills to be built if it interfers in any way with any of their views, their pristine area, etc. The one that interfered with Kennedy’s view and one in Montana are two that have been stopped that come to mind off hand.
    Why is none of the money taken in by environmental groups ever used for research instead of lawsuits? Think how much research into alternative fuels could be done with those millions of tax free dollars.
    Elkhunter, I saw in this mornings news that they could not count elk due to the weather, so you can be sure that when they do count the northern herd again, the winter kill is going to be devastating.

  6. Elkhunter,
    We did not get the snow that was forecasted for the first part of the week, just a lot of wind. Our snowpack is already 150% of average. I am surprised to see that there are still so many elk here where I live at 8000 ft. Usually they head down by now and there is usually less snow than this.

  7. Oh no, i didn’t think you were arguing. I was just curious because sometimes they list things such as shale oil extraction etc. as alternate energy. Your post has made me want to dig further into the subject. Where did you get the 771 million? I have found numbers as high as a few billion spent on alternative energy development and also much lower. Like everything else online the more places you look the more completely different information pops up. Still all of the numbers are extremely small when considering we have an 11 trillion dollar economy and that we spend so many hundreds of billions of dollars on oil every year. i was actually thinking that for the money we spend overseas securing our oil supply the government could probably put a windmill in every yard and solar panels on every house…

  8. Cat,
    Is it still snowing down there in CO? I spoke with a FG officer and he said they are predicting winter kill as high as 80% in some areas for deer. And even higher than that for antelope. He said it could be the worst die-off in CO history. They are currently feeding the deer in the Gunnison Basin now. Hopefully to keep the mortality around 50%. He said if it keeps snowing it would set the deer herds back about 8 years. Which would suck for CO, they have had the best deer hunting in the west for the last 5 years. Elk usually do fine he said, they have a broader diet and usually force the deer out of the better winter range when it gets real bad.

  9. There was no breakdown on how it was spent. I was not arguing with you. I just was curious also and thats what I found out.

  10. And? Compared to a 39 billion dollar profit for exxon mobil alone, 771 million dollars doesnt seem that significant. Does your source give a breakdown of what this money is spent on? Not all alternative energies are clean energy.

  11. Steve,
    The budget this year for alternative energy research etc. is 771 million dollars.

  12. Marion, when does Cat say that poor people should go without heat power and fuel? It really hurts your arguments to accuse people of these extreme things that they obviously don’t believe. It is the equivalent of me saying that you support coal miners dying in mine collapses so people can have electricity. Maybe these billion dollar power companies should build wind and solar farms instead of coal plants. Did you know that the german government rewards people for putting solar and wind generators on their property? If our government gave farmers and ranchers incentives to do the same they would have a much needed extra revenue source from selling the power back to the grid. But unfortunately the ranching lobbyists are so backwards yet powerful they would have the government spend tens of millions gunning down wildlife while it spends next to nothing on alternative energy.

  13. Marion,
    Considering the savings over the past 5 yrs. alone, the cost of installing solar is actually cheaper than paying soaring electric bills. Not to mention the outrageous cost of getting electricity run up here. We had little choice. There are incentive programs available to those who are interested in switching to alternative energy sources, especially on new builds. And as a matter of fact I did go without power except for a smelly, noisy generator for a while before we installed solar.

  14. I never said there was a quota for listings but I find it curious that there have been so few, and that you complain so loudly with a powerful anti-environment friendly president in power furthering the goals that you support. On the flip side, If a president lists a lot of species you will be the first in line crying foul. Is there a maximum quota? What species do you think are valuable enough to list? How can you make the decision that one species lives and another dies? A mouse may not seem that important to you but what if that mouse is the primary food source for a certain type of hawk? Species are connected and if one goes extinct a cascade of species can suffer.

    Actually with my gas savings and with the tax credit I will receive my costs will be about the same as with the non hybrid civic (and comparable to a ford focus). I am not wealthy by any means.

  15. Steve, I must admit that it is a revelation to me to realize there is a quota for listings on the ESA. You must be almost to the point of trying to list house flies and mosquitoes by now aren’t you?
    There are economical cars out there even for thsoe of us that cannot afford a hybrid (which of course has it’s own environmental problems with lead batteries). I for instance drive a little Ford focus which averages around 33 mpg, partly because I keep the mph below 60. I live in a small house, and I hang my clothes on the line to dry, but none of that counts because I don’t “believe”. It does not matter how much more environmentally friendly I am than say Mr. Gore with his huge mansions and private jet, you call me evil.
    Tell me what have the environmental groups done to find alternative fuels with the billions of dollars tax free that they have taken in? Actually contributed, not their lawsuits, that is the stuff of legends, how many lawsuits they can file against their own country.
    Cat, it is nice for you that you can afford solar, most cannot, so do you feel that is their tough luck, they can jsut do without heat and power and fuel until they can?

  16. Marion, if the politicians werent being bribed and bought by the energy industry and if they did something as simple 15-20 years ago as raising vehicle fuel economy we would already have a prevalence of non-fossil fuel sources of energy and we wouldnt have to even consider destroying our open spaces with drilling. But people like you want the easy way out without changing your lifestyle regardless of the human or environmental cost. Taking small steps can save millions of gallons of gas if everyone in the country cooperated. Change out your lightbulbs for low energy ones. I bought a honda civic hybrid last year and I have saved hundreds of dollars and countless gallons of gas. Instead of crying all the time you should be part of the solution.

    Also, if we are in a time where the “enviros” control the world through the endangered species act it sure doesnt show. You and the rest of the anti-ESA zealots are enjoying two terms of the most anti-endangered species president in our history. Least listings ever, and no listings in some 600 days. I don’t know how you can claim to be the underdog when the deck is stacked so decidedly in favor of you and your evil minions…

  17. I have already made the switch to solar power. Partly because electricity was not available in my area when we built. We are not in the investigative stages of alternative energy, we are in the development stages of alternative energy. This developement is hampered by current administrative policy. That will change. I do not think that people will make the change as long as it is cheaper for them to elploit dwindling resources. This all MUST and will change in the future. It’s a Brave New World Marion, one in which old attitudes of waste and exploitation of valuable resources will not survive.

  18. Wind farms are also being stopped. The genral population fo the US cannot afford solar, the others are in investigative stages. Don’t you think responsible people would have alternatives if they want to shut down one source of energy? It is very easy ot say someone else can develop alternative energy sources and spend their money then environmental groups will announce from on high whether they like it or not, if not (the case with everyting so far), they will then file lawsuits.
    Again, I’ll ask, are you willing to have your power and fuel shut off first to support eliminating power plants? Or is it up to others to sacrifice?

