Molloy Strikes Again

District Court Judge Donald Molloy has ordered parties to the gray wolf delisting/relisting lawsuit [here] to show cause why the case should not be dismissed due to the absence of a population meeting the statutory requirements for 10(j) status.

Judge’s ruling could threaten state’s ability to kill wolves

Lewiston Tribune, January 28, 2024 [here]

A federal judge in Montana is asking parties to a lawsuit over gray wolves if the animals should lose their experimental, nonessential designation and revert to a fully endangered or threatened designation.

Such a move could torpedo Idaho’s request to kill wolves in the Lolo Zone.

The order, issued this afternoon by District Court Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula, Mont., stems from a lawsuit filed in 2008 by environmental groups over new rules issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service making it easier for states to kill wolves for the purpose of protecting deer, elk and moose herds. States like Idaho can petition the federal wildlife agency for permission to kill wolves if they are found to be harming wild ungulate herds. The petitions are allowed under the designation of wolves in Idaho and parts of Montana as an experimental nonessential population.

Wolves were reintroduced to the Northern Rockies in 1995 and 1996 under that designation, known as 10(j). To qualify as an experimental population, the wolves must be “wholly separate geographically from nonexperimental populations of the same species.”

Molloy said that was the case at the time of reintroduction. However, he wrote the federal government documented in another lawsuit that wolves in the Northern Rockies are now breeding with wolves from Canada and a portion of Montana where they are not designated as an experimental population.

Molloy issued an eight-page order to show cause asking parties to the case to file briefs showing why the case “should not be dismissed as moot due to the absence of a population meeting the statutory requirements for 10(j) status.” … [more]

I disagree with the interpretation of the Lewiston Tribune. Elimination of the 10(j) status will not necessarily do away with wolf hunts. It could have just the opposite effect. Let me explain.

Recall that in 2008 Molloy ordered wolves relisted because, in his view, there was insufficient evidence that RM wolves were genetically connected [here]. He was wrong in his science. Wolves can travel thousands of miles and breed like rabbits when they get there. There was and is ample evidence of genetic connectivity.

Last year Molloy admitted his error, sort of [here, here]. The machinations are too many to list, but wolves have been delisted and relisted like yo-yos since 2002. Suffice it to say that last August Molloy relisted wolves for the third or fourth time on the grounds that “the Endangered Species Act does not allow the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to list only part of a ’species’ as endangered, or to protect a listed distinct population segment only in part…”.

The implication was that Molloy finally recognized that all Rocky Mountain wolves were indeed genetically connected and one population. The USFWS could not, Molloy ruled, delist woves in Idaho and Montana but not in Wyoming. They couldn’t carve off a “distinct population segment” based on state lines.

His ruling hinged on the way the USFWS subdivided the wolf population into DPS’s — illogical, unscientific, and political chicanery that the USFWS has indulged in with many species.

Molloy relisted the wolves because the USFWS was still claiming that some portion of their population was endangered. The USFWS didn’t like Wyoming’s wolf management plan, but they approved Idaho’s and Montana’s. The USFWS delisted wolves in the latter two states, declaring those wolves to be 10(j) experimental, nonessential populations, but retained full endangered status for Wyoming wolves.

No can do, said Molloy.

If Rocky Mountain wolves are genetically connected, then there are no distinct populations that are “wholly separate geographically”. Wolves in Wyoming, Oregon, Montana, and elsewhere are all one population. Either that population is endangered in its entirety, or it isn’t, in its entirety.

Last week Molloy ordered the parties to brief him on all that. When he gets their briefs, he will rule yet again.

Molloy could rule that Rocky Mountain wolves are endangered throughout their range, or that they are not endangered throughout their range. We don’t know how he will rule.

But the scientific evidence is strong that wolves are not endangered, and are in fact breeding like rabbits and expanding their population as much as 25% per year. They have spread out from the original infection center in Yellowstone NP (where Canadian gray wolves were illegally dumped by the USFWS in 1995) across five states.

The offspring of those wolves have decimated elk, deer, and moose populations, killed livestock and pets, and threatened people hundreds and even thousands of miles away from Yellowstone.

If Molloy applies the best available science, then he must rule that Rocky Mountain wolves are not endangered. Whether he will or not remains to be seen.

