Wednesday, February 18, 2015

#25 - Moose & Elk Population Continues To Drop.

Now like the deer population in areas where wolves have migrated or been reintroduced we see a distinctive decline in the Moose population.  First we look at Minnesota:

Minnesota's moose numbers drop again; DNR says decline 'will likely continue'

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 18, 2015 - 7:23 AM

You can see how - insisting that wolves not be allowed to be "extinct" in our states is pushing other species toward extinction.

 "Using aerial surveys by the state DNR, the total in Minnesota has dropped from 8,840 in 2006 to 3,450. " 

"Minnesota’s moose population continues to fall, and wildlife officials said Tuesday that the latest count shows no sign that the state is reversing the puzzling decline that began a decade ago."

*Puzzling decline - really?!  That's like releasing rats into the pantry and then being puzzled by why the flour is gone.  Hypnotized maybe but puzzled - nah.

"An aerial survey by the state Department of Natural Resources, released Tuesday, puts the number of moose in Minnesota at 3,450 — down about 20 percent from 2014 but well above the tally from 2013, the year the agency halted hunting of the animal.

Since 2006, the number of moose in Minnesota is down roughly 60 percent from a high of 8,840."

As you can guess - the wolf population would also have risen in Minnesota.  Now will the increase in wolves really be detrimental to Moose & Deer & Hunters (who depend and are subsidies by hunting).  It already has suffered - will it get worse and cause the depletion or even extinction of Moose?  Traditional science says no - or very rarely (but we see the depletion already).

 Here's how the science goes:
"Predators kill and consume other organisms. Carnivores prey on animals, herbivores consume plants. Predators usually limit the prey population, although in extreme cases they can drive the prey to extinction. There are three major reasons why predators rarely kill and eat all the prey:
  1. Prey species often evolve protective mechanisms such as camouflage, poisons, spines, or large size to deter predation.
  2. Prey species often have refuges where the predators cannot reach them.
  3. Often the predator will switch its prey as the prey species becomes lower in abundance: prey switching.

Well #1 is out - no time for evolution to develop.  #2 A safe place for the deer in Maryland at least as it was here in NC was human's front lawns.  Still not safe in the wee hours of the night as an earlier post reveals a fawn - killed and eaten a block from the house (they haven't put the bus stop in yet).  So #2 is out - there is no place Deer and Moose can hide.  #3 - Switch Prey - Well are we going to wait till there are just a 1000 Moose and then see if the wolves switch to the also dwindling deer?  Or will they switch to pets and homeless vets?  Obviously they will do what it takes to survive.  Will we step up to the problem we've allowed to happen - showing it to be a sham pulled over on us that the Mascot of the Wolf in Sheep's Clothing has foisted on us thru Follywood programming?

"The DNR is conducting a separate moose mortality research project, which also provides insight into the species’ future in Minnesota.
Some 11 percent of collared adult moose died this year, as compared to 21 percent last year, Cornicelli said. Adult mortality was slightly lower, but the number of calves that survive to their first year has also been low.
“This indicates the population will likely continue to decline in the foreseeable future,” he said.
Researchers will radio-collar another 36 adult moose in the coming weeks and 50 newborn calves this spring in hopes of learning how to stop or slow the long-term population decline.
The DNR discontinued moose hunting in 2013, saying it would wait until the population could support a hunt." Source:

So we need to remove or reduce the "Other" hunters who are going to see that the moose does not recover.

While I'm at this the Elk Population might as well be added here - take Yellowstone for example - an 80% decrease in the number of Elk has occurred since the wolves were released.

Here was the Ecological Thinking:

What impact would wolf recovery have on other animals? Although wolves were commonly thought to limit the number of deer, elk and other ungulate prey, another view gained currency in the 1950s and 1960s. This view held that ungulate populations were limited not by predators but by food supply. Wolf predation merely ensured a plentiful food supply for the remaining ungulates, allowing more of them to breed. Predation was seen as putting a floor on the number of ungulates, rather than a ceiling. 
New evidence from the late 1980s and 1990s does not support this theory, however. Wolf and bear predation are much more significant constraints on ungulate populations than previously thought; a greater food supply per ungulate does not compensate for predation. The relationship between wolf and ungulate populations is one of conflict, not symbiosis.

What the outcome could be:  (Hunters & Environmentalist Should BE on the Same TEAM).

Why should environmentalists care about the quality of hunting? Because many hunters are keenly aware that overhunting and pollution can threaten their sport, the hunting community is an important supporter of conservationist causes. But sport hunters’ support for conservation depends greatly on their freedom to hunt. In British Columbia and Alaska’s coastal forests, where wolf recovery significantly diminished ungulate populations available for hunting, the population of hunters also diminished, and environmentalists lost an important ally. Consequently, public resistance to the clear cutting of forests waned and habitat protection lost political support. Summarizes Kay: “More wolves = fewer deer = less public support for wildlife = more clearcuts.”Source:

#24 - Change At Last - Officials Are Taking A Stand.