  19. Marion,
    The only hatred that is apparent here is yours for environmentalism. There are numerous alternative energy sources that could be developed that have little or no negative impact on the environment. Solar, Fuel Cell, wind, reusable/recyclic fuel. etc.

    The Courts provide the needed authority in these isues and thank God for that. If someone were robbing you of your assets, which is exactly what the livestock industry is doing to the nations resources, you would gladly go to Court to stop them. You believe the unfounded rantings of anti wolf groups so much that you support their efforts in Court in which they generally lose because they do not back their claims with credible science, yet you blame the lawsuits on environmentalists.

    I am not concerned with access to thes lands. I am happy knowing that they will exist into the future insuring that their wildlife and ecosystems will remain intact and their contribution to clean air and water protected. Besides, developers or private owners CANNOT block access to these lands on public roads. You can add paranoia to the list of psychotic sypmtoms for which to seek treatment on your next mental evaluation.

  20. Interesting you should mention the premise of a free nation, but YOU have decided the rest of us do not need to eat beef. And you seem to feel that justifies you deliberately destroying their private property for your entertainment. Many if not most of the livestock killed is killed on privately owned property, taxes paid by the owners.
    I don’t like tobacco and would like to see the market for it dry up, but I would never agree to anyone deliberately destroying the growers crops jsut for my entertainment.
    Can you name a single source of energy that you would consider acceptable? Would it be acceptable enough to prevent delays thru lawsuits?
    If electricity becomes so scarce that folks have to have their power shut off to keep from having a total blackouts, are you so committed to your belief that we do not need more energy that you would volunteer your power supply for others?
    You do realize that there are developers jsut waiting to purchase those ranches you want to get rid of and that will effectively eliminate a lot of access you have ahd thru private property? Is that the land you want to see? Do you have that much hatred for others?

  21. Marion,
    “…….fine the ranting of an old lady……..”
    I would submit that ranting be substituted with ravings.

  22. Marion,

    The Courts will be better used to force development of alternative, environmentally friendly energy sources. “Control the food supply”, the only food supply that is threatened is beef which is only consumed by those who can afford it. Beef is the highest displacement of resources for the resulting food energy there is. Replacing that food source with more sustainable vegetable products will result in the feeding of millions more people at a great savings to the environment and the economy as well.

    Ranchers being forced off public lands will benefit the majority of the people. Western ranching is an exploitive industry whose time has come and gone. The rancher is a dying breed and good riddence. If they can’t adjust to a changing world whose emphasis is on saving the natural world so that ALL will prosper then they will be replaced by those who can. I’m sure the sentiment was the same in the Old South where owners of cotton, tobacco and sugar plantations flourished at the expense and exploitation of millions of human lives. It may have been nice for the few for a while but it could not continue under the premise of a free nation. The exploitation of western wild lands to benefit a few, will not continue under the new understanding of the importance in keeping the ecosystems intact and the environment healthy for the greater good. It’s as simple as that.

  23. You’d better hope that I am nuts/an idiot, or any other name that your particular groups prefers. To consider the alternative is almost unthinkable.
    Take a look at the goals of the environmental groups together:
    Stop production of American oil/gas….by:
    No drilling in ANWR
    Use antelope to stop development of gas/oil
    Use sage grouse to stop development of gas/oil
    Use rabbits to stop development of gas/oil
    Use roadless areas to stop development of gas/oil
    Use sage brush to stop development of gas/oil.
    A shortage of fuel will ultimately result pricing ordinary people out of access to heat and automobiles.
    A constant barrage of law suits works pretty well for this.
    Stop any attempts to increase electricity production, use the courts to prevent any coal fired plants, use the courts to prevent wind farms, use the courts to prevent hydroelectric power, use the courts to prevent nuclear plants. The resulting electrical shortage can be managed how? Who will determine who can have electrical power? Only those who can afford the cost?
    Control the food supply, once more courts and “endangered species” work very well. It can prevent wheat production on private land. Introducing wolves in overwhelming numbers will serve a dual purpose, the livestock loss will be tremendous, and the ranchers will be forced off of public land, and out of business. If they sell out to a developer that tries to build homes for unapproved people, an endangered species of some kind can be discovered to stop it.
    The people will have higher heating and transportation costs, higher food prices and will have limited ability to do more than work.
    If I am wrong, fine the ranting of an old lady, if I am right, we are in for trouble regaining control of our lives from unelected, self appointed, well funded groups who are determined to control our lives. They are doing a pretty remarkable job right now by pitting “us good people” against “rednecks, “uncaring oil field workers and miners”, “greedy ranchers”.

  24. HAHAHAHAHA And I thought the comedy writers were on strike. Marion logic: environmentalists are against a highly polluting power plant therefore they must be for a power shortage!!! How about ALTERNATE ENERGY!!!!! Wind turbines, hydrogen, etc. I am against eating cows, people eat cows, therefore I must be for people starving to death.

    You are seriously such an idiot. I don’t like resorting to calling names, but you are intentionally spreading lies and halftruths to further your demented viewpoints. How could you accuse anyone of wanting to rid the world of elk as the settlers of 100 years ago rid the country of wolves? You don’t see any differences? Do you believe any of this bull that you sling around here???? We should put a wind turbine infront of you when you huff and puff about all of the damage the enviros are doing… Energy crisis solved!

  25. Marion,
    I think you need to get your dementia meds checked, Your rambling on about things that you don’t know about again.

  26. Uhhh, cat, I do believe that is probably what the American Indians said when the settlers showed up. Actually they got along fair until hordes of settlers came from the east in endless wagon trains, many of them headed for California.
    There is a great article posted on Yellowstone.net about the indigenous people who have been displaced by the designation of National Parks. I have posted other articles about indigenous people in other countries who feel American environmentalists are depriving them of clean water, sewers, etc in an attempt to prevent development.
    We all envision ourselves as doing good, I guess, but sometimes what others see is not what we see in ourselves.
    Steve, there are several articles today dealing with the bragging of environmental groups that have managed to sue the courts to prevent coal fired power plants from being built. Also the news is out that California wants state control of all thermostats in the state to prevent people using fuel to attain temps that are most comfortable to them. They feel these draconian measures are necessary to cut down the use of electricity and other home fuels. Do you suppose there could be a connect between decreased/inadequate production of electricity and a lack of electricity? Naw, enviros say we don’t need more. These people have the money and the ability to bring the most powerful country in the world down in their quest for absolute control by their use of friendly courts.
    Just like the do gooders of a hundred years ago got rid of the wolves, the do gooders of today can get rid of the elk, but when they do the wolves will follow. No environmental group/people will ever take any responsibility for what they do.
    The only difference between what is happening today and what happened a hundred years ago is the species. Because of the vast amounts of money that environmental groups have to keep pushing to the edge, the results may be overall more disastrous.
    Unfortunately enviros have become so drunk with their own power that they feel compelled to continue using it even when it is creating a lot of harm, and ultimately to themselves.