It is easy to point the finger at Molloy. He has relisted wolves again and again. The direct result has been the tragic destruction of game herds, livestock depredation, etc. But the finger should also be pointed at the USFWS, which engendered this crisis through illegal actions during the Clinton Administration. The USFWS is a political hornets nest, and their science has been (and still is) atrociously bad. And if we are placing blame, it all rests on Congress for creating a horrible law (the ESA) and failing to repeal or revise it for nearly 40 years.

26 Jan 2011, 8:55pm
Endangered Specious Wolves
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Bill Introduced in U.S. House to Delist the Gray Wolf

by Ryan Benson, Big Game Forever [here]

The House announced the introduction of new national wolf delisting legislation today. The bill is attached and included below. The original cosponsors of the legislation this year are: Jim Matheson (D-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Mike Ross (D-AR), Rob Bishop (R-UT), Leonard Boswell (D-IA), Dan Boren (D-OK), Paul Broun (R-GA), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), John Kline (R-MN), Raul Labrador (R-ID), Mike Simpson (R-ID), Greg Walden (R-OR) and Don Young (R-AK). We have commitments from several other co-sponsors that appear to not be listed primarily due to timing issues. Thank you to each of these 15 cosponsors from 12 states for their willingness to work on a bipartisan basis.

Thanks to everyone who has been working so hard to make return of wolf populations to state wildlife managers a reality. The list of wildlife groups who have officially endorsed national wolf delisting continues to grow. I would encourage all of us to reach out personally to these Congressman and thank them for getting in the fight for responsible wildlife management.

You will notice that the language is a bit different from 2010. The effect is largely the same as both HR 6028 and S.3919. We anticipate that the Senate will introduce a similar bill early next week. We don’t have a final list of cosponsors, but here are the Senate cosponsors from last year. Risch (Idaho), Crapo (Idaho), Barrasso (Wyoming), Enzi (Wyoming), Hatch (Utah), McCain (Arizona). We expect Lee (Utah) will join the bill as well. We are also in conversations with a number of other potential cosponsors but have not seen any final lists.

We have seen the politics of divisiveness used to pit sportsmen against sportsmen, multiple use group against multiple use group, state against state, and party against party in the past. I strongly urge us all to recognize that we must avoid politics, stick together and avoid all efforts from wolf delisting opponents to divide and conquer.

Administrative attempts to delist have been and will continue to be blocked due to numerous lawsuits to use federal laws to block any wolf management. Returning balance to our ecosystems and our wildlife populations simply cannot wait any longer. We strongly feel that Congressional wolf delisting, pursuant to agreements with the Federal Government and wolf advocates, is the right course to protect our rights to manage wildlife responsibly.

Working together as a nation of united sportsmen to support our friends in Congress we can be successful in this important endeavor.

*****

112TH CONGRESS
1ST SESSION H. R. ____
To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide that Act shall not apply to the gray wolf (canis lupus).

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, Mr. REHBERG introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on _____________

A BILL
To amend the Endangered Species Act of 1973 to provide that Act shall not apply to the gray wolf (canis lupus).

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. EXEMPTION OF GRAY WOLF FROM ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT OF 1973.

Section 4 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 6 U.S.C. 1533) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“(j) EXEMPTION OF GRAY WOLF.—This Act shall not apply to the gray wolf (canis lupus).”

Foreign and Domestic Train Wreck in the Making - More of the ESA

by Karen Budd-Falen, Karen Budd-Falen Law Offices LLC, Cheyenne WY [here]

See also: Western Legacy Alliance [here]

As the New Year opens, the use and abuse of the Endangered Species Act (“ESA”) continues to provide a significant hardship to private property, private rights, and land use both within this country and even in countries of which most people have probably never heard. Despite President Obama’s proclamation that “America will play a more restrained role on the international stage,” the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (“FWS”) does not seem to be restraining from listing species as threatened or endangered, despite the fact that many species on the American list have NEVER traveled to American soil. In fact, by January 3, 2011, the FWS had listed 568 foreign species on the American threatened or endangered species list. These species are from places like China, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Palau, and of course Canada and Mexico. The latest additions were seven birds from Brazil on December 28, 2010.

