FWP takes step toward plan to ease wolf hunt rules

2012-05-11T00:27:00Z FWP takes step toward plan to ease wolf hunt rulesBy EVE BYRON Independent Record Helena Independent Record
May 11, 2012 12:27 am  • 

The liberalization of Montana’s 2012-13 wolf season took a step forward Thursday after the Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission gave initial approval to a controversial plan that includes allowing wolf trapping.

More than 100 people crowded into the meeting at the FWP Montana Wild Center in Helena, with about 60 people voicing concerns, approval or pitching additions on the proposed plan, which along with trapping includes lengthening the wolf season, allowing the use of electronic calls, letting hunters or trappers take up to three wolves and eliminating quotas.

Commission members noted that these are only tentative proposals and there may be changes once they adopt the final regulations for the wolf season at their July 12 meeting in Helena. They added that the public will have until June 25 to submit additional comments, and that FWP will hold five meetings throughout Montana to discuss the proposal.

“It’s a good thing we don’t have to make a decision today,” Commissioner A.T. “Rusty” Stafne said after listening to a one-hour presentation and three more hours of comments. “We have 60 days to sort through everything you said today to determine where we want to go. This is not the end of it. I know myself, I haven’t decided.”

By instituting the changes, FWP officials said they hope to reduce the number of wolves in Montana from the known, minimal number of 653 to about 425.

“That’s our short-term, operational objective,” noted Quentin Kujala with the FWP wildlife bureau. “It gives folks, and targets, an anchor.”

The comments varied widely, but the majority of people who spoke favored the proposal by about a two-to-one ratio.

“We’re glad you’re getting more aggressive in controlling the wolf population. It’s very necessary,” said Keith Kubista, president of the Missoula-based Montana Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife. “Thanks for looking at what Idaho is doing; they have a history there that shows practical methods, means and techniques to accomplish a reduction in the wolf population.”

Barry Johnson of Stevensville added that trapping is an “integral part of Montana’s heritage.”

“This is a positive step in the effort to manage wolves,” he added.

But others said the tentative proposals are a dramatic departure from current wolf management strategies and urged the commission to move slowly. They also called the proposals unethical, adding that trapping is inhumane.

“This is not the time for a radical departure of the integral approach,” said Jonathan Matthews with the Montana chapter of the Sierra Club. “You’re abandoning fair chase and ... we are very concerned about the more aggressive approach and departure from fair hunting principles. Trapping is cruel, inhumane and an indiscriminate number of animals are maimed and killed.”

Mike Leahy with Defenders of Wildlife added that if all the proposed changes are adopted, FWP won’t be able to tell what management tool worked and what didn’t.

“You’re talking about five significant changes … and it will be impossible to gauge the impact of any one change,” Leahy said. “I urge you to scale back and change the overall goal from reducing the population to managing the current population.”

Marc Cooke with the Stevensville-based Wolves in the Rockies group added that trapping recently took a hit after a photograph went viral of a live wolf in a trap surrounded by bloody snow and a smiling trapper showing off his trophy. The photograph was taken in Idaho.

“That image was sent worldwide and raised a bunch of heck,” Cooke said. “As politically expedient and satisfying as it may appear on the surface, can Montana afford to be viewed by the rest of the U.S. as a state that condones the trapping (and) suffering of wolves?”

Yet trapping advocates said the proposal is a move in the right direction and that with proper education and certification, trappers can be a valuable tool in the wolf-management effort. They also want the commission to consider allowing snares along with traps, and eliminating a provision that calls for checking traps every 48 hours.

“Allowing trappers the opportunity to take more than one wolf per season is good,” said Toby Walrath, a member of the Montana Trappers Association. “We can help balance predators and prey and will offer educational classes demonstrating the types of traps that are available.”

Vito Quatraro with the Montana Sportsmen Alliance said he likes the proposal for multiple tags per person, but asked the commission to extend the wolf hunting season until March 15 instead of the current proposal that ends it on Feb. 28. He also wants the trapping season to run from Dec. 1 to Feb. 28, instead of starting on Dec. 15.

In addition, Quatraro said the Bozeman-based group is urging the commission to adopt a wolf quota instead of leaving the matter open. FWP has said it doesn’t want a quota, adding that wolf kills must be reported within 24 hours and they can close hunting and trapping if too many wolves are being taken from one area. Having a general season instead of using quotas in individual wolf management units is expected to make it easier for people to take a wolf.