Goodness Gracious, we are starting to see real change in the Public view on wolf reintroduction.  One thing that was consistent thou - the people who didn't want wolves reintroduce and want to see some protective controls put in place were consistently the ones dealing with them.  Not the inner city folks who came out once in a blue moon to hear a wolf howl or day dream about the exotic wild aspects of nature.  It's from this imaginary relationship with wolves that we were suduced into the idea that wolves were friendly, useful additions to our natural landscape.  It's from this spellbound place that you get pictures of red wolves like the one below - with it's tiny muzzle and despairing look. 

I am in support of the NC Officials that see the release of the '100 wolves a year' (which is far more likely based on this blog alone) as an illegal act of terrorizing North Carolina's citizens and nature lovers.

I've encountered the Red Wolf as an out doors-men and I can tell you it's not a safe or smart move to be releasing wolves any more than putting alligators in our park ponds or sharks in swimming pools (to exaggerate).  

Anyway - glad to see progress!!  Here is the latest front:
Some NC officials want to give up on the red wolves and declare them extinct. Help us save the red wolf reintroduction program.
Eastern NC is home to a growing population of reintroduced red wolves – but now, the NC Wildlife Resource Commission is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to abandon the reintroduction program and declare the wolves extinct, which would likely doom the species in the wild.
Sierra Weaver, a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center, sums it up best: “Red wolves have lived — and thrived — on the current mix of private and public lands for 25 years, becoming one of the most successful predator reintroductions in U.S. history…Asking that the federal government declare ‘extinct’ the 100 red wolves that live in eastern North Carolina is a blatant attempt to remove from the wild one of our country’s most beloved animals.”

Brittany Iery
Dear Brittany - I am very glad to see your interest in cleaning up the ash waste in the water supply - please don't be too discuraged that Wolves do end up being dangerious animals in the wild.  Now if you were going to be there for each of them and assure them the MEAT they need each winter - well then I think it would be fine to have wolves.

Friday, February 13, 2015

#23 - Wolf Hunting In Michigan - the Politics of Funding

A lot of times it's a numbers game - those with the most money win.  However - the exception is those with the most awareness - who can spread it, can out preform the money.  Thanks for listening.

The fight over Michigan wolf hunting continues to be an expensive one, with committees on both sides of the issue reporting a combined total of more than $2.3 million in contributions since 2013.
Keep Michigan Wolves Protected reported $125,431 in new donations, along with $750,000 worth of goods and services provided by the Humane Society of the United States at no charge, between late April and late July.
All told, the group has pulled in roughly $1.6 million for two separate petition drives designed to ban wolf hunting in Michigan after an inaugural season last year. Both measures are set to appear on the November ballot, but both could be undermined by a subsequent pro-hunt petition drive.
Citizens For Professional Wildlife Management raised close to $300,000 for the period and $763,000 overall as it worked to send initiated legislation to state lawmakers, who could approve the pro-hunt measure next month or allow it to go to the general election ballot for voters to decide.
The committee, funded largely by hunting and conservation groups, has paid more than $500,000 to National Petition Services in Brighton for signature collection this election cycle.
Keep Michigan Wolves Protected ended the reporting period with nearly $524,000 in cash on hand, while Citizens for Professional Wildlife Management has around $49,700 in the bank.


"What!  Was that your dog?!"

That's A Coyote BTW

#22 - Listening to Prozac - I Mean The Opposition

From time to time it is important to stop what your doing - no matter how firmly you believe it and see what those holding the opposite views are saying - for corrective and educational purposes.

Below is a summery - followed by a series of comments on how Pro-Wolf Peps feel.
First though let's take a moment to examine some simple facts:

Is hunting season on Wolves working?

"But are the seasons working? In a solid three hours of testimony, I didn't hear a single indication that the killing of 562 wolves by sportsmen, and another 430 by government agents and landowners, and who knows how many by poachers, is having an effect at all. Or ever will."

