Rigging the Game in Nevada

Note: The following is excerpted from “Mule Deer Working Group Supports Feeding Deer to Predators Instead of Restoring Healthy Herds”, the lead article in The Outdoorsman, Bulletin Number 42, Jan-Feb 2011. The entire issue is [here]. Back issues are available at Idaho For Wildlife [here].

By George Dovel

In December of 2010, Nevada’s Board of Wildlife Commissioners decided Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) biologists must take the necessary biological steps to restore and maintain mule deer populations as a condition of continued employment. See Outdoorsman No. 41 Pages 10-11 [here] for details.

Like their counterparts in other western states, NDOW wildlife managers have ignored science and state law in order to implement the radical 1991 “Wildlands” agenda adopted by the United Nations in 1992, and promoted by assorted national and international interests. Their goal of “Re-wildling” North America – by replacing rural humans with protected large carnivores and “native” plants in a vast system of “Core Areas” and “Wildlife Corridors” – is already being implemented.

NDOW Director Refused to Obey Commission

As happened earlier in Idaho and in other western states, when a majority of Nevada Wildlife Commissioners directed NDOW to implement predator control in depleted mule deer herds during the past two years, the Director and his biologists refused to do it. Early in 2010 USDA Wildlife Services control agents explained they could not control predators when the state agency that normally gave them direction refused to agree to it.

In November of 2010, after repeatedly refusing to follow Commission direction to control mountain lions and coyotes in selected areas where they were decimating mule deer herds, NDOW Director Ken Mayor was fired by outgoing Gov. Jim Gibbons. But once Nevada’s new Governor, Brian Sandoval [RINO, Mafia Party] was sworn in, he re-hired Mayer as Acting Director and made no secret of his intention not to reappoint Commissioners whose terms expire in June.

Those Commissioners have already solicited applicants for the Director position and are providing Sandoval with three names from which the law says he may hire one. But if Mayer is not one of the three, Sandoval is expected to re-hire him after the Commission terms expire.

With Acting Director Mayer influencing the new governor and his legal counsel, the Commission lost the opportunity to acquire additional funding that was needed to restore a healthy predator-prey balance in areas where mule deer exist in a predator pit.

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Moose Decline in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) has released a Moose Advisory Committee report and a 2011 moose survey [here] that avers that “Northwestern Minnesota’s moose population has declined from a population of several thousand in the late 1980s to fewer than 100.”

In NE Minnesota the moose population has dropped 25% over the last seven years:

Figure 2. Point estimates, 90% confidence intervals, and trend line of estimated moose numbers in northeastern Minnesota, 2005-2011.

and the cow/calf ratio has dropped to below 10%.

Figure 3. Estimated calf:cow ratio and % calves from aerial moose surveys in northeastern Minnesota.

As a rule of thumb, cow/calf ratios must be above 20% to maintain population levels. The current ratio portends continued moose decline. Indeed, the report states, “Estimated recruitment from this year’s survey was at an all time low.”

Surprisingly, the Moose Advisory Committee (MAC) report makes absolutely no mention of wolves or other predators. None, zip, zero, nada. This despite the fact that there are now over 3,500 wolves in Minnesota [here], ten times the population in 1974.

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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, 2011 [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.

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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28 Oct 2010, 9:19am
Deer, Elk, Bison Wolves
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Stop the Wolf Madness

by Jeff Sayre

Note: The following letter is in response to an Oct. 24 opinion piece in the Lewiston Tribune by Marty Trillhaase [here].

Marty, Marty, Marty. Your opinion on elk and what the State of Idaho should do with them is wrong. The elk population in Idaho, which was the premiere place in the Pacific Northwest to hunt elk the past 75 year’s has gone from 300,000 to below 100,000. See any problems there, Marty? No, why would you. The Green Weenies say we have too many elk already and this is a natural balancing event to equal what the habitat can handle, right? The major problem the past 15 years with the elk population decline and some would call a population plummet is the Canadian wolves, not habitat.

Look up in your Webster’s dictionary on line or in the old book form, these two phrases. Experimental and non-essential. Let me help you here Marty. Non-essential means we really don’t need them, not needed, not essential. Experimental means an experiment done with FACTS/Science, not presupposed conclusions, just factual evidence. When an experiment goes bad you, the scientist or biologist re-evaluate the data and decide to continue the experiment or change the parameters or stop it all together. This social feel good experiment had gone terribly wrong. Our Idaho elk herds will never ever recover to the numbers they were when I moved here in the fall of 1987 and started hunting in the fall of 1988. They are all but gone in the Red River Valley. Gone in the Lolo. Gone in the Gospel Hump. Gone in the Frank Church. Behind Pierce the major herds are all but decimated by this invasive wolf from Canada. These are not the indigenous wolves that Idaho had, this killing machine killed those wolves by 1990. USFWS knew there were indigenous Idaho wolves here when they released these wolves in Idaho. Is USFSW guilty of a “take” for eliminating an existing distinct population of Idaho wolves? Should some zones have been closed to hunting this past fall or in the future? No elk, no need for a hunt.