  27. Marion says, “So far the record is not that great for the self appointed, unelected, non responsible do gooders moved in to tell others how to live.”… Now where have I heard that before? Hmm. Oh yeah, Wasn’t that what the Native Americans said when the RANCHERS showed up?????

  28. Ranching conglomerates, energy companies, and and hunting groups have less money than environmental groups? Do you actually believe that? There will always be wolves and elk in yellowstone and elsewhere. You must know that deep down… At the very least the reintroduction has exposed the state governments of the west on a national stage for their stone-aged, rape the land, anti environment views and policies. Because of that I consider it a success.

  29. These cases go back to court over and over until a friendly judge is found to rule for the environmentla groups. The environmental groups have unlimited funds, ordinary people ahve to work to try to retain any say at all.
    State G&F biologists are pushed aside by lawyers hired by the professional fund raising groups.
    I do not think wwe are going to get a winter count this year, FWS has already posted that they have been unable to complete the wolf count due to bad weather, so I suspect they couldn’t do an elk count either.
    Once more will this all have been worthwhile if the elk drop to such numbers that the wolves leave Yellowstone and are no longer available to watch?

  30. Cat,
    What about your wolves then? If you have a HUGE winterkill like you say, then the geriatric YNP elk herds would surely be hit the hardest. Wouldnt you say? Which would obviously affect the wolf/grizz populations. I personnaly hope it stops snowing. I like to see elk and deer.

  31. Can you produce these reports? Can they take credit for increases in wildlife? Maybe rules and regulations pushed by environmentalists had a little something to do with things? There has been an influx of wildlife in the northeast mostly as a result of a move away from farming where trees recolonize an area followed by all manner of wildlife.

    If these cases had no legal merit they would not make it far in the courts. Also, the livestock industry has so much power that they are practically their own government. They get what they want, when they want it. They will bowl right over you and your private property rights if it means more money for them. Ask the folks living outside of yellowstone how they like having bison hazed on their lands and how they like their property being damaged so some rancher can make a few extra bucks. I have said it before and I will say it again. These issues go beyond wolves. Keep burying your head in the sand and blame environmentalists and wolves for all of your problems while the real big businesses ravage all of the land that you and I should be cherishing…

  32. Well Steve, there is reportedly more wildlife now than when the ranchers started settling this area. They must be doing something right. So far the record is not that great for the self appointed, unelected, non responsible do gooders moved in to tell others how to live. It is very scary to me to realize jsut how much power the evironmental big business has gotten by using courts to take away other folks personal property rights.

  33. Brian,

    You mean you haven’t starved to death? It is so easy to avoid beef that it makes the argument of anti-wolf zealots that the reintroduction is an assault on our nation’s food supply all the more laughable…


  34. You are skeptical about wolf predictions just as I am skeptical of your claim that ranchers value and help wildlife. We are in another winter of bison hazing/killing in montana to benefit a small handful of cow growers and many of the stories coming out about sheep wiping out entire bighorn sheep populations are downright scary.

    Maybe an energy company will put a big old oil rig right infront of your kitchen window and you will suddenly see that the things that the “enviros” right for suddenly don’t seem so frivolous.


  35. Ahhh, Steve, are you jsut now finding out about mineral rights? I do know that someone else owns the right to minerals beneath my land and may lease thsoe rights to an oil company, I’m smart enough to check those things.
    Not only that, I own the mineral rights to my parents ranch in Fremont county and have leased them to an oil company. No drilling as of now.
    The wolves have done absolutely nothing the way it was predicted, so I would be pretty sceptical about any predictions of what they will do in a food shortage, certainly more inter pack killing would be likely. Perhaps they will go out and fill in some of the spaces vacated by the wolves that are hunted.

  36. steve c,

    yes, the Mars billionaire’s private property in MT is under such an assault – oil rigs drilling on his private property.

    My news years resolution was not to eat beef ~ a year ago ~ so it’s been a year and a couple weeks. surprisingly easy don’t you think ?!

  37. Marion, as you know wolves are territorial. If they run out of food simply leaving to move to a new area is not a good option for them. If you are right about elk being wiped out in yellowstone what we will see is a severe drop off in pup survival and in the overall wolf population which will rebound when/ if elk numbers increase.

    Why do you have so much hatred for “wolfers”? I know many of them and they are good people with much of the same appreciation for wildlife and nature that you as a photographer have. It boggles my mind that you are so fixated on perceived wolf damage that you pay no attention to the damage that mining/energy development/ranching etc do to wildlife habitat.

    PS: I just read something that may interest you since you harp on private property rights so much. Did you know that if a company owns mineral/energy rights under YOUR property they can come on your property to drill and “explore” without your permission and without owing you anything? With politicians making rules like these you wonder who is actually on your side…

    By the way, my new years resolution is to not eat beef ever again. 2 weeks into the new year and I have not starved to death…

  38. Marion,
    The wolves can come here (Colorado) and the wolf watchers can follow.

    I hope it does NOT stop snowing. It’s natural and it’s time for a hard winter and a huge winter kill. It will decrease the rate of disease. And I am afraid I have been bitten by the snowmobilling bug. I will only stay on groomed trails though, or on my own land. The elk and deer here don’t seem to mind to much. Weeeee!!!!!!

  39. There will be plenty of food for the wolves and other predators for awhile if we have a huge winter kill, but then the real problem will be whether there will be enough elk left to sustain the wolves and bears, if not will they leave Yellowstone looking for food? that seems likely.
    If so what will the wolfers do if they cannot get their daily wolf watching view/report? Demand more be trucked in?

  40. Cat,
    You had better hope it stops snowing. Because if not you are going to see one of the worst winters in a LONG time. Already CO and WY are seeing problems with deer. Expecially CO in the Gunnison Basin. Snow up to the deer’s chests. If this snow hits that hard around YNP, combined with the recent drought, and VERY low calf recruitment for the last 5 years. You could see a HUGE drop-off in elk. Especially since YNP herds are very old in comparison to other elk herds. It could be really bad.

  41. I think there needs to be enough elk to feed the wolves.

  42. Aren’t you guys forgetting that ranchers OWN land too? You do not have the right to invade their land with infected animals. If the private property owners could keep the buffs enclosed on their land, that would be one thing, they can’t, so the Yellowstone buffs have to be kept inside of the park. Please share with us one state that is willing to turn loose infected buffs to roam freely…..just one. How about the dairy states, bet they would love to have brucellosis infected buffs in their pastures.
    Just how many elk do you think is right for Yellowstone Cat? We are now approaching historic lows, if we ever have the winter kill that Bangs keeps hinting at as a way out of the boondoggle made by so called biologists, that will be a disaster for the elk.
    I jsut love those who insist that the wolves they trucked in to kill off the elk are not what is responsible for the elk decline.

