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Wolf Agreement Reached in Northern Rocky Mountains

Whether it takes is anyone’s guess. There have been final agreements before.

Friday March 18, 2011

"For too long, wolf management in this country has been caught up in controversy and litigation instead of rooted in science, where it belongs. This proposed settlement provides a path forward,"
said Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes.

http://www.seattlepi.com/...
http://helenair.com/...
http://www.latimes.com/...
http://www.nytimes.com/...

recent developments below the fold. I've labeled apposing sides as pro or anti wildlife management. I believe calling any group of wildlife biologists animal haters or anti a particular species would be misleading. You'd have to assume most interested parties like wild animals. The disagreement seems to stem from wether or not to manage them or even not wether but how.

Some recent events leading to the settlement.

Both house and senate budget bills include efforts to delist the gray wolf from the endangered species act, and the senators from the affected states include a fair number of Democrats especially if you include the entire upper central and western US. The congressional version would delist the species everywhere, the senate version only in Idaho and Montana, and roughly the senate version is what’s being suggested.

There is also a little noticed obscure rule change afoot to put a moratorium on payments under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA). That act gives funding to groups who successfully litigate against the government, it pays for attorney's fees. So all of the current environmental groups who seemingly do nothing but bring suit might be out of a paycheck. The amount of those payments are estimated to be in the range of $37 million, a total of 1,500 suits by the same 10 organisations. The flip side is that the act is a source of funds for people of modest means who have been wronged by the government.

http://legaltimes.typepad.com/...

The third and perhaps most impending development is the retirement of Judge Malloy in August. Judge Malloy is the single judge to rule in all the wolf cases, though not exactly known as a tree hugger, the judge likes to arbitrarily rule against the US government. Traditionally his successor would be recommended by the US senator of the state (Montana) and in this case that means Democratic Senator Testor who is up for a contested election in 2012. Both Testor and his opponent the sole congressman of Montana, Representative Rheburg, are in a contest to see who can be the most convincingly pro wildlife management (anti-wolf).
____________________

There are still obstacles. Not all of the litigious anti wildlife management groups have agreed to the agreement. What the government and the 10 groups that are in agreement want, is for Judge Malloy to reverse an earlier decision that returned the wolf to protection under a technicality. Whether the judge will or not is as unpredictable as the judge himself, he could just as easily say”you all created this mess and tied up my courtroom for months, now deal with it”. Also 4 of the anti wildlife management groups haven’t signed on and it’s unknown if they will successfully block the agreement.

And..... Wyoming is not a part of any delisting but last week the US government dropped it’s objections to the state’s wolf plan and both the state and the feds are in negotiations regarding Wyoming’s status. Undoubtedly there are pro hunting environmental groups apposed to the deal, but I don’t know of any. As of now Safari Club, the NRA and the Congressional Sportsman’s Caucus are in favor, the Rocky Mountain Elk foundation hasn’t made a statement yet.

It was widely believed last year when the anti wildlife management groups reversed the lifting of ESA designation that they had over reached. This is the fallout.

Populations have exceeded the goal for delisting by a factor of five, the original number of 300 wolves was reached many years ago and current estimates are in the range of 1,600. As it stood the DOJ as well as interior were appealing a ruling that was fairly obviously not scientific.

There are simply too many western legislators for whom this single issue is a big deal, in the next few weeks it’s widely believed the two parties will reach a budget compromise, if a deal on wolves isn’t reached before then, wolves will be part of the compromise. Most parties would rather a deal they agree to, than an unknown, possibly worse, deal.

Feel free to add tags or repost as desired. I'll respond in comments as much as possible but I'm getting two little kids ready for school and bringing them there after which I too am going to work.

Found an interesting web site yesterday.

http://carnivora.proboards.com/...

Originally posted to ban nock at DKos on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 06:04 AM PDT.

Also republished by J Town and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thanks, ban nock. (6+ / 0-)

    We need to keep up with what is happening on this important issue.

    Thanks for the links.

    Republished in:

    J Town Babbling Brook

    Burble Burble

    Much of life is knowing what to Google
    (and blogging at BPI Campus)

    by JanF on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 08:04:38 AM PDT

  •  supposing both sides care about animals (10+ / 0-)

    is lots like supposing both the GOP and the Dems care equally about a child in the US.

    We've seen the results of such assumptions repeatedly.

    One side of this argument wants wolves (and coyotes and other predators, along with mustangs and other competitors for forbs and grasses including antelope and bighorn sheep) extirpated for profit's sake.

    LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

    by BlackSheep1 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:03:49 AM PDT

    •  differentiate between native & non-native (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sturunner, ER Doc, x, ban nock

      I know several people who strongly argue for protection for native species (elk, cougars, and wolves, for example), but believe that non-native, invasive species like the mustang, or feral hogs and exotic deer in other parts of the country, should not only be excluded from protected status, but should be actively eliminated.  I don't agree that extraordinary measures such as professional hunters and the like should be employed, but arguing that such folk don't care or are seeking some sort of financial gain is simply wrong.  

    •  We don't know for sure what the motivations are (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      x, Larsstephens

      for either side of the debate.

      It could be argued that some strictly want to make atourney fees in lieu of other types of law work, certainly very few people are hurt profit wise by wolves. The number of ranchers with animals subject to predation is very small.

      What I do is assume the best of all types of conservation groups, governmental, and pro and anti special interest groups.

      "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

      by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 01:24:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  most certainly not (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greenbastard, HeyMikey, x

        Having worked with some of these groups, I can certainly attest that none are in it for the attorney's fees.  While those fees may keep the organizations from going under, they hardly make anyone rich.  The attorneys who work for these organizations are earning over $100,00 a year less than they would in private practice.  

        No, they are in it because they are concerned with the potential for species extinctions in the US.