Harvest quotas will be in place in wolf management units near Glacier and Yellowstone national parks to address concerns over potentially high harvests near their boundaries.

“It’s not so much so that you can reach it, but without one we worry that you open the door for a lawsuit by people who say you’re in violation of the wolf plan,” Quatraro said, adding that it’s imperative for the commission to take action. “If you do not act now, you’re turning over management and control of wolves to the legislature and that’s a dangerous precedent.”

He added that while some people believe FWP needs the legislature to make statutory changes to allow for multiple tags per person, allowing trapping and using electronic calls, in his view the commission already has the ability to do that.

“You have control and the authority,” Quatraro said. “I don’t want to see that placed with the legislature.”

Reporter Eve Byron: 447-4076 or eve.byron@helenair.com

Follow Eve on Twitter at IR_EveByron

Copyright 2016 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(22) Comments

  1. GreatWhite
    Report Abuse
    GreatWhite - May 21, 2012 6:47 pm
    2buck2, very good points with the lead paint and asbestos! I get liabiliy and not wanting to admit something caused so much pain and suffering. Especially in the 'modern world' where everyone seems sue happy! But at least admit it wasn't the right solution. It doesn't necessarily mean it wasn't the BEST solution at the time...but hindsight, it should always be 20/20, just admit it isn't the right solution today!

    I'm just a little old fashioned I guess, I don't need or want restitution, just stop doing the wrong thing for cryin' out loud!

    One part of this that makes my head SWIM is that I get comments back saying I want to live in 1850 Montana because I'd like to see things done different!! NOW is being done like 1850's Montana...I want something new.

    There are places in Europe that decimated their wolf populations because of ranching centuries ago...it has taken a long time, but some of those areas have managed to recover healthy populations, some never have. But one consistent thing is that they now realize how vital the wolf was and acknowledge that what they did to them was a mistake.

    These are the ancestors of ours that came over here and did the same exact thing. But they still don't want to see it any different.

    And the very baseline of it is money. Greed. The grazing issue, the wolves 'supposed' threat...all of it boils down to money.
  2. 2buck2
    Report Abuse
    2buck2 - May 21, 2012 3:36 pm
    GreatWhite, that is a good point about the lynx. I would assume that was an illegal trap. And I totally agree with you on our civilization. Our ancestors did a whole myriad of things that I certainly don't consider doing now-a-days. I think people just can't handle moving along with the times. Or realizing when they made a bad decision. I mean, people used to think that lead paint and asbestos were great things to put in your home too. Not many of those proponents coming forward and saying that they were mistaken. No, it is the advocacy groups for all the people dying of cancer saying that. Hmmmm.
  3. GreatWhite
    Report Abuse
    GreatWhite - May 21, 2012 11:21 am
    There is an article on "Pregnancy Problems" concerning Bison that very much relates to the overall topic here...check it out!
  4. GreatWhite
    Report Abuse
    GreatWhite - May 20, 2012 5:54 pm
    BTW, the huge canadaian lynx dowsizing, that was in the 1980's...not the 1880's!

    Kind of proves what people keep saying, our ancestors started this process in the 15-1600's on other continents, brought the 'pasttime' here 'bout then, got REALLY bad in the mid/late 1800's, and have continued to do this through the 1900's and are starting out the 2000's with the same thought process.

    Have we become a stagnant society? Like Altlantis, the Mayans, the Clovis people, the Aztecs, the Peruvians?? Look what happened to those civilizations.

    Hopefully the next civilization will finally figure things out. So far, we've fallen short of greatness in my opinion.

    We are only as strong as our weakest link ya' know! (Of course, some will say that is ME!!)
  5. GreatWhite
    Report Abuse
    GreatWhite - May 20, 2012 5:44 pm
    2buck2 said: "Thank you GreatWhite, you have some pretty stellar comments yourself. Nice to have a discussion with someone who clearly can think and for themselves at that!"

    Thank you 2buck2! You may LOVE this comment!!

    OutdoorsmanMT, ever since you posted about that lion caught in the trap up towards Crow Cr falls, my wee little mind had been trying to recall something...something I couldn't quite remember, but, it was like an itch that wouldn't go away. Well, it finally hit me...

    LYNX CANADENSIS!! The Canada Lynx. These precious smaller cats, about the size of a Bobcat, live in forested areas (Like the Elkhorns, probably like the Crazies, the Whole Rocky Mountain Front in Montana, probably Gallatin forest, by Augusta/Choteau, above 4,000 feet generally!)