Those are the over all numbers across the States - Here are the stats for Michigan:

 What these stats tell us is that - while the population of wolves in Michigan is leveling off - the damage to livestock and dogs is decreasing.  Hence hunting season is working.  Remember the original goal was to have 800 wolves total in the Yellow Stone Park (save the ecology it was the call - now we've got save the dogs, elk, moose, and deer...).  Now we have nearly 800 in Michigan alone.
Alright - so here's the howl - hang in there Senators:
State Senate Resolution claims wolves increasingly endanger people-
LANSING, MI. They just can’t give it up. Despite no wild wolf attacks in Michigan or any other state where wolves have been recently restored, politicians who don’t like them insist people are being increasingly threatened as shown by this story from the Michigan State Senate. The Republican Michigan State Senate just sent a resolution to Congress telling Congress take wolves off the endangered species list. They were recently added back to the list after a recent federal court ruling insisting it be done.
The matter of wolf attacks on people came up. Opponents of the resolution give the facts that there had been no wolf attacks on people in the state, but that did not dissuade use of language about an “increasing threat” of wolves to people. It seems that the myth of wolves eating people overrides the surprising docility of real wolves when people are around. Wolf attacks on people are less than attacks or injuries from any other wild large mammal in Michigan and the entire United States. Truthfully there have been no wolf attacks on people in Michigan or any documented threats. Michigan deer, however, do occasionally do attack people.
Story.  Grey wolf endangered status prompts heated debate, resolution in Michigan Senate.  By Jonathan Oosting.
Wolf attacks on Michigan livestock and dogs did slowly increase as the wolf population there has grown.  Recently, however the number has declined after a high in 2010-2012.
What are termed “scare tactics” about wolves attacking people have also been used in Washington state, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon.
Tagged with:
About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides.

70 Responses to Michigan Repubs pass anti-wolf resolution directing Congress toward false facts

    • avatar Ida Lupine says:
      :) I love it.
    • avatar rork says:
      Doesn’t lend itself to grandstanding as well.
      Oh, and that article is kinda old: They are now actually are asking voters to up the sales tax to 7%, and are considering lowering the income tax – their idea of helping out the low to middle income folks is to extend one finger. PS: we have flat income taxes in MI. Hi Ho!
      I’m amazed how fast Ralph picked this story up.
      • avatar JB says:
        They’re adopting the same strategy here (reduce income tax, raise other taxes). The problem is, the sales tax is regressive–it hits people harder the less money they earn. So essentially you have yet another example of republicans structuring tax policy so that wealth moves upward. Ugh.