        On the flip side, I've never heard a decent argument for allowing hunting, except ones that talk about harm to the livestock industry or (more recently) the big game hunting industry.  

        Certainly, the numbers affected are small, which seems to suggest that the real reasons are not primarily economic, really. Have to wonder there.

        •  it's hard to say what an attorney might make (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          x, Larsstephens

          many go to law school because they don't know what else to do with the BA they spent 5 years getting and then when they finish law school they're stil ,,,, searching.

          Being a lawyer can be very hard work, many aren't ready to make such a commitment in time and energy, that being a real lawyer takes.

          As I noted in my diary many environmental groups are set up  to sue the US government, the returns from the EAJA, and fund raising are how they make their money. That's why most of their employees are lawyers of public relations media types. I wouldn't guess to motivations, probably like most of us it's a mixed bag.

          Hunting is one of the cornerstones of our entire system of conservation in this country, it's called the North American Model of Conservation. Aldo Leopold was instrumental in it's founding with his seminal book, Game Management later renamed Wildlife Management. I'd strongly suggest a read.

          "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

          by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 03:29:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  See my other comment on EAJA fees. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            x, Larsstephens, ban nock

            1. No lawyer is going to get rich from EAJA fees.

            2. You only get EAJA fees when the government was not only wrong, but really, really clearly wrong.

            More detail in my other comment.

            "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

            by HeyMikey on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 06:41:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Hunting buys tolerance... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          salmo, ban nock

          Hunting wolves is terribly distasteful to many conservationists but it does buy a measure of tolerance from livestock owners and big game hunters who feel that wolves are impacting their hunting opportunity.

          Under the ESA, management by state agencies defers to the Feds and it becomes very difficult for agencies (state and federal) to deal with wolf depredations.  This fosters a sense of powerlessness among those who are experiencing wolf problems and it is this feeling of powerlessness that exacerbates anti-wolf sentiments.

          I'm not advocating for wolf hunting.  Just pointing out an important rationale.

          •  Livestock are as unnatural in those environs (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gallatin, RJDixon74135

            as feral hogs.

            My sympathy is not with ranchers / farmers who lease BLM land at ridiculously low fees, either. Sorry.

            LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

            by BlackSheep1 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:32:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  If you feel powerless from 1,700 reclusive animals (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            x

            scattered across 330,000 square miles (Montana, Idaho and Wyoming), then you're the problem, not the wildlife.

            Some of the rural folks in the northern rockies need to grow a pair. Many act like children. For inspiration , take a look at our African friends and how they react to a far more dangerous predator:

            http://www.youtube.com/...

            No shouting, no crying, no guns fired. No making shit up.

            Men.

  •  Good diary, ban nock (12+ / 1-)

    I noticed at one link that there are only 40 gray wolves in Washington and Oregon, and another site estimated a total of 1,651 in the lower 48 after a 15-year restoration program. That really doesn't sound like an over-population problem to me.  In fact, the population numbers could easily turn down again if protections are removed.  

    I'm feeling pretty disappointed with humans today.

    Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

    by RJDixon74135 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:09:07 AM PDT

    •  Certain states feel that any constitute (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      princesspat, OHdog, happymisanthropy

      excessive numbers. At least two were blatantly exterminationist, though one did take the effort to come up with a plan that looked as if it weren't, assuming that it was really followed. One didn't initially even bother to do that, hence all of the brouhaha ever since, since the  initial estimates on population densities that would be required for survival did not include state wode exterminationist programs in the target ranges. Those who objected on such grounds, however, were quickly labeled as anti-science and anti-wildlife management, so we will see if brother wolf is able to withstand an exterminstionist onslaught or not.  

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 09:33:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This does seem to be a problem (7+ / 0-)

        Here, the diarist seeming dismisses environmental groups, which are largely responsible for the endangered species act being enforced at all, especially with regard to the wolf.  Certainly, I don't think there is any science out there which would suggest that 1500 wolves represents anything near the carrying capacity for the wolf across the northern continental US.  Furthermore, delisting the wolf would defy both scientific and legal logic simply because such a small population might be relatively safe from a random walk to extinction, but as you point out, this is a far cry from suggesting that hunting programs (or "management" as ban nock would hav it) would not (again) endanger the wolf.  Perhaps if there were hundreds of thousands, rather than thousands, there might be a case, but as it stands now, there is scarecely any science to support delisting.  

        Certainly, scientifically grounded management programs would be welcome, but it is inconceivable that hunting would ever be part of any recovery effort.

        •  Two observations (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ban nock, ER Doc

          You state early in your paragraph the number from above (1500, which is close to 1600) and then later in your paragraph you talk about "thousands".  I believe your argument is stronger if you don't talk about "thousands", since that leads people to think multiple thousands - perhaps even five figures, which is not the case.

          The second observation is that the US laws only cover the US, but the wolf population in Canada is several thousands and they are not in danger of going extinct.  I don't believe I've heard that the ones in the US are a separate breed from the ones in Canada (at least the ones in the northern US - perhaps the ones in Arizona and closer to the Mexican border early last century were genetically distinct).  We shouldn't be saying that the wolves are in danger of going extinct unless you add "in the US".

          I believe wolves are a very important part of the ecosystem, as well as a romantic symbol of the wild that should forever be preserved and protected.  I just wanted to make the above comments to yours.

          •  The 1500 figure (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ocular sinister, ColoTim, ban nock, ER Doc

            in the lower 48 states must be from very old data.  We have far more than that in Minnesota alone.

          •  Actually, the endangered species act (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sturunner, happymisanthropy, ER Doc

            is a US law, and refers to population segments in the US.  In particular, the ESA protects species from being expirpated from a significant part of their range, which for the wolf would certainly include extirpation from the continental US.    Thus, as a legal matter, we do in fact talk about the wolf being endangered based on the threats to its existence in the US.  