    Well, these cats are threatened! Of the 16 states they originally existed in, there are now only 3 in the lower 48 that still have these guys. Montana, Washington and Maine. They were seriously 'downsized' in the '80s by...da, da, da, daaaaaaaa....drum roll anyone? Care to take a shot in the dark?? TRAPPING!!

    But, the thing is, why is someone trapping where a threatened species lives? That SHOULD be illegal! And, isn't there some bylaw, or sub section, of trapping that trappers have to check their traps every second or third day?

    Maybe there are some real serious issues going on with trappers in this state. It seems kind of wishy washy to me.

    It doesn't seem the trappers can be trusted to stay in line with the FWP's rules now does it?

    So, all you anti-predators...here is one more animal you can add to the list of animals we have brought to the range of threatened and could easily become extinct.

    Of course, you'll pat yourselves on the back for this, because you still don't get it.

  6. 2buck2
    Report Abuse
    2buck2 - May 20, 2012 8:11 am
    Thank you GreatWhite, you have some pretty stellar comments yourself. Nice to have a discussion with someone who clearly can think and for themselves at that!
  7. GreatWhite
    Report Abuse
    GreatWhite - May 17, 2012 6:51 pm
    pichia, you said "Uh, the bison range? Yellowstone? There are lots of places where the buffalo roam. And it's been more than a "few years." I think the results are perfectly clear after a decade and a half. The wolves, non-native, are too much for this beautiful land. They need to be managed, badly."

    There are not lots of places where buffalo roam. Yellowstone does not count, as soon as they step outside of the boundaries they are either shot by select individuals or hazed back inside the park. You may SEE buffalo in small herds in other areas, but most likely, those are privately owned herds, not wild animals.

    That does not equal 'roaming free' to me. They just have a large 'holding cell'.

    OutdoorsmanMT, I made that hike to Crow Cr falls last summer, I am quite surprised someone set a trap anywhere near that trail!! It is obviously well traveled by hikers. That is just blatant ignorance! I'm glad I didn't see that, I like them furry buggers as well!!

    You touch very much on something that I seriously don't understand. I pay taxes, I bet most, if not all, readers of this newspaper pay taxes...public land is OUR land, whether it is State or Federally managed. It belongs to the people.

    If someone chooses to raise cattle, chickens, goats or sheep, you need to own enough land to support what you own. I don't support leasing public lands, I don't support trapping on public land.

    This scenario plays out a lot, cattle range in the mountains, and eat what food the animals would normally have to eat, and come winter, the wild animals move into farmers lands and eat in their fields, and the farmers get angry with them.

    I went hiking from Augusta to Big Timber last year (Not one single hike of course! Over the course of the summer!) and I never ONCE saw any of these 'dangerous' wolves I keep hearing are so scary!! In fact, the only carcasses I came across looked very much like a cow elk and a calf that had been poached the winter/early spring before.

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again...I suspect there is a psychological 'fear' of these animals that manifests itself as an intense hatred of them.

    I keep getting told that man and wolves will never exist peacefully side by side, yet, it isn't the wolves preventing that now is it?

    The wolves make this beautiful land even BETTER!!
  8. pichia
    Report Abuse
    pichia - May 17, 2012 1:02 pm
    GreatWhite said: "Evotis and 2buck2...beautiful comments! And it does seem that "Montana Math" computes oddly for the most part concerning animals!! The ranchers want to preserve their grazing rights mostly. But the thing is, NATIONAL FOREST SERVICE LAND, STATE OF MONTANA LAND, BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT LAND, I don't know which of these they are allowed to lease from, but I believe the PUBLIC overall has a say in how these lands are used. I like having wild animals in them, grazing freely and living the way God intended them to. Not so much do I like seeing cattle in there myself. I wish they would give the wolves a few more years to adapt, and introduce the bison, balance out the prey for the wolves.And Evotis, if more hunters had your spirit, there'd be less anti-wolficism's! (Not really a word, but someday maybe!!) "

    Uh, the bison range? Yellowstone? There are lots of places where the buffalo roam. And it's been more than a "few years." I think the results are perfectly clear after a decade and a half. The wolves, non-native, are too much for this beautiful land. They need to be managed, badly.
  9. GreatWhite
    Report Abuse
    GreatWhite - May 17, 2012 11:32 am
    Evotis and 2buck2...beautiful comments!