      • avatar Kristi says:
        Over the last couple of years the MI legislature kept voters from voting on 4,5 issues. Yet, when they couldn’t come up with a plan to fund road taxes, they turned to the voters to approve the increased sales tax, and some other goodies that have been hidden but come to light recently. There will be a ballot proposal in May.
  1. avatar Ida Lupine says:
    Are we missing something here?
    Are wolves somehow implicated in the deterioration of our state’s vital thoroughfares? Have marauding packs been impeding construction crews struggling to repair Michigan’s battered roads before another winter unleashes its fury?
    Most Lower Peninsula residents have never actually seen a wolf. Yet there are apparently numerous legislative districts where the animals’ nocturnal howls are so deafening that lawmakers can no longer hear what their constituents are saying about Lansing’s continuing neglect of Michigan’s roads.
    Hee! :)
  2. avatar WM says:
    Its started. Looks like WI is tackling the matter from the other end with Rep. Ribble’s own bill (likely a rider with the same features as the MT, ID one) to be introduced later this week.
    Also interesting comment from Adrian W.
    Listen to the audio version:
    And, once again you can thank HSUS and their friends for sending this matter the way it is heading.
    • avatar WM says:
      Addendum: This apparently is the same bill that was mentioned in MN middle of last month, so nothing new. WI- R, Ribble, is leading the charge along with a D from MN, and your favorite R from WY, Cynthia Lummis.
      • avatar says:
        article says: “”Doug Peterson, president of the Minnesota Farmers Union, said he believes the court ruling is already affecting farms and ranches, particularly smaller family farms where the loss of a cow or calf or two puts a big dent in incomes. “At some point people are going to do what they’re going to do to protect their livestock. That ends up being a problem,” he said.””
        Some education is needed here so Congress knows that the Endangered Species Act already allows direct lethal protection of persons and their livestock under attack and also that indiscriminate hunting and trapping breaks up wolf families and leads to more livestock predation. The last thing we need is another “rider” getting attached to a “must pass” bill.
        • avatar timz says:
          I’m guessing the same number of people in congress will read the ESA as those that read the Obama care bill before passing it.
        • avatar WM says:
          ++Some education is needed here so Congress knows that the Endangered Species Act already allows direct lethal protection of persons and their livestock under attack …++
          Not true. Once again you have just enough information to be a danger to yourself and others.
          There is no provision to kill an ESA protected species to protect attacks on livestock – only humans- and then it is only a “defense” in court, the event the accused violator is prosecuted. Of course, defending one’s self in federal court, including all preliminaries to trial is not an inexpensive outlay. Of course the physical evidence needs to support your defense, so you better have scratches/bites or lots of footprints or torn up ground around where you took your self-defense action. And, do not destroy evidence in your favor. Of course there are also the costs of federal LEO investigations too.
          The Endangered Species Act, Section 11 [16 U.S.C. 1540]:
          (a) Civil Penalties-
          (3)Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, no civil penalty shall be imposed if it can be shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant committed an act based on a good faith belief that he was acting to protect himself or herself, a member of his or her family, or any other individual from bodily harm, from any endangered or threatened species.
          (b)Criminal Violations –
          (3) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, it shall be a defense to prosecution under this subsection if the defendant committed the offense based on a good faith belief that he was acting to protect himself or herself, a member of his or her family, or any other individual, from bodily harm from any endangered or threatened species.
          • avatar Yvette says:
            WM you’re good at espousing the legal language. How many people have been prosecuted under either of those provisions? You’re well versed on the legal aspect so I’m confident you have a count on those people prosecuted for killing wolves that failed to prove they were being attacked.
            “Of course the physical evidence needs to support your defense, so you better have scratches/bites or lots of footprints or torn up ground around where you took your self-defense action. And, do not destroy evidence in your favor. Of course there are also the costs of federal LEO investigations too.”
            I say hogwash. All they have to do is say, “I thought it was a coyote”. Ba da bing. They walk.
            • avatar timz says:
              Yvette WM is nothing more than a pseudo-intellectual. If we all ignored him perhaps he would go away.
              • avatar WM says:
                Well, ya know timz, if you actually offered something of substance even occasionally, instead of stumbling around trying to high mark on those with whom you disagree the conversation would be a little better. Don’t know how many times you have peed on Obama and healthcare, which of course isn’t even relevant on this forum – now that’s true caterwauling.
                • avatar timz says:
                  You mean just go and cut and paste crap like you do and call that contributing. You’re a wanna be joke like I said, nothing but pseudo intellectual, and you’re so obvious not even a very good one of those
                • avatar timz says:
                  And you even had to us my caterwauling term. Have you ever had an original thought?
                • avatar timz says:
                  And btw I’ve never mentioned Obama care before it was simply used as a metaphor in this case. Of course that escaped you as it would any pseudo intellectual such as yourself.
                • avatar timz says:
                  Also despite you’re professed neutrality you’re a closet wolf hater and the fact you won’t admit also makes you a gutless coward.
                • avatar WM says:
                  There you are timmy, four comments all in a row, and not a wit with any substance relating to the topic thread… as usual.
                  I usually back up what I say with some authority. So, I must be reading something? You don’t have to agree with me, but at least you know how I reached a position. Sorry you don’t like the cut and paste, but it seems to be better than just pulling something out of my ass, like some folks do here with considerable regularity, yourself included.
                  I’m not a wolf hater, I just don’t want as many as some.
                • avatar timz says:
                  Let’s make it five. The only difference between you and the white trash I hear bantering about wolves in my community is you have a computer and know how to use Google. BTW it’s time for me to write another check to HSUS,I think I’ll send it in your name.
            • avatar WM says:
              Now you are talking about prosecutorial discretion. Apparently some legal decision-makers are finding their federal tax Justice Department dollars might actually be spent in other higher priority areas.
              By the way, I have no idea how many violators have been prosecuted for killing ESA protected wolves, but not many, after the McKittrick policy.
              • avatar Yvette says:
                “Now you are talking about prosecutorial discretion. Apparently some legal decision-makers are finding their federal tax Justice Department dollars might actually be spent in other higher priority areas.”
                Nice diversion, but it simply shows my comment was correct. You know your first comment implied anyone that killed an endangered wolf would be pounced with the same fervor that Homeland Security would pounce on an an animal rights advocate. Nah, it doesn’t work that way for wolf killers.
                “I thought I saw a coyote”
                The laws that apply to one should apply to all, but it never works that way. Never has. How is that cattle round up on the Cliven Bundy federal land going? Did the Dann sisters ever get their livestock returned and the use of the Shoshone treaty land? Nah, you see, WM, the law just isn’t applied in the same way to all people.
                Wolf killers typically walk free.
        • avatar Yvette says:
          They know. They also know many of their constituents either don’t know, or will believe what they want to be the truth vs. facts. The anti-wolf faction will continue to lie, slant and twist all details because if you lie good enough and long enough people will believe it.
        • avatar Kristi says:
          No lethal protection except for human safety in the GLR. The Great Lakes Region doesn’t allow for killing wolves for livestock conflicts, that’s a Rockies thing from the reintroduction.
    • avatar timz says:
      Your constant caterwauling about HSUS and other groups efforts to protect the wolf has become extremely tiresome. Give it up already, most here appreciate their efforts.
      • avatar Professor Sweat says:
        Considering they (the HSUS) are already backpedaling and supporting reclassification for wolves under the more reasonable “threatened” listing in the GL states, I don’t think it would be too much to ask WM to allow for the dead horse to rest in peace.
        • avatar WM says:
          HSUS deserves every piece of crap that gets piled on.
          MN wolves have been in the “threatened” category, a lesser ESA classification than “endangered,” since their initial listing a very long time ago. They have sought delisting for the last 13 years or so, and HSUS has sued because they NEVER want them delisted (a formal written HSUS policy). Now that it appears the winds are changing, HSUS is seeking what THEY SAY is middle ground they have never sought before, and for MN there is nothing gained. So, expect MN to follow thru with a vengeance. WI and MI it appears are also fed up.
          • avatar says:
            Do you agree that the legalized hunting and trapping of wolves is questionable and likely is no longer scientifically justified??
            • avatar WM says:
              I have seen Dr. Weilgus’ presentation on this topic. I think I recall some admissions on his part that the data sets could be better, and if they were, it could make the conclusions stronger (he has done similar work on cougar in WA). Since he was commissioned by WDFW to do the study for them, it seems the regulators ought to determine what hunting/trapping is ultimately conducted over the long term.
              Alternatively, if hunting/trapping is in the end all about numbers of wolves and where they are, maybe this research is of little use. Probably should keep that in mind, too, Ed. So if wolves are eating too many elk or deer in the wrong place, I’d say all options for hunting/trapping are in play.
          • avatar JB says:
            To be fair, MN was just as intransigent (as HSUS) when wolves were being listed (they fought listing tooth and nail). So nothing’s really changed here except the political winds.