  43. Cat,
    The Nature Conservancy LOVES Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. You read the article did you not? The spokeswoman from NC was saying how great it is to work with SFW because of what the accomplish for habitat. Now if DOW would just stop spending money suing everyone they might get somewhere.

  44. It’s a simple Democratic concept. The welfare of the many outweighs the desire of the few. You don’t have anything against Democracy, do you Marion?

  45. Marion, kind of like how the ranching industry pisses all over the rights of property holders by putting political pressure on the DOL to go wherever they want to haze bison back into yellowstone. You seem to apply a double standard to “enviros” and you seem to not care about actual private property rights but rather rancher property rights.

  46. Marion,

    Ranchers and outfitters are th only ones who profit off of the exploitation of public lands. Elk numbers are lower, but I’m not convinced that that is not a healthy situation. The policy of extirpation of wolves did not exist until ranching was the prevailing interest in the west. The book “Predatory Bureaucracy” states that wolves were plentiful co-existed with earlier settlers. Ranchers were the motivating force behind extirpation.

    How is killing off the predators, creating an imbalance in the ecosystem, benefitting wildlife????

    Why does there need to be 19,000 elk in Yellowstone???? Perhaps the new number is more appropriate and will trigger Nature’s balancing mechanisms.

    Aspen and Willows are the trees which provided the habitat of wild birds. Moose also are less apt to loiter if wolves are present resulting in less damage to riparian zones. Maybe you are seening an improvement in the rate of spread over states that do not have the benefit of the wolves,and other predators’ contribution. I’m pretty sure that the spread of this beetle and several others is worse in Colorado and Utah than Id,, Mt., or Wy.

  47. Cat, you are ranting and rambling. Ranchers have never had EXCLUSIVE use of public land, they share. Only those with enough free time for back country use have exclusive use when they lock out all motorized access.
    I have posted photos to show how well kept the range is. I know what is a crime, you provide no specifics that anyone committed any specific crimes.
    I can only tell you that the elk numbers in Yellowstone are nearing historic lows that occured after “management” killing a bunch followed by a very bad winter. I have watched the elk and griz enough to know the calves are very important food source. Are you going to try to tell me that 5 or 6000 elk produce as many calves as 19,000?
    Wolves were removed by settlers, irregardless of their jobs or livelihood. That is true from Virginia and DC eastward. I can assure you there were no Wyoming cattle ranchers out there in the 1600s, but I can also assure you that residents were killing wolves.
    The Chiltons WON their lawsuit, and incidentally donated the money to charity. The Farm Bureau did not win because of the politics of the whole issue and the fact that enviros are loaded with money for nothing but PACs and lawsuits.
    Onc more, I know you will not believe, in fact you cannot let yourself believe that ranchers are doing far more actual benefit for wildlife than all of the enviro groups put together.
    Cattle never ran inside of Yellowstone incidentally, and the 19,000 was a high that was reached one year, and is now downplayed as having any relationship to the number of elk left.
    Birds have always been prevalent in Yellowstone, and those that would have been eating insects off the White Bark Pine would not have been affected by the aspens and willows that supposedly are regenerated since the elk numbers are so low…to say nothing of the moose which are the real willow eaters. Besides if that were the case why would we not see an improvement in the last 10 years among the pines?
    You are too full of hatred toward ranchers to actually look at the situation clearly.

  48. First of all, ANYONE who monopolizes public property to it’s detriment for the purpose of private profit IS breaking the law by violating the Civil Rights of others who depend on public resources and have funded, by taxes the protection of wildlife which is necessary for that public property’s ecological health.

    You missinterpret the language of the ESA. The target number of 300 was a starting point at which delisting could BEGIN to be discussed. There are numerous points that are to be considered as well, such as the proper number of breeding pairs and adequate dispersion corridors. None of which have been met. The Idaho and Wyoming Wolf Management plans are in direct violation of the ESA. THERE IS NO CONTRACT THAT STATES WOLVES WILL BE DELISTED WHEN THE POPULATION REACHES 300.

    Wolves have had no adverse affects on HEALTHY elk populations.

    If I had filed a lawsuit to prevent the loss of private property. You can bet I would make sure that PRIVATE property was not responsible for the destruction of PUBLIC property and that I had done all things possible to prevent destruction to that private property. That’s called Mitigation of Damages, one of the reasons such lawsuits filed by ranchers failed.

    It is also possible that Pine bark beetle kill could be due to loss of habitat of wildbirds that naturally feed on Pine Bark bettles. The riparian habitat of those birds was lost due to overgrazing by cattle and loitering elk who are not encouraged to keep on the move because wolves were no longer a threat to them. The wolves were removed by CATTLEMEN. It is all connected. You cannot remove key pieces of the ecosystems and expect them to work properly. It will eventually negatively effect everyone on the planet.

    IT IS A CRIME both legally and morrally to jeopardize irreplaceable, life sustaining, PUBLIC resources for PRIVATE profit. It is reprehensible that one VERY small private segment of the population, is allowed to exploit those resources consisting of our lands, water sources and our national treasure of wildlife, that belong to every individual in this nation existing as a whole.

  49. Marion,
    your dementia is acting up again. Take a nap.

  50. First of all, I am NOT breaking the law! The wolves were not brought in because of anyone breaking the law, they were brought in because some folks think it is neat to hear a wolf howl….in someone else’s yard. There is absolutely no concern about the prey species,nor for that matter other predator species. by those that want wolves, more wolves, even their own word is no good. They blatantly lied about wanting 300 wolves in the three states.
    Grizzly numbers dropped dramatically when the politically correct abruptly closed all of the dumps in Yellowstone in the ’60s (law of unintended consequences). One of the big things bringing their numbers back was the plentiful supply of elk calves in late May and early June, plus the winter killed carcasses when they came out of hibernation. Once more their food supply is in danger, the elk calf numbers have dropped dramatically since wolves were brought in, mostly due to the loss of 2/3 of the elk herd, and lack of young fertile females replacements(law of unintended consequences). On top of that the majority of the winter kill has already been eaten by wolves by the time the bears come out of hibernation (law of unintended consequences). What is that continued situation going to do to the griz as the numbers of elk continue to disappear and the cutthroat fall prey to the Lake Trout? Then of course you have to add the destruction of White Bark Pine partly because all of the dead and dying timber is allowed to accumulate and provide a nursery for beetles (law of unintended consequences).
    The lawsuits to introduce the wolves were brought, not because anyone was breaking the law, but to have the legal right to usurp other people’s property to take care of wolves. Lawsuits were filed …to no avail, I might add to prevent the loss of the use of their private property, by the Farm Bureau. They were also trying to prevent the huge cost of lost animals that they knew wolves would bring. Do you feel you should have the right to try to protect your property?
    The Chilton’s filed their lawsuit against the Center or bio Diversity because of the defamation by outright lies that the CBD was publishing in an attempt to take over Chiltons’property. How many folks is this happening to that do not have the resources the Chilton family does…nor the tenacity?