Ask the guides and avid hunters what they see in all the old places they used to hunt and take elk every year. Most have quit the business of guiding, they can’t make a living anymore. No elk. Some locals have hunted in places for 28 years with success. Nothing but wolves this year. Game trails with elk and deer tracks are not wolf super highways. The Earthquake Basin Pack on the Southfork of the Clearwater River has over 25 wolves in the pack when last counted. 25! Is that normal, Marty? How far will this horrible governmental test go before someone sees the red light and stops the bus? When Marty? Too late already. You seem to have all the answers, what is your solution? Mine is shoot and release. They need to be culled. The ecosystem can’t handle the damage done already. If we have a hard winter what will be left of our once strong and populous ungulate herds? Bones. The Green Weenies are most to blame here because they know best that we need. 2,000 wolves. Heck if you do the math and count the numbers we are pretty darn close now. 5,000 is their ultimate goal. What is not known are the number of wolves not counted. Can you or any sane person imagine that number and what wildlife will be left in Idaho? It will be all be in the Boise Zoo!

Idaho needs to start and Elk Recovery Plan now and that includes the elimination of 90% of the present population of Idaho wolves who are all from the same or original packs or Canada wolves. They are genetically the same…….all 1,500 of them. The same in Alberta, same in Saskatchewan, same in B.C. They need to be eliminated for the same reasons our grandfathers and fathers eliminated them. Wild packs of hungry wolves destroy everything man tries make a living on his ranch with, cattle, horses, sheep, pigs and they reek havoc on local elk, moose, deer, cougars, bear, coyotes etc. Too many pressuring too few will lead to total destruction and a collapse of the once great Idaho ungulates and already has. We are a long way from the original 62 released and the 30 breeding pairs and 150 total. Way past! Help is needed now, not another law suit or decision made by a judge who is far removed from the reality on the ground. The facts are clear. This is a disaster only getting worse everyday they are allowed to bred and grow. Idaho never ever had this number of wolves, ever in recorded history, neither did Montana or Wyoming. Stop the madness. Listen and look at reality already in progress.

Gray Wolf Impact Hearings

From: Denny Rehberg, Montana’s Congressman

Announcing Gray Wolf Impact Hearings

To be held in Dillon, Hamilton, Kalispell

October 5-6

News Release [here]:

After hearing from thousands of you over the past several weeks at listening sessions and through the internet, I recognize that the frustration is well past the boiling point and federal legislation is likely necessary. It’s time to start working toward a solution that works for Montanans, not just powerful out-of-state interest groups.

Be sure to RSVP on the right, and invite your friends. If you can’t attend, you can still provide comments, concerns and ideas on my website or through Facebook and Twitter. - Rep. Denny Rehberg

October 5: Dillon
9:00 AM-11:00 AM
University of Montana Western, Lewis and Clark Room at Matthews Hall


Denny Rehberg, Montana’s Congressman, Rancher (Billings)
Jake Cummins, Jr., Executive Vice President, Montana Farm Bureau (Bozeman)
Meg Smith, Rancher, Member, Southwest Stockgrowers Association (Big Hole)
Rick Sandru, President, Ruby Valley Stockgrowers (Twin Bridges)
Russ Kipp, President, Montana Outfitters and Guides Association (Polaris)
Debbie Barrett, State Senator (Dillon)
Dave Schultz, Madison County Commissioner (Ennis)
Mike Leahy, Rocky Mountain Regional Director, Defenders of Wildlife (Bozeman)
John Steuber, Director, USDA Wildlife Services (Billings)
Harold Peterson, Owner, Peterson Brothers Cattle Company (Big Hole)
John Helle, President, Montana Woolgrowers Association, Sheep Rancher (Dillon)
Steve Jennings, President, Beaverhead Outdoor Association (Dillon)
Emcee: Jeff Welborn, State Representative (Dillon)


October 5: Hamilton
3:00 PM-5:00 PM
Hamilton Performing Arts Center


Denny Rehberg, Montana’s Congressman, Rancher (Billings)
Montana Farmers Union (Great Falls) *Invited, but unconfirmed
Ron Stoker, State Representative (Hamilton)
Sierra Club (Missoula) *Invited, but unconfirmed
Jack Pfau, Cattle rancher (Stevensville)
J.R. Iman, Rancher, Ravalli County Commissioner (Bitterroot)
Scott Boulanger, Former Owner, Circle K Outfitters (Darby)
Bill Merrill, President, Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (Missoula)
Ryan Benson, National Director, Big Game Forever (Utah)
Tony Jones, President, Ravalli County Fish and Wildlife Association (Hamilton)
Craig Jourdonnais, Wildlife Biologist, Montana FW&P (Bitterroot) *Invited, but unconfirmed
George Edwards, Livestock Loss Mitigation Coordinator, MT Dept of Livestock (Helena)
Emcee: Rusty Wickman, Former Missoula Chief of Police, Member, Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife (Missoula)


October 6: Kalispell
10:00 AM-12:00 PM
Flathead Valley Community College, Arts and Technology Large Meeting Room


Denny Rehberg, Montana’s Congressman, Rancher (Billings)
Gary Wardell, Board Member, Five Valleys Chapter Safari Club International (Kalispell)
Wayne Slaght, Rancher, Chair, Endangered Species Committee, Montana Stockgrowers Association (Ovando)
Chuck Hunt, President, Flathead Wildlife Incorporated (Kalispell)
Mike Meuli, Cattle Rancher (Kalispell)
Gerald Bennett, State Representative (Libby)
Edwin (Ed) Jonas, Cattle Rancher (Rollins)
Clarice Ryan, Board Member, Montanans for Multiple Use (Flathead)
Kirk Murphy, Director of Operations, Division III, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (Polson)
Jason Tounsley, President, Montana Bow Hunters Association (Billings)
Toby Bridger, President, Lobo Watch (Missoula)
Joe Maurier, Director, Montana FW&P (Helena) *Invited, but unconfirmed
Emcee: Bruce Tutvedt, State Senator (Kalispell)

Idaho County Wolf Disaster Declaration

On Sept. 16 the Idaho County Board of Commissioners adopted a Resolution declaring a disaster as a result of the introduction of wolves (in 1995-1996 by the US Fish and Wildlife Service).