            Second, as far as the numbers being in the "thousands" you are probably correct that we should emphasize that the number is almost certainly less than five thousand in the continental US.  Of course, that is far far less than historical numbers, no matter how you slice it.  Even five thousand wolves across the continental US is a very sparse population.

            •  I believe the ESA can also apply to species (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fishgrease

              outside not only the lower 48 but outside US territory also. Recently some tried to apply it to the lion.

              Historically saber toothed tigers roamed across Los Angelas. The coming of humans 10,000 years ago has had a significant affect on wild animals, especially European immigration.

              Being a realist is realizing that things aren't as they were. Rhode Island and Delaware no longer have wolves, nor does Los Angelas.

              We chose to reintroduce an extirpated species with a different sub species on an experimental basis. The experiment was  wildly successful. Unfortunately many seem not to have realized that the experiment was never meant to be an uncontrolled reintroduction. Many years ago when desired populations were reached we decided to return management to the states as they are the proper authority to manage all animals that reside in them.

              We have been kept from implementing this scientifically sound management by some groups who are good at advertising and litigating. By we I mean the people of the United States.

              "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

              by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 03:40:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  The federal government is the only group (0+ / 0-)

          enforcing the endangered species act, it's a federal law.

          It's 1600 across the northern rocky mountains, not the northern continental US.

          It's actually fairly widely known that Yellowstone and Montana have exceeded carrying capacity now and populations are in decline because of it.

          No one is talking extinction, the gray wolf as a species is classified as of lowest concern of extinction, similar to the gray squirrel.

          There are indeed well over 100 thousand worldwide.

          Management takes many forms other than issuing tags to hunters. They also reintroduce, breed in captivity, dart and radio collar, trap, poison, gas in dens, and arial hunt.

          Hunting is certainly one of the most precisely used and least expensive tools wildlife biologists use to control large mammal populations. It's the part of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation which is the basis for all of our large animal management for three quarters of a century.

          "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

          by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 01:50:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Although none of the "Agencies" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ER Doc

            or talking heads are talking about total elimination, you should talk to the loud talking, macho strutting, gun carrying cowboy wanna be's here in Wyoming (and many in Idaho and Montana as well).  It is all I here from these yahoos here in Wyoming.  Need to kill them dag blamed wolves, everyone of them.  They want to hunt them.  They would love it if there was a bounty like there was in the 1800's.  They are crying about how they are decimating the cattle, although none of them have any cattle or are planning on having cattle.

            They are talk and bravado and filled with self-importance, just like they are about killing the mooslims and shooting the president. . .and especially those brown mexicans.

            They live in a fantasy world where they are still the shoot em up cowboys of the old West and they thrive on Faux Noise and Glen Beck.  Every doctors, dentists office, hospital waiting area, car repair customer area, any public place that has a TV on has Faux running 24/7.

            They believe it all, lock stock and barrel.

            They are very loud.  They are very vocal.  THEY HATE WOLVES!

            I personally have never been able to get a real or intelligent answer from any of them as to why they hate wolves so much.

            *the blogger formerly known as shirlstars

            by Shirl In Idaho on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 06:03:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You use the terminology of the anti-conservation (0+ / 0-)

            groups quite well.

            First, this is an issue with wolves in the lower 48, not the world, yet you're lumping them into the world's population which is clouding the issue. I'll let others decide if your repetiion of this kind of talking point serves a larger purpose or not.

            Also, your using terms such as "management" and "tools". These are easily digestable soundbytes used by anti-predator groups. What you relaly mean is this is a deadly action that kills lots of wolves, thus reducing their population. Let's stop the kindergartden talk and say what it really is.

            Montana is not at capacity for wolves. That's simply not true, and I don't know anyone who believes that other than the AG industry. Sure, you could say the "social tolerance" level is there, but that's not science. That's junk. And let's not forget these are public lands and most of the U.S. is far less hostile to wolves than the ranchers and across Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.

            The truth is the "wolf controversy" is manufactured nonense created by unhappy people who use the wolf as a venting symbol. The story is so overblown and overdone, and much of the root of it is pure hatred fueled by a twisted outlook whcih devalues all life forms. The wolf is to the many residents of the northern rockies as "the negro" was to the hateful slobs during the civil rights movement.

            To put things into perspective, wolves in Montana took 87 cattle, 64 sheep, two dogs, three llammas, two goats, one horse and 4 miniature horses ata cost of $96,000. Many of these losses occured on public land where we subsidize the raising of cattle and sheep, and where ranches let their flocks roam wihout supervision.

            •  So, you gave me my first HR in the five years I've (0+ / 0-)

              posted here?  You should go look at the rules for hide rating a post. I don't believe mine meets the requirements.

              Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

              by RJDixon74135 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 12:47:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm sorry RJ I think they were meant for me (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RJDixon74135

                often HRs are given out when people get mad at you.

                People also fling them after a diary is off the list figuring no one will see it. I made the mistake of wandering onto a Fire Dog Lake type diary once and got tons of HRs for making a crack about Jane Hamsher's hair.

                It's just the way things go.

                Thanks for commenting and coming on to the diary. Lets hope the animals of the Rocky Mountains thrive.

                "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

                by ban nock on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 03:42:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not really worried about it, but (0+ / 0-)

                  I did want to reply to it to give Gallatin a chance to reconsider. S/he should know better. Thanks for speaking up on my behalf.

                  And, regarding your comment below, maybe it was a mistake. I know that's happened since we switched to DK4.

                  Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction. -- Blaise Pascal

                  by RJDixon74135 on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 07:45:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Please remove your HR from RJDixon a few comments (0+ / 0-)

              up. Perhaps you meant to rec the comment.