  51. Elkhunter,

    Orgs. like Defernders and Nature Conservancy among others seek a balance in wildlife populations. I don’t know of anyone who would have it any other way. We understand the need for a balance in all species as this is the only way that the ecosystems will prosper. It is just that carnivores have had a particularly hard time and deserve special attention to bring their populations up to acceptable and beneficial numbers. I wish there were no need for lawsuits but unfortunately it is necessary to insure the public’s interest is served.

  52. It seems alot of groups are managing for single species Cat. This blog is for carnivore’s. Why single them out? What about bighorn sheep? They need LOTS of help. I think its selfish for them to focus on predators and not ALL wildlife. The comparisons are the same Cat. You just feel more passionately about wolves than you do elk etc. Unlike SFW they are passionate about big-game hunting. I have to agree with Marion though, all enviro groups do it seems is use that money in litigation. VERY few use that money for habitat or conservation. But you and I have had this conversation before.

  53. Marion,

    Lawsuits are only filed when laws have been broken or civil rights have been violated. Thank God for the law. You didn’t have any problem when ranchers sued to halt reintroduction because they didn’t like the wolves from Canada. You also had no problem when the Arizona ranch filed suit against CBD for missrepresenting the truth. Those suits were justified in your view. Well the rest of the country believes laws protecting our resources and taxdollar investments have been broken. That a single interest group has monopolized public lands to it’s detriment, and threatened and destroyed wildlife against public interest. If you don’t want more lawsuits. Stop breaking the law.

    NO ONE especially environmentalists groups, is advocating single species management.

  54. Cat, it doesn’t really matter hwo much money i raised by the various groups, it is what is done with that money that determines the benefit. Unfortuantley virtually all environmental group money goes for lawsuits, which depletes the money the state G&F agencies have to actually build or improve habitat or anything else directly benefitting wildlife.
    It boggles the mind to think how much good could be done if environmental groups worked with locals to provide habitat, to protect various species instead of enriching lawyers. Sadly so many people really believe those groups are contributing to wildlife instead of filing lawsuits.
    Single species management is a recipe for disaster, it can never work, yet we have dozens of single species groups not ony working against each other, but also causing chaos for other species.

  55. Elkhunter,

    You mean S F W, not S P W. There are lots of orgs. that raise millions and millions for wildlife. I’m sure that the total monies raised by all the orgs. that contribute to protection of wolves and bears is FAR greater than what SFW raises for protection of the few game species they deem worthy. I once had a measure of respect for SFW but was sickened by the article about the coyote hunt. I’m sure that when predators were first extirpated from the west that it was done with less bloodthirsty zeal than what was portrayed in that article.

  56. Cat:
    On Ralphs blog you were constantly critizing Sportmens for fish and wildlife. And why? Because they support and lobby for their interests. Which is big-game and fish. And LOTS of posts had the attitude that they should be putting time and effort and money to protect wolves/bears. My point being, create an organization just like them, and raise millions of dollars Cat and then you can accomplish what they do. Elkhunter

  57. Elkhunter,
    I did say that state and Fed game agencies are responsible for big game protection. I NEVER said that groups like SPW should fight our battles for us, nor did I suggest that they contribute to our causes. I don’t even know who SPW is. Wildlife orgs. are doing just fine fighting our own battles. The reason being is that we know we are fighting “Nature’s” battles and the battle to save the planet from those who would destroy it for profit or to satisfy their own selfish desires.

  58. Jeff,
    Sorry Cat was the one that pointed out that state game agencies funded big-game protections. Happy Holidays to everyone also.

    Did you ever get to AK for your hunt?

  59. Marion,
    Notwithstanding the day, your full of….

  60. What caused them to increase was a lower predator population, money food, and habitat year around, none of which was provided by lobbiests. In our state most of that money is provided to the state F&g by hunters and fishermen. teh year around habitat and water access is provided by ranchers. The headaches and roadblocks are provided by enviro lawsuits, which gobble up the money too

  61. Elky,
    I did not mention state wildlife agencies. I said that the main reason that big game populations started to recover was because of laws passed by state and federal legislatures. We do have organizations that lobby on our behalf. Defenders of wildlife, Nature Conservancy, Earth Justice, Sinapau, just to mention a few.
    Any way, Merry Xmas one and all.

  62. Jeff and Cat,
    You both mentioned state wildlife agencies. Last time I checked those agencies are funded SOLELY through funds generated by anglers/hunters. Also Cat read about The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Thanks to organizations like those they helped fund transplants etc that were the main reason for the elk populations we see today. UT is a good example, 20 years ago you would be lucky to even SEE and elk, let alone harvest one. Now they are thriving. In thanks to the organizations that you constantly criticize. The one thing I am confused by Cat, and maybe you can answer it for me, why do you expect groups like SPW to fund and lobby for things that you like? Why do you want others to fight your battles for you? Take for example FNAWS. They are passionate about sheep. They raise MILLIONS of dollars to help grow and sustain bighorn sheep populations. Now I love hunting Mule Deer. Is it fair for me to expect FNAWS to give me money and to lobby for MY interest in Mule Deer hunting? Or is it fair to expect The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation to give their money to Ducks Unlimited to help protect waterfowl habitat? Is it fair for pro-wolf groups to EXPECT Sportsman for Fish and Wildlife to give their money to your organizations to protect wolves and grizz? If you want to lobby for your “selfish” interests then create Cats organization for wolves and bears. Then lobby and raise money and gather donations to lobby for YOUR interests. Dont expect others to do all the work and then just give it to you. It does not work that way in my mind. Get together with Mack and Ralph and Linda and all those guys and start raising MILLIONS of dollars like SPW and then you can lobby for whatever you want.

  63. You’re welcome, perhaps your yard will be graced soon.

  64. This is indeed wonderful news. Thanks Marion. See if you can’t scare some more of them out of Wyoming and into Colorado.