            Ed: Weilgus’ data doesn’t suggest wolf hunting isn’t scientifically justified. Rather, it suggests killing wolves increases depredations–to a point. Kill enough wolves and depredations actually fall (that’s the flipside of his findings that pro-wolf folks don’t like to talk about). Nevertheless, since we apparently need to maintain wolves (probably near current levels), states should use regulated public hunts cautiously, and in most places, they shouldn’t be talking about decreased depredations as a goal of such “management”.
            • avatar says:
              Yes, I agree with you that if a wolf state allows enough wolves to be killed by hunting and trapping, eventually depredations on livestock and/or other animals will go down. In fact, if you carry this scenario forward the way many politicians want, wolf states can just eliminate wolves all together so there will be no wolf depredations on anything, anywhere. This is where politics over-rules science and unfortunately, it seems to be being promoted more and more.
          • avatar Ralph Maughan says:
            I think what most people who like wolves do not want is wolf hunting and trapping, and they probably agree that the rest of the legal protection from endangered status is less than critical. Therefore, they will support a downloading.
          • avatar Louise Kane says:
            MN might gain time for reason and logic to prevail in wolf management. Tolerance might increase and people might have the chance to see how unnecessary, inhumane and ecologically destructive public wolf hunts are and how much they are detested by a largely ignored public.
          • avatar JB says:
            Your mistake here is is the same one made by those who take every chance to dig at hunters — both focus on people/groups rather than issues. Who cares what HSUS or RMEF or SCI or CBD has done in the past. It doesn’t matter. What matters is whether the policy that is currently being advocated is a viable alternative. The rest doesn’t matter, it amounts to ad hominem attacks. Tribalism has become the biggest barrier to agreement on wolf management policy.