              I'm afraid your racial references etc are too offensive for me and I don't care to converse with you longer.

              "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

              by ban nock on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 03:54:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  States of ME and VT officially do not have Wolves (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sturunner, ER Doc

        There is more than a little politics both ways.  Some states appear to be in favor of extermination.  However, there are other reasons for fudging the count.  The State of Maine, for example, officially does not have a wolf population.  Without going into detail, my own experiences and those of a couple of people with whom I am very close confirm that wolves do occur here and in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom (presumably in Northern New Hampshire too).  I asked a friend, who is also a State wildlife biologist, why those sorts of reports are not acknowledged?  I can paraphrase his response as follows: Wolves exist here and their population seems to be growing.  However, if we were to give them official status, we would have to regulate to protect them.  If we do that, we are afraid that the landowners where they live will see them as a threat, and eliminate them.  

        In essence, he believes wolves are successfully reintroducing themselves along the Canadian border.  He also believes that aggressive management of the people who occupy that area is at least as likely as not to work to the wolves' disadvantage.  He makes his living at least in part by reintroducing native species, presumably a big wolf management push would be very good for his career.  For my part, I understand his view but wish he thought our state could manage this in a way that would not cause the problems he envisions.    

      •  I've never heard of any state wildlife departments (0+ / 0-)

        with a policy to exterminate wolves in their state. I'd be very interested if you had a link. I've also never heard of any state losing a large mammal population once established.

        It is true that states manage wildlife in a scientific fashion, and have been ever since Aldo Leopold's seminal work on the subject and his establishment of professional wildlife departments.

        "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

        by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 01:40:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sturunner

          how about the California grizzly?

          or perhaps, well, the wolf, which was extipated from a fair number of states until reintroduction?

        •  Idaho wants to kill all but 100 wolves in state (0+ / 0-)

          http://www.summitdaily.com/...

          Let's be honest- that number is so low, and Idaho is so vast and wild that we can infer they really do want the wolves wiped out.  To put it into persepctive, Minnesota has about 1500 wolves and doesn't even being to approach the level of national forest and wilderness acreage that Idaho has.

          Wyoming has a shoot on site policy for wolves- one of the reasons no one plays their little game.

          So yes, people do want the wolves exterminated. Let's not pretend otherwise. If they didn't there wouldn't be the ridiculous "outrage".

          •  actually wyoming recomended listing them the (0+ / 0-)

            same as the coyotee, which means they can be shot on site. But not in Yellowstone, which is where it all started anyway. Certainly Yellowstone can support more than enough individuals to satisfy any camera toting animal tourist, and species preservation, when combined with wolves from other states.

            And Idaho is certainly able to keep numbers down to 100 if they want.

            300 in the three states is the official low population number.

            Neither state is suggesting extermination.

            So we are back to show me a link to where anyone wants to exterminate.

            Oh, and Idaho is far from vast.

            As long as a state isn't endangering any species it's up to the state to decide how many individuals. If California wishes to have tiny numbers of elk and huge numbers of wolves they are free to do so.

            "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

            by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 08:38:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You're wrong again (0+ / 0-)

              I hope for the sake of Daily Kos that you're not the "wildlife guy" here because it's blatantly clear to me that you don't care about predators or conservationl groups. Many of your posts bash conservation groups, bash the ESA, bash scientisits, bash biologists, and bash litigation that protects these things.

              I wonder how many here at Kos would react if someone came onto this website and started bashing a woman's right to choose. Well, your posts on the public /land wildlife side of things are doing exactly that except within a different context.

              So once again I'm going to correct your misinformation. When a state only wants 100 of a species when it can hold thousands, they are pretty darn close to a policy of extermination. It's like having that mother in law over and talking through a fake smile when you say she can stay the weekend. It would take an agressive extermination program to even reach 100 animals, and this would cost millions of dollars to implement at the taxpayer's expense. When you're flying around for months in helicopters shooting wolves that you've radio collared so they'll take you back to their packs, your in the process of exterminating.

              As for the "vastness" of Idaho, its 83,000 or so square miles and #14 in the lower 48. Yet it has 20,000,000 acres of national forest land, aonly 200,000 acres behind CAlifornia and nubmer 2 in the lower 48. California has 168,000 square miles.

              So Idaho has half the square miles of California, yet almost the same acreage of national forest land.

              http://www.ourforests.org/...

              Again I don't understand how you can come on here and continually bash progressive ideals on a progressive website.

              •  Oh Puhleez spare me (0+ / 0-)

                DK has many actual scientists who write about animals, their posts are too dry for most, if you're interested in animals maybe start reading them.

                I'm part of the oldest conservation group in the country. We've saved the bison, the elk, the mountain lion, and reintroduced the wolf. Our list of saved species and habitat includes most of the parks and large animals of the US.

                Get off your high horse, most of your supposed conservation groups are as much about conservation as Fox is about news.

                Wildlife management isn't about making a place for as many animals that resemble your dog as possible but about as many animals as can fit on the land. Some want as many wolves as possible, others want as many bears, others moose, elk, lynx, cougar. I'll let those biologists that have been doing so well for 50 years make the call.

                If the people of Idaho and the US government decide that 100 wolves in Idaho is plenty to sustain populations who are you do disagree?

                Since when is being anti science a progressive ideal?

                "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

                by ban nock on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 03:55:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If you were for science, you'd know (0+ / 0-)

                  that Idaho's carrying capacity for wolves if ar above 100 animals.

                  As far as the creation of national parks and federal land (where the best hunting occurs), that was done by environmental groups who fought tooth and nail, not by poachers. In fact, many of these land designations were opposed by local towns and hunters.

    •  Your numbers are more than misleading. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      grover, sturunner

      Oregon has 14 wolves as of last year, in two packs. Both packs are within about 50 miles of each other all the time, near the Washington/Idaho borders.