There are a lot of alleged reasons given that the U.S. should be spending American tax dollars to research, study and list foreign species under the ESA. One of the biggest reasons, so they say, is so that America can stop foreign import of endangered and threatened species. I thought that was fair until I did some simple research online and found out that you can buy some of these listed threatened and endangered species on E-bay. Does any one want to buy a Goliath Frog, from West Africa? It was going for $150.00 on E-bay on January 20, 2011, despite the fact it was listed on the American ESA list in 1994.

The more shocking research however is that once a foreign species is listed on the U.S. threatened or endangered species list, the ESA gives the American government the authority to buy “land or water or interests therein” in foreign countries. In other words, the ESA gives the U.S. government authority, with the consent of the foreign government, to use foreign currency to buy foreign land in the name of the United States. With the current budget and deficit drowning American workers, why is the U.S. government even thinking of buying foreign land and water? And once we do buy it, who manages it and what does that cost the American taxpayer?

If America is playing a more restrained role internationally, the FWS does not seem to agree. In relation to the December 28, 2023 foreign species ESA listing, the FWS press release states:

All seven species face immediate and significant threats primarily from the threatened destruction and modification of their habitats from conversion of agricultural fields (e.g., soybeans, sugarcane, and corn), plantations (e.g., eucalyptus, pine, coffee, cocoa, rubber, and bananas), livestock pastures, centers of human habitation, and industrial developments (e.g., charcoal production, steel plants, and hydropower reservoirs).

Although there is limited information on the specific nature of potential impacts from climate change to the species included in this final rule, we [FWS] are concerned about projected climate change, particularly the effect of rising temperatures in combination with the potential loss of genetic diversity, and population isolation; and cumulative effects including El Niño events. Furthermore, we have determined that the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms is a contributory risk factor that endangers each of these species’ continued existence.

So America is dictating what property in foreign countries can be used for and American businesses have to wait for the completion of ESA section 7 consultation based on “climate change” for birds in Brazil?

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25 Jan 2011, 1:30pm
Fire Wolves
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Wolf Forum at Upcoming SRM Meet

The Society for Range Management will host its 64th Annual Meeting in Billings, MT February 6-10, 2011 [here].

Of particular interest is the Wolves on the Landscape session on Thursday, Feb 10th. Lectures include:

8:00 am Predicting Wolf (Canis lupus)- Cattle (Bos taurus) Encounters and Consequential Effects on Cattle Resource Selection Patterns by Patrick Clark1, D. Joseph Chigbrow2, Kelly Crane2, John Williams3, Larry Larson4, Douglas Johnson5; 1USDA Agricultural Research Service, Boise, ID, United States, 2University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, United States, 3Oregon State University, Enterprise, OR, United States, 4Oregon State University, La Grande, OR, United States, 5Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, United States

8:30 am Wolf Diets and Depredation Patterns in Southwestern Alberta by Andrea Morehouse; University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

9:00 am Wolf Reintroduction: A Montana Perspective by Jaala Wickman; Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, Missoula, Montana, United States

9:30 am Alberta’s Wolf Report: Quantifying the Impacts by Callum Sears; Flying E Ranche, Stavely, Alberta, Canada

10:30 am Ranch-Level Economic Impacts of Predation in a Range Livestock System by Benjamin S. Rashford, Thomas Foulke, David T. Taylor; Department of Agriculture & Applied Economics, University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyoming, United States

11:00 am Wolf Damage Management in Minnesota by John Hart; USDA-APHIS-Wildlife Services, Grand Rapids, Minnesota, United States

11:30 am Crossings, Corridors and Trophic Cascades: Wolves and Woody Vegetation in Banff National Park by Clifford A. White; Scientist Emeritus, Parks Canada, Banff, Alberta, Canada

1:00 pm Wolf Management in Alberta, Canada by Mark Boyce; University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

1:30 pm The Rise and Fall of Western USA’s Great Elk Herds by David Allen; Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Montana, USA

2:00 pm Wolves & The Natural Law by Jim Beer, Eagan, Minnesota, USA

2:30 pm Wolf Recovery: An Independent Analysis by Charles E. Kay; Utah State University, Logan, Utah, United States

3:00-4:00 pm Panel Discussion, Chaired by Kevin France, Sustainable Resource Development, Alberta Govt, Lethbridge, Alberta

Also of interest to students of anthropogenic fire are two lectures in The Role of Fire in Sustainable Rangeland Ecosystems session:

8:20 am “Burn early, burn often” - Contrasting Aboriginal Versus Modern North American Fire Management Regimes by Cliff White; Parks Canada, Banff, Alberta, Canada

8:40 am Aboriginal Burning and Keystone Predation: A New Paradigm for Range Management by Charles Kay; Utah State University, Logan, UT, USA

Who Are the Real Predators?