            Tribalism – ‘the behavior and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group.’
          • avatar Professor Sweat says:
            I can’t speak for MN and WI, but in MI citizens did vote down both ballot proposals that would have led to another wolf season. The fact that the outcome is now moot thanks to MNRC initiative doesn’t tell me the state is fed up.
            Once again, it’s just politics.
        • avatar Louise Kane says:
          The HSUS is not backpedaling. I would say they made a reasoned proposition to avoid a potential radical outcome within a shitty super conservative anti conservation political environment.
          I think its tragic that the courts have been consistently remanding protections of wolves back to the federal government, whether for lack of adequate state protections or because the USFWS acted arbitrarily and capriciously, only to have protections thwarted by sleazy politicians that will do anything to advance their archaic and superstitious witch hunt like positions about predators .
          HSUS v. Jewell is the perfect example of how our system is supposed to work. When legal questions about a rule or law and the way its implemented or interpreted, arise, if there is legal standing or merit then the courts consider the issue and deliberate carefully before reaching a decision.
          For politicians to lie, cheat and pander to Congress to override judicial decisions and prevent judicial review is damned undemocratic.
          The HSUS did its job, they are advocates and watchdogs. If they and others like them did not exist, animals and wildlife would live even more miserable lives because the world is full of some pretty despicable people.
          I don’t appreciate the continuous assaults on wildlife, public lands, and protective environmental legislation by extremists that make litigation unavoidable.
        • avatar Kristi says:
          There was no backpeddaling. The HSUS has asked for downlisting the wolves to “threatened” so livestock owners could kill wolves since the delisting has come up again. The powers that be want total delisting. Free and clear wolves for any reason.
    • avatar Louise Kane says:
      where to start with that comment, ” And, once again you can thank HSUS and their friends for sending this matter the way it is heading.” Jeez that’s so ridiculous its hard to comment.
      • avatar WM says:
        “[R]idiculous” you say.
        You might want to look at this Congressional report – especially beginning at page 6. There is reference to CBD and WildEarthGuardians. HSUS is in the same tier of “irritation and loathing” by this Republican change agent group, but HSUS litigation to my knowledge not been as focused as much on the West.
        The R’s in the House have 4 bills in the hopper already and that was before tide began to turn with the Senate going R controlled, and they haven’t even considered the Western Governor’s agenda yet.
        • avatar timz says:
          More cut and paste? what a genius
          • avatar says:
            Personally, I am so pleased at this crucial time of need with the work of HSUS, Wild Earth Guardians, Center For Biological Diversity, Western Watersheds Project and others. With Congress now so weak on wildlife conservation, these groups become even more valuable because they carry the battle to the courts, where they have secured many victories.
            Hopefully, at some point soon, we can get many more politicians elected who are in tune with the public regarding nature and wildlife. In the meantime, these strong conservation organizations have to be the first line of defense, and I thank them for that.
          • avatar Joanne Favazza says:
            LOL, timz
      • avatar rork says:
        “Jeez that’s so ridiculous its hard to comment.”
        Except for this: if congress delists great lakes wolves in some way, it will seem to be the result of the recent court “victory”.
        Translation: I think he’s essentially correct. That does make it hard to have a coherent comeback.
        Same for timz trolling when WM was correct about what the facts of the law now are.
        • avatar JB says:
          I’m not sure I agree. Wolves were delisted before the suit, so Congressional action in response to the suit could merely return the status quo. Seems to me that you let Congress off the hook if you blame HSUS for Congresses’ actions? Then there’s the fact that they won the lawsuit, which suggests they were CORRECT in their interpretation of the law. If that interpretation stands [if the law is not amended] then their actions may help numerous other species, even if wolves are delisted. If Congress chooses to amend the law–well again, Congress is to blame for its actions.
          And again, HSUS’ win in court may indeed result in wolves being delisted, but they were already delisted. If Congress delists wolves without amending the ESA, then HSUS still wins (because of precedent). If they don’t act when they believe the law demands more, then they admit defeat without putting up a fight.
          I’m sorry, but the whole argument seems like sour grapes to me? Personally, I dislike a lot of the goals of a whole variety of interest groups, but I can’t fault them for pursuing their members’ interests in court.
          • avatar Louise Kane says:
            I was going to reply to Rork but you wrote what I would have, essentially
            “If they don’t act when they believe the law demands more, then they admit defeat without putting up a fight.
            I’m sorry, but the whole argument seems like sour grapes to me? ”
            sour grapes indeed
            • avatar JB says:
              I should have added that I can certainly understand (and share frustration) with the inability to find reasonable compromise. Certainly, HSUS contributes to this by representing one extreme; but they deserve credit here for actually compromising (rather than sticking to the ‘new delisting’ model). The other side, in contrast, doesn’t seem willing to accept compromise.
              • avatar JB says:
                Sorry should read: “rather than sticking to the ‘no delisting’ model).”
              • avatar WM says:
                The HSUS win is like gasoline on a fire. Now the Western states have new and motivated allies in the Midwestern states, to affect change to the ESA in whatever form that might take. And it is already obvious that whatever fix(es) this R Congress may have in store for MN, MI and WI will include at least WY.
                So, “sour grapes” or not, and notwithstanding your advices above, I submit still, that the issue is and remains HSUS and the decisions it makes to litigate certain issues which continues to add fuel for those who would drastically change the ESA because of their actions – even in name only. It is the balancing of lost opportunities and consequences of winning too well on principal that create the dilemma. And, for MN continuing in “threatened” status will downlisint MI and WI to “threatened” from “endangered” is no compromise whatsoever. MN gets nothing from this.
                I bet Senator Franken (D-MN) has gotten an earful in recent weeks from the MN Farm Bureau which has wolf delisting as one of its 4 current top issues. They represent something like 75,000 farms in the state.
                Momentum for ESA changes could go well beyond wolf recovery issues if opened up, and adversely affect hundreds/thousands of other species, because of the focus on what some have termed the “protracted silliness” of wolf recovery litigation.
                • avatar WM says:
                  … WHILE DOWNLISTING MI and WI to “threatened” from “endangered” is no compromise whatsoever. MN gets nothing from this.
                • avatar Louise Kane says:
                  “I bet Senator Franken (D-MN) has gotten an earful in recent weeks from the MN Farm Bureau which has wolf delisting as one of its 4 current top issues.”
                  and therein lies the real issue, it doesn’t matter what the courts, the general public or anyone wants for that matter long as the livestock and trophy industries are pissed off. Its not Congress that is angered about wolves its the lobbyists.
                • avatar JB says:
                  Come now, the Democrats in the Senate are not going to let the Republicans gut the ESA — they have absolutely nothing to gain from it–and much to lose! They may pass legislation to delist wolves in WY and the Great Lakes, or perhaps nationwide (though this outcome is doubtful), but the Dems might not even let that through (they fear their base as much as the Republicans, and btw, there are not many Ds left in the DFL for Franken to fear). The most likely case is that Republicans (with the help of a few Dems) use another legislative rider to delist wolves in the GLs and WY, in which case the precedent stands.
                  The irony here is that conservation groups are going to end up getting a huge boost in funding when/if Congress acts, which will only encourage and embolden them (just as it has groups like SFW and RMEF). And so we go ’round and ’round…