      In other words, Oregon doesn't really have wolves, a corner of the border has wolves.

      •  Same with Washington. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nulwee, sturunner, ban nock

        We have one pack in the North Cascades Mountains, which depending how far they range, we likely share with Canada. The other pack is in the Northeastern corner that we share with Idaho. They almost certainly do range into Idaho. And this pack has been victim of poachingstep years ago as two wolves were shot and killed despite federal protections.

        In total, the Seattle PI article says that WA and OR have 40 wolves. But many of them travel along the border of a state that is losing its protections. We may end up with almost none. Again.

        We can't pull protection state by state until all populations are flourishing. Animals can't read "Welcome to Idaho" signs. And I assure you, poachers ignore state boundaries the same as they ignore national park boundaries.

        It was the best of times, it was the worst of times... - C Dickens.

        by grover on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 01:57:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If it's any reasurance (0+ / 0-)

          This agreement only pulls protections in states with already flourishing populations, and I've never heard of a state division of wildlife losing a species once it's reintroduced. I'd say Idaho will continue to supply wolves that will continue to immigrate to Washington.

          Likewise Canada whom you share a long common border with has 60,000 or more. Canadians even make jokes about shipping out their wolves, I'm sure if you ask they'll send you some.

          "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

          by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 05:12:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The 1600 is estimated for Rocky Mountains only, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc

      indeed they have reached what is called carrying capacity in Yellowstone and greater Montana. Lack of prey due to high predation has led to intra species predation and declining wolf populations. Many areas have few large ungulates left to eat.

      Despite killing for livestock predation, accidents with cars, a hunting season in (09 I think?), and lots of killing of rival packs, populations experienced rapid growth. Oregon and Washington and Utah have only begun to have wolves in the last couple of years.

      I think they achieved target population objectives very quickly, back in 02 or 03, they've just been going back and forth in the courts ever since.

      "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

      by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 01:35:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Game populations are up in many places (0+ / 0-)

        Idaho has 100,000 elk. Montana has 150,000 elk.  Wyoming has 120,000 elk. The nothern rockies have 1,700 wolves. That kind of sort of puts things into perspective. But the anti-predator groupos don't want perspective. They want to blur the lines.

        Your comment that "many places have few large ungulates left to eat" is way off. The Northern Rockies have the greatest concentration of moose, elk, bighorn and other species in the lower 48. This is because of habitat.

        Finally, the biggest enemy to elk numbers is people who shoot them. If the people in these states are so concerned, why do they keep killing elk? Shouldn't there be a  "time out", or would that require too much self sacrifice?

        As this column points out, the elk have nothing to fear from wolves. It'sthe poachers and the habitat encroachment that will do the elk in.

        http://www.newwest.net/...

    •  1651 in the lower 48 is clearly wrong... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock

      That's probably the estimate for the greater Yellowstone area, (Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming.) The most recent estimate for my home state of Minnesota is 2922, with another 600+ in northern Wisconsin and 500+ in northern Michigan.

      -5.12, -5.23

      We are men of action; lies do not become us.

      by ER Doc on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:32:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Double and even triple litters (8+ / 0-)

    have been produced by Yellowstone Park wolf packs since their reintroduction because of the abundance of elk and other prey.

    Although the rate of reproduction must certainly fall as wolves resume their traditional niche and a new equilibrium between prey and predator populations is achieved, the wolf's future should be relatively secure as long as adequately sized and connected secure breeding zones exists in form of the national parks and other reserves continue to exist.

    Loss of habitat more often than hunting is the greater foe of species preservation. Interestingly, hunters can often be enlisted in the cause of habitat preservation. And keeping a wolf-hating rancher on the land is generally better for the wolf than if the land is converted to suburbs full of wolf-lovers.

    I am no fan of trophy hunting and I have developed attachments to individual wolves. But in wildlife conservation it is species and their habitats, not individuals, that matter most.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 10:31:38 AM PDT

  •  Mega-Ranchers rent federal land for cattle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nulwee

    grazing at very low rates. And all we have to do to subsidize this Agri-business practice is to ignore current research in wildlife management in favor of initial estimates made more than a decade ago and give into the rabid anti-wolf propaganda that whoops in agreement when Sara Palin is gunning down wolves from helicopters. There are already programs in effect to replace stock taken by wolves but it is not the major problem the anti-wolf crowd pretends it is. Don't forget these are the same interests who want all Bison slaughtered when  moving out of Yellowstone Park onto other federal land for winter grazing because of trumped up fears of spreading a disease that actually jumped from cattle to bison and not the other way. Unfortunately it is not surprising that Senator Testor is in the fold of the corporate ranchers. It turned out he is so much a Blue Dog Democrat that he's purple.

    I don't dislike all conservatives... mainly just the ones that vote Republican.

    by OHdog on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:42:14 AM PDT

    •  A few small corrections, OHdog (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee

      It may be true that Brucellosis jumped from cows to bison.  But that doesn't negate the current problem, which truly is the reverse (bison-> cows).  Two things:
      1)  There are substantial federal and market dollars at stake for any state to keep it's "brucellosis free" status.  Blaming "large ranchers" is simply another way of harming the state as a whole if Montana loses such status because of poor controls on the federal part.  Call it hostage taking if you want, but it's pretty obvious that the situation is hella more complex than you present here.
      2)  Brucellosis also passes from elk to cattle.  The onus for inoculation,  isolation etc. should lie with the ranchers, not FW and P (Dept. of the Interior)  but that would up the price everyone pays for Montana beef, as opposed to that lot raised crap you get in the midwest.  In truth, federally subsidized inoculation program would make sense.  Have any of your Senators proposed such?  No?  Didn't think so.   They must be "Blue-Dogs" I guess.