    And it does seem that "Montana Math" computes oddly for the most part concerning animals!!

    The ranchers want to preserve their grazing rights mostly. But the thing is, NATIONAL FOREST SERVICE LAND, STATE OF MONTANA LAND, BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT LAND, I don't know which of these they are allowed to lease from, but I believe the PUBLIC overall has a say in how these lands are used. I like having wild animals in them, grazing freely and living the way God intended them to. Not so much do I like seeing cattle in there myself.

    I wish they would give the wolves a few more years to adapt, and introduce the bison, balance out the prey for the wolves.

    And Evotis, if more hunters had your spirit, there'd be less anti-wolficism's! (Not really a word, but someday maybe!!)
  10. OutdoorsmanMT
    Report Abuse
    OutdoorsmanMT - May 17, 2012 10:46 am
    Trapping is indiscriminant and does not distinguish between Human or animal, pet or prey. Public lands are already over laden with traps and the chances are that people are far more likely to have an encounter with traps than they are with a predatory animal.

    I have hunted in Montana for over 30 years and have had my dogs trapped several times. I myself have even stepped in a trap. This is because traps are set on public lands on trails, in places animals use to cross areas, or streams, etc. But People also use these trails at times. So my experience is that I have had ZERO encounters from a predator that would constitute a threat to me, my family, or our pets but on the other side of the coin I have had numerous encounters with traps that have threatened all of the above.

    If a person were to take a hike today on Trail 109 to Crow Creek Falls near Radersburg/Townsend Montana (as I did 2 days ago) They would find a trapped mountain lion left to die and decomposing right next to the trail (where people, children, and pets walk). I cannot imagine the suffering of the animal. I cannot imagine what would have happened to a child who came upon a trapped animal like that while it was still alive. This is a highly traveled public area... Why trap where it poses a threat to people?

    It does not take much common sense to see that the trapping methods and practices need to be reviewed just to protect people from trappers. It is also plain to see that FWP is powerless to enforce its own regulations and now are proposing to open Montana's public lands to an even greater amount of chaos.

    When will the public stand up and do what is right? Our taxes support these Public lands, yet we need to almost fear using those lands for recreation and not because of possible predators...

    Try hiking around McDonald Pass near Helena. After you wade through a mile or so of cow manure and get to a trail head look closely when you get to the forest boundaries. Some of the trails are marked and some are not, but the ones that are say warning snares and traps present, be careful if you have small children or pets??? It is nice to have the warning, but my problem is that it is PUBLIC land... it is not as if I am trying to go into the throat of a volcano... I am trying to hike through a public area with my family!

    The government says that one persons rights ends where another persons begins. The spokespeople keep raving about heritage. I have a lot of heritage to scrape off my boots and they can have it if all they are going to do is continue trampling all over everyone else's rights without consideration!

    It seems that FWP will only listen to public opinion that supports their goals (or more likely their supporters who send checks). I have bought game licenses etc all my life, and even I don't count to them... It really makes me wonder how the general public can get so completely disregarded on some of these issues and only the voices of a special interest group who slides money around will be heard or taken into consideration.

    Will the public ever stand up for themselves?
  11. Evotis
    Report Abuse
    Evotis - May 16, 2012 6:19 pm
    I thought wolves were "EVERYWHERE" eating "EVERYTHING". If wolves were as stated there would simply be more human take during a season. Seems to me that perhaps FWP is jumping the shark and going from spitball to nuclear warhead after a mere 1 season of low harvest numbers. Hysteria.

    I'd gladly go from a cow elk every year to one every three if it meant having wolves around. Then again I value all creatures in the forest and not just ones I can take for myself.
  12. 2buck2
    Report Abuse
    2buck2 - May 16, 2012 4:16 pm
    There are a lot of reintroductions that involve animals from other places. We have reintroduced genetically pure bison from South Dakota and we reintroduced big horn sheep from Alberta, Canada (and I bet they are larger and more aggressive too!). If you think about it, it probably makes sense. Why would we need to reintroduce something if we had sufficient numbers ourselves. I believe wolves have been in Montana for a long time, but their numbers were not at the level needed to make a come back. Canada is right on our border. It is not like it is Russia or something.