Note: The following is excerpted from “It’s Time for Elected Officials to Take the Blinders Off and Admit Their State F&G’s Real Agenda”, the lead article in The Outdoorsman, Bulletin Number 41, Sept-Dec 2010. The entire issue is [here]. Back issues are available at Idaho For Wildlife [here].

By George Dovel

States’ F&G Lobbyist, IAFWA, Abandons Hunters

State F&G Directors in both Wyoming and Idaho insisted “the public” wanted them to provide opportunities to enjoy watching species that were not harvested by hunters and fishermen – but that was not the truth. The truth is, in 1990 the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (IAFWA) in Washington, D.C. hired bird watcher Naomi Edelson to run nongame programs in the 50 States and changed its #1 priority from providing wild game and fish for hunters and fishermen to harvest, to promoting non-consumptive wildlife recreation.

Twenty or even 10 years ago, anyone who dared to tell the truth about this was branded a “conspiracy theorist” or an “alarmist” by our state wildlife managers. Nearly two years ago, after I had carefully documented the step-by-step process in several Outdoorsman issues, Idaho F&G Commissioner Tony McDermott admitted they did what AFWA (formerly IAFWA) told them to but said even if my claims were true I couldn’t do anything about it.

My Challenge to Elected Officials

If you are one of several hundred elected officials in several states who receive this publication, you have internet access. I challenge you to take five minutes and “get it straight from the horse’s mouth” [here]:

The paper titled, “Finding Our Wings: The Payoff of a Decade of Determination” was written by Edelson and presented to a national convention of bird watchers in 2003. It is also Forest Service General Technical Report PSW-GTR-191 dated 2005, and spells out how the IAFWA priority was changed and how millions of dollars have been diverted by Congress from perpetuating game and fish harvests to promoting the nongame agenda beginning in 2001 with what is called “State Wildlife Grants”. …

The next step in the state F&G Agencies’ alien agenda, dictated by the IAFWA and the powerful Nature Conservancy (TNC), was to use sportsmen’s license money to help “Teaming With Wildlife” lobby for passage of CARA (the Conservation and Reinvestment Act). Passage of this Act would have provided a billion dollars from offshore oil drilling fees to support the non-consumptive agenda, and would have given wildlife managers authority to implement the radical UN Convention on Biodiversity (”Wildlands”) that was never ratified by Congress.

It would also have bypassed the legislative and judicial branches of both our state and federal governments and allowed both state and federal wildlife bureaucrats to condemn and acquire $450 million worth of private property each every year. With its massive federal “pork” money for every state, the 2000 version of CARA easily passed the House and was approved by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources 13-7.

But thanks to private property rights advocates and Western senators who continued to oppose CARA, it was never sent to the floor for a vote by the full Senate. President Clinton strongly supported the UN Wildlands Agenda, so the Teaming With Wildlife (TWW) activists were desperate to get something passed implementing that agenda while Clinton was still in office.

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15 Jan 2011, 1:03pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Homo sapiens Wolves
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Which Is The Greater Criminal?

by Jim Beers

Wolves Attack Cattle, Kill Sheep In Central Montana

Flathead Beacon, 01-13-11 [here]

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) - State and federal authorities have confirmed that gray wolves recently attacked and injured two calves on a Fergus County ranch while wolves killed more than two dozen sheep on two ranches south of Ulm.

USDA Wildlife Services state director John Steuber tells the Great Falls Tribune that the attack on the cattle was the first confirmed instance of wolf attacking livestock in Fergus County. Wildlife Services officials say ranch personnel witnessed the Dec. 31 attack.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks asked Wildlife Services to capture and radio collar one of the wolves, but the wolves haven’t been seen recently.

Wildlife Services is also investigating the killing of 27 sheep near Ulm.

Biologist Craig Glazier says two wolves were responsible. On Dec. 21, Wildlife Services shot a 3-year-old male wolf near one of the kill sites.

11 hunters convicted of illegally taking elk in Montana

Billings Gazette, January 4, 2024 [here]

GLASGOW, Mont. - A multi-year investigation into the illegal killing of elk in southern Phillips County, Mont., has resulted in criminal convictions for

11 hunters, including seven South Dakota residents.