      And no, there are no programs to "replace" stock killed by wolves.  There are private programs, with some subsidy, that will compensate for stock kill, but those are manipulable, and inefficient.  Further, I don't know what you do for a living, but if someone came to your place of work and trashed your means of making a living, I doubt you'd take kindly to me saying that it really isn't that big a problem.

      The real problem with wolves, as those of us who live here  know, is that the truly large scale corporate ranchers have yet to get involved.  They will when wolves start taking their "assets", I guarantee you.  Most predation to date has taken place among small rancher's herds.  But hey, I guess they got paid so it's cool, right?

    •  The brucellosis issue was more complicated than (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OHdog

      I first thought.

      The cost of shooting wolves from helicopters is pretty high. I figure close to a couple thousand dollars an hour. I doubt it's the first choice of the division of wildlife.

      Much more pro wildlife management than ranchers are hunters. They have a long background based on a careful balance of species populations and conservation. They are also numerous throughout the Rockies. They are meat hunters, they shoot the first legal animal they see.

      I think it's that wide voting base that doesn't want one species to be favored over all others, and that voting public that Testor is reacting to.

      "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

      by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 02:06:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The cost of brucellosis vaccination is about one (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock, happymisanthropy

        dollar. Since the primary zone of concern is around the Yellowstone Park area then not all cattle need to be tetsed or vaccinated. There is a plan in place to deal with the situation  as of late last year.

        I don't dislike all conservatives... mainly just the ones that vote Republican.

        by OHdog on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 06:07:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wolves are a timid and interesting species (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sturunner, ban nock

    Having encountered a bear in great isolation before, I would note that bears are much more unpredictable and aggressive than wolves. Bears are not associated with loss of livestock, however...

    •  In reading last evening I thought to myself wolves (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, ER Doc

      are probably the most timid of large predators in the US, probably more so than cougars even. I don't concern myself much with any predator except bears. In some ways if wolves displaced some bears I wouldn't mind.

      I do remember when I lived in the upper rockies that they had problems with both bears (black) and cougars preying on livestock. One bear can fling a lot of sheep. ;-)

      Bears are more omnivorous, and so not as much competition for elk and moose.

      "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

      by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 02:12:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Depends (0+ / 0-)

        a Grizzly bear attacking sheep? Sure. Black bears are a bit less serious, if still dangerous to humans.

        •  Black not grizzlies were the main problem (0+ / 0-)

          The grizzlies hadn't established themselves in the area yet. (wyoming, Gros Ventre, and Salt River ranges). I was doing seismic and would meet and talk to lots of herders and ranchers.

          I've never spent much time in grizzly bear territory, certainly not out in the woods for weeks at a time. All bears get lots of respect from me.

          "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

          by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 03:59:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The predation problem (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ban nock, ER Doc

            In wolf territory, it is Grizzlies that offer as big a problem.  North of Jellystone, there are about 600 Griz, and given their territorial requirements, that's a lot.

            •  I have my google set to cull anything about (0+ / 0-)

              grizzlies too, and I have to say there are things going on with them too. Largest number ever killed was last year, lots of talk of pine nuts and lack of food.

              You would think there would be some sort of sorting out of the predators due to reintroduction. Wolves, cougars, bear, even coyotee, all prey on similar species.

              For me it's all just interesting. I dont' live or walk in those hills.

              Good Yogi Bear reference.

              "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

              by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 05:19:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Biologists in league with special interests... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sturunner

    are why this happened.

    So many people here think Scientists are all good people who use Science to do good things.

    The truth is many scientists lie and do studies that draw spurious conclusions that allow them to get large grants because they support what State wildlife agencies want to hear.

    It happens over and over again.

    They told us that ecosystems did not need apex predators..that human hunting could take up the pressure.  It was all a lie.  We know that now.

    •  really? (0+ / 0-)

      got evidence for this?  Having been a scientist myself, I cannot say that I've encountered anything resembling this.  Certainly no where near to the extent that various industrial interests are willing to lie to protect their profits.  Scientists on the other hand a) have no real monetary interest here and b) have a professional dedication to the truth that others do not have.

      Much closer to the reality is that since scientists are actually out there watching, they tend to advocate for protections because they can tell what is being lost in ways others do not.

      •  You're kidding me right? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sturunner

        Were you ever a wildlife biologist working for a State?

        You do know that Fish and Wildlife agencies make tens of millions of dollars off of sport fishing and hunting licenses don't you?

        They also write all kinds of bullshit studies to show that introduced exotic game and sport fish don't do any harm to native ecosystems...why would they do that you say?

        Because Fish and Wildlife agencies make millions of dollars off of sport and fishing licenses.

        I'm not going to sit here and write out an exhaustive bibliography of bullshit fish and wildlife studies.  Write to mattman, he's got all of that stuff in a database.

        •  ah, THAT (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          David Kroning II

          I had misunderstood you to be talking about academic biologists.  Certainly, there's a lot of suspect stuff going on when scientists are subject to political oversight.  Actually, there's some stunning examples not just from the state agencies, but the USFWS also got into hot water over the politicized rewriting of scientific findings.  However, in that particular case, it was the political appointees ignoring the scientists.  

          As another side note, one of the most vigorous environmental groups, the Center for Biological Diversity, was also founded by two forest service (I think) scientists who were fed up with precisely the dynamic you describe.

          My apologies!

          •  If it interests you to learn more... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sturunner

            write me in private or write to mattman.  I know more about this in regards to fish than to wolves, but the dynamic is the same.

          •  Scientists you agree with are good and ones you (0+ / 0-)

            don't agree with are bad. That doesn't sound very scientific.

            Might want to check out the origins of your org a little closer.