    And as far as bison go, I can appreciate that there are concerns about disease and damage and such but the threat of those things already exists. So unless we get rid of all wildlife and all people in this state and make it just one big ranch for cows, ranchers are going to have to deal with having issues just like every other business in America. You can't take the land and try to destroy the culture of another person and then decide that it was too "inhumane" to actually kill them off but, yeah we can't give you back something that is part of your heritage because it interferes with ours. And after all, we were here first. Er, wait. We were here second but we are more important because we are white. Oh, but we aren't being racist. But our heritage of trapping is really important even though it causes a lot of damage and destruction to other people similar to what we say your bison will do to us. And we were here first with trapping and this time it counts! Equal rights means my rights = 10 times what your rights equal. That is Montana math, apparently.
  13. GreatWhite
    Report Abuse
    GreatWhite - May 15, 2012 8:33 pm
    2buck2, personally I agree with you. I have spoken for wolves many, many times. Still do. And way to many times I'm either automatically a Californian, an anti-hunter, an anti-outdoorsman, a rancher hater or whatever other bile comes to mind.

    I remember seeing them around Helena in the '70s.

    They 'supposedly' cause so much devastation, but I don't see them doing near what they are accused of. I know it's the new "flavor of the month" for the most part.

    Now the buffalo are going to be coming under attack. With 1,001 reasons why they shouldn't be allowed back in the wild. It's always the same group that is against all of these animals.

    And it's always the same reasons, money and politics! There's no profit in those animals yet, so they see no necessity.

    I may be mistaken, but my understanding was that the Yellowstone packs are what would be native Montanan wolves. Not that it really matters to me, I support all wolves regardless of what species they are.

    I just fear history will repeat itself if this is handled poorly, and that is where others information is helpful.

    It seems like a centuries ago problem that animals were eradicatec permanently form the face of this earth, or real close it it, but we still cause extinctions in modern civilization. Most people don't care. It is no concern of theres.

    Concerning the wolves, and bullalo, there are a lot of bad feelings concerning the way the wolves were reintroduced, and there is a lot of paranoia concerning the recent potential bison introduction that is just starting a discussion mode.

    Ironically, these two species success could very well be contingent on each other in many ways. They may just be each others to survival in the wilderness.

    Thank you for your response, I don't ask anyone to agree with anyone, or change their minds, just share their ideas and opinions. Of which you have done. And hopefully continue to do so, there aren't that many supportes at times. It's refreshing.
  14. 2buck2
    Report Abuse
    2buck2 - May 15, 2012 4:51 pm
    GreatWhite, every time I see a comment that supports wolves from a person who is not native to Montana the first thing out of people's mouths is "not a native, then shut up" despite their insight-so I am just pointing out the hypocrisy.

    And I have heard all the talk of the much larger non-native wolves that we imported. For one thing, those wolves were put in Yellowstone and for the most part they have stayed there. And we have seen those wolves, they do not look huge at all. The wolves that people are freaking out came from this area. Wolves have been in the Bob Marshall forever. My husbands father saw them while hunting there back in the 50's. So it is not like all the wolves in Montana now were imported from Canada. And the story where those wolves are 250 lbs is bogus too. I saw the harvest report for this year on FWP's web page. The average size of wolf that was killed was 91 lbs. Ooooh, what a monster! And the largest one was 120 lbs.

    And I am not going to sit here and waste my breath on this middle ground. Been there and tried that. Can get middle ground with a bunch of jerks and sissies. And I would love it if we did something we regretted in the future. We deserve to reap what we have sown.
  15. GreatWhite
    Report Abuse
    GreatWhite - May 15, 2012 9:28 am
    2buck2 said: "Reality22, if you are from Wisconsin then according to Montana standard your opinion has no validity. Please keep your opinions to your own state and never mind ours. And don't even think about chewing me out, this rule was made up without me. I just think it is funny (and hypocritical) that if you were pro-wolf and from Wisconsin most people here would just tell you that you have no right to our state. So, turn about is fair play, right? "

    Reality22 does have ties to Montana though, and he does hunt here. I'm a pro-wolfer to the 'Eyeteeth', but Reality22 has experience we don't here. Wisconsin had wolves and Elk introduced, Montana already had the Elk, and we had wolves back in the '70s, but they were pretty much eradicated from most of Montana. His insight could serve us well.

    I was lead to research this contraversy even more, and the wolves that were introduced into wild Montana are NOT our native species. They are a northern species. They are known to be larger and more aggressive than the Montana Gray Wolf.

    And please don't take this as chewing you out, I do not like the extreme measures that we will be forced to live with if the ones going into effect now don't work. I'd rather have a smaller number of wolves in the state than no wolves in the state.