                  A ‘reasonable compromise’ probably includes a “recreational” harvest of wolves, whether it is ethically justified or not. The fools who want blood wield too much political power, and they are not going to accept protected status.
                  Compromise, of course, entails giving up something you want, which many folks on either side of the issue cannot seem to grasp; then again, keeping wolves in the spotlight appears to be a good strategy to fundraise.
                • avatar JB says:
                  Re: Minnesota…
                  “…you may be thinking: Huh—70 animals lost in a year (or 107, take your pick), and this is a big honking problem?
                  Precisely that point was highlighted by Howard Goldman, senior state director in Minnesota for the Animal Humane Society of the U.S. He pointed out that there are 165,000 calves in Minnesota’s wolf range…I find that if Goldman’s calf count is correct, the casualties reported by Stark represent a loss rate of .00039 percent.

                  Can you say “symbolic” issue?
                • avatar WM says:
                  And, maybe it is that precedent that gets the DPS issue in focus for a change to the ESA.
                  I do hope you YOUR assessment of the D’s in the Senate are right. I have my doubts especially in the next round of 1/3 Senatorial elections, and that is the cause for concern.
                • avatar Immer Treue says:
                  From that 2014 hearing
                  “Few poaching cases
                  Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, was curious about how much effort has been required of the DNR to address wolf poaching — which I suppose could be considered a form of reverse depredation by humans.
                  His question brought the DNR’s enforcement chief, Maj. Phil Meier, to the microphone, who said there were six cases in 2012, zero in 2013. Titters from the audience ensued.”
                  Absolute BS, as I have had written and oral communication with two MN DNR officials, one who participates in this hearing, who both said on average 10% of MN wolves illegally killed each year.
                • avatar WM says:
                  A lot can happen between now and the 2016 Senatorial election. Sadly pundits seem to be pretty much in agreement that of the 16 Senatorial seats that are up (9-R, 7-D), they are leaning toward another 2-4 current D’s going R, while the R’s hold on to the seats they already have. In play seem to be IL, NH, PA and WI.
                  This is pretty scary for a lot of reasons, unless something changes. And, who knows what either party will roll out on the Presidential ticket.
                  Maybe Ralph can tell us the last time the House, Senate, White House, and the Supreme Court were all R leaning, and what happens if the stars align for what could begin an even worse nightmare 2 years hence.
                • avatar WM says:
                  Addendum: Sorry, 34 seats are up for election (Class III). Of these 16 are thought to be tough competition to hold on to existing party affiliation.
              • avatar Louise Kane says:
                What is reasonable compromise? killing wolves for trophies? if killing wolves is related to management objective to reduce predation, protect human safety or protect game species, hunting is not a valid activity. It is also downright inhumane given the species familial ties and social structures. I don’t believe HSUS is extremist in any way on the wolf issue, conversely the states have been extremist in seeking public hunts as they ignore their independent scientists, ignore their public and refuse to consider institutional policy changes that make ecological sense. Isn’t it time to reject heavy handed predator policy that encourages more hysteria and intolerance. Isn’t it time wolves and other predators were given more consideration as living, intelligent and feeling beings, with families like our own. Giving deferential treatment to kill predators has to end somehow.
                • avatar Louise Kane says:
                  thanks for posting the article JB had not seen that. Symbolic indeed. that is the part making me crazy. Symbolic of ignorance, grandstanding and the kind of destructive posturing that keeps wildlife management in the 19th century when it should be greatly advanced and past all this predator hating crap.
          • avatar rork says:
            I agree with most everything you wrote JB, which was good (thanks also Louise, WM, Immer, for thoughtful writing). I was concerned but not sufficiently knowledgeable (or clairvoyant) about this: Will what we get be worse than what we had before in some ways? Maybe the answer is no, and I’m just overly worried. I’m only slightly worried about what WM was writing about in one comment, that I might summarize as state or voter backlash, but publicity and debate may be working just as well for others – my crystal ball for such stuff is in the trash. But just for example, if congress delists grey wolf everywhere, I will not be blaming HSUS. I will be disappointed, as I am now, that our actual plans are so fuzzy – what wisdom would direct for wolves in lower MI has been on my mind allot lately. (For the unfamiliar the brief summary is: none, now, but we’re expecting.) I could write lots, but not good enough, so that’s enough.
    • avatar MAD says:
      Having worked with/for Wydeven for an entire season in Wisconsin trapping, collaring and monitoring wolves, I have a few comments about him. First, he is not a field biologist, he is a 100% administrator. Second, he is pompous, arrogant and has for decades been obstructionist in carrying out sound research and policy. Him commenting on the Feds or anyone else not acting properly is pathetically ironic. Third, anyone who has ever worked with wolves in Wisconsin knows that Ron Schultz was the most knowledgeable and respected biologist that the DNR employed but Wydeven basically cut Ron off at the knees once he arrived and took over.
      • avatar Jeff N. says:
        Did you ever have a chance to work with Richard Thiel? I was lucky enough to have a phone conversation with him back in the mid 80’s when wolves were starting to make a strong comeback in WI. Seemed like a decent guy from what I remember.
    • avatar Kristi says:
      Wrong, the group of hunters, trappers, and hounders are the ones that pushed for the wolf hunt based on BS and a complete lack of science, even though they stomped up and down that wolf hunting was based in science. Sen. Tom Casperson lied in providing info for the delisting in 2011, and later apologized on the senator floor claiming that truth matters, accuracy matters. Well, apparently not Sen. Casperson (and I told him as much when testifying in front of his committee).
  3. avatar Ron Trucksess says:
    I hope that the Michigan State Mental Hospital has enough room for the politicians above, because they are delusional and Schizophrenic over this issue, and are making claims that are of untrue nature as a mental health patient would. Michigan politicians, you are ignorant,corupt, and full of crap, and are not above the federal laws of Washington.
  4. avatar jerry collins says:
    Just because Little Red Riding Hood’s Grandma, and the 3 little pigs didn’t live in Michigan, doesn’t mean that wolves don’t eat millions of people in this country each year!!!!!!!
  5. avatar KD says:
    I have a question that I was wondering if anyone could shed some insight on. I think naturally you should be able to defend your livestock/pets/family/self when in the process of being threatened by any animal acting aggressively. But I’ve become a little suspicious as of late whenever someone mentions needing to cull a population of predators when their prey sources are dwindling. I’d always been under the impression, having grown up watching nature and science docs that the food chain was a bit of a seesaw, and that if a predator becomes too successful it will become the victim of it’s own success and dwindle as it’s prey dwindles, eventually allowing the prey species to rebound.
    Is this natural fluctuation not accounted for or allowed to play out in wildlife management today? Does it have something to do with the way wilderness areas are cut off from each-other by modern cities and development? And why not relocate the excess wolves to all the places currently lacking them that are spending money trying to get rid of their excess deer/elk? I’m also wondering who determines when there are too many predators vs too many herbivores, and if it’s based exclusively on ecosystem health or partially on making sure hunters can catch enough deer/elk as well.
  6. avatar jon says:
    The wolf haters love to bring up the dogs that are killed by wolves. An important fact they don’t seem to mention is that most of these dogs killed by wolves are HUNTING dogs. The hunting dogs are invading the wolf’s territory and therefore are killed. Can’t blame the dogs. Gotta blame the irresponsible hound hunters.
  7. avatar JB says:
    Sorry guys, gotta bug off for a bit.
  8. avatar Ida Lupine says:
    The Senator who introduced this bill (Casperson) has already been caught lying and embellishing wolf threats by his own admission (making up a story about wolves at a daycare center – a variation of the school bus stop story), and the farmer (John Koski) who had the most red-flag raising complaints of wolf depredation has been caught lyng, gaming the system and negligent, and charged with animal cruelty for neglecting his state-provided guard animals. He did not removed dead livestock from his property and would not use an electrified fence.
    Why anyone even gives this any sort of serious consideration is beyond me.
    Lest we forget the events of last year, there are numerous articles in the media. Other articles are in the link below:
    How Half-Truths, Falsehoods and One Farmer Distorted Reasons for Wolf Hunt