            Only one had a scientific background and that was in conservation. The others a philosophy major and someone who liked taking kids hiking.

            I remember a program on NPR called Ask Doctor Science "he's got a degree,,, in science.

            I like certified wildlife biologists myself.

            "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

            by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 04:06:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think you understand... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              happymisanthropy

              anything I'm saying.

              I'll give you one clear example.

              Academic biologists (those who work in universities) have known for decades that introduced exotic fish species like rainbow trout do enormous harm to native ecosystems, in some cases exterminating whole populations of fish and amphibians.  Yet, this very popular sport fish, continues to be stocked year after year by FISH AND WILDLIFE AGENCIES...why?  Because they know that's what attracts sport fishermen and that's what raises revenue from fishing licenses.

              The same dynamic occurs for other terrestrial games species.

              And, these agencies write study after study to show that introduced exotics have no impact...in face of mountains of evidence that they do.

              •  Example from terresrtial systems? (0+ / 0-)

                At least in the United States and Canada, conservation and management of big game is overwhelmingly about native species in their historic ranges.

              •  like introducing Canadian wolves to Timber wolf (0+ / 0-)

                territory?

                "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

                by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:04:24 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Where? (0+ / 0-)

                  Northern Rockies?  Great Lakes?

                  •  I was joking, most scientists consider them the (0+ / 0-)

                    same wolf. The difference of sub species is fitting angels on a pin head.

                    Your right though. I can't think of any exotic land animal imported and freed to run wild from another country by our departments of wildlife.

                    "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

                    by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:38:13 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Again you're using talking points... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...from anti-progressive groups, ban nock. I'll let others decide if there's a larger purpose for your repetition of these memes.

                  This whole "introducing canadian wolves to timber wolf country" is a common tactic used by anti-wildlife groups and industry in trying to get rid of wolves. So are the claims that "wolverines do fine in Canada and are a species of least concern", or that "wolves in the lower 48 aren't a concern because there's a lot in Alaska".

                  Biologist clarifies wolf myths (including the one you fell for - the "canadian wolves into timber wolf territory"):

                  http://www.mtexpress.com/...

    •  Actually the US Fish and Wildlife Service (0+ / 0-)

      with the assistance of the various state departments of wildlife are the people who are solely responsible for reintroducing the gray wolf. I've no idea why they'd pay anyone to lie?

      Regarding the apex predator, I think you mean, one of the apex predators. I'd certainly rate humans at the top for some 10,000 years, grizzly bears and polar bears are certainly up there too. And we've for sure seen that the wolf isn't needed for a healthy eco system where hunting is allowed. The entire wolf reintroduction was initiated exactly because hunting was not allowed in Yellowstone and the bear and cougars couldn't keep up.

      Where I live we have the largest elk population of any state, plentiful cougar, bobcat, fox, deer, antelope, lynx, and even wolverine of late, and moose, and white tail deer, I keep thinking of more animals. All with no wolves.

      I like the idea of wolves on the landscape, but managed such that numbers are kept at optimum levels just as other large mammals are.

      "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

      by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 02:26:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Only after decades of persistance... (0+ / 0-)

        and showing their studies to be false over and over again.  

        •  had me fooled (0+ / 0-)

          here I thought it was because they had no other way of controlling elk numbers in yellowstone since kicking out the apex predator. (humans)

          "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

          by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 04:15:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  humans are not apex predators in forest ecosystems (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sturunner, Gallatin

            we don't live in the forests any longer.

            Humans are part of game management plans.  

            And, the introduction of wolves isn't about simply keeping down elk numbers.  THere is more involved in the ecosystem than simply predator-prey relationships.

            Wolves eat more than elk.  Studies have shown the presence of wolves also leads to changing migration patterns of ungulates which in turn allows the flora to become more diverse.  

            •  You've touched on one of the defining devides (0+ / 0-)

              That between those who primarily live and work on the landscape and those who feel apart from the natural world and more often live in large urban areas.

              "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

              by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 05:30:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That has nothing to do with it (0+ / 0-)

                You're either a compassionaite human being that accepts different life forms as your neighbor, or you're not.  It's a common tactic of anti-conservation groups to start a  "I live on the land, you don't, city slicker" ad hominem attack.

                •  he he, you said it not me ;-) (0+ / 0-)

                  You know someone who has lived 50 miles out of Helena all their life might not know much about mass transit or the subway either.

                  The difference is they wouldn't presume to tell you about urban planning.

                  "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

                  by ban nock on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 04:06:54 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Most people I've met in Helena... (0+ / 0-)

                    don't go into the mountains. They go to work just like everyone else (many at the college) and go home, hang out withtheir familes and watch TV.

                    People who are interested in the landscape and ecology make it a point to visit these landscapes, whether they live in Chicago or right next to a national forest. It doesn't matter where you're from. I've run into many hunters in Montana who don't know what a fisher or marten is. I've run into urban indie scenesters who only care about music and who never leave the city who do know what those animals are.

      •  Actually Montana and Wyoming (0+ / 0-)

        ...two states with the largest populations of wolves have the largest and most intanct array of mega-fauna.

        •  My state has double their numbers (0+ / 0-)

          and many parts of Montana, all of Idaho, and north west Wyoming where the wolves are have all experienced precipitous declines.

          http://blog.kingsoutdoorworld.com/...

          Calving rates are at levels unable to sustain a herd in many areas and declines have caused problems for wolf populations, they've run out of things to eat.

          "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

          by ban nock on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 04:19:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nope. Check your numbers. (0+ / 0-)

            No states in the lower 48 have the wide array of mega-fauna as Wyoming and Montana. What you're doing is taking one animal (elk) and thinking that stands for all wildlife populations because that's what you'd like to hunt (or your bussies) but that's not conservation, that's your own personal desire. Of course Colorado has more elk, they don't have the balance of megafauna Wyoming and Montana do. Also, the elk in Colorado are causing serious damage to the ecosystem because of a lack of these predators.