  65. Marion, you’ve given me a Christmas present? How thoughtful!

  66. If this was already posted, I apologize. I think Rob lives somewhere down there and may have already seen this article about a wolf sighting in RMNP, and a possible elk kill by it.


  67. First of all, let me say I too agree that the feed grounds will have to go, the sad part is that will mean decreasing the number elk able to survive winters. I must admit I would hate to see starving elk standing around needing something to eat. It is going to be a very difficult thing. I would think increasing the licenses until the numbers are way lower is the best of bad choices.
    The other thing Cat, those elk with increased rates are on the Madison and have never seen Jackson Hole in Wyoming, much less feed grounds south of there. so no, that did NOT come from feed grounds in Wyoming, that leaves us back to wolves being the big change in their lives.
    I wish someone could give any example of how wolves have decreased disease in ungulates anywhere, not just speculation.

  68. Marion,
    The article you cite is referring to the serroprevalence of the disease and states that the infection rate is as low as 1 to 2%. That is VERY low. I have to side with the current thinking of Conservationists and Biologists who agree that wolves DO have a possitive effect on disease. Also the reason that all these diseases are on the rise is the unnatural practice of supplimental feeding of herds in feeding grounds. Conservationists, and Biologists that I have personally spoken with feel that the unnatural congregating of the herds is the cause of spreading of numerous diseases. The herds are artificially fed in feeding grounds to preserve grass ranges for cattle.

    Wolves of course are not the magic bullet in preventing these diseases entirely, but their culling of the herds DOES help. From what I understand there is going to be an enoumous increase of wildlife diseases coming down the pike due to the unnatural practice of supplemental feeding. We will need every weapon available to fight them including wolves.

  69. The fact is though Cat, it is all speculation, maybes, possiblies, we thinks etc right? Actually according to readings I have done on the research, the disease can live for up to a few weeks in and on the ground, and up to 100 days under very cold conditions, which is what it generally is when the babies are born. Plus they have pups in the den and carry the POC back to the den for the pups.
    This article from April of 2005 mentions an increase in the brucellosis rate of elk in the Madison area, that doesn’t sound to me like the wolves are eliminating disease.

  70. edit: That should have been “Biologist” Milton P. Skinner. (I’m too punchy with the submit button)

  71. Also in the book “Predatory Buriaucracy” on page 181, in 1921, Milton P skinner points out the possitive effect that wolves may have had on diseases.

  72. Marion,

    After speaking with informed conservationists such as Michael J. Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, Carl Brandauer from The University of Colorado and the President of the Dubois Wildlife Association on the matter the beneficial effect of wolves on disease control, I have been informed that no scientific studies have been completed on the issue of specific diseases because reintroduced wolves have not been around long enough to gather irrefutable scientific evidence.

    However, it is the considered informed speculation of all of these conservationist that wolves ave a possitive effect on ALL diseases of wildlife, especially in ungulates such as deer and elk. The reason is twofold. Number one: Wolves keep herds on the move. In recent years the unnatural practice of congregating herds in artificial feeding grounds has and will be the cause of increase of a variety of diseases. This practice also contributes to destruction of habitat, essentially reducing wild herds into domestic livestock.
    Number two: As we all know wolves cull the herds of sick and diseased animals. They are opportunist and will take any animal they happen upon but the chances of them taking individuals weakened by disease is higher.

    Also from Wkipedia, under brucellosis, transmission is noted that products of conception are particularly high in Brucella Abortia Bacterium. This contributes to the fact that cows are far more responsible for spreading the disease. Also, when I asked about the possibility of wolves spreading the disease by “dragging infected carcusses around” I was told that is highly unlikely because Brucella Abortus bcterium doesn’t live more that a few hours. Bovine cows and Elk cows are more apt to investigate recent birth or abortion areas and are more likely to contact the disease that way. It is current thinking that wolves may be a “Dead End Host” for brucellosis an possibly other diseases.

  73. Marion, you constantly tell us that wolves kill for fun and participate in surplus killing. Wouldnt the rocky mountain national park proposal be the largest surplus kill in history? Maybe some of the lazy rednecks from wyoming who bitch and moan about having to actually walk and find elk now that wolves move them can sign up for this program so they can experience the thrill of an easy kill.

  74. I am working on that research and will get it to you as soon as I can, but if you are saying that entire herds are killed to prevent that exact thing, then somebody feels the same way. I’m working so I have to do research in my spare time. Hold on, I’ll get it.

  75. Cat, can you provide any documentation that cows are spreading brucellosis? Entire infected herds are killed to prevent that exact thing.
    Brucellosis products of conception are exactly what wolves and other predators and scavengers are dragging around and spreading further and further. At this point we do not know what tissue from CWD is infectious, but if an animal dies, the tissue or something must be spread to far distances somehow, and the more tissue is dragged over further distances increases the chance of spreading it.

  76. I meant brucellosis not CWD, as far as cows being the ones that spread it.

  77. First let’s address the POC situation, wolves hauling those infected tissues from one place to another to feed pups, get away form other predators or whatever are more than likely one of the reasons that brucellosis is being spread around. Without a doubt if they are dragging or carrying them they lose pieces here, there, and everywhere, spreading the infection. that does not appear to be a great way to inhibit further infection.
    CWD is another thing, if predators are the answer, why isn’t the increasing lion population in the northern Colorado area beginning to inhibit it? Instead it continues to show up in more and more far flung places. Lovell, WY is a long way from Ft. Collins, CO. I don’t know if they look at the role that predatory birds play or not , or mosquitoes. As a matter of fact, we really do not know if any predator will kill CWD diseased animals, there is no documentation of it, and I read somewhere that they have never found a cat that tested + for the disease.
    The reason that hunters have had such a positive effect on wildlife restoration is the money they spend for licenses….millions of dollars that go directly to wildlife, not to lawsuits or PACs, jsut for wildlife habitat and restoration. That is where the state G&Fs get the money for wildlife.
    It is true that wildlife was over hunted until we had the luxury of meat for sale from ranchers and wildlife was not the main protein source anymore for most people. Of course there were eastern ivory hunters that came and killed elk for their teeth.
    You surely are not claiming that environmentalists are not manipulation wildlife/nature to meet their expectations are you? Of course they are.
    I notice you mention restoring elk to the Rockies, I think we restored a lot of other places, but I will research that.

  78. Elky,
    Cat,s right. It was laws passed by state and federal legislatures that started wildlife on the path to recovery, not hunters per se.

  79. Elkhunter,
    No it was not hunters that was the MAIN reason that bib game populations were once again restored to their present populations. It is my understanding that big game populations were restored to present levels by programs designed by the State and Federal Wildlife agencies. There may be some Johny Come Lately hunter clubs that contribute to the species that they wish to see prosper for their own selfish interest, but did they have any role in the actual restoration? No.
    In fact, it is because of hunting that the herds had to be restored.