The Resolution is [here]. It declares that wolves are causing “vast devastation of the social culture, economy, and natural resources of Idaho County” and that “public safety is compromised, economic activity is disrupted and private and public property continues to be imperiled.”

The Idaho County Board of Commissioners requested that Governor Otter issue a Disaster Proclamation declaring wolves to be a “managed predator” to be controlled, and that the State contract with the USDA Wildlife Services to eradicate wolf packs near homes, ranches, livestock, and recreation areas “by any means necessary”.

The Idaho Statesman is reporting that the Resolution uses the words “shot on site”, but that is typical MSM hyperbole. That language does not appear in the resolution. The Idaho Statesman is a trashy rag (well, if it they like to dish out hyperbole, then they ought to be able to take it).

Idaho County declares disaster over wolves

By JESSIE L. BONNER and JOHN MILLER, The Idaho Statesman, 09/16/10 [here]

BOISE, Idaho — Officials in Idaho County want Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter to declare an ongoing disaster that will allow wolves to be shot on sight, citing attacks on livestock and wildlife.

County commissioners declared a local disaster Thursday. The governor’s office was aware of the county’s move but had not seen it and couldn’t immediately comment, said Otter spokesman Jon Hanian.

“We heard about it just at the close of business today,” Hanian said. “Beyond that, I don’t have a comment about it, until we’ve had a chance to read it, review it and make sure the governor has seen it.”

Last night in a 30-minute Idaho Public TV presentation Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game Director Cal Groen and State Wildlife Manager Jon Rachael were asked about this resolution. Groen said he hadn’t seen it. Rachael admitted massive elk declines and said, “That’s not socially acceptable.”

IDFG’s involvement in wolf introductions and the devastation of Idaho elk herds is well documented [here].

Wolf populations have burgeoned in Idaho and Montana since the USFWS illegally dumped exotic Canadian gray wolves there in 1995 with the full (and illegal) complicity of state wildlife agencies such as IDFG. Wolves are in no way endangered, despite the lunatic decisions by Federal Judge Donald “Genetic Exchange” Molloy.

It remains to be seen whether Gov. Otter will heed and side with the elected representatives of Idaho County residents, or with radical jingoists from urban enclaves thousands of miles away.

13 Sep 2010, 9:36pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Wildlife Agencies Wolves
by admin

No Evidence Links Lolo Elk Loss to Habitat

Ed Note: This excellent essay appears in The Outdoorsman No. 40 June-Aug 2010. The entire issue is [here]. Some previous posts regarding elk in the Lolo Zone (upper Clearwater River watershed, Idaho) are [here]. Excerpts from other issues of The Outdoorsman are [here].

By George Dovel, editor/publisher The Outdoorsman

Shortly after World War II ended, the Washington, D.C. based Wildlife Management Institute recommended the Idaho F&G Commission invite thousands of out-of-state hunters to harvest “trophy” Idaho big game animals in remote backcountry areas allegedly to prevent damage to habitat. The result of similar recommendations to other western states is evident in the sudden big game harvest increases during the 1950s followed by eventual severe harvest declines during the mid-1960s and early 70s.

Elk Study Proves Habitat Did Not Cause Decline

By 1964, elk harvests in the Clearwater had declined dramatically so the “Clearwater Elk Ecology Study” was launched – with the first five years devoted to evaluating habitat quantity, quality and elk use. The next four years found high conception and calf birth rates but very poor survival during the first two weeks after birth.

The result of the first nine years of careful study was that 13 years of extended either-sex hunting seasons and too few surviving calves – not habitat – were responsible for the mid-1960s elk decline.

The next 10-years of study proved that reduced cow elk numbers could no longer provide enough newborn calves to feed the black bears during the brief calving period, plus feed other predators later and still provide replacements for the elk that die each year. Trapping and relocating 75 bears in 1976 tripled the number of surviving elk calves, and doubling the bear bag limit in year-around seasons restored the elk in a few years.

The 19-year study and a dozen similarly extensive peer-reviewed studies in Canada, Alaska and the Great Lakes all arrived at the same conclusion. Where multiple predators, including wolves, existed with alternate prey species, it was necessary to reduce the number of predators dramatically once prey populations were reduced – regardless of whether the prey reduction was natural or man-caused (as in excessive hunter harvests).

By 1985 even wolf expert David Mech admitted he was responsible for resurrecting the “balance of nature” myth as a graduate student and wrote “Far from being ‘balanced,’ ratios of wolves and prey animals can fluctuate wildly – and sometimes catastrophically.” He illustrated the necessity to dramatically reduce wolf numbers whenever their prey declined and F&G agencies in the Northern Rockies promised wolf numbers would be carefully monitored and controlled if they were introduced.