    Right now it's complicated, two extremes that NEED to find middle ground, before it's to late and we end up doing something that will be regretted in the future.

    Please, join this discussion and share your opinions and ideas with us.
  16. 2buck2
    Report Abuse
    2buck2 - May 14, 2012 5:09 pm
    Reality22, if you are from Wisconsin then according to Montana standard your opinion has no validity. Please keep your opinions to your own state and never mind ours. And don't even think about chewing me out, this rule was made up without me. I just think it is funny (and hypocritical) that if you were pro-wolf and from Wisconsin most people here would just tell you that you have no right to our state. So, turn about is fair play, right?
  17. GreatWhite
    Report Abuse
    GreatWhite - May 14, 2012 9:25 am
    Reality22, good viewpoint, good expeerience to draw on. I live in the Helena area. In this area, Boulder and Lincoln are taking the biggest hits. In Boulder, it seems to be livestock, Lincoln has claimed to have Elk herd numbers on the decline, but I have yet to hear if it is truly the wolves or natural changes in the environment. There are other areas in that predicament, studies are being conducted to find out for sure what is going on.

    In my area, the Elk have taken more damage points from Poachers and Land Developers more than anything else it seems. But, I have not seen a lot of wolves move into my area. We have always had a relatively high number of black bears, coyotes and mountain lions though. A few griz around.

    I'm all for stopping lawsuits. That gets no one anywhere, except the lawyers.

    Except for places like the Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, creating habitat that wolves will stick to doesn't seem possible.

    One key facet to this is that wolves prefered bison for prey animals. But, they are probably never going to be in the wild for the wolves to 'dine' on. The only way bison will be 'in force' is if they become a marketed animal, and that would put them in the same boat as cows and sheep.

    And, respecting others opinions/viewpoints, it isn't right that we just do away with them either. That is a loss we would regret over time.
  18. Reality22
    Report Abuse
    Reality22 - May 13, 2012 9:10 pm
    GreatWhite, I am from Wisconsin - 1/2 hour west of Green Bay. My Aunt / cousins have a ranch near Nye Montana. I have hunted Montana more than any other state over the years. My cousins and I have hunted Slough Creek North of Yellowstone over the years..... We feel we have a better understanding of the game herds in that area more so than even most of the wildlife biologist for that area. From our observations, it is ridicules to even suggest that wolves are not the major factor to the herd's demise. We also feel that wolves have a larger effect on the herds as far as cows losing their calf before being born from stress and have been saying so for some time. We know that cattle lose fetuses from being run/stampede & feel the same is happening with the elk.

    Another factor in my blogging is the Clam Lake Elk herd in Wisconsin. I have been following that herd since they were brought here. Dr Anderson (one of the original leaders in getting that herd for Wisconsin) predicted that by 2004 we would have 500 elk based on early mortality rates. That was until the wolf showed up. Since they showed up and have become the number one cause of mortality they have only had years with slight increases and some without any increase at all. We are still around the 150 mark & have been over 100 for almost a decade. Groups like the RMEF & sportsman have put a lot of money into that herd.

    Are you sure you want your strategy of to get DOW to stop litigation & spend it on wolf damage? I think you would be throwing good money after bad money! This animal will NEVER live well around people. Stop the litigation is correct but for goodness sake spend the money on habitat & preserving good wolf habitat. That is where you will get the most for each and every one of your dollars!

    DOW, HSUS and the Sierra club are at a crossroad if they file another law suit against the Wyoming & the Great Lakes delisting it may be a final blow to the abused ESA & EAJA! Either one will open them up for more criticism & expose the failings of the ACT. And show people just how bad the law can be abused. It is very clear to me if a group like Ducks Unlimited got all the money spent on the ESA for litigation, environmental lawyers, defense attorneys & Judges and court cost.... Endangered Species all over the US would have benefited 1000 fold. At a minimum the Act needs to be changed to allow the Government to sue the litigators if they can prove that to be the case
  19. GreatWhite
    Report Abuse
    GreatWhite - May 13, 2012 2:58 pm
    Reality22, I'm not using statistics in any way for or against either side. I know that it is just an average, some lose more livestock, some lose none. Depends on the region. And losing one calf is still a personal loss, much less 10 in a season.

    I just wanted to know, the fluctuations are interesting. I was more curious about Montana stat's to be honest. I notice you always speak of Wisconsin, but wasn't going to just "assume" that you maybe lived there. That could just be your home state, fostering a strong interest in what goes on there.