    I’m not talking about 1000 years ago. I am talking about what has happened in the last 150 years. It has taken greedy humans less than 150 yrs. to destroy what Nature has taken thousands of years to build. BUT, we don’t have to continue down the same path of destruction. We have the capability to and the resources to return wild places. How does anyone think that they can defy Creation and the laws of Nature? Do you really think you “manage” Creation better that Nature? Isn’t this rebellion in the face of the Creator? Do you want to come down on the wrong side of that argument??? NOT ME!!!

  80. Cat,

    Was it not hunters who are the MAIN reason that big-game populations were once again restored to their present populations. You just answered your own question. Once again, this is not 1000 years ago. You cant compare then and now.

  81. Marion.
    I read an article just the other day, I can’t remember where but I think it may have been a link posted on Ralphs blog, (I will have to go back through the comments and see if I can find it.) But it stated that one of the ways that wolves help eliminate the threat of CWD (aside from the obvious of culling the sick) is that they consume the afterbirth materials left by the cows. This is one of the biggest causes for the spread of the disease as it is only spread by the cows. Other predaters do the same thing but so do wolves. You’ll have to give me some tome to get that information. However it should be obvious that the wolf greatly contributes to the health of the herd by removing the sick and diseased animals, something that hunters will not do. In fact in some of the hunting material that I have seen, hunters are advised NOT to take any animals that appear sick or weak. I’m sure there are numerous other wildlife diseases that wolves have a possitive impact on.

  82. Elkhunter,
    I know we have discussed this matter before on this blog. But for clarification, please explain to me how all the species of ungulates managed to survive for thousands of years with the presence of wolves and the other predators as well. Is it not true that all of the prey species were present and co-esixted perfectly well when Europeans first invaded the west? Is it not true that the only time that game populations were threatened was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when they were nearly hunted to extinction, requiring the government to step in and introduce (or re-introduce in some cases) elk to the Mountain West.? Why do you think that hunters would do a better job this time in maintaining proper numbers? Do you really think even after all the scientific evidence to the contrary, that Man has a better plan than Nature? Do you not understand the connectiveness in the design of Creation?

  83. Jeff E,
    They offer 4 different seasons in every unit. For deer and for elk, regardless of populations. Alot of units have those laters seasons as draw areas because they are managing for an older age class of animals and can spread out the pressure over 2 months versus having everyone hunt all at the same time.
    I agree with you Jeff that CO does have an elk population problem, but I dont think that bringing in wolves is going to solve the problem. Like I have stated many times, and Ralph is very adamant about it, that wolves dont significantly lower elk populations. Even though Cat is sold 100 percent that they will solve everything. They are trying to control populations with more tags etc. But in some areas they need drastic reductions. UT controls our populations very well. We have been right at objective for about 5 years now in almost all units.
    As for all the elk killed in the park, I think they are going to donate them to local charities and some Indian Reservations. It would be hard to put wolves in there and expect them to kill those elk, they would migrate and move to other areas etc. You can control hunters, no control over wolves though.

  84. You guys may have to twist facts to try to make the case for calling me a liar, but I really think you need to notify the ADN that you have decided they are in error to refer to the wolf killings as being in Anchorage. By the way they went to far as to mention dogs being killed in yards some winters there, you might straighten them out on that too.
    Now as to the original point of this article, wanting wolves in RMNP, hopefully common sense will prevail since the wolves cannot be controlled, no matter what damage they cause, at least not very easily. Remember you are going to be pulling them right into the towns on the borders of RMNP. Are any of you willing to put up a million dollar bond guaranteeing that NO children will be attacked by wolves on the way to and from school?
    As for disease, lets play that “prove it game” with that, please show us ANY proof that ANY disease has been controlled by wolves. Certainly at least one elk in the GYE was found to be infected with a known wolf disease, and all of the brucellosis outbreaks in cattle have occured since the wolves were brought in.
    What number of elk do you consider to be normal in Yellowstone? The numbers are rapidly approaching historic lows, will that still be too many? Ed Bangs mentioned the range in Yellowstone looking bad, which makes me think we are going to see another plunge in the elk count, and certainly feeding 150+ wolves couldn’t be making a dent on them. That is only taking 300/month out of the 6000 or so left.
    By the way the elk photos I took in Sept and Oct show the grass still up to the elk’s bellies.

  85. Elky,
    with Colorado desperately trying to lower the elk population, actually having four different rifle seasons and in some areas multiple limits, Josh, why would the residents flock to RMNP to shoot the elk there. And what will the state do with all the animals that the “sharpshooters” slaughter?

  86. Marion,
    Look at Google maps for Anchorage. Zoom way in so you can notice that Elmendorf AB is actually closer to the city limits than Richardson. Then look again at the map in the newspaper. what do you notice? (hint: location of red dot on Richardson and the one on Elmendorf.) In any case neither military base is “inside the city”

  87. Marion,
    Being within a municipality does not necessarily mean that it is within City Limits. It just means that it is governed by it’s own incorporated government. Jacksonville Florida is one of the largest municipalities in the world interms of land mass.. Yet, If you go 10 miles from downtown you are in swamp and pine forest for a hundreds of miles.

  88. Ooops, this:

    Fort Richardson occupies a 25,000 acre area located within the municipality of Anchorage in south-central Alaska. The installation is bounded by the city of Anchorage and Elmendorf Air Force Base to the west and by Eagle Bay and the Knik Arm of Cook Inlet to the north. Fort Richardson’s southern and eastern boundaries consist of undeveloped lands and Chugach State Park.

  89. Jeff, read this then continue to insist that I am “lying”, I doubt you are big enough to offer an apology.

  90. Rob,
    Are you referring to the studies on the Northern Herd. Populations down from 19,000 to 5,000. And you are wondering why there are more aspens and willows!! LOL I dont think I need to do the math for you Rob. If you remove 14,000 elk from an area, then there might be more aspens/willows. And I am not anti-predator, and I am pro-managment of ALL animals, including predators. And sound management, not mass removal of wolves. I just know once they get here, the drama begins. Just look at ID.

  91. Elkhunter,
    The problem is not solved. All that hunters will manage to do is remove a number of elk, probably the best ones of the bunch. That will have no effect on diseases. Wolves will primarily (not in every case) take the sick and diseased ones. The ones that hunters don’t want. I’m not saying that we should go back to 1000 yrs ago. We didn’t understand the importance of Natures systems of balance at that time. We do now. The fact is that WE (hunters with guns) cannot do as good a job of keeping the balance in all aspects of the environment as Nature can. We have learned this. We should practice good science which has determined that Nature has a better plan.