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31 Aug 2010, 7:21pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Wildlife Agencies Wolves
by admin
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A Response to Governor Otter’s Letter to Sec Salazar

by Tony Mayer, SaveElk.com, IdahoForWildlife.com

Dear Representative Barrett,

Thank you for forwarding Governor Otter’s Aug. 30th letter to Sec Int Ken Salazar regarding wolf management in Idaho [here, 3.8 MB].

[Note: Gov. Otter's 7 page letter is in a huge file that cannot be easily converted to text. Sorry.]

It is welcome news that Governor Otter is finally willing to go public with a position expressing concerns about the wolf issue. Albeit, in my opinion, attempting to strike a deal with the Feds at this point is nothing more than a short-term, last ditch effort to salvage some type of continued wolf control mechanism that is far from the decisive action and leadership that this state needs.

As Chief Executive Officer of our state, Gov. Otter has the means and authority to recognize the dire condition brought about by the largely unabated expansion of wolves far beyond any agreements or understanding and to declare a state of emergency — ordering the necessary control measures and reduce wolf numbers to a level necessary to preserve and protect Idaho’s citizens and ungulate wildlife.

Suffice it to say anything less will fall short of what is required at this juncture to deal with the dismal state of affairs on this wolf issue.

Regarding his letter, what is the wisdom of our state entering into another MOA with the Feds regarding wolves? How well has entering into MOA or Management Agreements with the Feds served Idaho in the past? In all instances Idaho has come out on the “short end” and the entering into such agreements has only furthered wolf advocate agendas.

So why believe that entering into another such MOA will “magically” represent Idaho’s best interests? It would again appear that Governor Otter is again yielding to his close advisors (the same ones that have given him such great advice on this wolf issue in the past.)

As I see it, the lines of demarcation are finally drawn before us on this wolf issue. Which side will the Governor and will the legislature take? Will they side with the Feds and the continued “slow bleed” approach leading to the ultimate demise of our state’s ungulate herds? Or will they side with Idaho, its citizens, ranchers, cattlemen and sportsman? When will someone stand up for Idaho and our interests?

Need we learn from our neighbors to the north or from Midwest for examples? How has Minnesota benefited from the perpetual negotiations on wolves with the Feds? How has Alaska fared? Even though wolves aren’t endangered in Alaska, negotiations with the feds have been largely unsuccessful, and the state leadership has found it necessary to decisively deal with this wolf issue in spite of Federal Government objections.

As far as the substance of the Governor’s letter, it is doubtful that any such negotiations will benefit Idaho over the long run. Entering into the requested MOA will serve as nothing more than the continuance of “tying Idaho’s hands” to this perpetual, ill-advised, ill-conceived, Federally controlled wolf boondoggle. This approach guarantees the continued “slow bleed” of our wildlife ungulate populations and ultimately guarantees their ultimate demise.

A new and bold approach is needed to deal effectively with wolves. Strong and immediate control measures are necessary — anything less is shortsighted and will prove ineffective.

If the governor and the state legislature is sincere in their desire to proactively deal with this wolf issue, then my recommendation is that a new approach and an all-encompassing strategy and program be developed. This will require clear and precise objectives, backed by indisputable facts and will require that everyone get on the same page; including the governor, the members of the legislature, the IDFG, livestock groups, sportsman groups, etc. We all need to recognize the problem and all be a part of the solution. The governor and legislature must demonstrate strong leadership including the declaration of immediate emergency control measures. The legislature needs to develop hard hitting control and management legislation and the state’s attorney general must be willing to take up the cause and to litigate through the courts as required.

Further, it is time to recognize the need to be replace the people responsible for placing Idaho in this untenable, disastrous position and those responsible for encouraging and promoting this ill-advised wolf program.

The governor should consider appointing a special independent advisory council that is primarily made up of sportsman and cattlemen to spearhead the states new program on wolves. We need hard-nosed realists that will tell it like it is and stop sugar coating this issue.

Our state is in serious trouble and it will take bold and decisive measures and leadership gets us back on the right track. I recommend that the state legislature recognize this ill-fated quagmire and declare, through legislation, that prior agreements with the Feds regarding wolves are null and void, and at the same time direct the state attorney general to immediately file suit against the federal government for the damages to our state brought about by these wolves.


Tony Mayer



Lolo Wolf Reductions

by Rod Halvorsen

The effort to reduce wolf populations in the Lolo zone is to be commended, but will represent a minor effort in controlling the game and stock depredations and destruction of jobs, businesses, general economic health, forced lifestyle changes and spread of disease caused by wolves and perpetrated on rural populations throughout the state by wolf recovery efforts.

History is repeating itself with the increase of wolf populations in the state. Prior to 1915, wolf populations suppressed healthy livestock industries and game populations throughout the state. Indeed, the livestock industry of the West teetered on the brink of bankruptcy. Then, after years of pleading from citizens, local governments, state and Federal agencies, on July 5, 1915, the US Congress appropriated funds for the removal and destruction of wolves and coyotes from Federal lands in Idaho and the West. It is no coincidence that elk were translocated into Idaho during the same year; 1915.