A total of $37,300 in fines and restitution was collected in the case, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Criminal Investigator Lennie Buhmann.

Eight of the 11 defendants also lost a total 22 years of hunting, fishing and trapping privileges in the 36 states involved in the Interstate Wildlife Violators Compact. …

In all, 11 unlawfully killed bull elk were recovered. Two of the bulls were trophy class, which resulted in $8,000 in restitution being charged for each. Another animal, a cow elk, was also unlawfully killed but was not recovered. …

FERGUS COUNTY, Montana (where the livestock is starting to be killed by wolves spreading from western Montana) is just west of Phillips County, Montana where some South Dakotans unlawfully took a dozen elk recently.

Three months ago I was watching some elk in southern Phillips County on one of the two National Wildlife Refuges that comprise the ENTIRE southern boundary of that county along the Missouri River. The hills above me (on the Refuge) were alive with hunters while the Bottoms where I was is a Closed Area where watching elk bulls assemble “harems” makes for a pleasant roadside evening with a few others with binoculars, cameras, and some enjoyable conversation.

When I told one local guy that soon the wolves would reach this area and this would become but a dim memory, he laughed and said the “experts” said wolves wouldn’t come this far into central Montana and beside they would only take a “few” of the elk. I told them they would be here sooner than he thought and that they were probably already here, he laughed again.

I tried to point out that bugling elk and concentrations of 100’s of elk would attract wolves like a dinner bell he shook his head and smirked. When I said that first the elk would try to go back into the woodlands but soon enough would be fewer and fewer in number as they began keeping more quiet and breeding opportunistically and clandestinely like deer so as to be safe, he just smiled and walked away.

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15 Jan 2011, 12:36pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Endangered Specious Wolves
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Yellowstone Is Dead

Scott Rockholm and the folks at Save Western Wildlife [here] have been filming a full-length documentary about wolves in the Northern Rocky Mountains. The final movie is not complete, but two samples have been placed on YouTube.

The first is a 13-minute short entitled “Yellowstone Is Dead” [here]. The second is a 2-minute trailer [here].

These videos are stunning and revealing. Please watch them and tell your friends to watch them. And if so inclined, you can send Scott and SWW a donation [here] to help them continue with this important work.

15 Jan 2011, 12:31pm
Wildlife Agencies Wolves
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Counting Elk And Distorting/Withholding Information

by Tom Remington, Black Bear Blog, January 13, 2024 [here]

It absolutely blows my mind that any half-brained, uneducated person couldn’t look at the elk situation in Northern Yellowstone and easily determine that one thing and one thing only is the major attribute in a disappearing elk herd – wolves. What is so difficult? On the same year that wolves were dumped into Yellowstone, there was an estimated 19,000 elk. Today? Around 4,500.

Not much has changed around the area where the Northern Yellowstone elk herd hangs out. There’s more bears that munch on elk and there is little debate about that fact. There’s been some severe winters, but haven’t there always been? There’s been some dry summers, but haven’t there always been? There’s a bunch of coyotes, but haven’t there always been? There’s a bunch of wolves, but haven’t there always been? Oh, wait back up. No, there hasn’t always been a bunch of wolves.

Wolves are a pet project of some and those some will say and do most anything to enable the further destruction of wildlife systems in order to protect wolves. Sadly, it’s very much like the parent who lies and distorts facts in order to protect and cover for their drug-addicted children.

Unfortunately, the citizens of the Greater Yellowstone Area were treated to a media event that included the announcement that elk numbers in the northern zone continue to shrink. Matthew Brown, writing for the Associated Press, informed his readers [here] that the “Famous Yellowstone elk herd suffer[ed] decline.” That decline, he writes, was attributed “mainly to predators and hunters.”

Numbers of elk are not an indication of the health of a herd or what can be expected of that herd into the future. Doug Smith, a Yellowstone Park Service biologist, told Brown that, “a smaller herd is healthier in some ways because it gives the animals room to thrive.”

In addition, according to Brown’s reporting, Smith said, “there was no reason to suspect a continued decline”.