  92. Elkhunter, seriously. There’s a growing body of peer reviewed, published science showing that the wolves in Yellowstone have had a dramatic positive impact on the aspen and willow, simply because they are keeping the elk moving–in a way human hunters never could. Don’t believe me? Just visit the Aspen Project website.

    If you can show me equally compelling scientific evidence that hunters are the answer, then bring it on.

  93. Dang, Elkhunter! Why aren’t you head wildlife manager for the planet? It’s just all so simple, isn’t it. We don’t need predators, we just need more humans with guns! Yeeee haw!

  94. Rob,
    The habitat can support 1600-2000 elk. The current population is 3000. So you kill 1000 elk, then habitat can support that amount of elk. Plus they will learn to fear humans, and will definetly be on the move constantly if you have a hunt to control populations every year. Its about population control. Once again I dont buy into the wolf as a fix all for EVERYTHING.

  95. Cat,
    Calf Recruitment in YNP from 2000-2005 was 12-14 calves per 100 cows. That is considered unhealthy. And exactly what is a healthy population of wolves? Cat they would bu doing a cull, not a hunt, they would just shoot whatever elk they see, that would lower the population like they want, and make herds healthier. Cat I dont buy into this magical creature that can do anything and accomplish everything. They are a simple animal. Humans have come in and cut off migration routes, limited winter range, changed the way things are done. This is not 1000 years ago when Humans played no part in the ecosystem. You cannot expect what worked 1000 years ago to work today. Its just common sense. We control elk/deer/moose/cougar/bear populations, but this magical creature the wolf is able to populate at will? Remember mother nature works in EXTREMES. Peaks and Valleys that happen over decades, not 1-2 years. Yes predator populations are controlled through prey populations, predators kill all the prey, prey populations go down, predator populations go down, prey populations go up. You are obviously familiar with the cycle. That happens over LONG periods of time without human intervention. So do you want to eliminate all human interference? You wanted to stop the bark beetle? Why not allow humans to kill 1000 elk very quickly. Problem solved, they want 1600-2000 elk in the park, issue tags to shoot enough elk to maintain that population. Its pretty simple.

  96. Elkhunter, et al: The argument for restoring wolves is not about reducing the number of elk, it’s about changing the behavior of the elk by restoring the process of coursing predation. The elk need to become vigilant again; since wolves were eradicated nearly 60 years ago, the large ungulates have had no reason to move around until everything within their reach is browsed to the nub.

    In sum, it’s about the process.

  97. Elkhunter,
    I think that Ralph is adamant that wolves do not lower wlk population beyond a healthy level. I would agree with that. Wolves, as do all predators have a bult in auto adjust population control. When the number of prey decreases so do the number of wolves. Another one of nature’s amazingly efficient systems.

    Hopefully, in CO, the objective will not be simply to reduce the NUMBER of elk, but also insure the health and quality of the herds. This simply cannot be done by hunters who are likely to take the most healthy animals and leave the poorer ones to reproduce. Wolves, for the most part, will cull and remove the diseased ones leaving the healthy to reproduce. Funny how Nature works, Creation has it’s own built in barrometers and auto adjust systems which work exceptionally well without man’s interference. Man’s presence does not necessarily have to be an interference. We do have the ability to contribute to our environment. We are not all destroyers.

  98. Cat,
    So they are smart enough to know when to eat and not to eat. The last time I checked they were predators. And predators usually act on instinct. Do the math Cat, in YNP average wolf kills 2 prey animals per month per wolf. Average wolf pack is 6-10 wolves I believe. And they want to cull over 1/3 of the elk. So over 1,000 elk I believe, and they probably want it done pretty fast. How many packs can the park sustain? YNP holds about 150 wolves. Is Este’s park smaller? Bigger? So according to the study, YNP wolves kill about 75 elk a month on average. So I am guessing you would need ALOT of wolves do thin that herd. Plus YNP has TONS of black bear and Grizz which are very hard on elk. Which I am sure Estes park does not have Grizz. And talk to your friend Ralph, he is very adamant that wolves DO NOT lower elk populations. They should just close the park for a week, let some hunters in, it would be over quickly and effeciently. Plus save everyone alot of money.

    One quick thing, wolves are not needed to control elk populations, UT, NM,NV and AZ have been managing their elk populations just fine without wolves for a very long time!!! In fact in UT we are under objective in certain areas.

  99. Elkhunter,

    So now YOU are confused? There is no question that wolves effect the number of elk in an area where there are far too many of them. No one refutes that. The question in Idaho I believe is; what is the appropriate number of wolves to keep the elk population in acceptable numbers. If there are too many wolves, of course some of them should be removed. (not necessarily destroyed). But I don’t think anyone has been able to determine the actual number of wolves or what would be the proper number for balance. It is a question of balance. Wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone for the purpose of reducing elk numbers. And wolves are VERY smart. Nature designed them that way.

  100. Marion,
    Both of the attacks mentioned in the article took place in isolated areas NEAR Anchorage not IN Anchorage. Even the picture shows the wolf in an obviously forested area. As has been discussed numerous times on this blog. You must take precautions when you live in areas that are habitat for wild animals. I live in one such area and I take great caution with my pets.

    As for a positive solution for the problem, wolves are the only appropriate solution. If you wish to continue in the Devil’s work of destroying God’s creation, do so in Wyoming. The vast majority of Colorado residents feel that this is God’s country and should be home to his creatures.

  101. I thought everyones stance on wolves is that they DO NOT affect elk populations. Thats what the big issue with wolves in ID is, that even with wolves populations are still very high, they kill animals that would of died anyways etc. And that the low calf recruitment in YNP is not the wolves fault, but hunters/drought. So I am very confused. No in this situation people want wolves brought in to kill all the elk, but in ID the wolves up there dont lower populations. You guys must have some pretty smart wolves to know what areas they can lower populations and what areas they can’t.

  102. Marion,
    READ the headline, THEN look at the map.

  103. Jeff, you mihgt want to notify the ADN newpaper that they have it wrong….you say so.


  104. Marion, there was not attacks “inside the city of Anchorage.” Will you ever stop lying?

  105. What suggestion for a positive solution are you offering instead? Hunting? Wolves? Did you see the recent article from Anchorage about dogs being attacked inside of the city while being walked by their owners? Imagine Estes and Gramby.

  106. Rob,
    I am fully in support of Sinapu and Forest Guardian’s intent to sue the Park Service over the elk slaughter plan. What other litigation is currently in the works? Is there any way to get information about these actions? Is there an option for public comment? Please post any information you have on this matter as I am greatly interested in what unfolds regarding the Park and it’s potential for wolf reintroduction.