The concerted efforts of state, county and Federal governments, stockmen’s associations and the general public in removing wolves starting in 1915 was instrumental in establishing stable and healthy game populations and a thriving livestock industry in Idaho. Such efforts must now be reintroduced and hopefully the Lolo action will be the first step in what will eventually be the eradication of wolves from Idaho.

Wolves were not inadvertently, unintentionally or mistakenly eliminated from Idaho but were, rather, effectively extirpated at great cost and effort by residents, state and Federal agencies and private organizations as a response to the great damage wolves caused. The cost was worth the effort and the cost to extirpate the wolf will be considered wholly worthwhile if wolves are successfully eliminated from Idaho in the future. Wolf damage to the economy of the West was so severe that even in 1915, a day when Federal appropriations were severely limited by comparison to today, the Federal government responded to the cries of the people and rightly served to protect them by initiating action to eliminate wolves from Federal lands. Such a great effort must yet again be commenced.

The wolf is more akin to a disease organism than it is a big game animal and should be “managed” in precisely the same way small pox is managed; eradication from the free environment with small populations saved in captivity for research purposes. Wolves and people do not mix any better malarial mosquitoes and people do. No “specific number” of wolves is acceptable. The Federal government at present requires rural people to live with a specific number of wolves. This requirement is the moral equivalent of a Federal Government requirement for restaurant owners to maintain a certain number of rats in their kitchens, or hospitals to maintain a certain quantity of staph bacteria on the chairs in their waiting rooms. Introduction of wolves in the name of “biological diversity” is wholly, morally equivalent to the introduction of malarial, anopheles mosquitoes into the Deep South in the name of “biological diversity”. Wolf introduction was and is an immoral act of great oppression, an absurdity that our forefathers would scarce believe possible. If the US Army introduced wolves into Afghanistan or Iraq, no doubt the US would be charged, rightly, in international court, with crimes against humanity. Such moral bestiality has been perpetrated on the rural people of Idaho against their will. Wolves are, have been and always will be a scourge to rural people and rural pastoral and recreational lifestyles. Wolves are not protected under the Constitution but yet have gained ascendancy in the Courts by misplaced interpretation of the Endangered Species Act and now have gained a bizarre moral equivalency with and/or superiority over people in the courts. The rights of the citizens of this country are deprived in order to support wolf populations. The rights of the people are deprived in favor of a disease.

Some find wolves beautiful from the vantage point of a mountain top. Some also find fleas, typhus and small pox beautiful from the vantage point of a microscope. All are nevertheless organisms that should be eliminated from contact with people.

Indeed, wolves should be eliminated from the Lolo zone and from all other zones. Wolf extirpation was an essential factor in establishing healthy, sustainably-harvestable ungulate populations and still is. Wolves are significant threats to rural lifestyles and economic stability and have cost many jobs, the destruction of businesses and millions of dollars to the state and its citizens.

“Wolf Recovery” is a euphemism for the destruction of lifestyle, heritage, custom, culture and economic health in rural Idaho. New laws must be written to protect the rights, property, jobs, businesses, lifestyle and heritage of the people in the face of uncontrolled wolf populations. After such laws are established, the real work will begin, and it will be tough and at times very distasteful work. Efforts to eliminate wolves will be physically hard, done under tough outdoor conditions in all weather and temperatures, costly, and even at times, repulsive. Our forefathers shouldered this responsibility and we must also. As repulsive as this work may sometimes be, we have misinterpretations of the Endangered Species Act and the deviant behavior of radical environmentalists to thank for it. A surgeon’s work is messy, but the healed patient has great gratitude for the doctor’s efforts. So shall the rural people appreciate the efforts of lawmakers and wolf killers in the days to come.

Wolves must be eradicated throughout the state and expanded methods of take must be legalized and utilized by state and Federal agencies and the public to eliminate wolves from the landscape of Idaho. The theobromine/caffeine canid-specific toxicant delivery system should be approved by the USDA immediately and utilized throughout the state to eliminate wolves. It should be provided to stock owners free of charge with costs borne by revenue generated by wolf hunting tag sales, wildlife license plates and donations. Private and government aerial gunning and no-closed season hunting and trapping must be legalized and promoted by Idaho Fish and Game. IFG should seek out and employ experts in wolf trapping and hunting and seminars on wolf destruction should be provided to the public. Identification of wolf dens and the practice of wolf denning should be taught and promoted by Idaho Fish and Game. County and state bounties need to be established to encourage wolf killing throughout the year, especially during denning season when wolf populations can best be reduced.

Many of these operations are indeed distasteful and will be to those who engage in them. The elimination of an epidemic is never easy. The people never asked for this epidemic yet they must rise to the challenge and eradicate it with the support of the Governor, Legislature and local governments.

Boy Scouts, community groups, churches and schools should be provided materials identifying the economic, wildlife management, livestock depredation and disease threats wolves pose. The people must be educated to the facts of wolf behavior and impact on rural people and economy.

For roughly three quarters of a century, since the early 1930’s when wolves were effectively reduced to very low populations, Idaho reaped the benefit of a wolf-free environment. We now see exactly why wolves were removed from the landscape.

For all human history wolves have been despised as destroyers of health and economic welfare. They still are.