Neither one of those statements can stand on its own merits as being factual. Readers have no way of knowing if they are reading incomplete information, meaning the reporter failed to present pertinent facts offered by Doug Smith or whether Smith withheld facts to begin with. Elk studies 101.2.1 tells anyone who opened the text book, that the canary in the coal mine for elk health is the age structure of a herd.

Consider, if you will, an article found in the Bozeman Chronicle [here], dated December 16, 2005, when discussion surrounded the shrinking size of the Northern Yellowstone Elk herd. In this article, Tom Lemke, a biologist with the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department was sharing information about not only the shrinking size of the herd but the age structure as well.

The northern Yellowstone National Park elk herd isn’t just getting smaller, it’s getting a lot older, too.

“The northern herd is fast becoming a geriatric elk population,” said Tom Lemke, a biologist here for the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The average age of elk harvested during last winter’s late hunt at Gardiner hit a record high: 8.2 years for cows and 9.1 years for bulls.

Ten years ago, the average was 6.2 years and 5.9 years, respectively.

Statewide, the average elk is 4 or 5 years old.

Lemke considered at that time the age structure, which showed half of the elk herd to be over the age of 9 years. This advancement of age within the herd, Lemke said, is due to an elk calf recruitment ratio of between 12 and 14 per 100 cows. That’s so low that it makes it very difficult to recover shrinking elk herds. …

Even with proof from biologist Lemke, yanking teeth out of harvested elk for nine years, that the age structure of elk in Yellowstone was skewed, Doug Smith laid claim that the reduction of elk numbers was due to climate and harvest numbers. …

After 2005, hunter harvest was substantially reduced, enough so that Lemke said results would show up in the future.

If hunting was a major factor in the herd’s size, there should be changes coming in the age structure and size of the herd, Lemke said.

As I’ve already pointed out, herd size has continued to shrink and there is little or nothing to indicate the age structure has improved.

The problems being presented here are multiple. The media are pumping the public full of information which is neither factual nor complete. Whether this is due to poor reporting or intentional misleading, that’s for someone else to investigate. I have my theories. What is unfortunate is that the taxpayers are being told that it is good that the elk herd in Yellowstone has shrunk 70%, that the herd is healthier at that size and that there is no reason to believe the herd will shrink any further. How much longer do we wait? … [more]

12 Jan 2011, 1:14pm
Wildlife Agencies Wolves
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Feel-good wolf resolution will fix nothing

by Toby Bridges, LOBO WATCH News Release, January 12, 2024 [here]

On the surface, the current wolf legislation [here] in the Montana state legislature, House Joint Resolution No. 1, may seem to be a step in the right direction. I thought so at first, until I actually took time to read it several times and studied how it could affect other efforts to gain wolf control in this state.

Directly, passage of this legislation will accomplish absolutely nothing toward stopping the damage wolves are causing to wildlife and livestock production. Indirectly, if passed it could pull the rug from beneath other legislation that would result in wolf management and wolf control being returned to EVERY state.

I am certainly not alone in this thinking. Here are a couple of comments I received just this morning in regards to HJ1.

Robert Fanning, founder of the Friends of the Northern Yellowstone Elk Herd in Pray, Montana, comments, “Band Aid feel-good fixes will no longer be tolerated.”

David Allen, CEO and president of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, says,

I don’t see where this resolution really does much of anything but urge delisting in Montana… It is going to take much more than this to get delisting done. It also doesn’t do any damage that I can see in the ‘Therefore, Be It Resolved’ section… Montana will simply not get delisting for this state alone… No one will support such a bill if it were to come up in Congress, which it won’t. We are not going to accept a delisting on any such terms and neither will our coalition partners.

Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, likens HJ1 to the Baucus approach to wolf control in this state. He says:

The Baucus fix gives extra authority to the Secretary of the Interior to continue to mess with the wolf problem, hopefully to fine tune the administrative end of the process. It does NOT prevent the endless lawsuits before cherry-picked federal judges by wolf advocates. My take on this strategy is, Lucy will never, NEVER hold the football for Charlie Brown. It just will not happen. In that light, depending on existing institutions and processes to put Montana in control of wolves and save huntable game herds simply won’t generate success. The best case scenario is that Montana will be required to manage wolves the same way the feds would manage if wolves remained on the federal endangered list. The very best. The Rehberg fix would simply exempt wolves from the ESA. Done. This is the right fix, for anyone willing to rely on a congressional fix.