    Wisconsin most likely (I believe, but don't quote me, I haven't verified it), per square foot of land, has a larger comparitive black bear population than Montana, our grizzly population is growing and expanding and has been for a few years, although it is relatively rare that they cause problems and the state and reservations (if need be) are quick to asses potential problem bears. We give them kind of a "one strike" freebie by relocation. If a particular bear keeps causing problems, it is usually dispatched. Black bears tend to more 'people' problematic than livestock problematic.

    I can tell by the way you write that you have no love loss for the wolves. You write like the 'opposite' of me actually, you have a lot of information at your disposal and are more than ready to inundate your 'opponents'. I do the same thing, and that is where discussion pretty much becomes arguments. At that point, we worry more about making our points than actually discussing the issues. You post a lot, I post a lot, people either agree or disagree with what we, or others say. I'm just trying to get other views. That's all.

    I also know that the Elk can be effected by predation of wolves, as well as so many other ways, it's hard to just assign blame to one thing. Even time frame is not necessarily a fair judge. With people expanding into animals range land, they have to adjust for that. As well as the addition of predators whether by relocation or natural expansion. I know the Mule deer in Montana started declining before wolves were reintroduced, and they are a high country animal. With their declining numbers, other predators have to turn to Elk more for sustanance. To this day, no one has figured out why that started and continues to happen to this day. The whitetails are boomin', but they are predominantly a lower level prey animal. But they will be studying the elk issue. That appears to be only certain areas, not statewide. But, like you said, you can't really compare an area the wolves haven't moved into to areas where they have.

    Wisconsin has more wolves apparently than Montana as well, with less range land for them.

    I completely agree with what you say about the other predators (Mountain Lions seem to not trust kills that aren't there own that much), they seem to scavenge quite well.

    The wolves in Montana did seem to put the coyotes back to low 'man' status. They had started causing problems with out the wolves around.

    It's a tough situation. The wolves can't know that the livestock is 'not on the menu' so to speak. Obviously, ranchers can't build huge barns to house their livestock 24/7/365!

    I guess part of why I support them so strongly is because it seems that the wolves, the coyotes, the bears, the elk...eventually someone is upset about all of the above because they 'get in the way'. It just seems like we keep trying to put man's 'stuff' above nature, depending on the circumstances.

    I don't want ranchers to lose everything, I don't want hunters to have to stop hunting (I think that's a skill everyone should learn.), but I don't want these animals gone either.

    I believe it was you I agreed with you on another post, Defenders of Wildlife would be in a better position if they used the money they are using not on lawyers, but in some recompensatory way to offset losses to others, invest in some damage control. And lets face it, if they have six figure incomes, that is blatant overkill. They could afford to give them selves paycuts. I have a hard time believing they are really in it for the animals with salaries in that range.

    Working together is the only way to get through this debate and hopefully find an adequate solution to both sides. And that does accept that some form of management needs to remain in place as well.

    Thanks for providing the info. It helps to have a breakdown like that to see what damage is being done.
  20. Reality22
    Report Abuse
    Reality22 - May 13, 2012 5:55 am
    Greatwhite, "What is the percentage of livestock that is killed (proven) by wolves?" We have a case in northern Wisconsin this year where on farmer lost 10 of the 40 calves he was raising..... so 25%. But, if you add in the whole township he lives in you may be at .01% If you want to go to the whole County .0017%.... Then the whole State .00003%....then while you're at it do a region....0000004%. The point is some wolf huggers love to use that State percentage when Sheep and Cattle in the southern part of the state have nothing to do with the problems. Even on the township level some farms/ranches are by far more vulnerable to predation than others.
    Here are two decades of records by wolves in Wisconsin:
    Year Record:
    1993 hounds (1) tie
    1994 dollars $6125.00
    1995 six calves
    1996 dollars $11,918.82,
    1997 9 calves
    1998 6 hounds
    1999 dollars $84279.47,
    2000 2 pet dogs,
    2001 66 chickens,
    2002 27 Sheep,
    2003 pet vet dollars $1549.68,
    2004 Dollars $109941.60,
    2005 three horses/donkeys,
    2006 dollars $114799.52
    2007 pet dog dollars $5735
    2008 dollars $134752.48
    2009 hound vet dollars $4665.64
    2010 dollars $203943.51
    2011 11 goats
    2012 dollars $211800.16 & the year is not done!
    Wisconsin has more than 33,000 black bears ..... it would take them well more than two decades to do the livestock damage that was done already this year by 800 wolves!
    As far as the wolves effect on game herds......where ever they go and thrive game herd's numbers fall. You can continue to use the whole state statistics to counter that if you want but, when debating this subject please only discuss areas where wolves were not abundant but are now abundant.
    As far as other predators..... I think other predators benefit in the presence of wolves because wolves leave a lot of carrion in their wake.