As pro-wolf organizations use the picture of the wolf to amass vast fortunes, wallowing in the revenue collected from uneducated, mostly urban donators, the wolf himself is proving to be the only honest member of that pro-wolf camp. No amount of polemic sugarcoating can change the facts of what the wolf does and what the wolf is. He was a wolf. He is a wolf. He always will be a wolf. He will continue to prove to the world why he is universally despised by those with whom he lives. Given a bit more time as the facts of his life-cycle and behavior amass, that proof will one day again be as self-evident as it was to our forefathers and as it is to the informed population now. By that time he will, unfortunately, destroy, infect and threaten with horrific effect.

It is far past the time necessary to solve this great problem. State, Federal and Local Governments must work in concert to change the laws that have caused the introduction of wolves and must now work in concert to change them into laws that protect the rights and serve the interests of the citizens of this state and region.

RMEF Calls on Congress to Reform Endangered Species Act

Black Bear Blog, August 7, 2010 [here]

Editor’s Note: Below is a press release sent out by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation in response to the recent ruling by Judge Donald Molloy to return gray wolves in Idaho and Montana back to Federal protection. Perhaps if the RMEF had been on board with opposition to the rapid expansion of gray wolves earlier on, we would not be looking at further destruction of ungulate populations, more particularly, the elk they so much cherish. The same holds true for the outdoor sportsmen. By the time some got on board, it was too late. With the passing of every court ruling, the process to reverse the tragedy foisted on a population of people who were lied to and became victims of ignorance and activism, becomes more and more difficult. Please get involved before all proven and practical wildlife management is destroyed at the whims of environmental extremists who own the Courts. — Tom Remington, Black Bear Blog

News Release, RMEF, 08/07/2010 [here]

MISSOULA, Mont.–The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is calling for immediate Congressional review and reform of the Endangered Species Act following a judge’s decision yesterday to reinstate full federal protection for gray wolves.

The Aug. 5 ruling means state wildlife agencies no longer have authority to manage skyrocketing wolf populations–even in areas where wolf predation is driving cow elk, moose and elk calf survival rates below thresholds needed to sustain herds for the future.

RMEF says the judge has opened a door for perhaps the greatest wildlife management disaster in America since the wanton destruction of bison herds over a century ago.

“When federal statutes and judges actually endorse the annihilation of big game herds, livestock, rural and sporting lifestyles–and possibly even compromise human safety–then clearly the Endangered Species Act as currently written has major flaws,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “We have already begun contacting the Congressional delegations of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to ask for an immediate review of this travesty–and reform of the legislation that enabled it.”

Allen pointed out an irony, if not an outright error, in the decision issued by U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy.

“Judge Molloy said wolves in the northern Rockies are a single population that cannot be segmented based on political boundaries. But he essentially did that very thing himself, because he considered only the wolf population within the U.S. There are 75,000-plus gray wolves across Canada, yet Judge Molloy stopped at the border and did not consider the entire Rocky Mountain population. The gray wolf is simply not an endangered species,” said Allen.

Animal rights groups who continue to litigate over wolves are “gaming the system for their own financial benefit,” he added, saying, “There are no elk in Iowa, but we are not suing folks to reintroduce them. This is simply a financial scam for the animal rights groups, and it’s all being paid for by the American taxpayer.”

Additionally, Allen urged the governors in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to begin the process of formally implementing “the 10(j) rule” as provided within federal law. For all species reintroductions classified as a “nonessential, experimental population,” as is the case with gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act, the 10(j) rule allows states more flexibility to mitigate for unacceptable impacts on big game populations, livestock and domestic animals.

Federal Wolf Control in Idaho Proposed

The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Wildlife Services (APHIS-WS) has proposed a program to control wolves in Idaho including lethal removal of wolves to mitigate livestock depredation problems and wolf impacts on ungulate populations.

An Environmental Assessment (EA) [here] has been prepared in cooperation with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG), and in consultation with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, Idaho State Dept. of Agriculture, Idaho Dept. of Lands, and the Nez Perce Tribe.

Four alternatives are offered in the EA:

Alternative 1 - Continue the Current Wolf Damage Management Program (No Action)

Under Alternative 1, wolf damage management has been and would continue to be conducted on private and public lands in Idaho when the resource owners/managers request assistance to alleviate wolf damage, wolf damage is verified by WS, and an Agreement for Control or other work authorization documents have been completed.

Alternative 2 – Expanded Wolf Damage Management Program (Proposed Action, Preferred Alternative)

Under the Proposed Action/Preferred Alternative, WS would be able to employ all the methods included under the Current Program for protection of domestic animals, but could additionally provide assistance to IDFG to protect ungulates in those situations where IDFG has determined that wolves are impacting the ungulate population in a specific management area.

An additional lethal method which might potentially be employed under the Proposed Action would be considered only in limited circumstances when attempting removal of entire packs of chronic depredating wolves. IDFG authorizes removal of entire packs of wolves in those cases where a pack has been implicated in repeated depredations on livestock over a period of time. When these types of removal efforts occur during the spring months, there may infrequently be situations involving a pack with pups in a den. If the entire pack is to be removed, this would include the pups in the den. Excavating the den to reach the pups could involve unnecessary health and safety risks, and the most practical, humane approach to this infrequent scenario would be to employ the use of an EPA-registered den fumigant to euthanize the pups in the den. …

An additional management strategy under the Proposed Action could potentially be the infrequent use of sterilization of one or both alpha wolves from packs implicated in chronic depredations on livestock, or from packs targeted for removal at the request of IDFG to protect ungulates.