            Montana and Wyoming have populations of grizzly bears, wolverine, lynx, cougar, moose, elk, pronghorn, wolf, fisher, marten, bison, bighorn, white tailed and mule deer among others.

            Again, wolves are not running out of things to eat. Wyoming's elk numbers are up. So are elk numbers in northern Idaho and in many parts of Montana.

            Wyoming elk numbers surpass goal:
            http://www.jhnewsandguide.com/...

            Wyoming elk numbers way above objectives:

            http://wolves.wordpress.com/...

            •  Your numbers don't reflect declines in NW corner (0+ / 0-)

              where the wolves are and you know it. You're trolling after the fact here.

              If you wan't to talk about animals perhaps write a diary.

              Alaska has much more than any lower 48 state, perhaps go on up.

              "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

              by ban nock on Tue Mar 22, 2011 at 04:13:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Wrong! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock, buddabelly

      Too be sure scientists are fallible and science as a practice can lead counter intuitive and even uncomfortable inferences.  But the claim that "...many scientist lie and do studies that draw spurious conclusions to get large grants..." is simply untrue.  

      To claim that "...It happens over and over again" is nonsense.

      Professional wildlife scientists on both sides of the public agency - academic divide have a very strong sense of conservation of wildlife as a public trust.  The also police themselves through rigorous peer review.

      The practice of wildlife conservation is a mixture of professional judgment informed by science that is very difficult to do and chronically under-funded.

      Name for me any prominent wildlife scientist who claimed that apex predators are unimportant.

  •  As we discuss this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    Let's keep in mind that we have multiple agencies vying for importance and funding, here.  We have the US. Fish and Wildlife service in the Department of the Interior.  We have the National Park service, also in Interior.  We must deal with the US Forest service (National forests being where most of the wolves reside) which is in the Department of Agriculture, and often subject to the oversight of state Fish and Wildlife.

    If we're going to be pointing fingers?  Let's us acknowledge that there are many directions those fingers point in, okay?

    •  I think that after delisting the state divisions (0+ / 0-)

      of wildlife manage the animals on all lands except National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges. They also have the background and funding.

      "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

      by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 04:17:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Working against whales and wolves (0+ / 0-)

    not the environmental president, that's for sure

    •  He warned you during his campaign that he would (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishgrease

      make science the basis for scientific decisions. If it's any consolation think of all the faith based warming deniers that are also bummed out.

      "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

      by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 04:09:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Equal Access to Justice Act. (0+ / 0-)

    OK, I can speak (er, write) with some authority on this. I'm actually a lawyer who makes a significant % of my living from EAJA, though it's in Social Security cases, not environmental cases.

    1. EAJA pays only $125/hour, adjusted for inflation. That's now about $175/hour. Federal litigation is not for beginners; on the open market it's worth $300/hour and up. Stop whining about rich lawyers till you've paid office rent, utilities, paralegal and admin assistant salaries and benefits, etc. $175/hour will barely keep the lights on.

    2. To get an EAJA fee, you have to (a) win, and (b) show the government's position was not "substantially justified." That means that if the government can show that, OK, they were wrong, but they had some reasonable basis for thinking they might've been right, then you don't get an EAJA fee.

    Why the hell shouldn't the government pay an EAJA fee when it can't show any reasonable basis for even thinking it might've been right?

    Do you want access to justice, or don't you?

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 06:38:57 PM PDT

    •  That's why I included the flip side. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishgrease

      But.

      $175 an hour in this day and age is nothing to cry poverty about. We all have rent and employees, and make a heck of a lot less that $175 an hour on an hours sheet that only we make up.

      I do want access to justice. But I don't think that orgs whose sole purpose in life is to sue the government are very helpful. They are in court for years wasting my taxpayer money of frivolities. They wear the government down and waste a ton of my money that would be better spent outside of court protecting species and habitat. There's a reason petitions for endangered status is backed up for years.

      Look at the wolves for instance. You could have gotten a couple Canadian trappers to trap thirty wolves, crate them up, bring  them down to Yellowstone and let them go for a few thousand. Instead we spend thirty years suing each other and doing fifty studies on various methods of mouth kissing carnivores for what?

      I think the act has been mis used when the same ten tax exempt orgs have filed 1500 environmental suits.

      Check out the orgs that came to the agreement with the Feds. I go to the "who we are" part of their web sites and laugh.

      "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

      by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:21:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No and maybe. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ban nock

        On the finances and activities of the various enviro organizations, I defer to your expertise.

        But don't think a lawyer gets EAJA fees for every hour he or she works. A lot of time isn't billable to any case; and some time you spend on each case isn't billable; and some cases you lose; and some cases you win, but the government was "substantially justified," so you still get no fee.

        In other words, balance out those hours @ $175 with a lot of hours in which you get $zero but still have to pay your staff pay and benefits, utilities, rent, etc.

        "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

        by HeyMikey on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 07:43:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As long as I've got your attention I should thank (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          HeyMikey

          you for doing the job you do.

          A lawyer on his own initiative helped me out once, I think he under billed too. Me, and my wife and kids owe our financial security to him stepping in and keeping us from getting messed over by someone very powerful.

          I like lawyers.

          "Don't fall or we both go." Derek Hersey 1957-1993

          by ban nock on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 08:42:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Los Lobos (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ban nock

    I'm closing in on going back to vegetarianism.

    Let the wolves have a living. I don't need to eat beef, & I don't care for elk or moose.

    Let the wolves live & care for their families.

    Let them be.

    GSA Making your School a Hate-Free Zone

    by x on Mon Mar 21, 2011 at 11:00:33 PM PDT

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