    As far as peaceful..... I have always been civil/peaceful .... Please give me an example of being un-peaceful so I can make the necessary adjustments.
  21. GreatWhite
    Report Abuse
    GreatWhite - May 12, 2012 5:30 pm
    Reality22. This IS a serious question. What is the percentage of livestock that is killed (proven) by wolves? Not coyotes, bears or mountain lions. I'm good with an estimate, I don't need you to post stats and stuff like that.

    I get your stance. And I hear what you are saying, and I agree. (Not necessarily in the action of trapping mind you!) I agee that if hunters don't achieve the numbers FWP approves of, that other means become necessary. And they will do what needs to be done.

    I'm giving in only to the POINT that I have to trust the FWP to do whats best concerning all parties.

    Also, hunters, there is info out there that supports more Elk, there is info that supports a decline in numbers. I have hunted them, and I know they can simply vacate an area for reasons NOT based on predation. Have you researched and exonerated ALL other potential causes for this? (Overhunting, heavy hunting, new housing developements, harvesting cow elk can lead to new migratory patterns if lead cows are taken, block management changes, land sales, forest fires, heavy beetle kill areas...etc.)

    Also Reality22, what has changed (proven) since the reintroduction of wolves concerning coyotes and bears. I know the number of kills by coyotes went up without the wolves. It has been proven that predators tend to balance each other out. But the bear population has also been increasing and they are spreading into area they haven't been in for a long time. How is that affecting livestock predation?

    I think we can be peaceful, and still maintain our stances in this forum with others. What say you?
  22. Reality22
    Report Abuse
    Reality22 - May 11, 2012 9:35 pm
    It's really quite funny that people like Jonathan Matthews, Mike Leahy can come to these meeting and condemn trapping. They have pushed and pushed for no hunting of wolves so that the only alternative left and the last defense to predation of livestock is TRAPPING! Minnesota is a prime example of what I'm talking about. There groups have undermined the delisting in the great lakes at least three times in the last decade. Minnesota's bludgeoning wolf population, which these groups for year have said is the example for the west, has to have 200 of the vermin killed every year. How do they do that? GOVERMENT TRAPPING yes, they are not happy that we were allowed to hunt them then attack the idea of trapping them, yet their utopia for the ideal & their end result is GOVERNMENT TRAPPING. I guess whenever they can soak the government for something like litigation or TRAPPING it's OK....... or are they only out to prolong the WOLF as their chief mascot on the DONATE NOW button!

Civil Dialogue

We provide this community forum for readers to exchange ideas and opinions on the news of the day. Passionate views, pointed criticism and critical thinking are welcome. Name-calling, crude language and personal abuse are not welcome. Moderators will monitor comments with an eye toward maintaining a high level of civility in this forum. Our comment policy explains the rules of the road for registered commenters. If you receive an error after submitting a comment, please contact us.

If your comment was not approved, perhaps:

    1. You called someone an idiot, a racist, a dope, a moron, etc. Please, no name-calling or profanity (or veiled profanity -- #$%^&*).

    2. You rambled, failed to stay on topic or exhibited troll-like behavior intended to hijack the discussion at hand.

    3. YOU SHOUTED YOUR COMMENT IN ALL CAPS. This is hard to read and annoys readers.

    4. You have issues with a business. Have a bad meal? Feel you were overcharged at the store? New car is a lemon? Contact the business directly with your customer service concerns.

    5. You believe the newspaper's coverage is unfair. It would be better to write the editor at editor@helenair.com. This is a forum for community discussion, not for media criticism. We'd rather address your concerns directly.

    6. You included an e-mail address or phone number, pretended to be someone you aren't or offered a comment that makes no sense.

    7. You accused someone of a crime or assigned guilt or punishment to someone suspected of a crime.

    8. Your comment is in really poor taste.

    9. Don't write a novel. If your comment is longer than the article you're commenting on, you might want to cut it down a bit. Lengthy comments will likely be removed.
Add Comment
You must Login to comment.

Click here to get an account it's free and quick