Alternative 3 – Nonlethal Wolf Damage Management Only

This Alternative works in much the same manner as the Preferred Alternative except Idaho WS would only use and provide advice on nonlethal methods for wolf damage management. The IDFG and property owners would still be able to use lethal methods in accordance with state laws and the Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan (ILWOC 2002) and Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan 2008-2012 (IDFG 2008a) guidelines.

Nonlethal methods used or recommended by WS could include animal husbandry practices, installation of fencing, electronic guards, fladry and turbo-fladry, aversive conditioning, nonlethal projectiles, use of livestock guarding animals, and/or other nonlethal methods as appropriate. WS would still investigate complaints to determine if complainants meet criteria for wolf damage compensation, and could assist IDFG with radio-collaring wolves for monitoring purposes and/or to enhance effectiveness of nonlethal deterrents…

Alternative 4 – No Federal Wolf Damage Management in Idaho

Under this Alternative, WS would not be involved in wolf damage management in Idaho, but the IDFG and property owners would still be able to use lethal and nonlethal methods in accordance with state laws, ILWOC (2002) and IDFG (2008a) guidelines.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) is a cooperator in the preparation of the APHIS-WS EA. The IDFG’s current management is referenced by the Idaho Wolf Population Management Plan 2008-2012 [here] and is summarized in the EA as follows:

IDFG Management Direction (IDFG 2008a)

The goal of IDFG (2008a) is to ensure that populations are maintained at 2005-2007 population levels (about 500-700 wolves) during the 5-year post-delisting period through adaptive management under the guidelines of the Idaho Wolf Conservation and Management Plan (ILWOC 2002); the current management goal is 518 wolves (IDFG 2009a). Consistent with the delisting rule, the State goal is to ensure the long-term viability of the gray wolf population. In order to ensure the population goal is achieved, IDFG will maintain =15 breeding pairs (floor threshold). The IDFG will also maintain balanced wolf and prey populations, ensure genetic transfer among states through maintaining connectivity and functional metapopulation processes, and manage wolves to minimize conflict with humans and domestic animals.

Ideally, population objectives will reflect the ability to monitor packs, breeding pairs, and total wolves, as well as harvest, and monitoring objectives in neighboring states. Therefore, the long-term objective is to maintain viable wolf populations in Idaho, achieve short-term harvest goals to reduce conflicts, provide annual harvest opportunity, and provide for non-consumptive benefits (i.e., aesthetics of wolves in the environment) as well. Based on stakeholder input, the most important objective within IDFG (2008a) is conflict resolution, when populations meet or exceed the population goal. Future population goals will reflect knowledge gained each year. However, the statewide population management objective will range between the 2005 and 2007 levels and not be allowed to fall to a level where management of conflicts has to be restricted (20 breeding pairs (Table 4-1). Twenty breeding pairs is not an objective, nor is it a prejudgment about the population level of wolves necessary to avoid conflict. It is however an IDFG management trigger that would require additional protections to ensure the population goal is maintained and achieved (IDFG 2008a).

There are numerous other details in the 106-page EA, which may be downloaded [here]. If a determination is made through this EA that the proposed action would have a significant effect on the quality of the human environment, then an EIS would be prepared.

Public comments on the EA are requested and will be accepted through August 31, 2010. Comments can be submitted via e-mail to: or by mail or fax to the Idaho WS State Office:

Idaho WS State Office
9134 W. Blackeagle Drive
Boise, Idaho 83709
telephone: (208) 378-5077
fax: (208) 378-5349

More information from APHIS-WS regarding the EA is available [here].

Comments should be as specific as possible, and include factual information or refer to credible information which supports the comments.

For questions or requests for additional information, please contact the Idaho WS State Office (contact information listed above).

Wildlife and People readers are encouraged to share your comments with us by using the “leave a comment” form below.

2 Aug 2010, 2:06pm
Deer, Elk, Bison Jackalopes Wolves
by admin

Who Is Stupid?

The following very annoying piece of accusatory idiocy drained into the Internet last week:

When It Comes to Wolves, It’s the Habitat, Stupid

Leaders with the Montana Wildlife Federation argue increasing habitat functionality is the conservative, financially smart way to boost game herds where needed.

By Skip Kowalski and Tim Aldrich, New West, 7-30-10 [here]

We originally set out to write a piece about wolves and how hunters can manage all wildlife, even large carnivores, under the North American Model of Fish and Wildlife Conservation. We quickly realized that this topic has been “rode hard and put away wet” so to speak. What we discovered, through our own reflection, is that there seems to be an important lesson learned and not being adequately applied by those who hunt – the lesson of the importance of habitat. …

Whether it’s noxious weeds, loss of winter habitat due to fragmentation, or the loss of access that helps disperse wildlife across our public lands, it’s the habitat, stupid, as the saying goes. …

Skip Kowalski is chairman of the Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat Committee and Tim Aldrich is president of the Montana Wildlife Federation.

All of which demands a rejoinder.


Dear Skip and Tim

No, it’s predator prey relations, you stupids, not “habitat”.

Population dynamics in animals is governed by predator-prey interactions [here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here].

That is true of elk, deer, sage grouse, spotted owls, you name it.