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4 Jan 2011, 4:40pm
Endangered Specious Homo sapiens
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Which Organizations Should U.S. Sportsmen Support?

by Toby Bridges, LOBO WATCH News Release, January 3, 2024 [here]

If there’s one thing that outdoors men and outdoors women have learned from being forced to live with wolves, it’s that the citizens of the United States sure cannot put much trust in what advocacy groups or organizations call themselves these days. Most who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle have grown up with organizations like the National Rifle Association, Ducks Unlimited, and the National Wild Turkey Federation - names that clearly say what these organizations are pretty much all about. These and a number of other sportsman-based organizations have been there to represent sportsmen issues, threats against hunting and fishing, or the rights of U.S. firearm owners. Quite a few are “roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty” conservation organizations which have done much to preserve and expand wildlife and fisheries habitat in this country.

Unfortunately, there are also dozens of organizations in existence today which vehemently oppose consumptive outdoor sports, namely harvesting wild game and fish for the table. Likewise, a very large number of these organizations are dead set to eliminate the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees Americans the “Right to keep and bear arms.” And for some groups the idea of preserving wildlife habitat is to eliminate or severely restrict human use of the land, especially publicly owned lands such as National Forests and the open range land administered by the Bureau of Land Management. This includes halting multiple use of lands where a large percentage of the lumber used to build our homes is grown, and where much of the beef we consume is raised. Things that so-called “environmental” organizations and groups feel are “un-natural”.

So, who are these groups, and what’s so wrong about what they call themselves?

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The Source of the Harmless Wolf Myth

Note: Dr. Valerius Geist, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science at the University of Calgary in Alberta, is a renowned expert in wildlife management and conservation practices. In addition to teaching, writing about, and lecturing on the subjects, Dr. Geist has performed years of in-the-field research on big game species. He has authored 16 books, seven documentary films and contributed 40 entries to various encyclopedias. Two of his papers are posted in the W.I.S.E. Colloquium: Wildlife Sciences [here, here]. Other essays by Dr. Geist are [here, here, here, here, here, here]

The effects of thousands of impoverished trappers and wolf bounties in northern Alberta early in the 20th century on predators, and its relation to the myth of the harmless wolf.

by Valerius Geist

I have been digging into historical literature in my quest to understand why in North America the myth of the “harmless wolf” took such a such a severe hold, to the point of perverting scholarship and quite probably leading to the death of some believers.

The conventional view of the harmless wolf, which I also believed in throughout my academic career and four years into retirement, is in sharp contrast to experiences elsewhere. Yet, it certainly coincided with my personal experience pre-1999 when a misbehaving pack of wolves settled about our and our neighbor’s properties at the edge of a farming district in central Vancouver Island. I subsequently discovered that the wolves were much the same in their behavior, whatever their origins, but that circumstances lead to vastly different outcomes.

In general, the evidence indicates that wolves are very careful to choose the most nutritious food source most easily obtained without danger. They tackle dangerous prey only when they run out of non dangerous prey, and they shift to new prey only very gradually, following a long period of gradual exploration. Wolves are very sensitive to strangeness, including a potential prey species strange to them. Garbage is the easiest and safest food source for wolves, and they do take advantage of such. Once they are habituated to people due to their proximity, they may begin to investigate people. The ultimate exploration of a strange prey by a carnivore is to attack — consequently, the danger from habituated wolves. However, they need not have garbage, just a shortage of prey to begin investigating and eventually attacking humans. This means that as long as wolves have sufficient natural prey, they leave livestock aloe. As long as they have livestock they leave humans alone. When short of natural prey and livestock they turn their attention to humans and their habitations and may even break into such to extract cattle, horses, pigs, sheep or poultry. Dogs and cats are attacked before that. We humans are next in line, primarily children. But even then the initial attacks are exploratory in nature and clumsy, allowing some victims to escape. However, this scenario is of exceptional scarcity in North America, though it is practiced occasionally by coyotes targeting children in urban parks.

The discrepancy, however, between global and conventional American experiences with wolves is crass. Wolves have killed thousands upon thousands of people as chronicled by European and Asian sources, yet in North America fatal attacks are few and disputed. The differences are real. What then was going on in the past century in North America to make wolves so harmless? I felt I had obtained part of the answer that showed that wolves are wolves wherever they occur, but that circumstances can generate very different outcomes in wolf behavior.

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