There is no shortage of habitat. The Feds own 30 percent of the land in the U.S., twice that much in some Western states [here].

In 1995 wolves were introduced into the Lolo Wildlife Management Zones 10 and 12 of the Clearwater River watershed in Idaho [here]. The elk cow count subsequently dropped 90%, and the calf count dropped 94 to 96%. Did 90% of the habitat suddenly disappear? You stupids blame that prey population crash on “habitat”, whereas every other analyst blames the wolves!

Is everybody stupid but you? Or is it the other way around?

In 1994 25 million acres were set-side into No Touch Zones for the Northern Spotted Owl. Since then the NSO population has crashed by 60 percent or more. Looks like your stupid “formula” didn’t work.

Nowhere has the “habitat” formula worked. Setting aside habitat has no effect of wildlife populations. Instead predator-prey relations govern population dynamics. Where predator control has been applied, prey population flourish. Where predators have been uncontrolled, prey populations crash. In every single case.

So-called “fragmentation” is eco-babble garbage, stupids. Animals move around through all kinds of “habitat” including cover habitat, foraging habitat, and “edge”. The same people who decry “fragmentation” swear by the vegetation “mosaic”, yet the mosaic and fragmentation are exactly the same thing. The latest eco-babble desire is to “diversify forest continuity” [here], which is fragmentation by holocaust. If “fragmentation” is such terrible thing, why do you promote it via catastrophic fire?

You stupids are not promoting wildlife conservation, you are promoting environmental destruction.

You stupids are perpetrating a war on the West [here]. You are war-mongers. You seek to drive humanity out of the West, by any means, including through the extirpation of prey populations by uncontrolled predators.

You regurgitate junk science and Big Lies in order to inflict suffering on your fellow human beings and wildlife. Your motivations are repulsive.

We are smart enough to realize that. We have you pegged. We know exactly what you are.

So go easy on the “stupid” remarks. You are not fooling anybody.


Attention All States: Prepare to be Sued Over Wolves

“If we don’t get some reform in federal laws very soon, we’re all going to be living in Jurassic Park.”

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation News Release, July 21, 2010 [here]

MISSOULA, Mont.—With their latest petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, animal rights activists are preparing to sue for federally mandated release of wolves in every state, warn officials with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

David Allen, RMEF president and CEO, says animal rights groups have learned that introducing wolves translates to major fundraising, and activists have found a way to exploit the Endangered Species Act—as well as taxpayer-funded programs that cover lawyer fees—to push their agenda and build revenue through the courts.

“There are now about 100,000 gray wolves in the U.S. and Canada, and over the past few years in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, activists discovered that every wolf is also a cash cow,” said Allen. “If we don’t get some reform in federal laws very soon, we’re all going to be living in Jurassic Park. This is not about saving a lost species. It’s about money and special interest agendas.”

“Americans need to wake up,” he added, “because when you respond to those fundraising letters with photos of cute little wolf pups, you’re writing a check that our country’s rural and traditional lifestyles can’t cash. You’re eroding the fundamentals of America’s model for wildlife conservation.”

Allen said undermanaged wolf populations in the northern Rockies are compromising the health of other wildlife species—especially elk and other prey. In areas of Montana and Idaho where wolves share habitat with elk, calf survival rates now are too low to sustain herds for the future.

“How do animal rights groups who claim to defend wildlife justify elk calf survival rates below 10 percent? Clearly they have another agenda,” said Allen.

Participation in hunting and the funding it generates for conservation also are being negatively affected, as are local economies, livestock production and potentially even human safety.

Continuous lawsuits by activists have setback wolf control and management efforts, compounding problems and costs for states.

“Now imagine bringing these kinds of impacts to more populated states elsewhere in the U.S., and I think we’re looking at an unprecedented wildlife management disaster,” said Allen.

RMEF has helped to successfully restore elk populations in Kentucky, Tennessee, Wisconsin and other states where habitat is suitable and citizens support the effort. Elk restoration is being considered currently in Virginia and Missouri using these same criteria.

“There are two proven ways to restore a species,” said Allen. “Our way is offering to help with funding and expertise so long as the local public wants the species and the state can manage them. The other way is using lawsuits and loopholes to shove a project down people’s throats.”

Animal rights groups filed a petition July 20 complaining that wolves now inhabit just 5 percent of their former range in the U.S., and that wolf populations should be recovered in all significant portions of that range. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) responded by saying that it is reviewing “what is realistic and where the suitable habitat would be.” The agency’s review could be complete by late 2010 or early 2011.

“We urge USFWS to be very cautious in this evaluation and reject the rhetoric of the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife, Earth Justice, Humane Society of the U.S. and other animal rights groups. Wolf re-introduction in the greater Yellowstone region was a classic example of ‘let’s get our foot in the door and then move the goal line,’ and should be warning enough. This is a fundraising strategy with anti-hunting, anti-ranching, anti-gun impacts, and the public needs to understand and see it for it is,” added Allen.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:

Snowy peaks, dark timber basins and grassy meadows. RMEF is leading an elk country initiative that has conserved or enhanced habitat on over 5.8 million acres—a land area equivalent to a swath three miles wide and stretching along the entire Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. RMEF also works to open, secure and improve public access for hunting, fishing and other recreation. Get involved at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK.

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